Around 6 years ago… my wife and I bought a reusable Christmas tree in Danbury, CT. Why? We didn’t want to go to the Walmart in White Plains, NY when we lived in the Bronx, NY because its a madhouse. So we drove up to Danbury, CT because they had a Walmart and it was more “chill” at the time (and probably still is). We were not sure if we were going to find a tree, but sure enough, we found one we loved and we bought it (though we were broke as a joke at the time). Since then we’ve used this tree every year and its the only tree our children have known (4 & almost 2). It has memories that I can never let go of.
Little did I know that nearly ~6 years later I’d reflect on this XMAS tree purchasing experience moment in our lives in a deep introspective way. My wife and I talked about our XMAS tree buying experience today. ~6 years ago today, when we were out buying our first (and only) tree our family has owned in Danbury, CT, we were in the same store that some of the unfortunate Newton, CT childhood fatality parents had been in during that same xmas season.
For those that dont know, Danbury, CT is the closest “larger” city/town that is near Newton, CT that has a Walmart. What does this mean? It means that … Most likely those same parents of the slain children were pregnant with the child that was slain yesterday (or already had a <1 yr old) at the time when we were in the store. We realized we may have actually ran into some of them while in the store (sure … small coincidence, but its a possibility) as back then we didn’t have children but were still high on the “newlywed” experience and were quite extroverted. We (wife an I) have an exact moment and place in history we can remember which can relate to the parents in that store. Happy, fulfilled, excited, full of joy. We now have children, (almost 2 and 4) … and we have no idea what these folks are going through.
The fact that we’ve shared the same path as those unfortunate parents at one point in our life makes us feel closer to them then the average american. That doesn’t make us better in any regard, but it sure does make it “hit home” a lot harder. We’ve seen those streets. We’ve driven those roads. We’ve sat at the same stop lights, we’ve experienced the same things. While it may initially seem shallow, to us it is still deep in retrospect.
In the end, we’ve shared the same sights as those families have, and now… those thoughts and memories are all those families have of their loved ones from here on out. Words cannot express how sad we feel for those families during this holiday season.
I wish I had something great/witty/etc to say here, but I don’t. When innocent children die its not something that can be replaced by words; mere silence is the only thing that fits … because the childhood laughter is forever gone.