The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has cast a pall on our area. We are only about 40 miles from there. Folks working in nearby Ridgefield, CT lost their children. It is a nightmare, only made worse by the time of year.
I’ve said it before. I am a gun owner. I shoot sporting clays. I follow all the rules and jump through every hoop there is so I can own my firearms safely and enjoy my sport. Myself and my fellow shooters have remained quiet in this week following the shooting out of respect for the gravity of the situation. On my Facebook timeline, I have watched as friends have posted memorial messages and photos from the funerals. Most have been so very respectful, as is expected.
But, among my friends, a few have started to publish very harsh posts aimed at gun owners. We’re being equated with the perpetrator or we’re being patronized as they implore us to “turn in your guns” as if we were all gang members waiting to go on a rampage. I stayed quiet for as long as I could, but I finally decided that being quiet simply was not something I could continue to do. I did reply to one friend’s questioning of why the NRA has no fund for victims of gun violence with a short, simple response.
Then came “S”. She is one of my friends from town. Every day she has posted heartfelt posts about the shooting. They have been constant however the tone has now changed substantially. I couldn’t sit by any more and so I added a comment. I’m no expert on any one subject. For better or for worse, here’s the convo. I am C, she is S, her husband is Ste. The others are just some of her friends. I’ve hidden the names to protect the…whatever. Continue reading
Just a quick post. Like many Americans today, I am still dealing with the news out of Aurora, Colorado. I am beyond saddened for the innocents who were killed or injured by a very sick, evil individual via a firearm and a lot of ammunition that he, evidently, began stockpiling some time ago.
First, let me point out that I know this whole “Bucket List” concept is now part of the lexicon thanks to a 2007 Rob Reiner work that I enjoyed but refuse to watch anymore because I always end up a blubbering mess at the end. Having confirmed long ago that I am allergic to my own tears, and not enjoying the sensation of my eyes swelling shut or having to breathe through my mouth for an hour, I have forgone the viewing of this movie permanently. However, I do recommend it if you have not seen it, you enjoy a tear-jerking “dramedy” (comedy-drama) and you can tolerate your own bodily fluids better than I.
Once again, I am confused. This does occur periodically and I find it highly frustrating, but it does make good fodder for a blog post, so I’ll appreciate it for the silver lining it offers and just go with it.
Let me first point out the impetus for this diatribe, which is this article about a judge ordering a school district (and a band director, mind you) to apologize to an agnostic family about some words both misspoken and posted online. The comments involved parties to a complaint by the agnostic family regarding prayers at a high school commencement ceremony, primarily. I’m not familiar with the case and there seems to be more to it than that. But that’s not where I’m headed with this.
I read today that Joe Bodolai took his own life. Here’s one of the stories.
I was not familiar with Joe, though I’ve probably experienced his work through his writing on SNL and “The Kids in the Hall”.
But I decided to read his last blog post, which every article about him seems to be referencing. I guess I’m drawn to those types of things, but I also thought that maybe I’d get some incite into why someone would end their life.
So I read it. All of it. It’s a long post. And it made me so very sad. It’s easy to Sunday morning quarterback and box up a person neatly into this or that category. Especially if we don’t know them. But what is the sum of a life? Truly, he wrote this not from a bright and shiny place in his life. He may have already planned his end. Or did his rumination lead him to make a tragic, spur of the moment decision? We will never know.
Here is the link to his blog. Give it a read. Rest in peace, Joe. Give the angels something to laugh about.
In 1983, we lost my cousin Donna to cancer. She fought it for two years, valiantly, until she lost her battle while at Sloan Kettering in the city. They did all they could for her and my family still has a deep appreciation for all their efforts.
Donna and I were the same age and she was the apple of everyone’s eye. We all knew she was the favorite in the family, but for some reason we were ok with it, even before she became ill. In my eyes she was perfect, though I’m sure she was only human, like the rest of us.
Mom and Donna
To say it was a major blow to our family when she passed would be the understatement of the century. I had been away at college during most of her battle, and had come home only months before the end. My sorrow has always been tinged with guilt for not being there for her.
Then there’s Elton John. He doesn’t know about this connection, of course, and I’ve been trying for the last 18 years to figure this out. But here’s what happened. A few days after Donna’s funeral, as I was driving down the road, Elton John’s song “Rocket Man” came on the radio.
I burst into tears, and almost drove right off the road.