Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gossip and Lasting Sacrifice

I absolutely loved my friend M.C.'s post last week, right here. If you're too lazy to click it and read (although you should, she's a great writer), I'll tell you what I got out of it: 1. Benjamin Franklin, if you read his autobiography, was a completely brilliant, stuck-up #$$, and 2. more importantly, there is a great deal of value in being real while simultaneously being positive. Don't wait til something awesome and news-worthy happens to write a blog, basically.

I'd been thinking about the idea of being real and forthright right before M.C. published her eloquent thoughts. Someone called to my attention the fact that I put a lot of my idealism, my super-awesome museum/art blather up here, with very little.... gossip, for lack of a better word, about myself, to balance it out. :) Do you concur?

So I thought of a bunch of stuff to write and confess on this blog to make up for that imbalance... but I don't want to overwhelm all 8 of you, so I'll start with this: I think I've been watching too much Glee.

Juicy, I know!

Haha. There are several wicked awesome real-life stories that that little revelation entails, for more info, see me (one of the perks of being my friend, not just my blog reader). But I would just like to point out that I really deserve a little Glee this week especially. It's Police Week, the week when they place the names of 194 men and women killed in the line of duty in 2009 on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial's walls. They bring in the grieving families and coworkers of the fallen officers to see their names. They treat them like royalty-- motorcade escorts, trained support counselors, camps for the children, etc-- in an attempt to help them through the monstrous task of mourning and learning to live again (cheesy as that sounds... you'd understand if you were here). This week, 20,000 people will pass by the memorial to lay flowers, mementos, pictures, sometimes guitars, toe shoes, car doors, and coffee cups-- any and everything-- at the wall, in memory of their friend or loved one. Often times they just stand and stare, or cry. Or laugh (my favorite).

This week my job has been to talk to the families at the wall, make sure they have paper so they can do a rubbing of their loved ones' name, give them tape to stick their little mementos on the wall, hand them tissues, and just listen. It's been three days, and I already feel like I have attended one hundred funerals. Here at the wall, I have been brought nearly to tears at least 6 times already as I contemplate the ultimate sacrifices that these people, who are often very simple, humble, and funny, are ready to make. They really and truly accept and live amazing principles like valor and sacrifice. And they're so nonchalant about it. I randomly hear stuff like this all the time, "Well, in my third shoot-out, I realized this was a suicide-by-cop scenario, so I let down my gun and got behind the car..." and the more I speak to the police officers, the more I realize that they are just about the last people on earth who take seriously the cause of protecting people. They are some of the last and greatest people I know of. They stand and stare down what can only be classified as pure evil on a daily basis.

I've heard horrific things in three days' times (three to go). I've seen the numbness on the faces of those who are here for the first time, here for one tragic, horrible reason: a spouse, a father, a work partner, has been shot/stabbed/crashed their car while responding to an emergency call, etc. Their emotions are written all over their face, their powerful grief and love and ideals hang in the air around the memorial. Bagpipes go off, big women sing Amazing Grace, brass bands play, and flag guards and solemn processions abound.

I think they deserve a lot of Glee. After work yesterday I went to Zumba to shake it off, then I visited my very favorite pregnant friend, to laugh and remind myself of the flip side of life, all that is good and positive, all the things that my new friends at the wall so valiantly serve and protect.

Yep. I watch a little too much Glee. It, along with cookies and flowers and long showers and kind friends who let me sleep on their floor and late nights of laughter, make my life. Thank heavens!!!

"In valor there is hope."

"The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion."
Proverbs 28:1

Ps I'm taking my camera with me to the wall today. You'll see pics of this awesome place soon.
Pps I realize that my supposedly juicy post turned into another idealistic one, but I don't care. That's WHO I AM! (One of Glee's most favorite things to tout: Being who you are. Got it.)
Ppps Update: Day four was a little more family reunion, a little less tragedy, yay. I got assigned to the jewelry counter at the retail store (someone must have noted my face after my shift yesterday :). Christensens, you'd be so proud. I must have sold well over $4,000 worth of goods today. Not bad when the average price of my inventory is around $40!
Pppps. Rest in Peace, handsome Detective Ridley, age 23, from the Bronx. Your mother is so proud of you. She told me all about your last act.


Lauren Kay said...

I like you. I like that you're yourself. And I would be an absolute basket-case if I listened to all those sad stories. That's hard. You watch all the Glee you want!

M.C. Sommers said...

I don't know how I could handle that. And I love your posts. Just do your thing! :)

Raunee said...

I read your friend's post, and I thought it was great! I felt a little better about myself. I also love glee! I can't wait for the pics! Have a wonderful week!

MOM said...

So glad for the amazing week you've had. Can't wait to see the pictures. Love you, MOM