On Wednesday, 3/27/13, the Barth family of Sandy Hook CT lost everything due to a fire that destroyed their home and everything they owned. On that very same day, Shanice Barth, accepted the role as Mary, Virgin Mother of Jesus in the Living Children’s Stations of the Cross that I facilitate each year at St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown, CT. Rehearsal began at 3:00PM and ended at 4:30PM. Shanice was not originally given the role as Mary. She accepted the role that day after my original Mary decided she didn’t want to do it. She was very excited. Her dad picked her up and off they went.
Apparently, on their arrival home, their house was burning down.
After speaking with a member of the church the next morning, I was informed of the fire.
So, Good Friday rolls around and I was wondering if Shanice and her family would attend due to the devastating circumstances they had endured just two days prior. Frankly, I didn’t have any expectations either way. I was just hoping they were okay. I knew that our Newtown community would rally around them. That is a natural occurrence in this town.
I was waiting in the choir room attending to other participants and there she was. Costume in hand, smoky smelling coat and little Shanice apologizing for wearing sneakers and not shoes. I just gave her a hug and told her whatever she had was fine.
I have to say that her enduring spirit was emitting all around her.
If I didn’t know what happened, I wouldn’t have known anything was wrong. I am in awe of this child and her family. They are strength personified. In addition to the loss of their home, their 1st grade boy was one of the survivors in the Sandy Hook School shooting. He was hiding in the bathroom with his teacher and 14 other children while their other classmates were killed.
I know that people around the country and the world realize Newtown is a wonderful community. But witnessing strength first hand as I did on Good Friday with the Barth’s and previously being with Jennie Hubbard, mother of victim Catherine Hubbard, I am floored and honored to live in this town.
The miracles all around us do not cease, regardless of circumstance.