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Accepting sorrows and rejoicing in life

This past week, because of the holidays and the anticipation of the close of 2005, I have been reflecting on the past year. The kids in our communities have experienced a challenging time in their young lives. In just the past year, they have lost four of their peers to death – an awfully large number for a community with a school enrollment of around 1,000. Two children were lost in vehicle accidents, one was tragically shot, and one was lost due to medical complications. Each of our three schools has lost someone – if a child did not know one of the four personally, they knew a sibling or a best friend. It just seems to me to be an overwhelming situation for all the youth of our community. I grieve for the loss of their innocence at such a young age.What can we as adults do to show support for all our kids? If you find yourself free on a Friday or Saturday evening, attend a sporting event at the high school. The schedules are listed on http://www.garcoschools.org; click on 2005-2006 calendar. All events are listed here, including St John Middle School and Grand Valley High School athletic events, as well as all three schools’ concerts and drama productions. Just seeing adult community members in the audience can give these kids a sense of self worth. But even more important is to show tolerance and respect for our kids. A smile can replace a stern frown and accomplish so much more good. I know a group of loud rambunctious kids at the activity center can be annoying – but if they are in your way, just a touch to an arm and a polite “excuse me” might be the answer. When my father was dying of cancer, I was very concerned about keeping my children away so that he would have peace and quiet. My dad asked me why he would want peace and quiet – that the sound of a kid’s laughter and yes, even bickering were what he wanted filling his last days. I think about this often – peace and quiet will come soon enough, but the sound of life is what should keep us going.I spent Sunday afternoon at a children’s Christmas pageant at the Grand Valley United Methodist Church. I went to watch children of a friend, and was so glad I did. The performance was wonderful; the children’s voices rose in song and in reciting memorized pieces they were so very uplifting. It made me realize that I should do such things more often. These were not my very own children or grandchildren, but they are the children of my community and I have pride and ownership in all of them. I hope that in this New Year, all of us, young and old, in the communities of Parachute and Battlement Mesa can become more tolerant and respectful of each other. And that we can help our youth accept the sorrow of death, but at the same time rejoice in the joy of life.Mary Moore’s column, “Grand Valley News,” appears every other Thursday. To contact Mary with a news tip, e-mail her beatlesfan_309@comcast.net.


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