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The Difference a Day Makes

Posted in: Blog by amy on November 16, 2011

The 10 o’clock news: It’s often hard to watch. Stories of car crashes and fires, teenage sex trafficking, ridiculous political candidates, senseless murders and unending wars. Night after night, I tune in. I watch. I listen. And, sometimes, I cry. The stories are often heart-breaking. It is, of course, difficult to hear about all of the pain that surrounds us. We often cling to that one feel-good story that they toss in there for our sanity — the story about the heroic dog who saved the adorable little boy from his burning home … the story about the marine who surprised his fiance for the holiday. We need those stories. It would be even harder to sleep without them.

We have been inundated with horrific images and the depressing stories. Not much surprises us anymore. We hear; we feel; we may even cry; we turn off the TV; we go on with our lives. But, every once in a while, we hear a story that makes us step back and think. Maybe it even makes us want to act. I heard that story last night. And, I can’t wrap my head around it. A 10-year-old girl hung herself in a closet. Ten years old. A fifth grader. I have a fifth grader. I have a 10-year-old girl who is full of joy and hope and laughter. It is unfathomable to imagine the pain that this girl clearly felt. She had no hope of better days. She had no vision of an easier tomorrow. She had no concept of the phrase “what a difference a day makes.”

They say she was bullied at school. She had even recently requested that she be home schooled, the bullying was obviously so disturbing to her. But, before a solution could be found, before an improvement could be made, before she was able to be filled with hope and promise, she felt compelled to take her own life. And, she did it in such a violent manner. Hanging herself. It hurts me to repeat that fact.

I’m still sickened by last week’s news in which a teenage girl was stabbed and killed when she went home after school and stumbled upon a robber in her home. That senseless murder knocked the wind out of me. And, the man who stripped that girl of her life and who caused a family a lifetime of pain ran off with a few precious coins. A life. Coins. A murder. Coins. A mother’s lifetime of mourning and grief. Coins.

So much pain. So much that is senseless. So much bad timing.

But, then, back to the fifth-grade girl. This wasn’t bad timing. This was just tragic.

How do we get to a place of no hope … at such a young age?

It’s always difficult to imagine how anyone, even a 50-year-old man, would want to take his or her own life. But, maybe we can understand it a bit more when we hear that a man has lost “everything.” He has lost all of his possibilities. He has lost his belief in a better tomorrow. Years of pain and failure have become too much to swallow. The blackness in his world is suffocating him in the daylight, so he must end it swiftly. It still seems senseless. It still seems selfish. And, it still seems like it will leave a river of pain for the surviving friends and family. Most of us can’t understand why anyone would resort to such drastic measures. I’ve always assumed that the darkness must be too much to handle after years and years of suffering … that the light at the end of the tunnel has just burned out … that the concept of a brighter tomorrow is simply non-existent.

We may not understand suicide. We may even judge it. We may think it is not an option. Or, maybe we have even had our thoughts of escaping this veil of tears. Maybe we have wished for that eternal sleep. Maybe we have felt a boundless amount of fear, rejection, hopelessness and pain. But, somehow, we were able to fall asleep. We were able to wake up the next day and realize that we felt a little bit better. We were able to believe that the next day, we might even feel better than today. We believed that the sunshine would come. That a day can make a huge difference. That a dream can be met. That a beautiful moment could bestow itself upon us.

That poor little girl. At such a young age, she was full of so much despair — full of a lifetime of pain already, accumulated in just one short decade. She was at an age when her biggest fear should have been that her mom would embarrass her by singing in the car in front of her friends. Her biggest disappointment should have been that her dad told her she couldn’t use the computer. But, something unthinkable happened in her mind — she lost all belief in tomorrow. And isn’t that precisely what we all need to help us fall asleep at night? We believe that tomorrow will come, and with it, a world of hope and possibility. A new sunrise.

I know this story shocked and saddened so many people. And, I’m not even sure what the take-away from this tragedy is. But, there must be one. We have to learn from these inconceivable stories. We have to hug each other a little bit tighter. We have to be aware of the agony that others can feel as a result of our harsh words. We have to know that innocent children are capable of absorbing the darkest and most hopeless of thoughts. We have to listen. We have to care. We have to treasure our little ones, our big ones, our friends, our families. We have to feel lucky for our presence on this Earth. We have to know that tomorrow may deal us an entirely different set of cards. We have to remember that life can change in an instant. We have to believe in ourselves. We have to believe that there is goodness in the world. We have to love. And, with all of that, we have to cry for the sadness that is around us. Let out the tears today, so we can then look forward to the possibility of a laugh-filled tomorrow.

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3 Responses to “The Difference a Day Makes”

  1. Sue love says:

    I am in tears!! From the story and your blog!! Love u!!

  2. Judy says:

    Amy, What a great job you did to express what so many of us are thinking! Such a tragedy, such a loss. I believe that the take away is that when it comes to children no event, no comment can be underestimated or minimized. Each thing that happens in a child’s world is important and we must take notice and not discount the importance or the meaning to that little one. Judy

  3. telliott says:

    Amy you truly are a fantastic at writing and expressing your feelings/ insight in words. I recall seeing this story previewed on the news- and it was too hard for me to “stay tuned”. Most people I know have expressed moments of such sadness where they wished there was no tomorrow. I know I have had many of days where It all seemed pointless and the light at the end of the tunnel just was a saying. It is so important for one to share their painful experiences with others and give hope and faith that things pass with some effort and love. Love is always present it just seems people are more consumed with where love is not given rather than going to the many outlets where it is freely given. Even though I am not a parent, i believe parents need to spend more time leading by example. How many people tell their kids it’s bad to gossip than 5 mins later the mom/dad is on the phone bitching about somone’s behavior. Happiness comes from within, we need to all do a better job teaching and practicing love.. Keep up the fanastic insight amy

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