A Bleeding Nation

I was really hoping that this Christmas I’d be giving my family the news that I was expecting a child. Up until Friday I was feeling pretty bummed that that second blue line never appeared on the numerous tests I’ve taken over the last few months.  But now, after being assaulted by the unfathomable violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I have to admit my desire to become a parent has been put into question somewhat.  Not because I don’t want to experience the innumerable joys that come along with parenthood (and the stresses too)- but because I am truly concerned about the future of our world.  Deep down to my core I am feeling an immense amount of dread about who we are becoming as a community, a nation… a species.  Perhaps it’s my pessimistic nature, but I feel there is very little innocent joy left in daily living at this moment.  We fear going to the mall, the movies, houses of worship… and now even kindergarten.  Add to that the terror threats, fiscal cliffs, job losses and environmental decline- it’s just not the world I grew up in, never mind that my parents grew up in.  We are spiraling downhill. Fast. Do I really want to subject a new, lovely soul to such a world? One in which, if drastic changes aren’t initiated, may just get worse?

Now, I am a rational person and I know that the world has always had it’s share of evil and that the chances of children being killed in school is still slim.  But you have to admit it’s becoming terrifying out there.   I can’t help but second guess my desire to have something so precious to me running around on this earth, threatening to destroy me should anything terrible truly befall them.  I have a hard enough time watching my dogs play with others at the dog park.  I stand waiting, watching, worrying- knowing that one bad seed could snap and gravely hurt them in a split second.  It’s a horrible feeling, and it seems that there are more bad seeds walking the earth these days.  And those bad seeds are living in world the glorifies violence and makes it easier to get a gun than get access to good, continuous care for the mentally ill.

I feel for those who struggle with their mental health. I have struggled with depression and anxiety disorders for most of my adult life.  I’ve been on and off every medication you can think of and seen numerous therapists and doctors thanks to the fact that I have always had good healthcare and parents who loved me tirelessly and watched me like a hawk.  Even when I couldn’t help myself, and seethed that they wouldn’t leave me alone, they took it upon themselves to FORCE me into getting the help I truly needed. It was their job and they did it well- even though I imagine it was both heartbreaking and scary to send your child to a mental hospital. But I got better because of it.  It saddens me that not everyone is as lucky as I am- both in having a treatable  illness (we cannot lump all mental illness together) and fiercely devoted parents.  And some parents try their very best but have children who are so darkly ill that their best just is not enough.  I was floored reading this account from a parent of a child with demons that I can only imagine are similar to those of the gunman,  We are a society that judges each others parenting styles, successes and failures so fiercely that I cannot fathom how scary and devastating it is for those who have such sick children.  You  birth them, love them and yet they are so ill that even your own undying love for them cannot help or heal.  Think of how paralyzing and isolating that must be. The stigma attached to mental health issues is a horrible one- and we cannot forget that not all people with mental illness are violent- but we need to have more compassion for those who struggle.  You cannot help what genetics have dealt your loved ones, but you SHOULD be able to get them help in an effort to prevent what happened on Friday.

And can we FOR THE LOVE OF GOD make it harder for those who are unstable to get their hands on guns?  Yes, there are plenty of responsible gun owners out there, but I cannot fathom someone arguing that it’s more important that they have a semi-automatic rifle in their possession than it is to protect the lives of innocent people at the hands of those not as responsible.     The argument I’ve heard that we need to ALL be armed instead is disgusting.  It takes mere minutes for massive damage to be done with these high-powered guns, the same amount of time it takes to get to a gun cabinet and unlock it to get a weapon for defense. Do we really want kindergarten teachers to be holstered with pistols as they are teaching our kids ABC’s? Priests to have a Glock hidden under their robes while praying with parishioners? We’d rather live in a country like that than one that bans these unnecessary high powered weapons for civilians? REALLY?

