I got it wrong. And I got scolded.
After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I took the wrong approach. Didn’t mourn. Didn’t grieve. Didn’t bow my head. Didn’t offer prayers.
Instead, I offered thoughts.
Long past The Moment Of Silence, she demanded silence, my silence. Her subtext blaring…
Shut Up, Greg.
Caught off guard, I developed writer’s block. Caught off guard, I stopped trusting myself. Caught off guard, I began looking at myself through the eyes of a coward, mistaking cowardice for candor.
On Facebook, a friend from childhood, all the way back to Green Bay Road Elementary School, recognized my silence. He sent me a private message: whatever’s stopping you isn’t real, whoever’s stopping you isn’t real, you’re doing this to yourself, keep writing, keep shaking things up, you’ve always been the guy who shakes things up, keep being that guy, now more than ever.
The words began flowing. They never stopped flowing.
Today is Mother’s Day. Mom has agreed to meet somewhere close to Max’s Deli, since my brother is working, and in love with working, and Mom doesn’t want to get in the way of her youngest son’s love affair with working in the restaurant.
She’s the greatest. She’s always been the greatest.
As the Mother of young children, she had our backs, no matter what. As the Mother of young men, she never got in the way of our dreams, or the long distance pursuit of our dreams, no matter what.
As the Mother of middle aged men, both unmarried, both grandchildless, she holds out hope, seeing us as late bloomers instead of misguided fools.
We’re both. So thanks for loving two fools, Mom.
Nicole Hockley, Nelba Marquez-Greene, Francine Wheeler and Jackie Barden won’t be having dinner with their children on Mother’s Day.
They’re the Mother’s of Sandy Hook Elementary School whose unwillingness to remain silent exposes The Moment Of Silence for what it is: betrayal.
Martin Luther King said, “A time comes when silence is betrayal.”
Dylan, Daniel, Ana and Ben were silenced against their will. Me, I was silenced despite my will. I was silenced to please a friend of a friend.
No wonder we’re not friends.