Four years ago today, my friend Scarlett’s six-year old son Jesse was killed as he charged the gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary, in one of the most horrific and tragic mornings in our nation’s history.
This is not a story about remembering that day.
This is a story about wildflowers.
Scarlett grieved and mourned more deeply than most of us will ever know, until she heard a voice say be grateful for what is here: her older son, her family, the warm meals concerned people were delivering to her front porch. That small step of gratitude lead her to the next step of forgiveness, so she could step outside of herself to help others.
And from the ashes of the loss of her child grew a wildflower, a beautiful foundation called the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, which works to put social and emotional learning curriculums into our schools so kids can make better choices. She teamed with a Senator to introduce S. Bill 897, the Jesse Lewis Empowering Educators Act, to the U.S. Congress, which gives teaches training in classroom instruction and school-wide initiatives that enable students to acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills most conducive to social and emotional competency.
And as more kids learn the power of choosing love over fear, more wildflowers are rising from the ashes.
Post-traumatic pain, disorders, and darkness are so very real.
But Scarlett’s story shows me that there can be something else post-traumatic, too.
Hope. Beauty. Service. Change.
We all have ashes.
Let’s see your wildflowers.