Enough is enough. How many times have we heard or said that over the last few days, months and even years? It’s becoming part of our normal vocabulary and my heart hurts because of it.
Last Thursday, November 8th, it was beyond difficult to tell my 11-year-old why soccer practice was canceled. To have to look at his sweet, little face and tell him that there was another mass shooting and that one of the people killed was the daughter of Arik, the owner of his soccer club, Napa 1839. My son plays on the same pitch with her brother, Alex. My husband works directly with Arik as a manager of one of the teams. This is way too close to home.
I do however feel incredibly blessed in the midst of all of this tragedy. Blessed to be surrounded by such incredible people. Napa United is so much more than a soccer club. I don’t personally know the Housley family but I know the people they trust, the coaches of Miles team and the families that are a part of the club. It is an incredible community and a testament to who the Housley’s are as people. We attended the police escort processional for Alaina returning home to be buried on Sunday in Napa. Miles coach, Gavin Taylor, organized the teams to come together to show our love and support. Seeing the streets lined with so many people of all colors, ages, and walks of life, all there to show their support and love was amazing.
I am not a political person by nature and I’m not one to stand on a soapbox, but something needs to change. Something needs to be done. Does the problem stem from gun control? The lack of mental health care? Both? Whatever the root cause, it is out of hand. If the issue is gun control, the guns are already out there, easily accessible to almost anyone. If it is a mental health issue, how can we provide more care for those in need?
The Housley’s spoke about how they are moving forward after this tragedy and I love their direction. They don’t want the conversation to be about gun control. They want, they know that Alaina would want, the conversation to be about being kind to one another. Arik said, “…It’s to put down your technology, put down your phones and look at somebody and have a conversation. It’s not about gun control; this message is about doing something bigger, to be with your community, to love one another.” Link to Article
So how can we take that message and apply it to our own lives? Pearl, my 95-year-old friend, she is a shining example of this. She talks to everyone. In the grocery store, a restaurant, it doesn’t matter, she just talks to them. She asks them how they are and is genuinely interested in the answer. Maybe making a change can truly start with something that small. Maybe by connecting with the people around us, we can become more aware of how people are actually feeling and the people that are feeling lost and alone can feel more connected.
I can’t say that I believe that alone will solve the problem but it’s a start.
A quote from a fellow soccer mom and Napa United family:
“This is Veterans Day weekend. Men and woman have laid down their lives for our rights and freedoms, yet we can’t come together as a country and make any changes towards gun control, towards improved mental health services, towards a plan to deal with both. Our children are being shot dead every week in this country with no end in sight.”
This is from the Napa United Board of Directors: