Everybody’s going to be blogging about the Virginia Tech murders today, and I hate to be another person in a sea of voices talking about the same thing. But if something else was bigger news in my life right this second, I’d blog about that instead.
Whenever some real tragedy occurs, I have trouble processing it because I’m so accustomed to seeing fake tragedies in the movies and on TV. It took days to convince myself that what I was seeing on TV back in 2001 was real. It seemed like too much of a catastrophe of Hollywood proportions to be real. This is an event of smaller scale, but still a cause for a temporary slow-down of my processing facilities. It seems so picturesquely awful that I can’t fathom it being anything other than a very realistic horror flick.
There’s already a media maelstrom going on, hysteria in the air, and fingers being pointed. But at the end of the day I couldn’t shake how weird it was that I had to IM my sister on a Monday morning just to see whether or not she was able to avoid the hail of gunfire emanating from a gun-wielding madman on her campus. It’s just something I didn’t think I’d have to worry about. Even then, when we thought the death toll was only 1 person, we joked casually about crazed murderers being exactly the reason why you should never skip breakfast — because you get locked down in your classroom for a couple of hours and by the time you get out, breakfast is way over. You never know what can happen, so you better eat breakfast. A true statement, but now rendered extraneous.
And being thankful that my sweet, adorable sister wasn’t gunned down on her way to English class is a strange feeling…it’s something I never thought I’d have to be thankful for. You end up focusing on the most bizarre things…like what I would say about my sister if she hadn’t made it. “She was seriously the nicest, most friendly person you’d ever meet.” Yeah, that’s what everyone says about their dead little sisters. Except with mine, it’s true. She really has the sweetest temperment ever known. How do you bring that across in some tear-filled interview? How could you make strangers understand and value her relentlessly bubbly personality? How can they know the absolute optimism and pluck she exudes when dealing with her biggest of traumas? It’s all relative. We lionize people as soon as they are gone. Everybody thinks their sister is the biggest asset to the human race that ever lived. Except with me, I’m telling you…it’s true! It’s true.