Last night, President Obama paused during his press conference to acknowledge Grace McDonnell’s parents – Chris and Lynn – with these words:
“She dreamed of becoming a painter. And so just before I left, Chris, her father, gave me one of her paintings, and I hung it in my private study just off the Oval Office. And every time I look at that painting, I think about Grace. And I think about the life that she lived and the life that lay ahead of her, and most of all, I think about how, when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now — for Grace. For the 25 other innocent children and devoted educators who had so much left to give.”
Courtesy of CNN.com
Grace, from all accounts, was a child full of happiness and joy. She loved drawing, the beach and school.
In the days after the horrific acts at sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT – many of us were jolted into action with the 26 Acts of Kindness Movement inspired by Ann Curry. Thirty-four days later is the momentum still there? Have you followed through with your 26 Acts of Kindness? If so, are you going to start the process of over again?
The key, in my opinion, to keeping the memory of Grace and her schoolmates and teachers alive is to continue acting, to continue giving back and to continue having a positive presence in our communities.
When I read the articles on Grace – I’m struck by how fitting her name seems to be with her spirit and the legacy that she leaves behind. Her last goodbye to her mother was a blown kiss as her bus departed that Friday morning for school. Her father had these words, that we all can and should apply to our daily lives, to share about Grace:
“[Grace] taught us you have to live for the future, happiness and peace” and “not to divert your energy to hate and anger.”
In honor of Grace’s life – one characterized with love and a passion for drawing, I encourage you to draw a picture to give to a child (your own or one close to you) today. So often we cherish the pictures that our little ones create for us, imagine their surprise when we share a piece of ourselves with them the same way.
This post is brought to you as part of my involvement with The Global Team of 200 – a highly specialized group of Mom Bloggers for Social Good members who focus on maternal health, children, hunger, and women and girls. Many of us have committed to keeping the awareness on the #26Acts of Kindness and the victims of the Newtown tragedy.
Many blessings to you Carrie! I can only imagine the thoughts and emotions you experienced throughout this ordeal when there are so many parallels in your own personal life. It definitely makes you stop and reflect.
Friday 25th of January 2013
So glad this was able to provide a way to truly connect.
Friday 25th of January 2013
You're very welcome Sara! Thank you for your words of reflection. So true that tragedy will cause us to be reactive. It makes me wonder if we were more proactive how many of these senseless tragedies could be avoided. Movements like #26Acts can be used to bring awareness and inspiration to watch out for our neighbors. If we see them struggling, lend a hand. It seems many are so quick to donate across the country or world, but there are people right in their backyards that desperately need assistance.