Praying for Newtown

painting of Newtown, praying for Newtown, growing up in Newtown, blue and gold

Watercolor painting of Newtown, CT by Jane Bogdan

Along with the rest of the country and people around the globe, I am praying for Newtown.

I have wondered what to write, how to say what’s in my heart, or if I should write anything at all; but I am moved to acknowledge this painful tragedy and to raise my voice and share my love with my hometown community and with grieving families all over.

I grew up in Newtown. This is my town, the town of my youth, my teens, my memories. I learned to drive on Newtown’s roads, watched $2 movies at the Town Hall, and ice skated in Ram’s pasture. I grew up at the Ice Cream Shop, the Pizza Palace and the Blue Colony Diner. I went to preschool in Trinity Church, returned from college breaks to my childhood home and got married in the white steepled church in the center of town.

Newtown is a part of me and that makes this hurt in another way.

Old friends are reaching out to one another, seeking others who understand this feeling and grasping connections to home. A need drawing us together again. Tears coming freely, frequently, openly.

No matter where this happened, the pain and suffering is unimaginable. Our hearts swell and we cry for the children, families and community. We cry for the world and humanity. We question, doubt, wonder, fear, pray.

How? Why? Questions that can never be answered. Or explained to our children. So we pray. We hold onto faith and pray for Newtown.

Sesame Street Resource Guide for Parents: Helping Families After an Emergency

National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children About Violence, A Guide for Parents and Teachers


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28 Responses to Praying for Newtown

  1. Jill Lynch says:

    All of the most innocent and pure memories of my childhood that I hold so dear were centered in Newtown. Proud to call Newtown my hometown. Praying for all those touched by this tragedy.

  2. Jill Lynch says:

    … and what a BEAUTIFUL painting by your mother. Thank you for sharing that!

    • ldecesare says:

      Thanks, Jill. I have the painting in my house and get to enjoy it – Trinity where we went to preschool and the Congregational church where we got married – and I went to several Christmas Eve pageants there, too.

  3. Janet says:

    I remember my childhood, playing with my little sister, helping to make the ice cream at whites ice cream shop, the church, fall colors and how everyone knew eveyone. I miss that small town. My thoughts and prayers go to everyone there.

    • ldecesare says:

      So many precious memories – such heartfelt outpouring to our little town from around the world – I hope the kindness and generosity can somehow bring some measure of peace to the families …

  4. Leah, I did not realize that this was your hometown. I am so sorry, I can understand what you mean that it must reach another level with you. As mothers this is the unthinkable, and I am heartbroken along with the rest of the nation for the children and their families. We all seem to be walking in a daze since it happened, the questions you ask here going through our minds.

    • ldecesare says:

      Yes, Elizabeth, while as moms – and humans – we are all feeling this profoundly, being in my hometown somehow deepens the darkness. It’s truly overwhelming.

  5. DoulaKylie says:

    “Thank you for this Leah. I cannot put my feelings into words so I am very proud that you have written such a poignant piece. As a Connecticut resident for my whole 22+ years of life, American, and public school system graduate….I am heart broken. The President’s speech was beautiful, as was the First Selectwoman. Such comforting words in such a chaotic time .”

    • ldecesare says:

      Thank you, Kylie. It feels very close to home, doesn’t it? It’s so hard to really express and share such profound and powerful emotions …

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