I spent most of yesterday in a quiet rage.  I am furious that our nation has gotten this way.  I am unsettled by the hopelessness I feel for us as a country right now and what upsets me most is that I am letting this change the positive energy I was feeling about life, which feels like I am letting evil win. People say we much keep the positive energy flowing or else we are doomed. This is wound that will be hard to repair for all of us, but we absolutely have to try.  We have to find a way to help these poor families heal and change the way we live and the laws we have that clearly are not working any longer. If not for us, the the children we have and those we hope to have someday. If there has ever been a louder call for change, I have not heard it.

But I digress. I am not a politician, and I certainly don’t want this to turn into a political slugfest, I just have to wonder- where are we headed?  Will we ever be able to let kids ride bikes and play outside unsupervised on warm summer nights like I used to do?  Will we be able to not wring our hands in anxiety when venturing into a public place?  Will we be able to focus more on the gentle aspects of life instead of the harsh and violent? I really don’t know.  I don’t think any of us know.  And the unknown is what scares me the most.

I want to know the joy of being a mother.  I really do. But I also want to know that my child’s joy- and life- will be a safe one. And if I am faced with the challenge of having a sick child, that I will be able to get the help I’d need.

I pray for the families and friends of those victimized in Newtown.

I pray for all of us.

 

100 comments

  1. Friday was simply heartbreaking and infuriating on so, so many levels. And while today’s world isn’t the same one that we grew up with, we need to remember that that one wasn’t perfect either. (In many ways, the world is a better place than it was 20 years ago–gay rights, women’s rights, etc.) I had two cousins who were at Columbine the day of that shooting so many years ago (one of those killed was my cousin’s girlfriend) and it is immensely frustrating that gun control is still an issue that hasn’t been resolved. We talked about it back then and unfortunately more people have died because we as a nation haven’t demanded stricter laws. This really should be a call to action for everyone to make their voices heard.

  2. i am a mother and physician and an older sister to a mentally ill brother with unpredictable rage explosions, usually directed at my parents. i have been disappointed by the lack of mental health resources and my heart is forever broken by the tragic events at the elementary school. your sentiments echo the sadness and anger i have regarding all this home-grown terrorism that prevents me from having true joy or working or playing without fear in our playgrounds, places of worship, and even in the hospital where i work. i think the majority of the community feels the way you do- although we aren’t policiticians, we can change things for the better. we have to. we have no choice or as a nation, we will fail.

  3. Thanks for this post. I love that you speak out about mental illness. I also wrote today about how I don’t understand the lack of sympathy from the media for the mother. I constantly hear the count as 26 which really makes no sense to me. I know its crazy but I even feel sympathy for the gunman who in a way was a victim of societies stigma on mental health and how it can lead people into lonely deep holes so much so that they feel this is the answer.

    http://www.confettiandstripesblog.com/2012/12/love.html

  4. C.S Lewis (who knew a thing or two about suffering) said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” (The problem of Pain, 1940)

    It’s more then gun laws. I pray as a country we will learn from this horrible event.

  5. The reality of life is that there’s no guarantee that we will live safe and joy filled lives, there never has been. Any number of things can happen to any of us any time. So we have the choice to either let the fear of what could happen but most likely won’t happen to us take us over and just lay down and die right here or we do the most of the time and people we have around us right now to enjoy life to the fullest. When we hear of all the tragedies in the world it’s usually the fear of what could happen that rob us of living fully and enjoying all the blessings we actually have. In many ways we feel what we hear, meaning we feel tragic when we watch all the coverage of tragedies, we feel hopeless when hearing stories of people who are beyond hope. For most of us we’re not living tragedies or find ourselves beyond hope and while I’m not saying don’t stay updated with what goes on in the world I do say that most of us would feel so much better about our odds in the world and the part of the world we’re living in if we focused more on what is good, right and praise worthy instead of the deep and dark sides of life. I know it’s sometimes easier said than done but nevertheless it’s the only way to keep a positive outlook and live to the fullest. Just my two cents…

    I hope you can find some peace and not rob yourself of happy, fulfilling experiences in life because there’s a chance of bad things happening. All areas of life are a little bit of a numbers game. We gamble on happiness and most of the time it works out just fine and some of the time it might not. We can’t just all of us commit suicide right now to prevent any future heart aches, most of us would admit that that would be over kill. But when we limit ourselves and severely restrict our lives to avoid any heart ache those lives are lonely, dark and lifeless anyway. Why do that to yourself when you can gamble, live a rich, fulfilling life and most likely make it all the way to the end just fine?

