As we all try to process the latest school shooting, make sure you spend some quality time with your loved ones.  

The horror that transpired in that Uvalde elementary school is more than most of us can (or would want to) imagine. Parents woke up this morning to empty beds. They probably set a cereal bowl on the table before remembering that their child won’t be coming to breakfast anymore. It’s heartbreaking. Then there’s the shooter’s grandmother who, last I heard, was fighting for her life in a Texas hospital after being shot by her grandson. If she survives, she’ll have to live with the knowledge that her beloved boy did such a despicable thing. My heart goes out to her, as well.  

I don’t like to think that these types of news stories have become routine to us. Mass shootings. Senseless loss. Unfortunately, reporting on tragedies has become part of my daily routine. But I refuse to let this one fade into the background. The victims were small children. Innocents who were excited about the end of the school year. Probably making plans for summer camp or vacation trips with their families. Did they have a field day planned, with picnic lunches and relay races on the last day of school? Now they have empty desks, and broken spirits to heal. It’s overwhelming.  

What can we do in our own lives to cope with this kind of tragedy? I'm no expert but I say we should hug our kids. I know it sounds like a cliché...but it’s important. Consider leaving work a little earlier today. Pick the kids up from school and take them for ice cream. And if you can’t leave work early, spend some time with them after work, playing catch in the driveway or watching a favorite movie. Do something to let your children and grandchildren know that you love them and will do whatever you possibly can to make them feel safe and protected. Whether or not you talk to them about the Uvalde tragedy is up to you. But that time together will go a long way toward healing your own heart as well as bringing smiles to their faces.  

Love is all we have to battle this type of evil. Spread it around today.  

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