Astonishing People

Life throws Sh*t sometimes – right?

Maybe our marriage ends, or we find out our child has some disabilities, or we loose lots of money, or depression rolls back in, or we get sick, or our neighbor sues us over something petty, or we loose a job or can’t find one.

As my wonderful friend Julia Kittross says, “Everybody’s got something” to deal with.

Mostly, if we’re honest, I think we’d admit to going about life trying to prevent  bad stuff from happening. Sometimes that works and, like the child with his thumb in the dyke, help arrives,  the hole is repaired and the flood waters are contained.  Sometimes, no matter how much we work at our marriage, get the best medical attention, research investments, say our affirmations and focus on the positive, work to be a good neighbor, and brush up our job skills – bad stuff still goes down.

How many times does this have to happen before we get the point?  The point being, life’s not about preventing the bad stuff. It’s about growing into and through the bad stuff. Those challenges, large and small, that tumble us through our days and nights and months and years of this astounding human experience.

I heard a story today that will forever change me – just as the story I heard on the BBC more than 30 years ago led to me become a mental health counselor, this story will change me. I am not sure how.  I sit in awe of this woman. This story. The simple, human kindness offered in the face of near certain death.

If you have yet to hear the story of Antoinette Tuff, it is my privilege to introduce you to her now.

Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 3.26.20 PM

Click on the image to connect to a video of Antoinette being interviewed about how just yesterday, she stopped a gunman who entered the elementary school where she works. And how did she stop him? Not with another gun, that’s for sure!  Just by talking to him. By caring. By discovering her empathy for him; empathy wrought not because Antoinette has managed to dodge life’s tough stuff. Quite the opposite.

Gives me the excuse to quote from another hero of mine – Winston Churchill:

“If you’re going through hell, keep going!”















5 thoughts on “Astonishing People

    1. gemmautting Post author

      Dear Carrie – wonderful to hear from you! I’ve been loving your posts too and need to comment more. Been through some changes over here myself and was sort of “stuck” with what I could possibly add to all the chatter “out there”. But I was altogether blown away by Antoinette.

      1. Carrie Lange

        I know, Gemma, I havent’ been nearly as active as I like. Real life…it’s such a know what…

        I also cleared away a lot of blogs I was following and kept only the ones that really mean something to me because I was missing too many posts that were buried in all the frivolous stuff in my Reader!

  1. gemmautting Post author

    Just know that, through the silence, I read everything you write. Am waiting on some cash and an address back in the USA to have your book sent to. I’ve not forgotten it and am super keen to read it.

  2. Lee

    Wonderful story. Antoinette Tuff is, as she said, a vessel for God. In this case, love and understanding worked where bullets would have been very risky, if they worked at all.


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