The Healing Power of Children…and Hugs

Like so many, I woke up this morning with a rock in my gut and a hole in my heart. The memories of what happened thirteen years ago are still so fresh, so raw, so painful. But we are healing. Everyday, we are healing.

I was at work when the news broke. Our boys (ages 12 and 13 at the time) were at school. My husband was traveling. All I wanted to do was rush home, collect and hug my family. Make sure they were safe. Enfold them in a forever hug and comfort them. And yes, allow them to comfort me.

This morning I remembered, like so many of you. The terrible devastation. The brave responders. The loss we had to bear and the corresponding love we chose to share.

But then I remembered something else. This morning, I had a special appointment. A precious gift. This morning, I was to Skype with the fantastic Emmily Minayo, head teacher at the Cheery Children Education Centre in Kenya, and her amazing students.

Kenya visit 2

We had such a wonderful visit! I mean seriously, how can you not MELT into these beautiful smiles? *heart squish*

I can only hope that I was able to inspire these children a fraction of how much they inspired me. After reading WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN together, we talked writerly things. We talked stories, about where authors get their ideas (I love how “grandparents” was one of the first suggestions!). We talked imagination. We talked dragons (admittedly, I’m going to have to do some research before I visit again – they stumped me with some questions!) We talked about our next visit, when they would share THEIR stories with me.

Then we hugged. From across the world! Thanks to technology and the Internet, we connected. And we hugged.

Kenya hug 2

Hope warmed me from the inside out…because it’s the children that are our hope. Our comfort. Our future.

And the future looks very bright!

Before our boys were born, my husband and I found this old crumpled poster at a flea market. Over the years, it’s gotten more crumbled and worn, but its message could not be more clear.

Baby Hope

A baby is God’s way of saying the world should go on.”

September 11 will always be a day of remembrance. But we are healing. Everyday, we are healing. We are healing through love. Through our connections. And through hugs.

Not just FOR our children, but BECAUSE of them.

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