My Scrambled Nest

An Almost-Empty Nest Journey of "Letting Go" With Laughter and Love, By Cathy Free

Well, here we are again, surrounded by darkness. I had intended to write a “happy” blog post today about the joy of my son’s artwork, but I can’t find the words. So I’ll save that for another time and simply spill what’s really on my mind: the frightening future that lies ahead for my son, my daughter and all of your sons and daughters and grandchildren if something isn’t done about the mass shootings committed with assault weapons in this country.

We all know by now that it could happen to any of us, anytime, anywhere. But nothing is ever done about it. We get angry, we share our thoughts, we write to our legislators, pleading for some common-sense measures to be enacted. What do we get in return? Moments of silence and calls for prayer. The executions of 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary nearly five years ago didn’t move Congress to act, and it’s doubtful that anyone will act now with 59 (at last count) dead in Las Vegas. But we can’t stop trying.

As a journalist, I have interviewed too many parents over the years who have lost children to gun violence. Inevitably, at some point during the interview, there are shared tears, and I always go away thinking, “What would I do? How would I react?”

What if my good-natured, music-loving son had been unfortunate enough to be in a shooter’s line of sight at a packed outdoor concert? What if my sassy, “don’t mess with me” daughter had gone out dancing or to see a movie with friends and somebody stormed in with an assault rifle?

It’s something I hope that I never have to experience. And I hope the same for you. Why should mass murders at the hands of people who should not own even one gun, let alone 42, be our new “normal?” It is madness. Every time this happens, I feel hopeless and wonder if it’s worth writing another letter, sending another donation to a gun control group and making another round of calls to politicians who just don’t seem to get it and likely never will.

But then I remember the smiles from the latest batch of victims’ photos, and parents talking about how their daughter loved purple hair bows and chocolate-mint ice cream, or how their son could never crank his favorite Rolling Stones’ songs loud enough and couldn’t bear to leave a stray dog on the street, and I am angered and inspired to go at it again. It’s not much, but it’s something, and maybe, just maybe, if more people do their own little something, the day will come when we won’t have to face another morning like we did on Oct. 2nd and wonder, “What would I say? What would I do?” 💔



4 thoughts on “Looking for Stars in the Darkness

  1. I felt the same way yesterday. I could barely move. The killing has to stop along with the cloud of meanness and negativity. I agree that simply sending prayers doesn’t help. We have to speak out and take action.

    1. Cathy Free says:

      Thanks so much Rebecca. Agreed! It has to stop. Prayers are great, but they don’t fix the problem of assault weapon killings. Congressional representatives who don’t support taking some protective measures should be voted out!

  2. Be a good person. Respect those around you. Teach your kids about compassion and empathy. That’s all we can do. But if we all did that, the bad would slowly recede. Xo

    1. Cathy Free says:

      So true. Thank you!

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