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Main : Parental

Lessons from Littleton, Colorado
  by: Bob Perks, The Flight of a Lifetime!

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I cried alone in a hotel room as I watched the faces of the students in Littleton, CO on television. I could feel my heart pounding as one young girl, now scarred for life, described having the gun put to her head and then watching others murdered next to her. I wanted to be there to comfort them all and just listen to their pain.

Being away from home is always difficult. But being away when tragedy of this magnitude occurs is overwhelming.

As this story was unfolding I was about to give a speech about hope, dreams and survival. I would share with them the story of my oldest son being a cancer survivor. I would sing to them an upbeat song of joy and success. But I just walked away from a scene of tragedy and despair.

Without diminishing the significance of this terrible loss I offer some hope to you.

I remembered that in stark contrast to this scene played out before the entire world there was another story.

I imagined that while this was unfolding a group of young people were rehearsing for the Spring Choir Concert to be held at a school in a community some where in our country. I thought at that same moment shots were being fired that ended lives, hundreds of Rotary Clubs were meeting once again to make plans for their youth programs they are so famous for. I knew for a fact that in my own local community the first ever Northeast Optimist International Club was meeting that evening. Their motto is "Friend of Youth."

In schools across this nation children were learning science and math so that maybe one of these kids would grow up to find a cure for the same cancer that threatened my son's life. Perhaps in a history class some where kids were excited about stories of America's growth and it ignited in them a dream to one day lead this nation to greater glory.

The women of churches and synagogues were meeting that morning to plan their fundraisers to help buy books for the children's library, clothe the poor and feed the hungry. Millions of loving, caring parents went off to work and when word of this hideous event made its way through the factories and businesses, they paused for a moment, thought of their children and thanked God for their safety. Then I guarantee you that hugs and kisses were generous that evening when once again these same parents held their children, this time as if they wanted to never let go.

"I love you!" was said a million times a million this morning as the reports of "15 dead at Colorado high school" blackened the banners of every major newspaper.

Our biggest enemy is fear. If we live in fear of participating in the same freedoms that so many before us gave their lives for, then the hate mongers and the killers win.

Mourn and cry as I did. Then pick up your head and look around. I challenge you today to fight back. Join a club, call your child's school and find out when the next PTA meeting is and be a part of it. Write your Congressman and voice your concern. Now turn to the Community News section of your local paper and thank God for all of the people who are involved with making America great.

Oh, yes. I did call my son to tell him I loved him. He said, "I love you too, Dad!" I stayed awake most of that night remembering why.

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 ++ I Took a Piece of Plastic Clay
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 ++ He Is Just a Little Boy
 ++ I Want to be Possible
 ++ This Child of Mine
 ++ Useless Life
 ++ Cake, The

 Related Resources 
Books :
 ++ Bringing Out the Best
 ++ Chicken Soup for the Parent's Soul
 ++ How to Talk So Kids Will Listen
 ++ Nurture by Nature


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