I almost titled this "In Which We Are Sad, So Very, Very Sad." I haven't written because I'm at a loss for what to say after last weekend. I, and most of Tucson, are still numb. We're all thinking "This could have happened to me. And how could this have happened to us?"
You see, Tucson is the biggest small town you will ever meet. We all know each other, or know someone who knows the other, works with the other, went to school with the other, dated the others sister...
Don't believe me? I am not involved in politics and am out of the whole school-based web, but here's how tangentially connected I am to this horrible event.
Gabby Giffords lived around the corner from me while she was in our state legislature and her first year in Congress.
T's friend T used to go running with Gabby's father. Their mutual friend T (a third T) is reportedly the one who finally tracked Gabby's sister down.
Gabby's office is half a mile from my house. The Democratic office is two blocks from my house.
The Bishop listed my parish as one of the two parishes the judge belonged to.
Pupgirl and I volunteer at the hospital at which the murdered aide's fiancee works.
My church is directly across the street from UMC.
I drove past that shopping center for nine months working on the park project. This is a nice part of town, middle class, in a quickly growing part of Tucson. It's not a dangerous part of town. It's not a hotbed for anything but dry cleaners and doctors offices.
I cannot fathom why this happened. How one can think this kind of action is an appropriate behavior at any time. How one cannot be appalled at what happened. How one can do no soul searching after things like this happen. I understand the hermit impulse now, to hide away from society.
I'm so worried and scared about leaving Pupgirl alone when I have to go out in the field for 2 weeks in a week or so,and leave her alone for 10 hours. So worried and scared that Monday I started having palpitations. Me, a Victorian-era middle aged spinster with the vapors. Me, who did a half-marathon exactly one month ago. This is all not helping. There was someone out shooting where I was working in the field on Dec. 1 when Pupgirl had her pneumothorax. I half-joked about being scared to find a bush to use. It's not a joke.
I don't like fear at all.