Advertisements

100 Minus 1 Day

It’s been a very depressing couple of days. I’ve got some personal shit going on that I don’t want to elaborate on, so in Amy-land, it’s been kind of Eeyore-in-the-swamp gloomy.

One can’t complain. I have my friends. Someone spoke to me only yesterday.

But then a couple of things happened this week that just made me wonder if something’s in the air, or what exactly’s happening, and also made me want to tell all my people how much I love them. So hey, all my people. I love you. I’ll reiterate that again later. In case you missed it now. 

First, the shooting in Colorado Friday morning. I’m sure unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (and if you have been, can I come under, too? I’ll bring desserts) you heard about this. The exact details haven’t been released, but apparently, an armed gunman entered a theater playing a midnight show of The Dark Knight Rises wearing a gas mask, dropped a smoke bomb of some sort, maybe tear gas, and then started shooting. As of the time I’m writing this, 12 people are dead and 59 are wounded. They expect the death count to rise as some of the wounded are in critical condition. 

The shooter was a 24-year-old with a neuroscience degree who was working on his Ph.D. It’s early yet; no motives for the shooting have been reported. I would have to assume some sort of mental illness. There are rumors he was calling himself “The Joker” to the police. If it’s a revenge killing, I don’t think you shoot up an entire movie theater. I think you handle that one-on-one. Right? He also informed the police who took him into custody immediately following the shooting his apartment was booby-trapped and when they arrived, they found the entire place wired, whether for explosives or not, who knows. It’ll take days for them to sort that all out.

Everyone’s talking about this; gun control, or anti-gun-control (as if someone would have brought a gun with them to the theater, I guess, on the off-chance they could have killed him before he killed anyone else?), or stricter gun-control laws. There’s a lot of talk.  

I’ve mentioned how I feel about guns before. I still feel that they shouldn’t be outlawed; there are a lot of people out there who are responsible with them. But as my lovely friend Elizabeth mentioned on her blog, the more these things happen, the more it plants that doubt in your mind. What can we do to stop these things? Can we do anything? Would stricter gun control laws stop this, or would people who were hell-bent on murdering rooms or schools or buildings full of people just find more and more and more creative ways to do so? Because listen, if there’s one thing we, as the human race, are good at? It’s finding creative ways to kill each other. We’re never at a loss for that. I hate to be all Bumper-Sticker Jingoism Girl, but the old “When Guns Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Guns” thing scares me a little bit, you know? Because pot’s not legal, but people have it. Hell, assault rifles aren’t legal here in New York State, but people have them, you know? If people want something, they’re going to find a way to get their hands on it. I don’t know what the answer is. I really don’t. I don’t know that anyone does. If they did, wouldn’t they have done it by now? 

I just keep thinking about the people. The victims, who went to a midnight showing of a movie. Midnight moviegoers are a different breed. They’re usually really excited to be there; they’re big fans of the franchise, they’ve waited in line, they’re all amped up and ready to stay up late and watch a good movie. Suddenly, what seemed like a good time became a nightmare. At least twelve of them didn’t walk away from that. From going to a movie. Their loved ones are never going to talk to them again. Whatever they could have done in their lives – that’s done. Because some lunatic with guns decided to play executioner. 

I also always think about the shooters in situations like this. I know it’s really easy to vilify someone who does something like this. And believe me, I don’t have a lot of love for someone who hurts another person. I don’t even like people who emotionally abuse others, you know? So I’m not by any means taking this kid’s side. But I have to wonder what was going through his head. He had to be not well. And as a person who takes mental illness pretty seriously, that upsets me. It’s not something to take lightly. This is someone who obviously needed help, and I’m sad he didn’t get the help he needed at some point. Yes, I know. It’s early. He could, I suppose, be a terrorist, or have been out to get his ex-girlfriend who happened to be at that show, or something. But it’s an odds-on favorite that for some reason, his brain was misfiring and he got it into his head that it would help, somehow, to murder a lot of people in a very short period of time in a very gruesome manner. And that makes me sad for him. Because he’ll eventually get treatment, now that he’s in custody, unless he gets the death penalty if that happens there, I suppose, and he’ll be living with the knowledge that he cut these people’s lives short while not in his right mind for the rest of his life. As I said: not sticking up for him. I just feel empathy for everyone involved, and that includes the shooter. 

