I have to go to work

Whenever my telephone rings early in the morning, my heart races and I grow nervous.  That started on a January morning in 1996 when I was called home from school when my father had his heart attack and died.  So, I knew something was wrong when my mother’s number popped up on my phone this morning.  My aunt Patricia died.  Her body finally gave out.  After seeing her the last few months, it is a blessing.  She wasted away to a fraction of the women she was over time and now she can finally rest.

Her death reminds of me something I learned on the day of my father’s funeral.  The world keeps spinning no matter what the tragedy that has befallen you.  Driving home from the funeral that day, I saw people going into a Hardee’s a few miles from the church.  They were living their lives going on their lunch breaks.

It made me think about that day in a couple of ways. One, I have to go to work later today.  I have to get the air conditioning fixed.  I have to get my car’s electrical system looked at.

The other way it made me think about that day is Moore, OK.  They are the next in line of extraordinary tragic events to have the nation’s and much of the world’s eyes turn towards it.  Every news organization in this country has descended upon Oklahoma and they are highlighting the tragic as well as the heroic during this extraordinary event even as life continues in the rest of the world.

However, there are ordinary tragedies every day that kill more people and devastate more homes then this astonishing tornado.  You only hear about these tragedies if your local news or even CNN Headline news does some kind of special report to scare you about something and drive ratings.  They’ll list a bunch of statistics about how many people died of pick-a-disease/accident last year and how you can prevent yourself or (even better for ratings) your children from succumbing to it.

I am not saying television news media should not cover something like a mile-wide tornado ravaging a city the way they are.  It is news and they need to be there.  They need to tell the stories of the tragedy and the heroism of everyday people.  However, on the days when something like this doesn’t happen, what are they discussing?

They aren’t talking about how every day over 2,630 spouses or boyfriends/girlfriends are victims of some type of violent incident at the hands of their significant other (from the Domestic Violence Resource Center).  That is the low estimate, by the way.  Instead they are arguing over the meaning in fractional shifts in politician’s approval numbers.  They don’t talk about how in 2000 almost 5 people a day were killed by an intimate partner (Domestic Violence Resource Center).

Maybe I am just tired and sad this morning.  I may be unduly harsh especially using statistics for something as horrid as domestic violence to make this point.  However, you didn’t hear my mother’s voice this morning and I still have to go to work.

Watch this.  It will make you feel better.  David Foster Wallace always makes me feel better.

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