A Harsh Reality

United States
February 4, 2008 11:11pm CST
I'm sure everyone remembers 911. Shortly after that happened, my son who was quite young at the time came home from school with this request. We were to send a package of food that would not perish, our child's favorite toy and last, but not least a note to our child should we not be with them should a disaster occur. That was probably one of the single most difficult thing I was ever asked to do. It took me a long time to find the words that I thought would comfort a small child in a situation such as this. It was a very heartwrenching task to complete, but it also was a harsh reminder of the realities of life. It opened my eyes to those things which we take for granted. Anyway, I just put my son to bed and for some reason was reminded of this incident and thought I would share it. I don't really have a question, just perhaps you'd just like to share your thoughts on this subject.
3 people like this
6 responses
@mummymo (23709)
5 Feb 08
Wow I can only imagine how difficult that would be to do! I know none of us would ever wish to believe that anything like that could happen again but the reality is that none of us know what is ahead of us and while it is good to think positively we should also be looking towards whatever the future may bring! Just think if some disaster struck us and we would never be able to collect our child from school - wouldn't we feel slightly comforted that they would at least have a note from us to let them know just how much we love them and always will? Even if these are never needed (and we all pray they won't be) just the fact that it has been done is enough to make us look around at those we love and remind us not to take anyone or anything for granted! xxx
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@mummymo (23709)
5 Feb 08
Mooch I couldn't agree more with you! The Murray building bombing must have been awful - I remember only too well the horror that went through my home town when the Dunblane Primary School Massacre was happening in 96, all anyone knew at first was that a gunman had opened fire in a Stirling School, people were in the streets crying, running to their childs school to make sure they were okay and to take them home to protection and love. I am sitting here sobbing as I think of it now even more than 11 years after the event. I do think that a relative or close family friend should be the one to explain things and to give or read the note to a child if anything happened but what if something happened and they couldn't be with the child at the time - surely then it would be a good idea for the school to have a copy of the letter so they could pass it to the relative who could pick them up? xxx
3 people like this
• United States
5 Feb 08
Naturally any parent would want to be with their children if such a disaster happened, but the truth is if were indeed a disaster, it may not be that easy to reach your children with all the pandemonium that would ensue. As difficult as the reality of that situation is, I would feel better that my child had something of me there to comfort him or her. I just pray that this grim reality never comes to pass.
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@mummymo (23709)
5 Feb 08
Amen. xxxx
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@EmTeeBee (64)
• Australia
5 Feb 08
Wow! That's a hard call. It was obviously an initiative of the school? Was the package returned at the end of the school year - and is it an ongoing thing your school does? I have no idea where I would start to even write a letter like that to my 2 kids! There'd be tears!
3 people like this
• United States
5 Feb 08
Yes he school did return the package to us at the end of the year and there were just as many tears when I reread what I had written as there was when I wrote it. My children shortly after that moved to another school nearby who do not practice the same thing. So fortunately I didn't have to do it again.
2 people like this
@violeta_va (4834)
• Australia
5 Feb 08
You just made me think how we take everything for granted. What they did was great it puts everything in prospective. Life is a gift and we see it every day how many people die young and unprepared (not that you can prepare for it). But we never think it could happen to us and what our kids will remember about us. I had an operation in july 2006 my son was 3 years old. I had this sadnes in me and some dark cloud around me and was constantly thinking that something will go wrong (ok so it was only gall blader operation) anyway I wrote a letter for him and left it in my draw thinking if I dont come back they will be cleaning it so they will find it if I do then it wont be needed. Well I did get back and I threw it away. I write my son a small letter on his b'day cards, but now I am going to sit down and hand write a letter to him.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Feb 08
Wow, thats really cool that this prompted you to do write your son a letter. I know people may think I'm being a pessimist but you just don't know what could happen from day to day whether it be a national disaster or an accident in your personal life. We do take things for granted and sometimes we really need to realize that we do.
2 people like this
• Australia
6 Feb 08
No I dont think you are a pessimist at all and I think what the school did was great if nothing alse they made the parents realise how short life can be and how to value it.
1 person likes this
• Australia
11 Mar 08
thanks for the best responce you will be pleased to know that i am changing lots of things in my life and we booked a holiday to visit our families in Europe for 3 months as you never know when their or our hour to go will be.
@cripfemme (7718)
• United States
5 Feb 08
I think this is good, although hard to do. I write letters to my friends and family when I travwl abroad to do crtaib kinds of activism. Some groups I work with recommend doing that. I write the letters before I leave country. I give them to a friend (who has a letter in their name, too). I instruct them to mail the letter should anything happen, tell them I love them, and thank them for doing this.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Feb 08
I think that yours is a good idea and I also think that it is realistic to plan ahead like that.
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@caramello (4382)
• Australia
6 Feb 08
How can anyone forget 9/11 and we were out celebrating our wedding anniversary, but that happiness was short lived when we came home and switched on the TV and sat there in disbelief until very early hours of the next morning. That to me was the day the world really did change. How can you put it into words? I think it opened a lot of peoples' eyes and then to live through it again with the Bali Bombings and I personally new 6 of the people killed in that one and one that did survive (don't know how she did though) What you were asked to do was a lovely request and I am sure one you will never forget.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Feb 08
It was difficult, it was heartwrenching, but I knew that if there was ever reason for it I would be glad that I had written it.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Feb 08
That would be a hard thing to do. It is a reminder to me that not to take things for granted as we sometimes do. I think that a lot of people after that happened had their eyes open to the reality that there is no sure thing in life. There is no guarantees that from one minute to the next that we will be around to see our child grow up. Or any of the loved ones and friends we have for that matter.
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• United States
6 Feb 08
Yes and those were the thoughts I was having when I decided to post this discussion. Thanks so much for responding.
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