Right before I heard about the shooting, there was another situation, and that one hit a little closer to home.  

My aunt and her best friend have been best friends for about forty years. They do everything together. I don’t think I’ve ever met the woman, or if I did, I don’t remember it (I haven’t lived where my parents do in almost twenty years) but by all reports, she was fantastic. She taught Special Ed; she was funny and lively and had a good sense of humor and loved her family and friends. 

On Wednesday, my aunt was going to visit my great-aunt in Pennsylvania. Her best friend was supposed to go with her. At the last minute, something came up and she had to back out. My aunt invited my dad instead, so he tagged along. (Side note, for no reason other than to inject a little levity: on Wednesday night he called me from a bar, where they were having dinner. “Amy! Guess where I am?” he asked. I said I didn’t know. “The Tilted Kilt! It’s the SCOTTISH HOOTERS! It’s a nice family place, only with KILTS!” Sigh. Boys and boobies. They really never outgrow those, do they?) 

Very family-friendly establishment. Very non-boobs-in-your-facey. Want extra wing sauce with that? (YES, that’s a euphemism.)

On Thursday, up near where my parents live, there was a paving job going on. The Department of Transportation was stopping traffic and traffic was backed up. An eighteen-wheeler, for one reason or another, didn’t stop in time and rammed at full-speed into the line of stopped cars. The only people who survived were a DOT worker and the driver of the 18-wheeler, and the DOT worker isn’t expected to last. 

In one of the cars was my aunt’s best friend, her daughter-in-law, and her two young grandchildren. 

My dad was with my aunt when she found out, and was able to drive her home so she didn’t have to drive herself. Because she was kind of incapable. Her world had just come to a stop from a phone call she’d gotten from her husband, telling her that her best friend for forty years was no longer there. 

Forty years. You’re best friends with someone for forty years, and then they’re just gone, just like that. In an accident when they weren’t even really supposed to be there in the first place – they were, until the last possible minute, supposed to be with you. My mom said my aunt hasn’t gone a day for forty years where she hasn’t spoken to this woman. And she’s just gone? I don’t know. How do you move on from that?

I can’t fully wrap my mind around this. I don’t know if I want to, to be honest. I keep trying to put myself in my aunt’s situation, how I’d feel if I got the call out of the blue that one of you (I’m not going to pick just one, because that seems like courting disaster; I told you the other day, I’m very superstitious about things like this) was dead, with no warning, with no chance for me to say goodbye. I can’t. I don’t want to imagine that. I can’t do that. I was telling someone about this today and I seriously burst into tears. I’m apparently quite emotional at the moment. Please forgive the waterworks, random person who got cried on. 

I got some shit goin’ on, yo. Let me be emo for a little bit.

It’s hard enough when someone dies slowly, but someone dying quickly like that, and randomly like that, whether in a car accident, or in a movie theater – well, there’s a lot of pain going around this week. A lot of heartbreak. 

So, I promised I would reiterate. And I am, and I will. Hey, my loved ones, be you blood relatives or those who I’ve chosen as my nearest and dearest and (oh, thank you for this) who have chosen me right back: I love you. I can’t promise, because violence and death can be random, to be able to say goodbye to you, but I’m telling you today, because I want you to just know it, ok? I love you so much. Thank you for being the most amazing support group a person could ever have. I don’t want to ever lose you – so please live forever, or at least until a day after I die, thanks so much – but if I have to, someday, please go knowing that I love you and I appreciate you and my life would not be the same without you in it, and by that, I mean, it would not be a place I’d want to be, and there would be a void, a lack, and that would be the lack of you, and that’s a really big lack. 

Tell your people you love them and if you’re in their vicinity, give them a hug today, ok? You never know when they’re going to be gone. I know. It’s morbid. Sometimes I’m dark and twisty Amy, it’s a thing that happens. Sorry.  

