Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Our Tucson

Saturday morning we were playing basketball at our church building. Half a mile away we had no idea what was about to happen. On my drive to the church I thought about my near and distant future. I had to go find some camping gear. I needed to return a Christmas present. Whatever happened, I had to make sure to listen to Car Talk. Next week, I had to make sure to fill out some forms for medical school. I kept wavering between thoughts of seeing True Grit or Tron with Anna. And I had to finish preparing my lesson for Priesthood.

I drove away from the church happy with my game on the court. As I turned on Ina and Oracle, I saw two cop cars speed by, followed by an ambulance. It wasn't until I got home to my computer that I read about the tragedy. In about 2.5 seconds, my life's issues distilled down to the basic elements of fear, survival, and concern for family and friends. My previous focus on material and entertainment issues simply evaporated. It wasn't a conscience choice, it just happened. At the end of the day, and for the rest of many people's lives, it simply is going to be a focus on healing and finding meaning in tragedy. Today I am still struggling with interchanging thoughts of hatred and sorrow for the killer. But he did something that brings me happiness. He has brought out the best of Tucson. I've been witness to a united community that I haven't seen or been a part of since 9/11. It's humbling. I love learning from those who deal with tragedy so nobly. And everyone who was struck has acted nobly. Even the killer's parents, I believe, responded in a way that helped me learn more about the beauty of humanity.

Everyone has shown future victims of tragedy that life can go on with your head humbly held high in the fight against evil. I love Tucson. A melting pot of so many cultures and backgrounds, the people are lively and happy. Here I've learned it not only takes a family but takes a village to create the community where good happens. And as it so happens, I've learned Tucson has true grit.


Martha said...

Wow! I didn't know you guys were that close. I'm glad you weren't grocery shopping that morning. (Hooray for church basketball!)

NanaH said...

Well said.

C-|-W said...

I can't add anything to this post, but the last words made me think: Have you seen True Grit? It's awesome.

Carrie said...

Well put, Spencer. We've been thinking a lot about you guys and your fellow Tucson-dwellers. Ditto to Martha--I'm so glad you were playing basketball, not grocery shopping! That's scary that you were so close.