|Not taken that night, but this is the general idea.|
There were two sets of DVD's recording moments revolving around The Event. One set is more personal, with healing vibes sent out into the community by people who live and work and shop in the Safeway shopping center. The coming together, the refusal to relinquish their store to awful memories, the healing they took from announcing their resolve as a group - it's a tearfest and a gigantic smile all at the same time.
And then there is the second set of DVD's, more than a dozen of them, precisely labeled and delivered in chronological order. Remember those three days of my life which passed while leaving no memory in their wake? They are there, on these round disks, filling in the gaps and rounding out the edges.
My family was in the ICU for 48 hours straight. There was no newspaper reading nor television viewing. There were loving eyes on my en-tubed carcass every hour of every day. No one had any idea of the magnitude of The Event outside our own private little horror. When TBG agreed to speak to the media he imagined a reporter from our local paper and her notepad and pencil. Instead, he walked into the Kiewit Auditorium and the world's press corps.
Trust me, denizens. Had he known that he'd be talking to all of you that morning he wouldn't have had his sunglasses balanced on his head. But he had no idea.
One of my hiking buddies is a techie-genius, or so it seems to me. He captured the local ABC and NBC affiliates' broadcasts and presented us with "The Days of Our Lives - How We Ended Up in the Middle of it All."
That's our name for them, not his. We'd seen the CNN B-roll footage over and over again, but we'd never heard the pain and horror in the voices of the reporters, we'd never listened to the 911 calls nor tried to find my feet in the shots of patients being loaded into helicopters or carried across the parking lot. Every once in a while we have to hit pause and look at one another in astonishment. This really happened to us. To us. Us.
We were anonymous and now we are not. We've cried in public, in front of 21 million people at a time (or so says Dateline), and we felt better after it was done. From different perspectives our questioners asked us to look at the circumstances anew. We learned and found answers as we were surrounded by love. And the love grew and grew.
Our favorite part of the retrospective is watching the memorial outside UMC. Reporters were stationed on the grassy lawn in the center of the hospital's circular main driveway. It offered the perfect backdrop for their stand-ups. From a dozen candles in glass and a bouquet or two on Saturday afternoon, it soon covered the eastern edge of the green. By Sunday it began to divide into a pathway or two. On Monday there were mariachis and violinists and choirs.
The love just kept on growing.
Most of the time, now, January 8th isn't in the forefront of my mind. Most of the time, as Billy Collins says better than I could, life goes on
But sometimes it helps to remember, to relive it, to feel it. Now there are a few less holes in our story.As Usual
After we have parted, the boatswill continue to leave the harbor at dawn.The salmon will struggle up to the pools,one month following the other on the wall.
The magnolia will flower,and the bee, the noble bee-I saw one earlier on my walk-will shoulder his way into the bud.
from horoscopes for the dead by Billy Collins, United States Poet Laureate, 2001-2003.