On Youth and Tragedy

I have to admit that after the election the usual activities of politics and the lead up to Christmas took over my life and I was remiss in returning to my website until now (mid-February). However, I did find great satisfaction in the area of blogging and answering the questions that you, the public, sent to me during the election, so I hope that my website continues to provide us with this connection, as I promise to blog on a monthly basis.

January did find me at my computer quite a bit, as it is the number one communication tool for politics today, outside of face to face on the street conversations that are part of everyday life as a politician. However, the other reason I was essentially glued to my computer was because I was also remiss on doing my political science studies during the election and Christmas and I was frantically trying to catch up—once a procrastinating student, always a procrastinating student. I made a choice when I was in high school to not take my studies seriously, I won’t go into the excuses, but suffice to say I took the long road to furthering my education, but it was my road and I do not regret my decisions.

Now, in my fifties, I must say that I am actually enjoying advancing my education and feeling the same optimism that my daughter feels at the age of 19 doing her university studies. Optimism that I would hope everyone could feel, at any age, while advancing their dreams. Yet, both of us found it hard this month; the death of the two young people in a terrible car accident, the injuries to the other four youth involved, and the murder of a local young man can’t help but affect all of us in some way, as, for them, their hopes and dreams have been tragically eliminated or altered. For me, I felt both profound sadness and anger.

All of these young lives were either ended or altered by senseless acts. And I originally thought this blog would be about the views I hold regarding what I believe society owns within these tragedies, which drove the anger portion of my response. But when I sat down to write, I realized the grief is too raw for those who are living it and it would be a dishonor to them to discuss these issues on the heels of these terrible tragedies.

Instead, I reflected on how lucky I have been to have an opportunity to re-visit some previous decisions in my life and to now take a different route. And for how lucky my husband and I have been to not have real tragedy within our families. But make no mistake, I do not intend to wait for tragedy to happen within our family, as none of us as parents can guarantee our kids won’t make a wrong decision, or prevent them from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Therefore, I will be writing about it in my future blog and acting on it immediately within my role as a politician, as we must address the societal issues surrounding our youth today.

Until then, my thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all of those who were impacted by these tragic events.

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