  6. Our pastor preached about this very sentiment yesterday. He basically said: this tragedy and the way the world has become make us want to hide, but hiding is not going to change the world. You have to be the change you want to see. Raising your child to be kind and compassionate will help solve the problems of our world and will shape theirs. Without making excuses for people who do monstrous things, consider this: some children are never shown love.

    I have a one and a half year old and if he died tomorrow (for any reason) my heart would be crushed, but I would never trade the time I have had with him to spare the pain of losing him.

    Have faith. Don’t give up. Good luck!

  7. Heartbroken-that’s what we are.

    Erin, as a mother of 3 grown children I can’t deny the emotional burdent of parenthood. And it never ends, as I’m sure your parents will attest. That being said, I doubt any of those grieving parents regret having had the experience of knowing their precious child. Parents are vulnerable, they need their kids as much as their kids need them.

  8. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
    -Mr. Rogers

  9. Erin,
    I never make personal comments on blogs, I just enjoy what the blogger has posted that day. Your open letter really touched my heart. Eleven years ago I woke up for the first day of Nursery school for my son. My husband left early for work and kissed us both goodbye. He was coming home early for my sons special day. He never made it home. I was pregnant at the time with all the hope in the world, yet in one moment my life and that of my sons changed forever. I too went through terrible depression and panic attacks that are indescribable. But when I looked in my sons face I saw hope. I would say to myself he didnt ask to be brought into this world. so I had to do everything I could to make his little world better than okay. He saved me. I am telling you this because even in the darkest days their is always hope. Its impossible to wrap our minds around such evil that would kill so many innocent children and people devoted to making our childrens world better, but focus as much as you can in what is just around you. Your family, friends anything and you will see their is always hope and tremendous humanity out their that overrides the evil, the bad and the sad. I wish for you that you will see that bringing a new life into the world to share your life with is a tremendous gift. Best wishes

  10. Don’t people read statistics? Having a gun makes you MORE vulnerable to them (your own) than to any other perceived “threats” out there. Get some perspective. He had those guns BECAUSE they were in his home, just like the millions of other kids who blow their own heads off playing with them. Anyone with kids knows, lock them, separate the bullets, do whatever. They will get in. You are not safer carrying a gun, especially not your children. No one is above statistics, no matter the training, respect or “proper storage procedures.” The people who think they are are the gun-toters whose hubris always gets them and their own and MINE in the process. Pure stupidity. Especially of a mother and after this tragedy. Reevaluate lady. God help those you walk among and those children who play at your house whose parents don’t know about your paranoia. I can’t wait until the rest of us take away your antiquated money stuffed NRA-run “Constitutional Right.” And I don’t care who I offend. Those kids deserved better and will get it from the rest of us who have a freaking clue and grain of common sense. How dare you watch this happen and shrug off whether or not you still need that murder weapon.

  11. As always, Erin, thank you for articulating so well what most of us are feeling.

    As I cried in the sanctuary of my church on Saturday I almost called my sister who has yet to have children and tell her not to do it. Why bring them into the world where something like this could happen? If you don’t have them you don’t have to ever know what it’s like to lose them.

    But of course I want her to have kids. I want my children to have cousins to play with. I want them all to be raised in loving, spiritual homes filled with compassion and kindness. What I’ve heard from most of the commenters is that we ALL want this. And I believe it starts with us as parents, grandparents, teachers, neighbors.

    I have also been wondering about the state of our nation that we are so lucky to live in for so many reasons, and yet the thought of relocating somewhere else safer, where life, creativity, and compassion are a part of everyday life, is tempting. I believe we can be a nation like that. I SO hope that we are are willing to do what it takes. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but YOU’RE future children can be part of it. You and Andrew will be wonderful parents someday. Keep praying. God is still up there. Much love.

