School Bus Solace

Heading to the school bus stop.

Heading to the school bus stop.

Every morning I walk my six-year-old son Sebastian along our winding driveway and down a country lane to wait for the school bus. The air is fresh, we hold hands, and he shares more during those ten minutes than an entire evening after school. This peaceful time with him is my favorite part of the day. As I said goodbye to him this morning and he climbed up the bus’ steps, my heart broke for parents of school shooting victims that didn’t get to experience that again. They tragically and unknowingly said their last goodbyes, their hearts ripped from their chest.

This latest massacre in Florida has hit particularly close to home as our lead chocolate maker, Anthony (Tony) Guajardo, graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2008. He knows those halls; he knows the smells and sounds. He knows the community. Teenage nostalgia and the tragic present just violently collided. Tony has been with us for four years and is without a doubt one of the most caring, compassionate, hard working, trusted people I have ever met. My heart breaks for him and the community that he comes from.

Tony wrote me an inspiring note and he has graciously allowed me to share some of his words:


“It’s an eerie feeling and very tragic. When I went to school there back in 2004-2008, it was voted one of America’s top 10 safest schools. It’s deeply saddening to think that something like this could have transpired at a place where I had such good times in my youth. I feel so strongly for the victims and their families, the community that it has devastated, and for our nation that continually tears itself apart by senseless acts of violence. Live everyday like it’s your last. Love. Love more. And learn to forgive.”


I promised myself that I wouldn’t use our weekly newsletters as a political platform. And I still won’t do that. But how can I tell you that Mast stands for family and love and not take a stand against the massacring of children? It isn't political, it is common sense. This has to end now.

I speak as a father when I say that every parent deserves to walk hand in hand with their child to the bus stop with a loving, confident smile and re-assuring grip. Let's demand it on behalf of every family in America.

We all know the statistics, we all know the solution. We don’t have to live like this. We don’t have to die like this. Once and for all, let’s save our families and pass meaningful gun control laws. I am far from an expert in matters like this. But there is a growing, peaceful army that is. 

To take action now, please consider supporting/donating to Everytown.

Rick Mast