Do you remember that?
I remember bits of that time, but I was only 6 years old and can't recall all the particulars. I don't remember the President's speech (although reading it now gives me goosebumps). I don't remember the outcry to stop space exploration and I don't even remember what happened to cause the explosion. I do remember that it upset me greatly. At the tender age of six, it was a tough lesson to learn that the best planned events don't always work out and can sometimes come to a devastatingly tragic end. I learned as a first-grader that the heroes don't always win the day.
My Mom encouraged me to talk to her about my sad feelings and asked me what I thought we should do about it. So she hauled out the old typewriter and punched away as I dictated the following letter to the editor of our local newspaper:
It's been 25 years and I still think the postage stamp idea is a good one. But more than that, I think the way my Mom chose to help me handle that event was a loving and appropriate teachable moment. She didn't tell me to get over it, or tell me to not feel a certain way, instead, she showed me how I could try to do something about it.
Twenty-five years ago I didn't understand that my mother was doing anything more that typing out what I spoke, but now I realize she was gifting me something that would stick with me for the rest of my life.
Thanks Mom. It only took 25 years and being a mother myself to realize how wise you truly are.