  12. What if you allowed 9-11 to ruin your travel dreams? You never would’ve gone to Paris – twice – without moi. You’d never see Ryan Reynolds bigger than life on a movie screen again (I know, that’s low). Are you going to pass up an awesome cruise because the Titanic sank? I’m certain NONE of those parents would ever regret having their children.

    Now, go have a glass of wine, put on those bitchin’ Kate Spade Lollipop Pumps, that fur vest with some naughty panties and tell Andrew whas’up!

  13. I definitely understand your feelings of questioning having children in this world. I’ve felt this way myself for some time…not because of the chance of danger, but because of the persistent cowardice of our leaders on so many issues – gay rights, balancing the budget, providing for seniors, health care (including mental health care), and especially gun control, to name a few. But, after this week-end, I began to think maybe the best thing we can do to change our country and the world is having children and raising them to be kind, compassionate, empathetic, accepting, tolerant human beings.

  14. Oh Erin, I am with you. Growing up I was a victim of sexual abuse and suffered tormenting fear and panic attacks. After such a horrendous tragedy in Newtown, my heart so quickly looks at the world today and FEARS. I have two littles (and a third on the way) and can petrify myself with terror when I imagine what their sweet little souls might face in the future. And yet- and yet- I choose to hope. I cannot protect them forever- from guns or cancer or natural disasters- but I can raise them my very best, to love and have character and courage. To teach them to love Beauty and kindness and their neighbor as themself. To reach out to those who are hurting (like the thousands of sweet children who die each day from hunger), and to pray for those who might show them hatred and to repay them with love. I will raise them to be helpers…
    “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember her words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers- so many caring people in this world.” -Fred Rogers

  15. I can appreciate how difficult it must have been for you to write this article. And I agree with you on gun control but we need to note that it was the parent of a mentally ill child that taught him how to shoot! And it was the same parent who stocked all these guns in the house. Im guessing your parents werent taking you to the range as a weekend activity.

    As a mother of two, I can promise you there’s nothing like having children and there is no love like that either. Whatever you decide though has to be right for you and you’ll never feel 100% ready. Someone said having a child is like having your heart walk outside of your body for the rest of your life…

  16. Amen about gun control and mental health. We need to take a stand in this country and yes, the time is now. Living in fear is no way to live. Thank you Erin, for being brave enough to talk about all of this!

  17. Thank you, Erin. These past few days have been so painful, and the only respite is hearing other voices shouting out for a change. Thank you for adding yours to the collective cry of our nation. I pray it works.

  18. Dear Erin,

    I REALLY appreciate your candor, especially around your anxiety and depression. Disclosing this helps take the shame out of something for which there should be no shame, but abt which society needs educating and help destigmatizing. I didn’t have children, for several reasons. Some of those reasons were about fear, what if it was too hard, if I couldn’t handle it, or if I got divorced and then had to raise the child alone? All of those fears influenced my life far too much, and now some of those choices are not available anymore. But I never really strongly wanted them as you do. So, my thought is trust your gut, & take your time to recover from this horrific situation. If after that time, you gut and heart tell you you want to share your life with a child, I say go for it. Don’t let terrorism win.

  19. Dear Erin,

    Thank you so much for you honesty around maters of anxiety and depression. It takes courage and I admire your candour. As you point out, there has never been a perfect time to bring a child into this world. Although your point is well taken. A lot of us are sad today, thank you for provding a safe platform for expression

  20. Part of the reason you feel such pain when a child is lost is because of the immense joy they bring to one’s life. It is beyond scary to love someone so much, but worth every moment. I too fear for the future of this country and it is unacceptable that we call ourselves a civilized society and accept this type of violence. While your fear is understandable, it’s not right that people are made to feel this way. Let’s hope that this is finally the catalyst for change.