Let’s have a week filled with rainbows and kittens to balance out the garbage of last week, ok? I think we all deserve that. Who do I talk to about that?  

Next week! All kittens! All rainbows! ALL THE TIME!

(Title’s a Winnie the Pooh quote: “If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.” Which is sappy, but yeah, also kind of true. Sappy things can be true, too. Like trees! Trees are totally sappy. But they totally exist and are therefore true. Did I just blow your mind? Thought so. My work here is done.)

Sappy treeeeeees!

Advertisements

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

35 responses to “100 Minus 1 Day

  • sj

    Love you right back. <3

    Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Shit. I hate death. I really feel for you aunt; it must be utterly horrible. I can’t even imagine. Well I guess I can imagine, but I don’t want to. My fiancée lost her father a few years back and that left her completely devastated. She still misses him terribly; they were very close.

    All this death-business didn’t use to bother me so much when I was younger, but it’s different now. It’s like I’ve invested more into living, with my family and friends, and if something were to happen now it would just be completely horrific. It sort of feels like building a complex house of cards on a trampoline – I just can’t end well.

    I’m trying not to think about this too often, as it makes it difficult to breathe. Thank goodness for denial.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Yes, it does get harder as we age, doesn’t it? I think it’s yes, that we’re more invested, but also maybe that we’re sensing our own mortality more, a little? And we’re more empathetic, maybe?

      I’m sorry about your fiancée’s dad. That’s tough. That’s one that I’m in denial about. I’ve already told my dad he’s not allowed to die, ever. He tells me he’ll do his best, but he’s not making any promises.

      Like

      • Andreas Heinakroon

        I certainly am more empathic nowadays, but I’m not sure I like it much. It makes life more painful.

        And I guess I’m more aware of my own mortality, if only for the fact that it would kill me (no pun intended) to not be around when my daughter grows up. I’d feel so cheated; I can’t wait to see what kind of amazing woman she will turn into. If I were to die today, she probably wouldn’t even remember me, as she’s so young. That makes me sad – everyone should be allowed to get to know their own parents.

        But luckily I’m not allowed to die; Fiancée says I have to live longer than her, or else. So, just like your dad, I’ll do my best.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          Completely agreed! Maybe it would be easier to be a sociopath and not care about anyone? Nah, I guess not. Damn.

          I know what you mean. I want to see how The Nephew turns out. He’s already so amazing that I can only imagine what kind of brilliant life he’s got ahead of him, and I want to be here to see it and share some of it with him.

          And I’m with your fiancée – you need to stick around. Do your best, indeed. I’d be bereft without you.

          Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    “Someone spoke to me only yesterday” made me smile though. I do love Eeyore.

    Like

  • becomingcliche

    In case I have not ever told you, I am happy to have stumbled across your blog. It adds some light to the dark days.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Aw, thank you so much! I promise much more joy and light and many more laughs over the next few days. I already have the posts scheduled. They are not dark. Promise. They are fun. Whew!

      Like

  • Cara V. (@fictionalchick)

    as my best friend says (and whoever she heard it from)… tomorrow is never promised… so love everyone today. I try to keep with this especially since lately all I seem to do is get REALLY irritated at people. I struggle with the positive (you know this haha) but in light of such awful things… I’m reminded that living in fear, and depression is what those wack jobs want. They can go ahead and win a battle- but like fucking hell they will win the war.

    Focus on the good stuff, beautiful. It’s hard at times but you do such a great job at pushing ME to cheer up that I feel awful when you feel bad. I’m horrible at cheering people up haha <3

    My heart goes out to your aunt and everyone who lost that family. Deeply tragic and so senseless.

    Love you!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Love you! Thanks, it’s been a terrible week and I’ve been…just kind of meh. These things were just added badness. Next week has to be better (if for no other reason than it’s the week before I go on vacation.)

