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Remember to show your love

The massacre in Newtown, Conn., was a tragedy that hit the hearts of everyone incredibly hard. I’m not a parent, so I cannot begin to understand how the parents of the children and teachers who were murdered must feel, but I do know that a parent should never have to bury a child, and I do know that this is a tragedy that opened my eyes. I want to make sure I tell those I care about how much I love them as often as I can.
I believe that life is completely about love. It is so important to assure people we care about that they are loved as often as we can. It’s as simple as a smile, or a “just because” note. My mom used to write me those all the time when I was in college. I read that the principal of Sandy Hook wrote her daughter “just because” notes as well, and that brought on the tears. How wonderful that her daughter will always have those notes as a reminder of how much her mother loved her. She can read them as often as she wants whenever she is missing her mother.
In the words of my favorite example of “love,” Mother Teresa says, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
That’s how I like to live my life. If I’m happy around others and make them laugh or smile, I’ve done my part for the day. Also, when I can make others happier, I find that I, too, am 10 times happier! My daily goal is to make people smile. It’s so important. Sure, we all have bad days, but is my day really as bad as what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary? No, it’s not.
Everyone has things that hurt them, everyone is fighting their own battle. I know that life can be hard, so if we can all succeed at making each other smile, maybe it will take a little bit of that pain away, and that is a beautiful thing! While life is extremely hard, it’s also incredibly beautiful, and we have to cherish and celebrate those beautiful moments.
Good or bad, things will change, so celebrate the good, grieve the bad, and embrace it all. It’s OK to be sad, but I always remember to pray. That always works.
Even though I didn’t know the children who were murdered, I have a love for them in my heart. My heart hurts when I think about the lives they lost too early, the parents who will never get to play with their sweet children again, and the families who woke up on Christmas morning without their loved ones. It’s heart breaking, but sadly, it’s a reality that many faced.
All I can do is pray for them, and hope that they found a peace this Christmas. I still can’t believe this happened, and I will pray everyday for these sweet families. God bless them!
Lastly, I’ve always said “I love you” to my family before leaving the house, or getting off the phone, but now I make sure to say it every single time we talk! It’s a habit I don’t want to break. (I won’t lie. It’s such a habit, I may have said it to a telemarketer by accident last week. Embarrassing!)
Remember how loved you are. I believe we were all put on this earth to do something fabulous! Some of us choose to do the opposite, but through it all, we all have love. Enjoy the Christmas season, cherish your loved ones and remember the best is always yet to come

Katie Garner, a graduate of Salisbury High School, works for WBTV News.

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