  21. Erin, thank-you for this post. You put into words what I have been feeling for days now. It is so comforting to know that others are feeling the same way. The state of our mental healthcare is abysmal. The gun situation is scary and growing at an alarming rate. We have to be willing to make radical reforms. It is the only solution. I’m talking about people giving up the guns they own. My husband is Irish and they have very strict gun control in Ireland. There have almost no guns. Homicide is very rare there. There are other European countries with similar gun laws and the statistics will show you this is the answer.
    At times the situation here feels hopeless. Then I remember that as a society we have gone through great changes before. I am old enough to remember when everyone smoked, when there were no consideration given for nonsmokers rights. People smoked at home in front of their children, at schools, in offices, in airplanes. Big tobacco was so powerful no politician dared to take it on. In the last 40 years we have completely turned that around. I compare where we are at with guns now to cigarettes in the 60’s. We need some politicians with the balls to take on the NRA and gun manufacturers and gun owners.

  22. Amen Erin. What sort of world are we living in. It seems we are no longer evolving as a species but regressing. We need more love & compassion for all humankind – the sick, the lonely, the poor.

  23. Erin,

    I know you are an amazing designer.
    Kudos to you for having the courage
    to talk about the most horrific killing
    in Newtown, CT.

    I also applaud to open up about your
    own battle with depression. You are
    indeed a kind, caring and astute woman.

    Let’s all pray for the fallen angels. For the 4
    brave women who gave up their lives to save their
    students lives.

    To all the people who live in Newtown, CT.

    Our hearts are broken…

  24. I think that was one of the most beautifully written expression of feelings I have read. Your honesty
    and candor made me cry. Our son is in his 20’s and recently had a bad bout of depression.
    We will NEVER give up on him. He did not like us getting involved, but we will help him forever
    if need be. We have been involved in each step of his recovery even though he tells us to back off.
    we never will. I think none of us understand the anger that this recent “killer” had built up inside, and
    it frightens me to not know why. Medicine is a scary thing to me, and to try to find the right one
    has been a battle for our son. I have hope for him and I am so glad that you have found happiness and success. Thank you for your writing. I think you should share this with religious leaders in your area. It could help a lot of people. Thank you. You write so well and from the heart.

  25. I am a teacher. When my class gathered today… the last one before before the holidays. Instead of discussing the subject matter or text, I asked my class to be kind to one another. I asked them if they see a class mate in trouble reach out to them and/or a teacher or parent. I told them by looking at them, everyone was doing well, but was I truly certain about that? Could I trust that one of my students wasn’t suffering silently? I asked them to reach out to someone they trust, if they feel overwhelmed.

    So yes, it’s about getting assault weapons off main street. It is also recognizing we must be aware if someone needs help. Good parents, teachers, clergy, anyone can start making a change. We need to embrace mental illness as we do any other illness. We need humanity back.

    And we need to take this matter out of Washington, D.C. It needs to be everyone’s responsibility. Our politicians can ban assault weapons, re-enact the Brady Bill, but we also need grass root changes and compassion.
    Somehow, we have lost our way.

  26. I meant to write this yesterday! Last Friday was so tragic and horrible. I understand where you are coming from about bringing a child into this world, we are thinking about having a second and that thought has entered my mind. But don’t let evil take away your joy. Having a baby was the best thing my husband and I ever did. Yes, I worry about him and what he will see as he grows up but all we can do is our best as parents and trust that God will watch over us.

  27. Thank you so much for such a heartfelt post…I so identify with you, even though I am old enough to be your mom. I love your blog and all the fun fashion and home stuff, but these kinds of posts make me love you the most. I struggled with infertility for years and in the end was only able to have one child. I also struggle with depression and anxiety, as does my child….I have faith that you will conceive and that it will be the greatest thing to ever happen to you. And like my mom says, every generation feels this way and worries that things are getting worse. While I agree that they are not going in the right direction, I also have faith that there are enough good people in this world to right the ship..

  28. Hi Erin,

    I’m a relatively new reader on your blog and I just want to say thank you for addressing what happened at all. Many of the other blogs that I read (mostly about fashion, home decor, etc.) have not said anything which has been somewhat disheartening for me. I appreciate that you were open and vulnerable with your readers.

