This is an older painting.
But the intent had been that, as women, we are all connected.
However - the truth is - that connection is not limited to women only.
And after not one, but two horrific tragedies this week -
I feel the need to remind myself of the fact that we are all in this together.
I live in Portland, Oregon.
Tuesday, December 11th was a difficult day for me.
To help you fully understand my emotions at this time -
I must share what that day looked like to me. Not to have you think - "oh, poor Laurie",
but to convey my emotions in an honest way.
I woke that day with the knowledge that my ex-husband - who has only been my ex for a few months,
was going into surgery to have cancer removed from his body.
This discovery had been made after he had left me.
I found myself struggling with a multitude of conflicting emotions for several weeks associated with this.
My children were struggling with their emotions.
Any time the "c" word is mentioned and associated with a loved one -
you can't help but feel that your world has been rocked.
And I felt worry and was distracted.
Later that day, I went to a counseling session.
My divorce has brought up a myriad of issues that I have ignored for too long.
And although, the counseling is helping -
each session feels a bit like the hornet's nest of emotions is being stirred up.
And those angry hornets are swirl all over the place.
But that is for another post on another day.
And as I was dealing with attempting to stable my emotions associated with the counseling and the surgery -
The most significant event of all occured.
On December 11th; a gunman entered
the local mall and began shooting at Clackamas Town Center.
This mall is right in my back yard.
It is the place I shop at.
It is the place where my family members shop.
It is the place where friends shop - and work.
This tragedy rocked me to the core.
My nephew was in lockdown in one of the stores, my friend was working in the store that the gunman ran through - she witnessed it; my other friend was in the foodcourt having lunch and was huddled under a table praying for her life.
This was too close geographically and personally.
My evening was spent in pain and sorrow.
The weight of the pain I felt for those that were involved in this was heavy and all-encompassing.
Today, another tragedy has occured.
A senseless shooting in an elementary school in Conneticut.
Small children. Teachers.
Terror and tragedy and violence in a place that is supposed to be safe for our little ones.
And even though it is, geographically, on the other side of the country -
it is too close for comfort.
And again - the weight of the sorrow I feel is so very heavy.
I have done my best today to ignore the emotions today.
I am not saying that I wasn't paying heed to the event - but I was choosing not to watch the news and become overly obsessed with the event.
I have stayed busy and distracted with work.
But I can ignore it no longer today.
My heart is breaking.
My soul is aching.
I have no words of wisdom here.
My prayers are actively going to God to hold the families affected by these tragedies in His arms.
My prayers are begging that we remember that we must lift and support and be there for one another.
My prayers are that each of us will reach out and connect with those around us -
lend that listening ear; pick up the phone and call them;let others know that you care; hug them; hold their hands; be their friend -
share your love without reservation and tell them of your love.
Together is the only way that we can survive.
If you are so inclined - take a moment and listen to this beautiful rendition of "Amazing Grace",
and bow your head in thought, meditation and prayer for all of us. . .