Gimme a D! Gimme an I! Gimme an S-C-L-A-I-M-E-R! What does that spell? DISCLAIMER!
This time last year, tragedy befell my little community. Life really hasn’t been the same since. I found out about it during a friend’s Super Bowl party, and now I feel like Super Bowl can’t come around again without thinking of the horrific events that took place. Super Bowl Sunday has become what December 14th has become for Newtown, Connecticut; what April 20th has become for Columbine/Littleton, Colorado; what September 11th has become for New York City. It’s a day of silence, introspection, respect for what was lost.
It’s been said that following a tragedy, people start to rally around their faiths, moreso than before. I believe it’s because faith gives them a comfort to hold onto, a hope that perhaps victims are no longer suffering, for a plea to be healed from the pain they’re feeling, to show victims’ families the strength of a community of support.
I know that certainly happened with me. After that unforgettable day, I wept, I prayed, I had a long conversation with God about countless things. After spending most of my life being pretty hush-hush about my religious beliefs, all of a sudden, I became one of the people who posted YouTube videos of church hymns and posted Bible verses as a Facebook status. I went to church for strength and for healing. I lit remembrance candles at an altar for the first time in my life. But most of all, I attended church because I knew that community was just as emotionally fragile as I was; they knew what was going on, and they were experiencing much of the same things as I was. This religious rebirth only lasted for a few weeks, but it was certainly intense.
The important thing I took away from all this was that I was how lucky I was to live in a community that came together to support each other and help one another grieve. Although church and spirituality had a good hand in helping me through that trial, what I think really helped me was getting together with the friends in my community whom I’ve known for a long time. The funny thing is, during those times, we only touched on the event briefly. What was more important about us getting together was to prove to each other that there are still good people in the world, that good friends still existed, and really to just have a sense of normal while we all walked through a haze together. In those moments, I’d like to think there was just an all-around appreciation of one another, just for being there.
I’ve never been a person that’s been big into sports, but I gather many sports fanatics garner similar feelings of community when they get together with people who are fans of the same sports team. It gives them a common belief, a common goal, a sharing of disappointments and joys.
So today, on this Super Bowl Sunday, I’d like to point out the winner for all of us: Team Community. Thank goodness for the people in our lives that get us through so much.
Hoping Your Community is a Winner Too,