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John's Christmas Wish List

December 23, 2012
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

To be quite honest,this week's column has been a difficult one to write. I planned on writing a nice, sweet, cute and poignant Christmas-type story that would make everyone feel good. But last Friday's horrible massacre in Newtown, Connecticut changed that thought. Since then, I've been pondering how to respond and what to respond. Thoughts and images race through my mind, as I'm sure they do through yours as well. My heart is deeply hurt and the sadness just seeps through my pores, it seems.

Every day, I get the privilege to drive my Grand-daughter to school. She's in Kindergarten and it's just a fun part of my day. All the little kids with their cute back-packs and for the most part, all about the same size, all getting ready for a great day of excitement and learning. Teachers surrounding them, keeping everyone in line and even a couple of "Shyster Greeters" doing what they do best----Greeting the kids!! A place of learning, the innocence of the kids, the excitement of making new friends, the love of their teachers and all kinds of parents and grandparents dropping their precious ones off---to a presumably safe place!

But that's all changed now! Oh, of course, the fear has always been there and the knowledge that something could happen was on our minds---but now the fear is closer, no, not just closer, but HERE!. Our greatest fear took place last Friday, December 14, 2012 in a elementary school in Connecticut. And we, parents, g'parents, teachers, administrators, greeters, secretaries, janitors, aides, playground staff and on and on will have to deal with this every single day from now on.

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Just like "9-11", this day and event will forever be etched in our minds.

But what, if anything, can we do? Here is my Christmas Wish List from me to you: I wish, that as it has been said, "it takes a village to raise a child," we understand more how true that statement is. I wish we would get to know our neighbors more; talk to them, spend time with them, help them out now and then. I wish we could be a little more kinder to each other and a little more tolerant of each other. I wish we all would volunteer more in a variety of ways. I wish we would adhere more to the words in the New Testament---"it's better to give than to receive." I wish we would keep an eye on our family and friends a little more and when we sense or see that things may not be going well, we take the time to reach out to them, help them, encourage them and even take time to pray for them. I wish we would love a little more and hate a little less; give a little more and take a little less. I wish we would see that everyone has their own personal struggles and perhaps be a little less quick to judge others. I wish we would take the time to visit the sick, the lonely, the hurt, the broken and the downtrodden. I wish, I wish, I wish..

We sing a song at Church now and then and I close with it's words; "Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, with cords that cannot be broken. Bind us together, Lord, bind us together with love."

So from the Sheda household, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a wish that if you see someone without a smile that you would give them one of yours.

That's The Way I See It.

Let me know what you think at or call me at 319-334-4117. Blessings to all of you.



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