After two horrific days of watching the news and blogging for The Huffington Post and my site www.Opentohope.com and several Facebook sites, it was time to take a break and hang out with my husband, daughter, granddaughter, son-in-law and two grandsons. The men in the family are avid football fans. We live across the street from our daughter so I decided to join the fun and watch the much anticipated game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots.
As I entered their family room I was enthusiastically greeted by the family dog, Maizy. The fireplace burned brightly under the high resolution television set. The boys were lounging on couches, with my oldest grandson, Scotty a senior in high school holding the remote in one hand and his iPhone in the other. His 10-year-old brother, Ryan, was playing a football game on his iPad and my son-in-law was tweeting and facebooking on his iPhone. There was a good deal of chatter about the players and anticipation about the game; who knows what the future might hold. Both teams might again meet in the Super Bowl.
Seven p.m. California time we were ready. My husband and I were relaxed on the couch, covered with a blanket, prepared for the big game. It was a damp and rainy night at the football stadium, a tough night to hang onto the ball for the players. As we got into the first few minutes of the game, passes were dropped and interferences were made. I was really thinking this was a fun game. The 49ers had control of the ball and were heading down the field when suddenly we were told “this program is being interrupted to bring you a message from the President of the United States, Barack Obama.”
I was suddenly transported from a stadium of screaming frenzied fans of around 68,000 people to a high school auditorium in Newtown, Conn. A small town where only days before 26 people, 20 of them between 6- and 7-years-old, had been murdered. An auditorium filled with the saddest people in the world. I knew how sad they felt because many years ago I too became a bereaved parent. The president began speaking, “I come to offer the hope and prayers of the nation.”
“You are not alone in your grief.”
“All across this nation we have wept with you.”
That evening we came together as a nation and as a family.