Monday, April 20, 2009

Do you Remember?

You know how there are events that you remember forever? You remember where you were, what you were doing, how you felt?
Ask anyone born before 1955 what they were doing when President Kennedy was shot and they'll tell you where they were and how they felt.
I remember in 1980 when Mount St. Helens errupted. I was eating breakfast and watching a variety type show called "Kids are people Too." They interrupted the show and said it was happening. I don't recall any images shown at that time. I remember being scared, even though the mountain was a long ways away, it was still in the same state. Later our grass would be covered in ash.
I remember walking through the upstairs commons area of my Doherty High School Library in 1986 and seeing the space shuttle with the teacher on it blowing up. I remember feeling such sadness for her and the "real" astronauts. I remember thinking it was a joke, waiting for a punch line, like it was a Saturday night Live skit or a David Letterman stunt.
In 1997 when Princess Di died, my old chum Jo was visiting Robert and I in Austin. We were settling down to watch Saturday Night live when the news broke in about the accident. We were giggling and waiting for the joke, it wasn't a joke. For whatever reason her death astounded me. I thought of her young children and her legacy of community service
Jo and I both felt bad for laughing.
Most recently I remember where I was and what I was doing when the news showed Columbine ten years ago today. I was holding my six month old Quentin and David was playing nearby. We were visiting mom and dad in Austin. I was sitting on mom's pink chair and Quentin was nursing. I dont' remember what was on tv when they broke in. I just remember crying and holding the babies close. I couldn't then and still have trouble beleiving that children can be pushed so far and react with such violence. I thought at that moment I would never allow my children to go to school. I remember thinking how bizaare that the kids had cell phones- I did not even have a cell phone at that time- I'll never forget the "boy in the window." I remember thinking that this could never happen again, and yet it has. And it happens often enough that it becomes kind of second nature to us.
Is it horrifying anymore? Do we even remember the names of the other schools and the other perpetrators or victims? Virginia Tech comes to my mind, but nothing else.


Adrienne said...

That post just made me kind of sad. I have thought about those things and the "flash bulb" memories they create and never fade. It made me think of Oklahoma City too. I was a senior in High School and I was sitting at our counter when that story broke. It was tragic. All those babies and people dead. A couple of years later when I moved from Denver to Houston, my mom and I were able to stop there and see the memorial. There were still letters and stuffed animals and pictures strewn all over the chain link. Heartbreaking.

SweetmamaK said...

Apparently my memory escapes me- Quentin wasn't even born, so I was pregnant with him- I wouldn't have even been nursing David at the time, by April he was weened. I do know I was at my mom's house, I VIVIDLY remember sitting in her pink chair- but what baby was I holding???? I guess it was David, he would have been 6 months old, still young enough to snuggle with me. I was in Brazil during the Oklahoma City thing, and although I heard about it, I couldn't actually fathom the devastation because I didn't see it- kwim?

4Girls4Me said...

It's still horrifying. I remember that day perfectly. It felt really close to home since we were only an hour away. Madi was a brand-new baby and Ryann was about to turn 3. I did the same thing - held my babies close and swore never to send them to school. :(

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