Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Really Tragic

Is it possible for the news to have taken a turn for the worse? I didn’t think we could ever get beyond Imus and Anna Nicole, Those were terribly boring news items but not tragic. As a parent, I am sick about the loss of al those children in such a horrible, senseless way. Not that the loss of children is ever sensible. The Virginia Tech story is certainly tragic but the media questions are, in a different way equally tragic—because they are so stupid. “Why didn’t you shut down the campus after the first shooting?” Why? Because they were ill equipped to understand the magnitude of what was about to happen. Their judgment was based on academic intuition. What academic institution would have the ability, except maybe NYU, where weirdo’s are always on the campus (because the streets of NY are the campus) to shut down 26,000 acres. I’m not making excuses but the campus police thought it was an isolated incident and who could ever imagine what would ensue. It’s a campus for God’s Sake – a hundred buildings, 20,000 students. It’s not like a snow day when you physically can’t get to school—what do you do? Do the police close down all the entrances and not let anyone in? They thought it was an isolated incident in a small town at a large school. They were wrong about that, but how do you shut down a place where people live? And how do you secure a place like that. I don’t think it’ possible. But I do think it is possible to ask smarter more important questions, that accrue information rather than try to skewer the Va. Tech police force. Now what happens? They install magnetometers and dynaflors in every building. If someone is nuts and wants to kill people, they will not adhere to security measures. So what do you do to secure a campus. Probably, the kids are the best bet, because they know who belongs and who doesn’t and more importantly, their ability to communicate far surpasses any official campus system. Other than the very moving stills, all the media chatter or rather clutter only diminishes the loss of these children and the pain their parents are suffering.

Here’s more bad news, (Oh when will it stop), my mother’s house is flooded. Obviously this is not like loosing 30 children. So put it in perspective. The storms in New Jersey left us with about an inch of water in the ‘rec’ room. Do they still call it a rec room or is it now the media center? The workout room? I can’t keep up. After all I am a grandma. But there is a ray of sunshine—the good news. She’s not living there so we don’t care what happens to the carpet in the basement. (I guess the term basement is still operable.)

We have had a very busy few weeks. Most of this we talked about but not everyone in our audience reads everyday—and some simply can’t remember (even David has started to repeat himself in blobs). First I finished the rewrite of our new book “So You Think You Can Be President? Just Pass This Test”. Then there were preparations for Passover. Then our Gefilte Fish Chronicles was broadcast on WNET in NY. Orders started to come in and David decided to become a fulfillment house (don’t ask). Then David shot video for my new company (early breast cancer detection related and soon to be announced) and we needed to get it edited and going. We ran out of cookbooks and had to reorder—fulfillment was on hold. My brother Jeff (Google: Jeff Groman) flew in from Seattle – he’s also a documentary producer and bicycle business owner. We did the IKEA hit, and bought furniture for mom’s new diggs. David and Jeff assembled everything. Jeff left, his wife Els arrived to help me set up the apartment. We hung pictures and made it a real home. Meantime on the oldest child scene, Joyce was having some contractions and her due date was nearing. Seth was on alert. On the youngest child front, Jordan is getting ready for her show and then broke up with her Beaux. No shortage of drama in our lives. Then we moved Mom into Victoria Mews. Els was fabulous. She has the kind of patience we all yearn for and years ago she had nurses training, so she actually knows what she’s doing. I had to go back to Va. for a day because I had several doctors appointments. We then returned to N.J. to relieve Els and make sure mom was happy. She is. The apartment is terrific, she’s making friends and even one woman, who yells at mom because mom is sitting in her seat at meals, (mom is first sitting, woman is second and is always early) is described as “but she’s so nice”. OK, so we have been a bit frantic. Then Seth called to say Joyce was in the hospital but not for the baby—for a migraine and they weren’t sure if they would keep her or send her home. They sent her home and at 2:30am she went into labor and they went back to the hospital. Much to our delight she gave birth to Zachary Alexander at about 3:30 and all are doing fine. So then came the rains in NJ. When we saw the water in the basement we simply shook our heads, decided to ignore it because it doesn’t affect mom, and went to say goodbye to her at the Mews, took Els to the airport (in the wind and downpour but her flight was supposedly on time), and drove into NY for meetings. David left this morning to drive to a speech in Northampton, I am leaving early tomorrow by train, meeting him in Providence and then driving to Plymouth to see our divine grandchild. Whew!

And what is my point? If I have to have one it is this; we are grateful (and happily exhausted) for all our work and busy days, and we thank God that our children are healthy, happy and we think most importantly safe. An event like the one at Va. Tech just reinforces my feelings that life is so tenuous and brief, we need to forget the crap and try to give each moment special attention. We’re just sayin...


Walter Briggs said...

Reviewing some of my own past years, as in central america, I wonder how I got to 30..yeah, the tragedy at VT reminds us of the brief trip we have here. Hate to hear of your mom's home;seems there's NO place free of flooding anymore! Glad things are working out for her.

Anonymous said...

Iris, it is time for a ghost writer, and a weeks holidays.

David the American Photo pic of Arlington is beautiful.

Blue Skies guys...


Iris&David said...

m harding,
what are you trying to say? I get that not every piece is poetry, but I'm more concerned interested in where I get the voucher for the vacation -- and do I get parking and breakfast

Anonymous said...

I will look into the vouchers, there is probably something tucked away in the Hondas glove compartment. Can I suggest Arizona as it's a "Dry Heat"?

Breakfast I dont know about, but I would'nt leave the parking up to David.

I understand it is not poetry,as there is not enough "th"'s on the end of your words.

Never-the-less really really great reads. Keep them coming.


Anonymous said...

Parking w/ the breakfast may be easier if you can get one of those "Journalists Parking Only" signs to travel with you..Just a thought..