To Veronique


Life is a busy, flowing stream. Things come up and they seem so very important. We promise ourselves to follow up or to follow through on things and then the river of time takes its course and those promises fade away. Oh right … we think. I meant to do that, didn’t I?

Something has been gnawing at me, though. I need to talk about a problem in our country. I need to write this.

I need to do this because Noah Pozner’s mom doesn’t have her boy coming home to her today as I do. She lost a son at Sandy Hook. And so, to a woman whom I have never met, I write for you and I write because I got distracted and pushed this aside. I’m sorry I didn’t write sooner.

I read an article a few weeks ago that stopped me in my tracks. Noah’s mom, Veronique, insisted on having an open casket funeral for her dear son. As a mother, I cannot even begin to imagine the courage it took to do that. She also took the Governor of Connecticut by the arm to view her son’s body so that he could realize what gun violence really does to people. What it does to a child. What it did to her baby.

She said that she wants people to know about the brutality and the ugliness of what was done to the children of Sandy Hook. She doesn’t want us to look away and talk about babies and angels and hearts and teddy bears. When a bill regarding gun control comes across the Governor’s desk, she doesn’t want him to remember white crosses or balloons. She wants him to know the truth.

As I said, the business of life and the passing of time had softened the urgency of my feelings directly after Sandy Hook. But I will be more honest. I became scared. I lost my nerve. I started to worry about offending certain people or taking a real stand. I started to censor myself.

Veronique, I need to apologize for that. You had the unimaginable courage to do what you did. I can answer that with a tiny amount of my own.

The least that I can do is take a moment out of my life to honor what you did. To thank you for your immense courage and tell you that it was not for nothing. I have heard you. I have written my members of Congress. I donated to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.  I am writing this.

What about you who are reading this? Have you heard her? Can you summon your own courage and take a stand as well?

The article quoted Veronique saying; “This topic has wings for me. It has got to take flight.”

I will not stay quiet. My words are here now. My letters are off. Now take flight little words, take flight.

2 thoughts on “To Veronique

  1. Thank you for writing this. I have a little Noah and have been writing a letter to Veronique in my head ever since Sandy Hook. Soon after the unthinkable massacre, I wrote to Congress people, signed petitions, donated to the Brady Campaign and “liked” Moms Against Gun Violence. Lately though it has gone out of my mind -as I am sure it has for others too. Thank you for writing this post for Parent map and bringing the conversation back. What can we do now?

  2. Thank you very much, Kate. Good work and keep it up! I am planning to watch the Brady Center & Moms Against Gun Violence FB pages for thoughts & ideas on phone calls I can make or letters I can write. At this point, it seems like pressure on our politicians is the biggest thing. Give that little Noah of yours a hug. Take care.

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Living the writer's life in Seattle

Running After Ale

I'm constantly running after my toddler Ale (Á-le). I'm out of breath and having the best time!

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