Although I realize that joys and tragedies happen every day, this past week felt like there were only tragedies. Among them were the shooting that killed three students at the University of Virginia, and in my local community, an 18-year-old senior in high school died tragically when his car was struck by a drunk driver.
These traumas reminded me of a StoryCorps episode earlier this year. StoryCorps’ purpose, according to its mission statement is to preserve and share humanity’s stories to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. In this episode, a mom, Tesia Williams, is interviewed by her daughter, Mikayla Stephens about where she was on September 11, 2001. Ms. Williams was a 23-year-old employee at the Pentagon on that day. When the plane struck the Pentagon, she left the building and found herself paralyzed with fear. She said that she just wanted to call her parents. She saw others rushing past her back into the Pentagon to rescue people, but she didn’t. The shame she felt haunted her for a long time.
Fast forward six years. Ms. Williams tells her daughter “I got the devastating news that your mom passed away after giving birth to your sister. And I thought, now’s my time. I have to step in.” Ms. Williams adopted both girls and she credits her 9/11 experience as the motivation for that adoption six years later. What was most meaningful to me about this story was the ending where she says, “falling – that’s inevitable. Focus on what you’re going to do to get back up and help others get up as well.”
These words have provided me some comfort during this period of tragedy and sadness.
Take care and stay safe.
The Missing Cryptoqueen
Dr. Ruja Ignatova persuaded millions to join her financial revolution. Then she disappeared. Why? Jamie Bartlett presents a story of greed, deceit, and herd madness. From 2019 but relevant given recent events.