Tragedies and Gun Rights. A Conversation.

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

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When The Laughter Stops – RIP Joe Bodolai

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.

Why, Rocket Man?

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.

Continue reading

Carpe Diem

My mother-in-law passed away just over a year ago, and my father-in-law is just beginning to show signs of emerging from a most understandable funk. I’m more than glad for him. I think he and I have had more meaningful conversations now than in the entire previous twenty years we have known each other.  Not quite the phoenix rising, but more like a bird pecking his way out of a shell. And I’m happy for him.

So it was most unfortunate when he lost just about everything in a river storm surge during the part of Hurricane Irene that hit us here in New York. This included his car. Surprisingly, he took it all in stride.

The conversation between his children then had to turn to finding him a home AND a new car (and some clothes and shoes as well). Sent out on his own one day, he put a deposit on a BMW, sight unseen, and with no haggling whatsoever. One daughter put the kabosh on that.

And so back and forth they went. He told them a number of times how he’s always wanted a Mercedes Benz or a BMW. His daughters, being logical, smart young women who care deeply for their father, discussed the merits of an Acura over a Lexus. Something sensible. His son, my husband, vacillated between his father’s dream and sensibility.

A phone call from sister to brother, she calling from the back of a New York City taxi cab to discuss the same topic, may have made the decision a little easier.

Continue reading

Turn the page….

This past Saturday was the first time I’ve ever heard my father weep.  Having already been told by my brother that my uncle Matti had died that day, I called my father in South Carolina. His machine answered and I left a message, wondering where he might have gone to having just heard the news. When he called me back I realized he hadn’t gone anywhere. He was bereft, could hardly speak through tears I knew were falling, but that I would never have expected. And I was, unusually, at a loss for words.

My father and I have not been close for many, many years. I never felt like “daddy’s little girl”, so much so that I didn’t even allow that song to played for our dance at my wedding. I have no recollection of what was played and it’ s certainly of no importance this far down the line. He and I have come to a good place in our relationship, beneficiaries of both time and tide and the beginnings of the role reversal that inevitably takes place between parent and child. Continue reading

When good lads go bad

This British mum thinks her lovely lad of a son is not wholly to blame for his tearing up a shop with a golf club during the recent London riots.  She says there’s “fuck-all” for the kiddies to do, and it’s the government’s fault. Ah, the wages of the nanny state.

This is what you get after generations of convincing the populace that the government is going to do everything for them (i.e. socialism). There’s nothing for a 12 year old to do in London, is there? At all? Well, bugger that mum. Just keep this in mind. Next time he might not survive his anti-government antics. He got his morals from somewhere. Hmm, wonder where there might be.

Cheerios. 🙂