Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Quiet Game

Seems like we've been hit with one sad news story after another.  Just when you think you've heard the worst, some more horrific news rears its head.  If you watch the news channels or stay on social media very long, you will seriously have trouble staying positive.  The sounds of the debates and criticisms and finger pointing drown out anything that could possibly be constructive or helpful. 

Sometimes, I just wish we could call for a nationwide round of the quiet game. 

You remember when you'd play that?  Our mothers used to call for a game of it when there was a lot of bickering or tattle telling going on.  When we were all talking at once and it was getting us nowhere.  It gave us time to take a deep breath and weigh the pros and cons of speaking and remaining silent.  It switched the gears from a fevered pitch to the sweet relief of quiet.
The two shootings in Orlando showed such shameful indifference to human life. Sadly, the growing belief in our society- if I don't agree with you, you must be punished or destroyed- has led to more senseless loss of life.  I'm so sorry that this mentality has caused more needless heartbreak and chaos.      

For the mothers involved in the tragedies of late, my heart aches.  Of course, for the obvious reason of having a child taken from matter if they were 2 or 42.  But, in some cases, for the chilling insult to injury coming from other mothers on social media. 

I know I'm not writing to anyone to whom this applies but my sadness started when a Mississippi mother mistakenly left her small child in the car all day.  Can any of us think of a more devastating moment in time than the second she realized what she'd done?  The threads I read were brutal toward the mother.  From there all the way to the Disney tragedy and several tragic stops in between, it has been difficult to hear any compassion and mercy for these broken mothers over all of the noise of condemnation. 

When did we as a society become that?   

These are mothers who have lost their children. 

They have experienced the very thing that terrifies us all down to our very core.  They are living the nightmare that makes us wake up in a cold sweat and thank God it was all a dream.  They got the phone call that we all pray never comes.  They witnessed things that we can't even imagine surviving.  They are living out the number one fear on any mother's list.  They have images in their minds that will never go away as long as they have breath.  The circle of life didn't follow its usual course for them.  Their children have gone on before them.       

Just thinking about what they've experienced makes most of us teary-eyed.  Not because we know them but because we, too, are mothers.......and grandmothers, aunts, and godmothers, who understand what they have lost.   

For the mothers who have been on public trial in this age of social media......
Forgive us for saying things that have kicked you in the face at the very lowest point of your life.  Forgive us for sitting on our perfect parent thrones and typing our righteous indignation toward your parenting skills which we know nothing about.  Just when you needed support from other mothers who could understand the weight of your loss, forgive us for telling the world how we would have done things differently than you did.  Forgive us for asking you to shoulder some of the blame for your terrible circumstances.  Forgive us for telling you what we'd never do.  Forgive us for thinking we're immune to such tragedy because of our superior judgment.  Forgive us for rubbing salt into your wounded heart.  Forgive us for multiplying your burden and heaping the weight of guilt on top of your heavy load. 

Mercy is defined as the compassionate treatment of those in distress.  Kindness or help given to people who are in a very bad situation.


Something we always expect to receive but are slow to dole out.     

If we could all just stop and play the quiet game. 

Mothers have lost their children.

There's nothing that needs to be said. 

Just have mercy. 





  1. YES, Joni. Thank you for this. I keep thinking "WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!?" and sometimes that "people" is... me. Definitely let's keep working to intervene when there is true abuse & neglect, but my word, can we keep our brains & hearts intact??? I always hope someone wise is telling those parents "just stay off the internet" b/c the sad reality is that some of the people they actually, you know, KNOW will be hard enough on them. smh. Have mercy.

  2. My feelings exactly. I can't believe some of the things people think are okay to say. It breaks my heart. Have mercy.

  3. Agree with you and the ladies that commented. Sometime social media is the judge and jury of people's actions. Mmm wonder if they will feel the same if it happened to them. Although some of it is a crime, a truly sad crime for the victims.
    Point on Joni, Kathleen in Az