Monday, February 18, 2008

What a Long, Strange Trip

First, thank you to everyone who has posted comments wishing my mother a speedy recovery. She came through the surgery like a champ and is well on her way back to "normal" (whatever that is for anyone). As she said -- it was nice to have her nose straight again. :0) It was great spending time with her and I managed to take a ton of photos to share. I also may have, just may have mind you, done some retail therapy while there -- so I'll have some of that to share as well.

Honestly? Other than having a row of three seats to myself on the plane, my actual travels weren't all that strange. The strange part were the events at home that I missed. (Tink and Mr. Cornfields are fine) The first strange part happened while I was at Mom's -- on Valentine's Day I started getting wierd emails and text messages from friends -- all asking me if I were ok, if I'd heard the news? News? I was on my way back from picking up a late lunch at Sonic Burger -- what news? I mean really -- I live in the cornfields, what in the world can happen in the cornfields?

It turns out -- quite a bit. For those of you who have seen the news, you'll know there was another campus shooting on Valentine's Day at Northern Illinois University. So why all the calls to me? Because I am a part of the NIU community. That's my campus. It's part of my corner of the cornfields. I was lucky, I was nowhere near campus that day. I've been taking some time off from my studies this year, but if I hadn't -- I probably would have been in the thick of it. No, not in the hall where the shootings took place, but in one of the buildings nearby which houses my department and my former offices. When I heard what had happened and turned on the news I was stunned. I still am.

I've been involved with NIU in one way or another for over 20 years now, as a child of a faculty member, an undergraduate student, a staff member, a graduate student, and a graduate assistant/instructor. NIU in many ways has been a home to me. The town that houses it has been part of my home base. Both are good places. They have their faults, don't get me wrong, but it's the type of place where you can go to the local businesses and be greeted by name. Or the post office. It's the type of place where you see folks you've known since you were in Jr. High and they ask about your parents, and your children. And now, it's a little darker. And a little more scary. But ultimately, it's still a good place. It's a good place to learn; it's a good place to live. The actions of one person will not overshadow that.

My heart and thoughts go out to the families of those who lost their lives and to those who were injured. I didn't know any of those killed personally -- but their absence impacts the entire community. For those injured, I wish them a speedy recovery. For those of my friends and colleagues who are busy with trying to put their campus back together so that students can return, my thoughts are with you.

18 comments:

Sewstylish said...

I have chills when reading this. It puts life in such perspective it's scary. As a parent you now worry a little each day when sending your kids off to school because you just never know. Something like this can happen anywhere. Yes we live in a small community but that doesn't mean a thing. As my kids get older and with one entering middle school in the fall I pray that we never have to go thru anything like this. My heart goes out to all of those involved, and so glad to hear that everyone you know was safe from this tragedy.

Anonymous said...

I miss the news about your Mom so glad to read she's well.
And about that tragedy... once again I feel horrified that some people feel so bad or so sick to come to such extreme behaviors... my husband and I regret that some parents don't taugh hard enough wrong & right to their children. And that other have to pay, sometimes with their life, for this lack. Sorry it's only our opinion. We feel so sad & scared about our today's world and hopefully this will taught us to do better.

SierraMoon (sorry it seems I can't enter my url anymore -- i tried some days ago and it didn't save my comment)

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Pleased the trip was good, I recognized the college from the pencil you sent us, but knew you were safely away with your Mum-terrible thing. Tracey

Malagueta said...

I'm so glad you're safe and so sad others are not. It is an odd world, and the only way I know how to react is to live each day with as few regrets as possible. My town had a series of student murders over a decade ago that impacted by my college and the university; these resulted in us adding a full police force to our college, and then a few years ago after a domestic violence-related murder on one of our campuses, they put hidden "panic buttons" in several of our offices. (Of course, the button is nowhere near where I meet with disgruntled students and staff.) And, now we're adding sirens. There is incredible loss on multiple levels that results from these incidents--including the lingering fear that we all feel. So sad.

Greenmare said...

oh my goodness, so close to home for you. Think of all the good thoughts and prayors that are headed that way.

