Nurturing Healing Love
A Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness
By Scarlett Lewis with Natasha Stoynoff
I do not recall the last time a book held my interest so closely that I couldn’t put it down until I finished it — that’s what happened with this one.
Nurturing Healing Love is written by one of the parents of the children gunned down December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. One of those children was six-year-old Jesse Lewis.
Reports of his heroism that horrific day state that he helped guide the other kids safely out of the room when the shooter stalled for a moment.
“They listened to him and ran for their lives,” Scarlett Lewis says. “Nine first graders made it to safety as the gunman took aim at Jesse.”
It was a day that shocked the world and I like so many others wanted to help comfort these families and this town. I called a funeral home in Newtown for information on one little boy whose name was Benjamin Wheeler and got the address of the church that was accepting mail for him -- people from our Texas town of Ben Wheeler gathered items with “his” name on them and cards and letters and packaged them up and sent them to the family. Still, mostly, we all felt so helpless.
So maybe that’s one reason why this mother’s story of hope and inspiration brings us some peace — to know that she’s healing and to hear the miracles of the short but influential life of Jesse Lewis.
The title of the book comes from a message Lewis noticed just days after her little boy’s death. He had scrawled his six-year-old version of “Nurturing Healing Love” on their kitchen chalkboard. It brought great comfort to the family and set a course for an organization she started called Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation.
Although she says many days she cannot choose anything but grief, she always comes back to love and to hope.
“This is not a story about a massacre,” she said. “It is a story about how we can face, endure, and survive the seemingly impossible, and find courage when we think we have none.
“It’s about choosing love instead of anger, fear, or hatred, and standing our ground, like Jesse did.”
Learn more about the foundation at jesselewischooselove.org.