Today is Labor Day and I have the day off from work. YEAH!!! I hope you do too!
Maybe you are planning to go to a friend's house for a special holiday meal or you are going to cook for your family. Or maybe you're just hangin' at your own house catching up on personal projects. Or maybe you're going to go to an afternoon picnic or watch a community parade.
It will be same parade that thousands of residents have watched and marched in since the town first held it's Labor Day parade in 1962. But this year's parade is different. There were doubts about going ahead with the parade given the deep tragedy that residents experienced on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary when 20 first graders and six adults were massacred by a lone gunman. (http://crylaughheal.blogspot.com/2012/12/newtown-connecticut.html)
Many in Newtown didn't think it was appropriate to hold a Labor Day parade this year when so many in their community are still trying to process their loss and rebuild their lives.
It is difficult to know what to do next when a life is lost; especially in Newtown where their losses happened in such brutal and cold-hearted manner. I have found that in the midst of mourning there comes a point when you experience what I call the push-pull of the healing process. You know life is different; that life will never be the same without your loved one, but you also begin to search for a way to move forward with your life.
I think Beth Caldwell, head of the Newtown Parade Committee, explained it best when she told the Associated Press (in the story below) that Newtown, in planning this year's Labor Day parade, wanted to be "respectful of what happened and still offer an avenue of celebration" for the residents.
Labor Day is traditionally the last weekend of summer, a last hurrah of sorts. Labor Day is also seen as a time of transition from summer to fall, from vacation to school.
Please read below in the link to an Associated Press story in The Boston Globe about Newtown's touching transition on this Labor Day, as it slowly moves from a terrible tragedy to a new kind of healing that I hope will get stronger with the passage of time.