Friday, September 28, 2007

It's been a bit busy here. Life has marched on and that meant back to school night for Matthew (only two more to go in my career-- I think I've been to approximately forty between the four kids and their three different high schools, whew!). His English teacher didn't say anything about his essay, but she knew exactly who we were . . .



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I was realizing that I had failed to talk about two events that took place around Christmas in 2004. One was the bombing of the dining hall in Mosul on December 21st: 22 people total were killed (I think that does not include the suicide bomber). Matthew looked at the pictures of the destruction and said "Does that mean that even if Thomas had lived through November 11th, he might have died today?" How on earth does one answer a question like that? We went with the truth: yes, he might have died today instead, or he might not have. We will never know. The Strykernews forum had the busiest day in its history up to that day, a record that stood for I think over two years. I have since met the wife of one of the men killed in that bombing, a strong, strong lady.



The day after Christmas, the tsunami hit in the Indian Ocean and several hundred thousand people lost their lives. Again, Matthew looked at the television and listened to the story and said: "Are all of those peoples' families going through what we are going through?" Again, we said yes, though this time we noticed that in some cases the whole family was swept away and there was no one left to mourn. In this case, I found out a few months later that a former G Street colleague had lost her brother and his wife that day while they vacationed in Sri Lanka. In fact, she had come into the store looking a bit sad and I thought she must have heard about Thomas when she came up to me (which is a big problem with this whole thing: it's hard to remember that it really isn't all about our situation/us--other people have sorrows too). She was buying fabric for banners for her parish, I think, while she told us about her brother and sister-in-law and how their son and daughter had survived.

For a while there, it looked as if we would never get past 2004.

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2 Comments:

At September 29, 2007 at 5:10:00 AM PDT , Blogger Jason said...

Great post. So true that during tragedies we "go internal"... thinking about ourselves and our tragedy that has destroyed our little world.

I love how you can remember and talk about these details... A lot of people, myself included, would have done their best to forget them.

 
At September 29, 2007 at 4:33:00 PM PDT , Blogger Lee Ann said...

I've been trying to think about why I'm so well, obsessed is the wrong word, but determined might be right, to remember all of this. I've always enjoyed having mementos and souvenirs of my past, and I have been cultivating an interest in memorials for a very long time; I'm not an artist: this is the memorial I can build. Sometimes revisiting this is painful, but more often it's a comfort to recall the kindness of friends and strangers and also to remember that sometimes we were called upon to be kind in return.

And I love how Thomas's friends continue to remember him as well!

 

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