  29. Hi Erin,
    ah, this tragedy has so deeply affected us all. I was sickened putting my 10 year old son on the bus on monday.I really had panic attacks all day, even called the school office just to hear them pick up the phone so I knew it was all OK. Reading your comments brought me back to 9-11 and me watching the events on tv and calling my husband crying “why are we even trying to have a child when this is such a horrible and sick world”. But I know the answer to that now, because my world would be nothing without my son. He is my answer, my joy, my reason. Mine and the world. Don’t deny yourself the love of a child because the world can be a bad place. Let your child show you how wonderful and magical it can still be. You will never regret it!

  30. I’ve been thinking a lot about your post and it breaks my heart. You are exactly the type of person that needs to bring children into this world. I read compassion in the words you wrote yesterday and concern for our youth and our world. Bringing a child into the world with you as a mother would mean that there would be at least child who has a mother that fiercely loves them and who will be given the best opportunity for success. You have first hand knowledge of what it takes for a family to rally together to care for a loved one and that is an example that you can teach your child. The world is a scary place, and no, I don’t think that we’ll ever be able to have children ride their bikes unattended but, we need more children who come from loving homes so that the next generation can make the changes that us adults so desire. Please don’t give up on your dream of being a mother, we need you and your future children.

  31. Erin, don’t let evil win. It would love nothing more than for you to give up on a dream. It loves to debilitate us. To prevent more positive life forces from entering the world. As I took my daughter to daycare on Monday, I have never had a more erie, frightening feeling. I am kind of freak about bad things happening and have the philosophy that if I am prepared for it maybe I can stop it. This isn’t a way to live I have found. The hardest part of having children is to let them go…but thats how we love them. All we can do is raise them up in the way that we think is best and then hope for the best. The thing about worry though is that it keeps us from experiencing life to fullest. I hope you and Andrew will keep on going with this dream. You will be great parents…

  32. “… I have said these things to you, that in ME you may have peace. In the world you WILL have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” ~Jesus (John 16:33)

  33. Thank you for being so open about your struggles with anxiety and depression. Your post was very moving and I think that it is important to point out our short comings as a nation so that we can change and become better for the sake of those sweet souls that were lost. I believe there is far more good in this world than evil. An example of this is my dear friend J and her family. They have created a clinic here in Chicago at UIC called the Colbeth clinic. It is a place where inner city kids and families without many resources can go to get help for mental illness issues ranging from bi-polar disorder to autism. They are the good in this world. Trying to erase the stigma that surrounds mental illness by getting the word out and holding a benefit that we attend every year to raise money to keep pushing forward to help these families. As a fairly new mom I hope that you one day have that little bean. Good people should bring beauty into this world….and in my town our kiddos still ride their bikes and play night tag :) All the best and Merry Christmas!

  34. I too worry over what is happening to our country. But I am also reminded of this quote from Silas Marner:

    In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child’s.

    I have often found comfort in those words, and hope you may too.

  35. Whew, what a post! I totally see you in a new light. Just the fact that you are able to write what you did is half the battle, as far as I’m concerned.

    I can’t tell you what to do or how to feel, that is your journey, but I think I can say you have A LOT of people pulling for you and you should feel a lot of comfort in that.

  36. The news has been devastation. My husband and I sat on the sofa and bawled like babies. We decided we just needed to not watch.

    I agree something has to be done with guns. I don’t really know why anybody needs a weapon of that caliber, but oh well. As far as saying the mental ill should not be issued guns, I agree, but the thing is, they weren’t his guns. They were his moms, so if someone wants a gun badly enough they will find a way. I don’t know what the solution is, but I fear for our country and my child with what she will have to face.

  37. Erin,
    I introduced myself to you at the Mitchell Gold event last week- you are a lovely, charming, talented woman and I REALLY think you should follow your friend Melissa’s advice- think about all those Holocaust survivors who started families- who had every reason to believe that the world was evil. Whatever the problem or fear is- LOVE is the answer. And your friend is pretty cool= votin’ for her for godmother for your first lil’ one….

