am resurfacing after a long gap and wanted to start on a pleasant note, but try as I might, I couldn’t bring myself to write on anything fun. No, not getting morbid, but without addressing the date above I felt I could not move beyond it.
Most of us would remember the day as the Vtech tragedy. A few blog pals wrote asking if I was okay. Just the fact that I lived in US was good enough for a few, and then some more as I am from the very state that things went terribly wrong. So as I answered emails and made calls that Tuesday – as I only came to know of the whole story late afternoon [more on why I was so out of touch later] – I realized more and more on how close this whole event really was.
The kids who were involved were from Westfield High. I live within a mile of the school. My kids love the summer basketball program the school offers. It’s next door to the gym we frequent, and is across the bowling place we have most of our winter celebrations. The Sully Station shooting last May took place on one end of this beautiful tree lined avenue – Stonecroft Boulevard. Despite the chaos and traffic around the area, this particular avenue was a peaceful soothing drive. Suddenly this has become the focus of attention, and this has now become a scene of frequent police cars and yellow tape with bunches of white flowers under trees, banners mourning the names of those missed, and those loved. It took me a few weeks before I could drive down that road last year.
The very first funeral was last week, and the roads were lined with strangers and kids alike – the only emotion being sadness. A forlorn sense of losing someone they knew just by association and especially more so as they were young adults. Losing a person is painful in its own right, but the younger the person, it just seems so much more ironical.
More associations came within days – my daughter’s art teacher shared her backyard with Cho’s parents. [I can’t believe there’s a wiki entry, but here I am using it anyway] – she told the 6th graders that the parents were whisked away by the Korean embassy once the identity was established and that she felt sorry for them. I feel sorry for them. Everyone around here does. There’s no anger and there’s no feelings of rage, just a deep sadness for the situation everyone was thrust into. A friend [Korean-American] blamed her community in her distress and went on to express a guilt and empathy on behalf of her church and community. She too knew the parents from church.
Everyone I met and knew someone who had children at VT all had just this thing to say – “this is so sad, all those lives, what a waste”. I wore orange and brown to work, and was glad that I wasn’t the only one. My son wore his redskin jersey, and my daughter managed to find a bright orange sash to go with maroon sweats. The school bus stops were dotted with orange and maroon, and Hokie flags were on almost every car/van – people would wave across traffic stops, and sidewalks in respect and consolation that Friday.
Tomorrow I make a formal petition for the bowl to be moved further down the hall where the skinnies reside. They could very well use some.
There’s much more to say and so much more to reminisce, hopefully I’d be able to make some time as the days go by.