12/3/14

Close to Home . . .

I posted, the other day, about the tragic (as I saw it) miscarriage of justice and I - perhaps in my own wanton naivety - said that I was grateful that the shooting of Michael Brown and the failure to prosecute Darren Wilson.

As is often the case . . . I was gently reminded that I was wrong.

While tragedies happen in every city in America every day, here are two things that have happened in Wichita that equally tragic to what happened near St. Louis.

The brutal assault, rape, burning, and murder of Letita "Tish" Davis. I won't post the details here (I try to keep the blog light and fluffy but the link will take you to details) and the shooting of veteran-Marine Icarus Randolph (an equally crushing incident of police shooting a man who was perceived to be a threat.

There is no "point" to this  post. I can't pretend to be soft enough to say something calm and reassuring or poignant. I don't understand guns. I don't like them. I DO understand the adrenaline that goes in to law enforcement when chaos starts and charging follows. I get it. I won't even pretend to be able to wrap my brain around the absolute absence of humanity that lead to the attack of Tish Davis (and, to be clear, I do NOT think these two incidents have any more in common than the loss of a life). That is something my brain is not - even with my cynical, dark nature - capable of processing.

I say the Hashkivenu (almost) every night before I go to sleep. My Hebrew is horrible but, for some reason, saying a prayer every night reminds me of when I was a kid and my parents would say prayers with us every night at bedtime. We would say an "Our Father" and a "Hail Mary" and then do this sort of laundry list of who's who "G-d bless mom, dad, my two brothers, my aunts, and uncles, and all my cousins and friends and Grandpa Amore and Grandpa Coyle who are home, in heaven, with you."

It seemed simple. It was. As was the presumption that just asking for a prayer and a watchful eye and some grace that nothing bad would happen to those I loved the most. Of course - 35 years from the days I probably first said those words - nothing bad (knock on wood) has happened to any of those people.

I'm blessed. Sure tragedy has happened much closer to home than St. Louis/Ferguson but it is still far enough removed that I can mourn loss, shake my head, and pretend to understand it while - quietly - being grateful it is not something any closer to home.