  38. Erin,

    I’ve been thinking about this blog post for a few days trying to find the best way to respond.

    I want to encourage you to not give up hope; humanity is still overwhelmingly more good than evil. Consider the lives of those teachers who courageously shielded their students from harm; the young student who told his teacher, “Don’t worry, I know karate. I’ll lead us.”; the fire fighters, police officers and all else in Newtown who immediately came to the aid of many. And to that end, when you have children you’ll be one of the good guys whose acts of kindness, love and compassion make those around you feel safer.

  39. Erin, thank you for your heartfelt and truthful words. It’s impossible not to question the virtues of humanity in such a moment of tragedy, but the wonderful thing about humanity is that it always bounces back. I think it’s important not to let fear get the better of us. In times of tragedy such as this, camaraderie is what hold us together and gets us through – offering encouragement, support, and hope for a better future. I know you have a wonderful support system and I can only hope that in the next few months, you will be sharing with us the news of a pregnancy.

    As for your fury – and the nation’s fury – it is well deserved. We simply need to turn that fury into action. This tragedy, like so many others before, is becoming politicized; parties squabbling over who’s right and who’s wrong. We, as a nation, need to band together, end the squabbling, and actually accomplish something that can lead to a brighter and safer future!

  40. I am posting so late to this that you may never see it. Truthfully I read your post on Monday, but was just so upset by it all that I could not comment. I am writing now because I want you to know how much I appreciate your blog. You can alway

  41. Omg. With the computer!!! You have created a community on this blog. A community of wonderful and compassionate readers. I loved reading all the comments and it comforted me. Thank you. Also, as a mother of three, all of whom were in school when I heard this news, I had to resist the urge to go get all of them immediately so I could have them with me – in my protective arms. But I realize I cannot protect them at all times, which is a lesson you never master as a mom. So I picked them up at their normal times and soaked up their loving hugs and smiles (ok the last one a bit early!!). It is the best comfort you will ever have in your life. Your children. You and Andrew will be fantastic parents and raise your children well. The world needs parents like you will be- no matter what the circumstances. Thank you again for this blog. I love the design and shopping tips, but it’s nice to know that the girl behind it all is as nice and thoughtful a person as you. I will be thrilled for you guys when you are parents!! All my best. K

  42. I think your words voice what many of us our feeling and thinking. As a mother of two small children, I can tell you that parenthood does indeed make the worry greater, the fear more intense, and the dark seem even darker. But the truth is that, in a world where evil exists and often gets the most attention, being a parent opens your eyes to the true goodness, beauty, innocence, excitement and joy at heart of the human soul. Children really are the “little innocent joy left in daily living,” as you put it. Like you, I hope and pray that the world finds a way to make responsible laws and healtcare decisions that will help to protect those that need them most. And I hope that you soon get to enjoy the incredible blessings of parenthood!

  43. It has been several days since I read your post and it still impacts me profoundly. I have shared it with many, particularly the link to Michael Schofield’s article. Hearing these stories, starting with your own, helps to eliminate the pain and shame that thrive off of emotional isolation. So, thank you, Erin, for your honesty and compassion and willingness to share. I visit your site because I love your eye for interior design, but, even more, I love your willingness to connect with your readers so authentically.

  44. Hi Erin
    I read your wonderful blog often but it is the first time I am commenting…I made a conscious decision when I was 30 (a few years ago!!) not to have children, not only due to the state of the world in general, but just that I felt very strongly that life is not like it used to be…there are far too many people on the planet and resources are finite and will become even more stressed for people in the future.
    I am now 48 and I do not regret my choice, particularly in light of what has happened recently in the US and the world in general . I live in Dubai, which fortunately is an incredibly safe environment as no one is allowed to own guns..perhaps that is the answer? Something has to be done..that is for sure..whatever the leaders are doing does not seem to working.
    Thank you for a really thought provoking post…my thoughts are with all the families and victims .
    Jules

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