While driving through Newtown, Connecticut today on my way home from spending the holidays at my grandparents’ house I started thinking about the recent events that transpired there. Although I have been watching and reading the news about what happened, driving through the area made it seem much more real to me. Wreaths, lights, flags and other items line the sides of the roads near the town as memorials to the victims. The loss, pain and suffering that the families of the victims are going through during this holiday season must be absolutely unbearable.
Additionally, on December 24th the shooting that happened in Webster, New York was another sad and scary occurrence. Four firefighters were shot, and two were killed, by a man who intentionally set several houses on fire. I have an uncle, two cousins and a close friend who are all firefighters in New York and realizing that something like this could have happened to them made me even more thankful for having the opportunity to be with them during the holidays. Cherishing the time we have we loved ones became even more important to me.
So we must not get hung up on finding the best deals or perfect presents this time of year. Even if we do not always get what we may want or find ourselves stuck in the car driving from one relatives house to another, we must be grateful for everything that we do have and how lucky we are. For me, this holiday season had plenty of reminders and helped me put this into perspective. When you are fortunate enough to spend time with your family during this winter vacation, put your phone and computer away for a bit, be where you are, enjoy your company and create memories. Make the most of every moment because life can change at any moment, as the people in Newtown and Webster have recently witnessed first hand.