Friday, July 20

Reflections on Tragedies

What a difference that 24 hours makes. Last night I headed to bed with a summer cold. While attempting to breathe through my nose I decided to write my next blog post about how people need to learn the proper use of the apostrophe. It was going to contain many witty references and funny pictures...and tales of my Dad using a comma where apostrophes should be.

That was yesterday - and today it just doesn't seem important. Not that the topic of punctuation was important doesn't seem important to be amusing. In a way it almost feels inappropriate to be amusing.

I remember when my maternal grandfather was probably the first death in the family I was really aware of. And at age 10 or 11, I wasn't sure how to act. That evening over dinner it seemed wrong to be joking and laughing (as one of 5 kids...dinner was always a 3 ring circus). It didn't feel right to treat it like any other dinner.

I feel like that tonight. After seeing news reports and eyewitness accounts of the shootings in doesn't feel proper to do the things I would normally do. Seems disrespectful to waste time on silly Facebook games or playing Internet Backgammon. And yet, I can't spend another minute watching the media vultures dissect the few facts that they have...over...and over...and over.

And so I have retreated to the quiet of my room. And spent some time in prayer and contemplation. I do not know that I could ever make sense out of the chaos that unfolded at that theatre. I know that the people there entered with excitement and anticipation...and that was twisted into fear and grief. There is no way to make that make sense.

I know that life will continue. And it will feel okay to laugh and joke again. I even know that I will soon go into a movie theatre to enjoy a film and some popcorn with my friends and family. Because if I allow myself to be controlled by the demented actions of a clearly troubled individual - if I let that fear dictate whether or not I choose to go to the movies...then he achieves a victory that I cannot allow.

But just like the fact that I can't go into NYC without thinking about the lives lost on September 11 - I think I will always reflect on the lives lost and affected in Colorado, each time I walk into a movie theater. Never forget...because when we forget the past, we run the risk of taking the present for granted.

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