It was Dec. 17 when we first received an email from Mary Lieselotte Johnson from Fayetteville, N.C. She had written a poem and wanted to share it with Newtown.
Since then, Mary hasn’t forgotten about Newtown and continues to post on Newtown Patch. After Dec. 14, we received correspondence from all over the United States and the world. Mary is one person from afar who’s stayed all this time.
Bringing Comfort to Those Who Need It Most
“After hearing of the tragedy, I just felt in my heart I needed to do something,” she said via email recently. “I've been writing prayers and poems most of my life, since the age of 11 and I am a retired special education teacher with a degree in educational administration. I wrote the first prayer-poem for Newtown and sent it to Patch, hoping that somehow the children in the community and the families of the victims would see it to bring comfort.”
Mary wondered how she could help from so far away.
“Being down here in N.C., I thought and I prayed somehow to reach out to the families,” she said. “As a teacher for many years, I worked closely with parents and I've worked with all levels of exceptionalities and have implemented programs for the school system for children from ages of 2-22. I just had a strong empathy. Since I wasn't working physically in a school environment any longer, I could still reach out and instill some 'Random Acts Of Kindness’.”
She had never blogged before but mastered the process quickly. What happened next went far beyond the simple act of sharing a poem online.
“Once I posted that first blog post, I felt such tremendous peace and the belief in knowing that no matter where we live, how busy our lives are... you, I, we can make a difference, as I always felt when I was a special educator,” Mary said. “We all have gifts to share. Mine are my words… If they can bring comfort to the hurting, then I have done what I felt called to do.”
'We Can’t Abandon Those That Are Hurting'
“Once I started, yes ... I continued to blog, because we don't forget,” Mary said. “My concern [and] time in blogging is genuine and sincere and words cannot really be put on paper … We can't abandon those that are hurting, yet we must at all times respect their boundaries and their way and timetable of healing and keep trusting, hoping and knowing that people really can be good if we take the time to understand and look deep inside that person.”
A Call to Love
"We are all called to show love and to build each other up, especially when we are hurting," Mary said. "We don't forget nor abandon. When we love, as God Our Heavenly Father calls us too, it's sincere, it's heartfelt and we comfort so we can then move forward and find hope, joy and inner peace again, helping someone else. Goodwill for all of mankind. With random acts of kindness, we are setting good examples for all our children, whom are our precious gift: children of the whole world."
Let the Love Pour In
Mary’s mentality is that everyone has a gift to share and can touch anyone’s heart, even when they don’t know each other.
“If it helps and brings inspiration, then we made a connection and made a new friend...for life!” she said. “For really, if we all open our hearts and let the love pour in to fill up the empty holes in our hurting hearts we can then keep moving forward with strength, perseverance, fortitude and the trusting that all our pains, unbearable griefs in time, will make us even stronger to help someone else, and that alone, in each one’s precious time will bring a form of peace and even joy, in the knowing that we are truly living… Goodwill towards man with a whole lot of love to share towards our brother and sister of mankind."