Who are we and what are we doing?
Those of you who know us and who live in our community know why. Those of you who don’t, we have lost far too many young people to suicide over the last four years. 7 suicides, 1 overdose and 1 unknown student loss. I’ve asked one of the moms who lost her son if I could share this poem that was left by the spot where her son died by an anonymous person. It says what we all feel:
From form, into the formless,
Now you and spirit become one,
But oh, how we grieve here on earth,
You were Every MOTHER’S SON ……..
That said it might be easier to say what we’re not. We are not a suicide awareness group; we are not a counseling group. What we are is PROACTIVE prevention, a unique and encouraging way to approach prevention by asking everyone to stop, reflect and be their best. Communication is key. You can have the best statistics and a phD but if you do not have the trust of the young people, you are powerless.
Who are we? We are normal flawed people navigating through the waters of family life, just like you. We are not claiming to be perfect, we are not- no one is. We are also not claiming that our children are perfect, they are not -no child is. But we do have 18 years of marriage and family experience.
It’s not just our area that has its share of problems; it’s a tough society right now. There is an attraction to drinking, drugs, lying, bullying, you name it. We want to look at the root of those behaviors. What can we do to make a shift toward the good. Toward strengthening the interior of our kids and ourselves, because we all know they will follow our example more than our words.
We have great kids in our area. We are families that love our children and each other’s children. We want them to grow into successful adults, by that I mean adults confident and happy in their relationships that are contributing to the betterment of the world. Our hope is that we can all pull together toward that same goal.
I’ll share a story from a couple years ago.
Chip and I snuck out for dinner late during the week. An old friend came in to pick up take out and rush home. He said, ‘Wait, how can you guys get out with all your kids?’ We laughed, and explained the older kids were babysitting. It’s one of the perks of being at the tail end of your family. We have extra drivers and built in baby sitters.’ In his rush to get back to his newbie family said, ‘That’s right, you guys are Varsity I’m still JV’. We laughed and he left.
Now being from a sports fanatic family, understand that I do not mean by Varsity we are better. We all know sometimes you’re simply put on varsity because you’ve been on the team a long time. We also know that there are players that are JV and freshman that could hold their own on Varsity. There are also times when a varsity player needs to be benched. But, sometimes a hint from a Varsity player to a freshman is all it takes to see a change in how the player sees the field. I think that kind of describes what we are.
The very best way we can make a difference in the lives of the young people around us is to make sure we are in the best place we can be physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And let’s face it; life can toss things in your lap you never expected. It always good to stop and evaluate how we’re doing.
All of us are unique; we all have gifts that are exclusive to ourselves. It’s in our nature as humans to live in community and share our gifts. It’s that simple. We become an even better community when we work together.
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Wear a band, and pass it!
Melissa and Chip