October 4, 2017
Fiona Whelan Prine, John’s wife, shared a touching message after the horrible act in Las Vegas:
So, all of us, most all of us , value human life – right? A right, many argue, is bestowed on us before we even leave the womb.That’s fine, we can debate and discuss and respect others views on that and many other issues where we may differ.
But what about my LIFE today? Your LIFE today? My children, our grandchildren?
W are not safe TODAY in our beloved America. Do we hunker down at home, with guns, if we have them? Do we cancel all outdoor events? Do we hand everyone a gun as they file into arenas, concert halls, festivals, ball games, shopping malls, movie theaters, college campuses, Elementary schools, High Schools, hotels….? and then what? Watch as we mow each other down in a frenzy of fear, hatred and self loathing?
I grew up in Ireland very close to the border with N. Ireland.
There was fear, distrust and violence. Religion divided families, neighbors and friends. My Grandmother was American born – returning with her parents to Ireland as a teenager- and her lilting accent and stories of life in the USA intrigued me as a child. I would sit on the front steps of our home on the west coast and stare out into the setting sun; America was out there and I really did dream that one day I would come here and revel in the joy and freedom of this Promised Land.
So, here I am today. Almost 30 years into a love affair with my own Mr America. We have raised 3 exceptional boys, and recently welcomed 2 precious Irish/ America/ Asian grandchildren into our family.
I’ll be damned- and I believe my God has anger- if I’m going to sit quietly and watch my beautiful adopted home become the Killing Fields, the Belfast, the Beirut, the Montgomery of my grandchildren’s world.
Too late for my young adult children – their lives have already been scarred by grief and loss and fear.
It’s time. Today. Time for those of us that believe in Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness to stand together and by that I mean ALL of us: Mothers, Fathers, gun owners, hunters, gun haters, brothers, sisters, elected officials, clerics, the Free Press , community leaders, our esteemed past Presidents, devout believers of all faiths, non- believers, and those whose belief in the value of their own voices has all but been silenced….
I have no answers today. God, I wish I did.
All I know for sure today is that we will travel to the next town and John will sing his songs , some of which he wrote more than 40 years ago. Songs about war, lost veterans, lonely people, old people, a sad homemaker, flag-waving to prove patriotism, fishing, and family and the singular American experience. He writes songs too about Love, big time Love, about our beautiful country, about finding humor in our differences…
My prayers are small and often too few but today I pray for you, your family, your children , grandchildren , neighbors and friends all across this incredible country.
I will say a prayer too for my own family – and a special one to my Grandmother that she send me a prayer that might soar above all the pain down here.
Fiona Whelan Prine
Oct 4 2017