hold fast

In memory of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, Gabrielle Giffords, and six others murdered five years ago today by a gunman shooting into a crowd. Christina Taylor Green was my close friend's goddaughter, and her mother, Roxanna, had been a bridesmaid with me. Christina's parents, having become avid gun control advocates since their daughter's murder, attended President Obama's recent gun control announcement. Today, my thoughts are with them, and the thousands of parents in this country who have lost their children to gun violence.

Snow was falling silently when the grim news came.
Woman shot, six others dead—
one child.
Tears of sorrow filled our eyes.


Hold fast.

She, younger than I, is lost in a coma.
Lost to her children, lost to her husband,
suspended in some cold inner space
we can never know.
 They try to embrace but cannot reach her, not now.
She is somewhere else.


Hold fast.

What about the girl?
Her happy presence replaced by emptiness–
silent and desolate.
A hollowness in her mother and
father’s palms—in the core of their beings.
Memories endure of stroking her
 chestnut hair, of her smile,
of tenderly cupping her face in their hands.
Echoes of her sweet voice remain.


Hold fast.

I have my spouse and I have my child,
all touching in our own warm bed,
my arms wrapped around my boy,
his around my neck, our hearts beating together.
His sweet breath brushes my face,
his supple legs curl up as
little feet knead my belly.


I Hold fast.

Christina Taylor Green, September 11, 2001 - January 8, 2011


  1. As always, your beautiful words rock me to the core. I have learned so much from your posts: about cannabis oil, seizures, children...and resilience. You are making ripples in our collective consciousness.

  2. Shocking. Thank you for this lovely tribute. May her spirit guide all of us.