      Like

  • Michael Kennedy

    Thanks so much for this post. I work with people every day who are reeling from the death or catastrophic injury of a loved one in a senseless car crash (I’m a victim advocate with Mothers Against Drunk Driving). I wish there was a perfect answer to “how do you move on from that?” but, of course, there isn’t. Maybe the best answer is that you move on imperfectly – sometimes with grace and other times flailing and raging against fate. It’s a terrible thing not to have the chance to say goodbye to someone you love – and I admire you for having the heart to share your appreciation now, while the people in your life can hear it. I read about this crash, and the shootings in Colorado, this week and could imagine the devastation the families and friends are feeling. All those affected, and particularly your aunt, are in my thoughts.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you, Michael. It was a tough week for everyone, seems like. I’m hoping that next week brings some peace for everyone. We could all use a nice, calm, relaxed week. One with a lot more laughs that this past week would be nice, I think.

      Like

  • Heather

    I love you, too, Amy. <3

    Like

  • Mer

    Love you!

    The intensity of late, which has been above-and-beyond “regular” intensity, has been so difficult to witness/experience. Besides focusing on what is really important – friends, family, love – I have found two things to be helpful this week. 1. A doucumenatry that I caught on streaming, “John Lennon:Love Is All You Need.” http://www.amazon.com/John-Lennon-Love-All-Need/dp/B004O2B0HC
    And, 2., though you know I have never been a church-goer, I love the Catholic-lite of “Peace be with you.”
    Please, peace be will all of us…

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Love you!

      Oh, I’ll have to find that Lennon documentary. That sounds like something I could use right now.

      And yes. We could all use a little peace right now, all around. Everyone. I wish that for everyone.

      Like

  • Elizabeth

    I have tears. Hugs and love to you.

    Like

  • Jericha Senyak (@JerichaSenyak)

    It’s been a hard week. I’m glad you’re out there in the universe, Amy. Love you, and sending my heart towards you and yours. Death leaves such a huge hole. I’ve always been afraid of not getting to tell everyone I loved them. Thank you for reminding me.

    And thank you, thank you for writing with sensitivity, compassion, and grace about the shooting. I wish there were more voices like yours out there in the ether, but I’m all the more grateful for yours because of it.

    Like

  • Jericha Senyak (@JerichaSenyak)

    …also, I found this for you. Basically how I feel.

    Like

  • doesmybumlookbiginthis

    Aww i’m so sorry for your auntie’s friends and the victims of the Denver shooting. It’s awful that an accident can take away so many lives in a heartbeat, and it’s cruel that someone could purposely shoot people.

    I agree, mental illness is most likely the reason, although i have a feeling he might be a psychopath, one of those people who don’t feel anything. (Jon Ronson – the psychopath test, best book ever) I feel awful for your grieving Auntie, i can’t imagine losing someone i’ve known for 40 years, especially as i’m not even 40, but you know what i mean.

    I would like to tell you that i really care about you, Amy, and you better not die either, ok? I hope you feel a bit happier soon, but death really does affect us deeply even though we might not personally know someone who has died. It’s so sad, so i hope you feel better, but don’t feel silly for feeling bad, ok? :) xx

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you! Don’t worry. I’m planning on being around for a good long time. You’re awesome, too. You stick around too, ok? My life would be sadder without you in it. :)

      Like

  • mylifeisthebestlife

    Hmmm…today seems to be full of people telling each other that they love each other. I’m guilty, too. Our Universal consciousness must be all mushy and full of the sense of urgency to let all our people know how loved they are. That’s nice, but sad.

    Like

  • Kris Rudin (@krisrudin)

    Oh, Amy, how sad for your aunt!! As you know, I lost my BFF just over a year ago, very suddenly (heart attack), and I still miss her so much it’s crazy! We had been friends for almost 50 years (yes – I’m OLD!). So, I know how your aunt feels, and my heart goes out to her!!

    Peace. Peace. Peace.

    Like

  • lgalaviz

    Dear Amy: Thank you for the rainbow and kitten week. I am going to cherish it always. Hope life untangles for you very soon.

    Like

  • Nerija S.

    I’m so sorry, Amy. I don’t know what else to say, but I’m so sorry this is all happening.

    Like

%d bloggers like this: