Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Was She Only Here for a Visit?

Someone with standing on the issue thinks that she may well have been a short, brief, gift from God.  Bringing joy to a tragic morning, leaving on another sunny day nine years later, was her life meant to be circumscribed by those events?

Was she so full of life because her time was to be so short?  In a crowd of one hundred children, she was the one you noticed.  I've said it so often that I have to stop and remind myself that it is more than a catch phrase.  It's true. There was a lot packed into the body and soul and heart and mind that made up Christina-Taylor Green.  One might almost say it was a full life, condensed, too much to be held in so it burst from her eyes and her arms and enveloped you in the wonder that was her life.

These are hard concepts for me.  I turned my back on formal religion early and definitively. My relationship with a higher being is a private one, one that does not need external rituals.  There's something out there.  I just don't know what it is.

An itinerant pastor, a Cornellian, came to visit me soon after I was shot.  She encouraged me to ask God the questions I was asking her. In the shower the next morning, I cried and wondered why this had happened to us. I felt better afterwards.

It was probably just the tears themselves, a necessary release of the flood that refused to be absorbed and demanded to be set free, although I suppose the framework in which they were set might have had something to do with it.  I've never been quite sure; I've examined that morning every once in a while for the last two years.

There are somethings that are just too big for me to grab onto.  My brain explodes when I attempt to consider what's outside the universe; infinity is too much for me.  Getting shot feels just like that.  It's completely real, yet I don't remember much about it at all.  I was laughing and then I was bleeding and I couldn't bring my girlfriend's daughter home, as I had promised. I had bullet holes in my body. Some one tried to kill me.

I had no framework, no experience, no guideposts.  I was lucky to have trained therapists who helped me heal.  That's the kind of loop that could dominate my life; in fact, some version of it is on in the back of my head, volume down to soft mute, pretty much all the time.  Behavioral techniques and recognizing the triggers that set me off and learning to soothe myself are effective and helpful ways to deal with it. They don't touch on that head-splitting question: What does it all mean?

I would go to the Academy and inquire of Aristotle.  I'd leave offerings at Delphi.  I'll sit up late at night and hash it out with friends and philosophers and kings and I'll still be unable to grasp it.  I need more than the facts.  I need it to have a purpose, to be more than a random event that left us bereft.  So, I'm going to try this on for a while.  I'll keep you posted.


  1. I like how you put it about Christina-Taylor bursting with life because her time was short. I don't think you or anyone else can grasp that day. It was so horrific and didn't have to happen. I TRY not to be angry, but it's really hard to not feel that way. Christina-Taylor was a shining star and to think of what she could have become. It blows my mind to even think about that. She was an extraordinary child. Even as adults, we aspire to be more like her. Loving, giving and so compassionate towards others.

    Your take on religion is exactly how I feel about it. I'm not into organized religion, but I do feel there is a higher power out there.

    I too want all of this to mean something. Six lives lost and it seems our country has moved on. For some of us, it's still very fresh in our minds and hearts. I made a promise to myself when this happened that I would do everything within my power to keep our children safe. I'm trying.

    Sending very big hugs your way.

    Megan xxx

    1. The aftermath has meaning, that's for sure, Megan. It connected me to others, gave me (and others) purpose. So glad you are out there to listen to me wonder.


Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!