Red Geranium Cottage said...

I'm glad your home and your safe. Also good to hear that mom is doing well. It's very sad what happened to all those people.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

I knew you were visiting your mom, but I was still worried about all whom you cared for. It's a horrible event. horrible. Glad you're safe.

julieQ said...

We are so shocked and dismayed each time this happens. We believe that the vast network coverage contributes to the next one in some way. We also have a college aged son and are terrified too, but have to just go on. I am sorry you are so closely affected by this massacre.

Cheryl said...

We were on vacation when we heard about this and I am sad for the families as well as the entire community. Just don't understand why people do these kinds of things. Also glad to hear that your mom is doing so well.

Cheryl said...

We were on vacation when we heard about this and I am sad for the families as well as the entire community. Just don't understand why people do these kinds of things. Also glad to hear that your mom is doing so well.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY ABOUT THE NEWS ABOUT YOUR MOTHER.
I WOULD LIKE TO TELL YOU THAT MY SON IS A STUDENT AT NIU (SOPH). HE IS SKITTISH ABOUT RETURNING. I HAVE BEEN READING ABOUT THE GREAT AMOUNT OF COUNSELING AVAILABLE AND ALSO ENCOURAGED. HIS DORM IS NEPTUNE-SO YOU KNOW HOW CLOSE THAT IS TO COLE HALL. I AM ENCOURAGING HIM TO ATTEND COUNSELING THIS WEEK.
WELL, ON ANOTHER NOTE I AM DORIAN AND I DO NOT HAVE A BLOG YET. THAT LAST ONE I SENT WAS "PRETTY IN PINK" TO BEA IN GERMANY. I AM AT WORK AND MY E-MAIL ISdorianl@andersonshumaker.com

upstateLisa said...

Glad you are safe but sad to hear about this so close to home for you. Glad also to hear that you mom is recovering. Take good care of yourself and your loved ones!

BTW, I just got the Book of Yarn on interlibrary loan after you recommended it. Looks interesting.

Felicia said...

I didn't even think about the possibility that it might be your campus. Its a terrifying thing and those of us in the higher education community try to imagine what it is like and how we would handle it if it happened to us. I'm so glad you weren't there.

andsewitis Holly said...

Catching up with what's going on in your cornfields cuz it's been a while since I checked in. Sorry about your mom's nose adjustment but I'm happy to hear she's well on the mend.

Your 4 Seasons quilt is adorable. I love the embroidery you did on it. I can commiserate with you on the bleeding. That has happened to me on pre-washed fabric even. I used the clorox bleach stick and it took the red out pretty well. I know the recipient will love your quilt.

Keep the book reviews coming. I like to know other's opinions before purchasing books.

Had to chuckle on the spell check situation as blogger won't let me use it either. Glad to know it isn't just me :)

Glad you weren't anywhere near the shootings.

Sue in western Washington, USA said...

I was also horrified when I heard about this tragedy. I didn't realize that it was so close to *your* cornfields though. Whew! Glad you and yours are okay. What a world we live in.

So pleased things went well for your mother. Let's hope for a quiet spell now: no more emergencies, illnesses, or anything else negative!

Quilting Journey said...

It's amazing just how small our world becomes when tragedy hits close to home. We are all so grateful that you and yours are fine and that those terrible, terrible shootings as awful as they were, did not involve more killings. Know that the thoughts and prayers of a nation go out to your 'cornfields' right now.

Em said...

It is so sad what happened at NIU... I'm glad you weren't there. I'm also glad to hear your Mom is doing well - and I can't wait to see what 'retail therapy' you did!!!

Nan said...

I am so very happy your mom is doing well. I was visiting the kids when the shooting happened, and since we watch mainly cartoons there, I didn't hear or see anything about it until I came home. It makes me heartsick to think that this sort of thing seems to happen way too often lately. It has got to be chilling for you since you are so familiar with the school and the area. My heart goes out to all who are affected by this tragedy, and I will selfishly say I am sooooo glad you weren't on campus that day!