I had a post all set to go to mark my 39th birthday. It was a wish list that included a mercifully swift end to the Dubya kakistocracy, the elimination of the Electoral College, more room in my closet for shoes, a wholly unnecessary reminder to myself to never take my wonderful boyfriend for granted … stuff like that.
But in the last few years, the days around April 18 have become a series of epically tragic anniversaries, most notably the Oklahoma City bombing and the Waco siege on April 19 and the Columbine massacre on April 20.
And now we can add the Virginia Tech shootings to the list. And as I sit here contemplating the outside world from my ivory tower of privilege, prosperity, health and almost obscene levels of happiness, my wish list seems pretty empty. Even the Dubya stuff.
I weep for the parents and brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and grandparents who are slowly coming to terms with the violent, bloody, terrifying deaths of the young students in whom they had invested so much love and pride and hope. I mourn along with the survivors of earlier tragedies who had to live their first horrifying moments of realization in a national spotlight and who now mourn alone and forgotten. And I hope, along with the nation and the world, that our culture of violence and anger and bloodshed soon evolves into one of respect and magnanimity and benevolence.
And that is my birthday wish.