Sunday, January 9, 2011

Why yes, it's personal

Some days it feels as if the world stops.

Or at least if feels that is SHOULD stop. Yesterday was such a day in Tucson, Arizona. One can't simply pick up and move forward with the trivialities of everyday life without commenting about the lack of gravity all of a sudden.

No decor thoughts today. We talk instead about real life. Tucson is a small town. The tragedy that happened at my corner Safeway store has shaken this area, as everyone knows someone affected. Here, a friend of mine talks about Gabby being her daughter's hero. On Facebook, many of my son's friends have changed their profile picture to one of their shared moments with Congresswoman Giffords. Some of the kids were campaign volunteers. She was recently in classes at the local high school. She is OURS. Sadly, so is the shooter. A local kid.
In this graphic post-shooting photo, you can see my husband in the burgundy sweater, helping out with one of the staffers shot at the event. Bob was just in the produce section when the shots rang out. In typical (for him) white knight fashion, he bolted out the door to try to catch the shooter. That part is a little crazy, but where he steps in to comfort and help the wounded is wonderful. There were a lot of helpers he said, and a lot of simply stunned onlookers. It took 15-20 minutes for medical personnel to get to the site. Such a looooonnnggg time when people are bleeding. I know the EMTs did a great job. But I am thankful for the handholders and other bystanders who leapt in to help. I can only imagine how frightening it must have been for all involved.

I was in the car at the intersection just after the shooting. Little did I know, that my text to my husband asking for conditioner was read to the woman he was attending as a distraction. They agreed he could ignore me for a while.  Twenty minutes later, I was still waiting for the helicopters to clear the intersection, still unsure of what had happened up ahead, when Bob called me to say he was ok, but on the way to the hospital to help Pam Simon reunite with her husband.  (Now I see that my Facebook page is full of people who know Pam.) I jumped on Twitter as soon as possible to try to find out details.  Social media was invaluable to me yesterday.

One of the excellent teachers from the high school has a Facebook page and is friends with many of his current and former students. He is sharing news there, and kids are commenting and discussing all aspects of this event. He is teaching life. On Facebook. The current discussion is regarding the right to free speech and the loathsomeness of the Westboro Baptist Church's plans to disrupt the funeral of the yesterday's youngest victim.

I am still wrapping my head around this event. It feels like backyard news, since literally it occurred a half a block from my house. At "my" grocery store. Where you run into your childrens' former kindergarten teacher, chat with the checker who went to 5th grade with your son, and convene with your neighbor in the cereal aisle. And where evidently it is possible to get shot by a delusional kid while you try to chat with your Congresswoman.

So yeah, it's personal.

8 comments:

  1. wonderfully spoken!
    yes, it is very much personal, for you and the her friends and families. it's personal too for all of us who think of you as a friend and many of the others we have come to know in our daily virtual life. the world has become much smaller, so know that you have many keeping you in their hearts and thoughts.
    sue

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  2. Thank you Sue! I love the way the internet has made the world smaller. Let's increase the love and positivity that the closeness engenders and eliminate the hatespeak and incivility that is so prevalent. Focus that love on all those in pain and healing right now, here and across the globe!

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  3. Holy cow! Your husband was really RIGHT THERE. I am happy that your request for conditioner provided some distraction at a critical moment. You know all my stories about the strange little details of 9/11. You have to find a teeny weeny thing to laugh about.

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  4. I have no words. This event has rocked the country. All we can do is continue to hope for your congresswoman to recover and for a return of civility in our society.

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  5. Fascinating post - so sorry you're having to contend with this.

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  6. My gosh! Following PunkRawkPurl's Tweet brought me here-sewing machine is beautiful! scrolled down to read this-my thoughts are with your entire community and grateful for an opportunity to hear a personal perspective. I am so saddened about this event. Healing to all.

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  7. By saying this is personal, I don't mean to imply that YOUR experiences are not valid. I was equally affected by the tragedies of the past...Columbine especially. Maybe even more, since that burst my bubble of perceived safety. If THAT one didn't do it for you, this one should. We are a very typical town, with a typical suburban community, a typical grocery store and it was a typical Saturday. But only for awhile. We ALL need to take action. Or WE are the crazy ones.

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  8. Thank you for your insightful thoughts. So wonderful to know that people can come together when faced with a tragedy of this magnitude. I hope your community continues to heal and reflect on this tragedy as a tool to strengthen communities.

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