Skip to main content

Year Three, Day 15: May Love Prevail

I am very sad today. NOT depressed. Inexplicably sad.

Yesterday three men were stabbed. Two died. One was hospitalized. They were coming to the aid of two Muslim girls who were being verbally assaulted.

I was shocked to hear it happened on the Max train near the Hollywood Transit Center.  One of my regular transfer points.  It was hard to imagine such violence taking place there. On my precious Max train.  People often look weary on the train.  Usually keep to themselves, looking at their cell phones.  Sometimes you hear a few animated discussions. But they are usually happy teens, or young adults.  Once in awhile a screaming toddler.

But racial slurs, hate speech, and threats?

I was glued to the internet all day as the story unfolded.  So tragic. One of the young men who died was only 23 years old. One year younger than my son. I could imagine my son or his friends jumping to help just like he did.  It could have been one of them. Then I heard the second man that died was a father of four, an Army veteran and a city of Portland employee.

I was struck by the senselessness. And the proximity.  I could have been on that train, my friends, family and students could have been on that train.  But I was also struck by the heroism of these men that came to the rescue of these young women. One wearing a hijab.  Verbally assaulted because of her religion.

It came out in the news that the perpetrator was known to the Portland Police as a white supremacist. They said he was mentally ill. Had suffered a head injury. Somewhere I read that they did not consider him dangerous.

After I taught piano all day, I had planned to go to dinner and blog. And then maybe hit the gym.  Luckily, I did wake up early and walk/run 1/2 mile at the track before breakfast with the fam.

I gave in to comfort food cravings and went to Burgerville. I needed some serious comfort.  A cheeseburger (on a gluten free bun at least!), fries and a strawberry shake made a dent in my sadness. 

After dinner, I reached in my backpack for my yarn and needles. I knit a few rows on my grandbaby-to-be's blanket. With each stitch, I prayed for the victims of the attack on the train, the two men that died, the one man in the hospital, the two girls, and I prayed for the murderer. Then I prayed for the friends and families. Then I prayed for our whole city, state, country and world.  I knit another row praying for all my family members and friends.

I felt a bit better.  And man, Burgerville makes some tasty food!

I put away my knitting and pulled out my cell phone. Unfortunately, with all my internet viewing, my battery was down to only 7% charge. And Burgerville's outlets did not work. But I went on Facebook anway. Earlier, I had read about a vigil that would be taking place at the Hollywood Transit Center. Suddenly, I knew I needed to attend. I had just the amount of time and I was close to a Max station.

I posted a message on Facebook that I was heading down to the vigil. One of my friends from the church I work at messaged me and said she was coming with her husband!

I was a little nervous, excited and sad all at the same time.  I don't usually attend events with a lot of people.  Introverts like me fear crowds.

But this was a good cause.  Uniting for peace.  Coming together to show that we, as Portlanders protect our own and everyone else! We are a very diverse city. And whenever I've seen someone needing help, I see Portlanders come to the rescue.  I am proud of my city.

And my arms broke out in goosebumps when the Max pulled into the Hollywood Transit Center. Hundreds of people were flowing towards the field. Hundreds were gathered already. A little shrine was created along the fence, with flowers, candles and notes.  The police presence was strong.  I hurried down to the crowd. Unfortunately, when I was there, they did not have a sound system. I could not hear the speakers.  However, at one point, the people in the center starting to chant, "Not in our city!"

It was very hot.  Tri-Met bus drivers arrived with cases of bottled water for the crowd.  People of all color, size, age, shape and form were there.  A group of Muslim women in their hijabs proudly walked by.  People with children, dogs, many pastors with the clerical collars, people with all colors of hair, tattoos, piercing. All gathered together in solidarity.

It was beautiful. My heart ached. So did my back. I had my big piano teacher backpack on.  I knew I needed to leave soon. I wanted to sit somewhere  dark and cry. Alone.

I was planning on going to the gym. Maybe just to sit in the hot tub.

My friend from church arrived. I can't believe she found me amongst all those people! Nice to know I'm not invisible, even at my age.  We chatted and hugged.  We walked over to one of the tables that popped up. There were some beautiful signs being sold.

I told her I needed to leave soon. I was starting to get panicky. Crowds do that to me. I am proud of myself for lasting that long.

I made my way back to the Max. More people had added flowers and noted to the shrine.  The Max pulled up. I got on board and sank down into the nice, cool air conditioned seat. I put my sunglasses on and had a good cry.

I can't say anymore.  I have no more words.

But I will talk to you tomorrow.

God bless you all.  May good prevail...

Good night.




Popular posts from this blog

Year Four, Day 31: Sleep Business

I did it! I survived my sleep study.
It was quite intense. I think my expectations were a bit skewed. I was envisioning more like a mini retreat.  
It was all business. Sleep business.
And the minute the lights went out and the door shut behind the sleep technician as she whispered, "good night", I went into full panic mode.
Luckily I was really tired.  She had asked if I wanted to watch a bit of television before I fell asleep. But I declined. I knew to take advantage of the heavy lidded, dull brained feeling I had when I was really sleepy. Television might wake up my brain.
As she was attaching my electrodes, I watched a show on Animal Planet called "Lone Star Law", about Texas game wardens. I was hooked!  It was fascinating. I rarely watch tv, and we don't have cable at home, thankfully.  But this show drew me in. In retrospect, I should have continued to watch it until I fell asleep.
Something about being hooked up, tucked in, lights off, door closing, fel…

Year Four, Day 41: The ER

This morning about 4 a.m. I woke up with severe stabbing pains in my jaw.  My whole head, face and neck felt like someone had it in a vice. And was turning the lever.

I had already taken a dose of Thera-Flu before bed. Since Wednesday morning is my time with Gracie, I wanted to make sure I was well rested.  I didn't want to be groggy on Gracie duty.
But with the pain I was experiencing, I was questioning how effective I would be at all. 
I was wide awake, holding my jaw as everything throbbed.  I made a decision to take another dose of Thera-Flu.  The package said I could take one dose every 4 hours.  
So I boiled some water and sat hunched over the kitchen table.  I poured the hot water over the powder. As I waited for it to cool, I put my face close to the cup. The hot steam gave my poor face a bit of relief. 
I was wondering if I had a sinus infection. My throat was sore and raw.  I was congested. Had a bit of a cough. The jaw pain was troubling. Last week when my allergies we…

Year Three, Day 308, 309 and 310: I'm Back...

...from the brink of death.

Most dramatic am I.  But I feel like I went to hell and back this weekend.

One mistake was to take over the counter medication (Tylenol, Thera-Flu and Ibuprofen) and drink massive caffeine in order to make it through teaching classes on Friday.

I felt really good until early evening. Then it felt like my head was going to explode. My cough returned with a vengeance, dragging along massive sneezing and nose dripping.

Then like a big dummy I downed another mug of Thera-Flu before bed. I didn't even consider cancelling Saturday breakfast with my mom. And definitely could not afford to cancel anymore piano lessons.

Oy, I felt miserable Saturday morning. But I managed to get up and stagger down the road to the bus stop just in time. I was halfway to our regular restaurant before I remembered it was St. Patrick's Day. I looked down at my outfit. Not a speck of my favorite color green. So, before I joined my mom, I stopped at Rite Aid in search of a little…