I’m Still Thinking of You

I’m Thinking Of You

Today marks the three year anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Last year, I worked through my sadness by writing a post titled “I’m Thinking Of You.” Today those words are on a field trip over on Mamalode.com. Won’t you please come have a look, and share the message?

I’m Thinking Of You

Like me, you probably have friends and family that are so often on your mind and heart that you can have whole conversations with them without ever picking up the phone. I truly believe there are more positive vibes in this world than negative events.

To anyone struggling with sadness and challenges right now: You are not alone. You’d be surprised how many people are thinking of you right now.

And to the families of Newtown: We’re thinking of you not only today,  but always.



Interested in turning your good thoughts into positive action? Click the links below to learn more.

Everytown for Gun Safety

“The reasons for gun violence are complex, but real change on a few issues could save lives.”

Text “ENOUGH” to 64433

Sandy Hook Promise

“I promise to do all I can to protect children from gun violence by encouraging and supporting solutions that create safer, healthier homes, schools and communities.”

Sign their petition to pass mental health reform here.

26 ACTS – Changing the World one kind act at a time

“Do one act of kindness for each of the lives taken at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

“Every action, no matter how small, helps us build safer communities and a brighter future. Together, we can end gun violence.”

Sponsoring Orange Walks to honor all of the lives taken by gun violence in America, and show just how determined we are to end it.

Other actions:

Consider writing your representatives in government to voice your concerns. Contact information is easy to find here:


Congressional Representatives




I’m Thinking of You



My husband never talks about his patients with me. (He’s the poster boy for the HIPAA law.) But when a call from the hospital comes in at night, sometimes I am privy to his side of the conversation. I might hear snippets such as the person’s age, or what tests they need to have done. I’ve learned which key words will lead to me sleeping alone that night (ruptured, perforation) and which will keep him snuggled next to me (elective, antibiotics).

Within thirty seconds of the phone call ending, my husband will be back to sleep. It’s a self-preserving skill he learned in residency.  But for me, it’s not that easy. Now I’m up. And now I’m thinking about this person who I know nothing about, beyond the fact that they are, say, 66-years-old and have a high fever and need an ERCP, whatever that is. Now that I know about them, and I’m awake, I do what I can for them. Which isn’t much, but I hold them in my mind, and I wish them well. I like to envision a little bit of the comfort I’m sending to them actually finding it’s way to the ER, or the ICU, or their room. It’s improbable, but it’s possible. So I go there.

Many, many nights, phone calls or not, I hold my husband’s hands in mine and offer a straight-up prayer. First it’s a thank you for all the times his hands have been safely guided to help in the past, then it’s a prayer for continued guidance and strength in the future. If my husband knew any of this, he’d be doing an eye-roll/gagging noise combination. He’s a man of hard logic and science. We’re quite a pair.


Sometimes, one is on the receiving end of good thoughts. Two years ago this weekend, Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, CT experienced the unthinkable. The news trickled first into our local consciousness and then onto the national and international stage. And while I struggled with shock and fear and that sickening too close-to-home feeling, something strangely comforting started happening.

First, a phone call from my sister, 3,000 miles and two time zones away. When her first patient of the day asked, “Isn’t it terrible about what happened at that school in CT?” her stomach dropped, and she thought of me. Then a steady stream of friends, from all over the country, from all phases of my life, started checking in.

I heard the news, and I thought of you. Are you okay? Are the kids okay? 

I heard from people I hadn’t been in touch with for years, from close friends, and from Christmas-card-only friends. All wished me well and expressed relief that today, this time, the tragedy was not ours. In the weeks that followed, sadness would wash over me in waves. But the comfort of being thought of and wished well by so many always pulled me to a safe shore.


We can never know how many people are thinking of us, maybe right now, and wishing us well. It doesn’t take an anniversary for me to think of the Newtown families. A face, a name, or an image will come to mind, and in that moment I’ll wish them love and comfort. Imagine, for every time someone pops into your mind, or you hold someone in prayer, meditation, or good light, someone else could be doing the same for you!

Maybe the husband or wife of the doctor you visited last week is at home, doing chores, and sending you strong, positive vibes. And if you’re reading this, consider yourself pinged with positivity, because at this moment I could very well be thinking of you, and wishing you all good things, including….

best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.


What helps?

Many of you probably spent the weekend as I did.  Not shopping and singing and baking, but crying and hugging and listening to the news in an “I-don’t-want-to-but-I-can’t-help-it” kind of way.  I tried to shield my children from my own sadness and from any details of the horrible tragedy that occurred on Friday in Newtown, CT.

I didn’t want to talk to them about lockdown drills and gunmen and unthinkable sadness.  The time may come for that.  Today they’ll return to the real world and their own school classrooms, where whispers and rumors will fly surely as they do among adults.  I won’t be able to keep them in the bubble for long.

But for the past two days, I pulled them close and bubbled up.  Fighting my own heavy heart and deepest fears, I reached for books, those stalwart companions in times of anxiety.

EACH KINDNESS by Jacqueline Woodson is a beautiful, lyrical picture book that tells the simple story of the ripple effect of kindness, and what happens when kindnesses are left undone.  Although they are “too old” for picture books, I “forced” my kids to let me read this one aloud.  We can’t change events of the past, but focusing on what good we might do in the future was at least, for a moment, something that made me feel less useless.

I also read for my own sanity, to escape.  And when I got halfway through SEE YOU AT HARRY’S by Jo Knowles I realized I had chosen the exact wrong escape hatch. (If you have read this book you probably just said, “Oh no! You read that to escape reality?”).

SEE YOU AT HARRY’S is a moving, incredibly well-written middle grade novel, told from the point of view of 12-year-old Fern.  Saying anything else here would spoil its power for you as a reader. But I will tell you that as I read on, and on, and on, unable to put the book down, I realized that while it didn’t provide the lift that a “light romantic comedy” might have, it actually was quite possibly the most helpful book I could have chosen to read this weekend.

On the book jacket, you’ll find comments such as “soul-sustaining,” and “a big booming beacon of [hope],” and “rich in…the gentle hope that grows from the heartbreak of tragedy.”  When you are ready, I encourage you to read it and be strengthened.

As we face the days ahead, I’ll be looking for and clinging to signs of gentle hope.  May we all find the strength to push down fear and lift up kindness.