The Courage in Waking Up

They woke up with tomorrow on their minds.

Seventeen mornings . .  seventeen “I love you’s” to someone they held close to their hearts . . seventeen schedules filled with classes and afternoon practices . . seventeen place mats . . seventeen phones chiming with everyday chatter from friends and loved ones . . seventeen hearts . . seventeen souls . .

Seventeen dreams.

Last Wednesday morning, the world was a great big chance that was calling on them to get busy living it. They were going to be lawyers and dancers and soccer players and Olympic swimmers. There were future musicians and community organizers, service people, writers and teachers. They had footprints to make on a great big world with hearts that could fuel the sun and ambitions that would light the stars.

They had lives that did not dwell on endings because they were too busy stepping inside of new beginnings. And there was going to come a day when they were going to fall in love. And they were probably going to get their hearts broken, and then they were going to undertake that most fool thing and fall in love all over again. And from there, every single thing awaited. Everything.

And then those seventeen life stories were ripped away from that everything. Seventeen souls, stolen from a place that loved and cherished them. Seventeen stories that ran out of pages, abruptly. Seventeen voices cut short. Seventeen dreams that never got that chance to happen.

So now they fuel the sun for us and now they light the stars so we do not surrender to the idea that the world is a dark and hopeless place. And now they ask that we have the courage to tell the stories of their lives so the whole world can understand what madness steals. They ask that we possess the courage to fight the good fight they never get to wage. They ask that we have the courage to divine the grace in our hearts rather than the rage in our emotions.

They ask us to have tomorrow on our minds.

The following was written in response to a WordPress prompt on “Courage”



102 thoughts on “The Courage in Waking Up

    • Marje,

      I have been processing this horrible event, the latest horrible event, by writing all sorts of things. I stopped watching coverage not too long after because it leaves you feeling absolutely hopeless.

      Thank you for the comment and peace to you

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This was beautifully done, Marco. I hate that you had to do it, quite frankly, while appreciating that maybe, just maybe, your words will be heard along with the students’ and that change and PEACE will (finally) come to your beautiful country.

    There is much work to be done and you are doing your part, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

      • The key really is that we have to keep pushing in the in-between moments. Don’t let the politicians or the media move on to the next topic of the day. Sure, there are always new stories to tell, new controversies, but this needs to be in the middle of everything until something changes. And it needs to be a national change. We can’t depend on the crazy patchwork of laws that differs from state to state, local government to local government. I live in a county where the Sheriff has decided to hand out as many CCWs as possible. Plenty of other county Sheriffs don’t do that. It’s that kind of inconsistency that drives me crazy.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. These kids give me hope for the future. And hope is far better than allowing fear to rule which has been the response du jour on previous school mass shootings. I hope they are able to move the needle but what a tough way to jettison into adulthood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John,
      I so agree. These kids are amazing in how they are responding to this horrible tragedy. They are an inspiration to us old folks, for sure!
      And yeah . . what in the bloody hell does a sportsman gain from having one of those weapons?

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think “they” are going to be getting a wake up call in the form of activism on the part of young people who may have found their moment. Each generation is tested, I believe these kids are going to pass this test.
      And all those peeps railing on about their guns and their interests superseding everything else? They are going to have to listen.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You write so beautifully… about something so heartbreaking. The students now, though, give me hope. But the cynical part of me (part??) wonders if some of these horrible people in DC will ever change no matter what anyone says or does. Like so much of our lives, it’s all about money. I hate that. How about doing what’s right?? Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra,

      Thank you, and yes . those peeps in DC are going to be as obstinate as ever. But those kids who are survivors of the Parkland shooting are going to change things, I just have a feeling.
      Money makes the world go round, but at what price? The price of one human life is too much as far as I’m concerned, and we are so very far beyond that.

      Liked by 1 person

        • It’s really unbelievable to me that Columbine was almost twenty years ago. My kids were babies and I was out of my mind with worry about the world they would have to grow up in.
          And somehow, between then and last week, it almost became like I was desensitized to these shootings. That sounds horrible, but I don’t mean I wasn’t sad or that I didn’t cry when these events happened. But it’s almost as if THIS was the new normal. The way it was going to be from now on. I expected it.
          Not anymore. I think things are going to change. And maybe that’s naive? And if so, I would rather be naive than hopeless.

          Liked by 1 person

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