Now that my tear ducts have been totally exhausted from the events of Newtown, it is now time for the greatest task of all. To try to accept, heal and return to a somewhat normalcy in our lives, but as any U.S. soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder will tell you, it’s easier said than done. I will confess to you that I have buried many close relatives and friends well before their time, and even though I was never blessed with having a child of my own, this particular tragedy has hit me like none before.
We all have had a piece of our hearts torn away and buried with each innocent child and educator of Sandy Hook Elementary. Our inner peace of knowing the children and their teachers are safe in school has, once again, been singled out, crushed and stomped upon.
But my intent is now to show that even in the darkest moments that shake our faith in our fellow man, there are actions and reactions that aid to help patch and heal those pieces of our soul that have been irreverently marred by such cataclysmic events.
My first example of good overcoming evil comes from a very unlikely source for me. As many have concluded by now, if you’ve read any of my previous articles, I have been a devout season ticket holder of my beloved Patriots since 1980, but I have to tip my hat and bow to, of all people and teams, the New York Giants wide receiver NO. 80 Victor Cruz for his commitment to one of the young tots, 6-year-old Jack Pinto of Newtown.
It seems Jack was one of Victor’s No. 1 fans. Victor even wrote Jack’s name on his shoes for the Sunday night game against Atlanta. When asked by the press how he felt about Jack being buried Monday in his hero’s replica shirt, Victor misted up and replied, “You never go through some circumstances like this,” he said. “This was definitely the toughest by far.”
Victor spent 45 minutes with Jack’s family on Tuesday in a very private setting. No press was allowed and no interviews were granted. He tweeted later saying, “Much love to the entire Pinto Family. Great people with huge hearts.”
Even though I may never have loving words to say about the NY Giants, for pretty obvious reasons, I will promise you this, I will NEVER have a disparaging word to say about No. 80 because of his selfless devotion to a young, adoring sports fan. He could have just as easily shrugged his head and walked away without any involvement whatsoever, and we on the outside would have just accepted it as just another usual, uncaring act by a high-priced, high-profile professional athlete. But, he didn’t walk away and in doing so, left a lasting impression on a devastated family, which I hope and pray will help to promote the lengthy healing process.
My second example comes from an article I read in The Daily News on Dec. 20, regarding a 5-year-old from Virginia named Nathan Norman, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
The young boy’s Christmas wish this year was to receive cards from police, firefighters and EMTS’s from across the country, whom he considers his heroes.
Word of Nathan’s wish spread like wildfire through law enforcement agencies and eventually hit the New England area. Subsequently, there were 250 volunteer officers from 78 New England departments offering to join a convoy and drive 11 hours south to personally deliver the cards to Nathan. On their route, the officers were going to stop by Newtown as well to offer their condolences.
So, do not despair, America! For every dark, evil act that is thrust upon us, there are heroes emerging from the light to comfort and console us in times of unbearable sorrow, lift us up when we are at wit’s end and hold us until we are steady on our feet once again.
One request, if you haven’t already, please give your little ones an extra hug and kiss tonight and send up a special prayer before bed for protection over ALL of God’s children.
Tim Fowler lives in Newbury.