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.