Most of the time now, I try to stop and reflect before reacting, to try to see the other side, to consider how my response will affect the other party.

Sometimes I go off half-cocked, like I did on the directory today in response to an ill-considered email to Kathleen and me. If I had my husband's long-suffering restraint, I'd have done what he would have and simply hit delete.

Oh for the gift of natural restraint. Ah well. Uglier words were exchanged, and I suspect that we both wandered off from the exchange suitably offended by the other. Maybe that party needed the release of a nasty response as much as I needed to let loose with some snark.

Maybe we're both better off or both worse off or not changed at all. Who knows?

It's been a crappy two weeks for a lot of us, but especially for Issy, Matt and Issy's siblings. I'd bet it's sucked for Kelli too. No one won here. There's a family in ruins.

There's another family ruined--two kids dead, their dad devastated and their mother in jail. One of those kids was autistic and one wasn't. They're still both dead.

We're reeling. We're hurting. And we'll take advantage of an available target to get some release.

And yet, there's no changing those two families and what they are dealing with.

Today's exercise benefitted no one, not really. It at least allowed for us to explain what the directory means to me and to Kathleen, so maybe that's a way to salvage the fact that two strangers behaved badly to each other. But just maybe.

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