Yes, Sandy, There is a Santa
My mother died in a car accident during Hurricane Sandy. We lost power at our house, and gathered with our community to get through the difficult time. It was right before Halloween and the Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Department had a special gathering for the community to come together.
Today, a different Sandy is on our minds, the shooting Sandy Hook Elementary School. Many of us have friends from Sandy Hook. Many of us are parents trying to find ways to talk with our kids about the horrible shooting that took place there. Many of us are struggling with our own grief, trying to be strong for our loved ones.
Yesterday, at work, I shared thoughts from our chief behavioral health officer on how to talk with children about what happened at Sandy Hook. He said to reassure our children that they are safe and to review safety plans with them. He said to limit exposure to TV and other media. He said to talk with other adults about our own reactions.
So, my daughter spent last night with her papa, a retired Bethany Volunteer Fireman. He had been watching too much news and was grieving for the people of Sandy Hook. My wife urged them to watch 'Elf'. Towards the end of the movie, singing Christmas carols and believing in Santa is what saves the day.
Perhaps we need a little bit of that right about now. Today, at the Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Department, Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit. There will also be a clinic on car seat safety. Then, Sunday afternoon at the First Congregational Church there will be carol singing.
So, for the victims of Hurricane Sandy and of shooting at Sandy Hook, I'll paraphrase the great editorial from years ago…
Yes, Sandy, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Sandys. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
A gunman in Sandy Hook took the lives of some of its children, but the eternal light with which childhood fills the world has not been extinguished. It shines in the bravery and kindness of the Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Department. It shines in the carols that members of First Church will sing Sunday afternoon. It shines in the light of candles on the menorahs and advent wreaths across Woodbridge.
Yes, Sandy, there is a Santa