It seems inconceivable to me to say that I can recite the names of three different people who were shot to death.
The logical side of me says I should pause and think about it, to do my best to confirm that there aren’t more names to add to the list.
That is because I want to be accurate, I want to be factual and I want to be correct.
Except the thing is I really want to be wrong. I want to say that it is a mistake, a misprint or a misunderstanding. I want to say that it is all part of a dream.
I want to say they are all still here and so are the friends and relatives who died far too early. Those who left because they rolled snake eyes and came up with some terminal illness or had the misfortune of being hit by drunk drivers.
But I can’t say any of those things because they are all gone, some for far too long a time already and some far too recent.
I Don’t Look For Explanations
Part of me demands answers to the questions that have none. Part of me wants to run through the “what ifs and could have beens” but there is a different part that won’t do that.
I promised David that I wouldn’t do it, looked him in the eye and said I would accept his explanation of “shit happens” and let things go.
Made that promise when we were about 26 or maybe 27 when neither of us understood how freaking young we were and how little we knew.
Made that promise before I became a parent and gained a deeper understanding of life and earned a parent’s joy and fear of just how tenuous our grip on life can be.
Which is my way of saying I’d tell David that I still reserve the right to change my mind about holding that particular line.
But chances are I’ll hold it, but only because it seems to me that the better course of action is not to ask why some things happened but to look into ways to try and influence things so that history doesn’t repeat for others.
That seems like a reasonable compromise to me.the better course of action is not to ask why some things happened but to look into ways to try and influence thingsClick To Tweet
There are moments where my life feels like it is being lived in the place between science and fiction. I expect that is a universal feeling, can’t be just me.
A few hours ago I sat in shul and chanted Unetaneh Tokef and thought about the year to come, never expecting that I’d hear news like I did today.
How many will pass and how many will be created?
Who will live and who will die?
Who in their time, and who not their time?
Who by fire and who by water?
Who by sword and who by beast?
Who by hunger and who by thirst?
Who by earthquake and who by drowning?
Who by strangling and who by stoning?
Who will rest and who will wander?
Who will be safe and who will be torn?
Who will be calm and who will be tormented?
Who will become poor and who will get rich?
Who will be made humble and who will be raised up?
But teshuvah and tefillah and tzedakah (return and prayer and righteous acts)
deflect the evil of the decree.
Life really can turn on a dime. Let’s hope this is the year we see things turn in a direction that benefits us all.