Today is Monday, and it’s the second day of summer. From where I sit, summer is already going to be over too soon.
It’s actually Sunday evening as I write this. The family and I are freshly back from a cousins reunion in my hometown, and the dog is freshly back, as well as freshly bathed and manicured, from his overnight at the spa.
The trip was good, but short. It was good to spend yesterday afternoon with my cousins and siblings, or cousins and cousin/step-siblings if you know my family history. But we were all reminded that we’re not getting any younger. We remembered warmly our grandparents, our parents, and our aunts and uncles. All that remain of my parents’ generation are my mom and stepdad.
We don’t see each other very often any more. It was a few years back when we realized that our only gatherings were at funerals that we started trying to get together in the hometown once a year. It’s a good thing.
While our visits aren’t nearly frequent enough we’re able to pick up conversations with shared memories and shared values. It’s home. It’s comfortable. We share that common bond.
I had this experience while the rest of the country continues to mourn and to rage over the events in Charleston last week. I’ve watched the news. I’ve read the debates online.
I just deleted half of this article because it was going places I didn’t want it to go.
It’s one of those times when I cannot eloquently, or even clumsily, say the right thing.
There are many theories and reasons as to why things like this happen. I don’t try to sort that out here.
Peggy Noonan wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
There’s only one thing Charleston doesn’t deserve. People apart from the trauma, far away, have already begun to bring their political agenda items to the tragedy and make sure they are debated. Because this is the right time for a political debate, right?
Here’s an idea: Why don’t you leave the grieving alone right now? Why don’t you not impose your agenda items on them? Why don’t you not force them to debate while they have tears in their throats?
Don’t politicize their pain. Don’t turn this into a debate on a flag or guns. Don’t use it to make your points and wave your finger from your high horse.
I can’t solve Charleston here. Nor can you.
So, let them grieve. Political debates can wait.
And I just deleted another paragraph, so I’ll take my own advice and leave things right here.