I thought today might be the day. The first 24 hour stretch without having to step away from a situation with tears in my eyes or stop talking mid-conversation to keep from losing it. I had a pretty good day at work, connecting with co-workers, checking things off my to do list. I had a nice conversation with an old friend, punctuated with some wonderful laughter and catching up on each others' lives. And then a conversation with one of my best friends, this one punctuated with good news about a new job she had just started and a family vacation she had just enjoyed.
I had just started my workout run for the day and then I got the news. It was horrible. It took a minute to sink in, but once I fully realized the violence that had invaded my little corner of the world, I just couldn't run anymore. Only a mile in, I walked back to my parents' house and sat at the picnic table outside. And I called the friend who had delivered the news, knowing he would understand my emotions because he was probably feeling them too. I'm glad he answered the phone.
The man we lost to senseless violence was a shop steward in our Union, someone I fought beside through horrible state budgets and difficult contract negotiations. Someone who showed up and fought and led his co-workers. What I remember most about him was his smile. What can we make of tragic stories like these - http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/03/authorities_man_charged_with_f.html...I just don't have any answers. And I guess that's ok.
A wise friend reminded me tonight as I was struggling with this news that I will see death differently now since Joe's passing and that I shouldn't be too hard on myself when I can't immediately "pull it together". Even though I only knew Brian through our Union, his death hit me hard. It may sound cliche, but it reminded me of how fragile life is and that we just never know what tomorrow may bring.
Keeping that in mind, I'm choosing to be thankful for the happy moments I enjoyed today and I'm moved to search for those moments again tomorrow, wherever I may find them. I will think of Brian and his smile in the days and weeks to come and remember that we are all here only for a short time - we should do whatever we can with what we have been given.
Well stated Anne. I could see how this news touched you deeply tonight. We all need to do whatever we can today for we do not know what tomorrow will bring. Wishing you more happy moments tomorrow! Love MomReplyDelete
It was definitely hard news to process. I'm glad that I was near family when I found out.Delete
Yes, from time to time, I have been immeasurably affected by some incident -some occasion when life's fragility was put on display. Although you may not have known the victim well, his death ripples through your life - and now through mine - isn't that interesting? His death in a small town in New Jersey is touching a person who lives in a small town 3,000 miles away? Thanks for taking the time and the energy to post this. It must have been difficult.ReplyDelete
It's amazing to me how even when we are minimally "connected" to tragedy (or sometimes even joy), the humanity of it just pulls us in. It reminds me of how connected we all really are in spite of ourselves.Delete
writing is great medicine. tho i never posted anything online,... i have a notebook filled with notes, stories, songs, and thoughts from when my fiance passed away. what i realize 7 years later is that you will look at death differently... i feel kinda numb when things happen and sometimes you have to dig deep to enjoy a beautiful day. time does not heal... just teaches you how to live with the hurt. it is a part of who you are now. but you have to enjoy life... it took me along time to "live" again and now i wonder where the past 7 years went. dont let it slip away because it goes really fast. keep your head up. keep a smile on your face... keep moving forward... even if its only with baby steps.. keep yourself surrounded with positive people!!ReplyDelete
Thanks for your encouragement, Terrence. Although I don't always respond to your messages and comments, I have found your insight to be inspiring. It's hard to believe that it's been 7 years for you. Your comment me inspired me towards today's post. I hope you enjoy it and that it makes you smile!Delete