Monday, December 17, 2012

Just Katie

I don’t usually make a habit of talking about personal stuff on my blog, give-or-take a few anecdotes or life-changing events. But ever since Friday morning, the Creepy Query Girl hasn’t really been able to concentrate on anything other than the recent national tragedy and a personal struggle my younger sister and week-old niece are up against in the hospital right now. This weekend has left me drained of tears and energy, leaving behind a very tired, very fragile, me

Just Katie.

My younger sister gave birth by c-section to a beautiful 8lb 2oz baby girl, Kendall Reese on Tuesday morning. But in the night between Thursday and Friday, she informed everyone through facebook that a growth had been diagnosed in Kendall’s throat, which was making breathing and eating uncomfortable for her. She was taken by emergency-helicopter to a different hospital while my sister and her husband followed by ambulance. An ENT showed the tumor was a continuation of her tongue tissue and is wrapped around some of her vocal cords and esophagus. The first (and hopefully last) surgery is scheduled for today.

Then Friday night, France time, I read the very first facebook comment about the tragedies befalling Sandy Hook Elementary and began following coverage. I was born and raised in Connecticut, just visited there this summer, and the majority of friends and family on my personal facebook page live there. Some of them just minutes away from Newtown. Some of them knowing or having frequented the older victims in passing. It is a small world, after all. And I watched and cried with the rest of the nation as the details grew more devastating and unimaginable. 

The story made the headlining news here in France, as well. The sorrow in losing such young lives so senselessly is universal and many of my French friends and family are asking me difficult questions about how I feel: about the tragedy in my state, and our president, and especially about gun control in the U.S.- the 2nd amendment seeming forever foreign and unnecessary to the French. 

And the truth is, while I’m not sure what measures will be most effective or what the true debate here should be, I understand that all of the uprising of opinions and the pointing of fingers are coming from the same place

The cry for less guns, more guns, better mental health care, better preparation for schools and teachers...I know that all of these people raising their voices in debate, no matter what their stands, are reacting to the same deep, universal pain, sorrow, anger, and incomprehension residing in each and every one of us. We all feel the same things. And we all have different ways of showing it. Of coping. And seated even deeper than the pain and outrage, is compassion, empathy, and a desire to help others- in short, it’s love.  

And as long as it’s coming from a place of love, I will try to understand. I will not judge how others choose to cope during this difficult time, even if it differs greatly from my own. I’m choosing to stay tolerant and open and compassionate to every person on each side of the spectrum because I know that everyone is struggling to make sense of it all, in their own way. 

Today I’m praying hard for my baby niece, my sister and her family- praying that this first operation is successful so that baby Kendall won’t need anymore.  And I’m praying for the souls lost, the families and community left broken in the wake of this tragedy. And for the parents, children, and teachers of my nation who are facing a most difficult Monday morning- filled with grief and questions that may never have answers. 

God bless.

Katie

24 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I hope your niece has a speedy recovery. My oldest spent 10 weeks in NICU for being a preemie. It's tough when all your friends have healthy babies and you don't. Fortunately your sister isn't alone. There are other moms at the hospital, whose babies are struggling, she can also turn to for support. That's what got me though the ups and downs. You become a family with these moms, because they understand the frustrations you go through.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That was very beautifully said, Just Katie.
Praying for your sister and niece.

Annalisa Crawford said...

My thoughts are with your sister and Kendall.

Melissa Ann said...

Very well said Katie. Prayers for your sister and niece.

Natalie Aguirre said...

So hope things go well for your sister and niece go well. It's always hard when a family member has serious health issues but even harder when it's a baby or child.

Connie Keller said...

Praying for your sister and niece. And for those suffering in Connecticut (we used to live there too).

Samantha Vérant said...

Katie- My thoughts and prayers are with your niece and sister, with the families of Newtown, and also with my best-friend, whose mother just passed away this past Thursday-- one month before the birth of her very first child. Keep your loved ones close and hug them tight!

Samantha Vérant said...

Katie- My thoughts and prayers are with your niece and sister, with the families of Newtown, and also with my best-friend, whose mother just passed away this past Thursday-- one month before the birth of her very first child. Keep your loved ones close and hug them tight!

Emily White said...

Oh, Katie, I will definitely be praying for your sister and niece. And I love your post. :)

Old Kitty said...

Sending your beautiful niece and family lots of positive hugs!!

Take care
x

SA Larsenッ said...

Your amazing sister, her husband, and their beautiful baby girl are in my thoughts and prayers today. You are a wonderful sister, sweets.

The tragedy last Friday has brought a consistent glaze to my eyes over the weekend. There are no easy answers, but there have been enough incidents like this over the past few years that we can longer afford to ignore it. Too many precious and innocent lives are being lost. As a nation, I believe we must look at the greater picture - the stresses of life in today's world and mental illness - and work toward productive growth and aid, not finger pointing and blame. My heart bleeds for the families in Conn.

Tamara Narayan said...

Well stated. My thoughts and prayers are with you niece and her parents as well as those grieving parents in Conn.

Johanna Garth said...

My thoughts are with your niece and her family. My daughter was in the NICU for awhile and those were some of the hardest days. I wanted to be rejoicing, but all I could do was wait and hope. Hugs!!

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, Katie-I hope your neice's surgery is successful and she recovers quickly! That would be so scary! And you have a great reminder that whatever people take as their view on how to make things better, they are all sincere in their beliefs and we should definitely cut people some slack.

Nicole L Rivera said...

Our prayers are with you.

Karen Peterson said...

I hope your niece is okay.

I agree with you. There are so many emotions and thoughts right now in the wake of what happened. I hope we'll all be a little bit understanding of one another.

DL Hammons said...

I'm sending nothing but positive thoughts to your niece, Katie!

Matthew MacNish said...

Oh, Katie. I'm so sorry to hear about your niece. Here's to hoping that she'll be just fine within a few days time.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Prayers for your niece and the rest of your family. My heart breaks for the families in Connecticut and I am trying to just steer clear of the anger and the politics of it too. I will say, I spent years working with disturbed youth and one of our biggest problems is lack of accountability and responsibility in our culture. Everyone has a scapegoat, a reason, a disorder. And while we fight the politics of it the guilty have cover. There is a frustration in me that says, "They knew this young man was a danger...why did they have weapons in their house?!" But then I feel mean, heck his remaining family is hurting too. But I just can't believe a person turns into a mass murderer over night without any signs or symptoms.

Botanist said...

This (sadly) wasn't the first tragic shooting at a US school, but for some reason it seems to have hit unusually hard on an emotional level. I have no connection with Connecticut, but I still feel overwhelming sadness with each news headline.

And I am hoping for the best for your baby niece. I hope the surgery went well. My thoughts are with you.

LTM said...

Oh I'm late seeing this, but I'm praying for your sweet baby niece. I hope she's doing well. And those poor people in CT. I hate that so much. I've just had to turn off the television. I can't imagine if it was even closer to home. ((hugs)) to you. Hang in there.

<3

Christina Lee said...

WELL. You just triggered my tears *again* GIANT hugs to you.

Laura Marcella said...

Praying for Kendall. Praying for Newtown.

Laura Pauling said...

Hope Kendall will be better soon! It's hard to see your sister and niece go through that! And CT was a lot closer to home for me too! Great post.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...