Posts Tagged ‘current-events’

People all over the world were writing messages on their hands. This one is a relative of mine. It was just striking.

March 16, 2013: 22-year-old Sunil Tripathi went missing.

I blogged about his disappearance on March 26th.

His name was splashed all over the media on April 19th. Falsely identified as one of the suspects in the Boston bombing.

April 23rd, 2013: His body was found in the Providence River.

His poor family. I cannot imagine their despair. Having a child missing. Feeling like you should know and feel where he is. He is yours.

I have a 21-year-old college student. My heart really, really hurts for them.

Did they have nightmares of him calling for them?

And then insult added to injury.

My oldest daughter told me that her friend, a Brown student, had texted her after hearing that Sunil was a possible bombing suspect. He was frightened and asked if he could stay at my Mom and Dad’s.

That didn’t end up happening since two new suspects were soon identified. But this irresponsible act of screaming and streaming false information through the media did cause panic in people. Brown University kids living on campus that might not have known him. And his family, while knowing Sunil’s nature, could not hazard a guess as to the nature of other people armed with this information. Scary stuff.

I understand that everyone wanted to put two and two together. Put an end to the Boston madness. I’m totally okay with that. But there needs to be some discretion. Fact checking is a need to do and not a nice to do. Google is not God. Let the investigators do the investigating.

There were distraught people in this equation. An already wounded family was the target.

Sunil’s desperate family. All they wanted was for him to come home. They knew he was depressed. They loved him and wanted to help. A special family. I am sure he knew how very fortunate he was to have them.

The only good thing (I thought at the time) that could come out of this was that Sunil’s name was in the media and maybe it would prompt more folks to look for him. And hopefully find him.

His illness was just that. An illness. No reflection on anything or anyone. We are complicated beings. Made up of amazingly intricate bits and pieces. Instead of being shocked when humans don’t work like they should I think we should be absolutely flabbergasted when things actually do work properly.

I am quite certain that Sunil knows the great lengths his loved ones went to find him. Everyone should have the blessing of such a family. Everyone should have someone looking for them. And everyone should be found.

Rest In Peace, Sunil. May the beautiful memories of you comfort your family now.

Note: The beautiful photo above is one of many messages from around the world meant to encourage and welcome Sunil home. This particular one was by a relative of mine. Mairead’s use of this color blue was striking and soothing at the same time.     

Old blog posting below about depression and reaching out for help.

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You all know how interested I am in genealogy. I love it. And not just my own. Anyone’s. I just find it fascinating.

One thing I came across, time and again, during my research, is the importance of having someone to claim you and having someone who always knows where you are in the world. It really stayed with me.

I realized it when searching the old World War II Draft Registration Cards. Down on the bottom left hand side of the form. In bold type: Name and Address of person who will always know your address.

Of course, this was probably so they could track you down if they needed you for service.

But it is usually also an indicator of the person closest to you. That person who will always know where you are.

And I realized it again while perusing an old letter (1927) written by my Granda’s aunt. It was sent to my grandfather, Patrick, his brother Peter and their cousin Jimmy who were all living in New York City at the time. The letter is about the death of their grandmother in Ireland. But Aunt May also added a few lines about a fellow heading to America that had no one there to claim him.

letter4 letter3

I also realized it very recently when following the story of a missing Brown University student, Sunil Tripathi, in the United States. He has people to claim him. They are desperate to find him. And doing everything they can to spread the message. He just disappeared into thin air. I don’t know anything else about him. Because that’s not important. It’s only important that his loved ones know where he is.

Everyone should have someone who will claim them. And everyone needs to have a person in their life that will always know where they are.

It’s important. It’s always been important.

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Here I am furiously typing on Christmas morning. Weird, right? I don’t post like in a month and here I am tapping away twice in one week.

And the reason is this. Many years ago on a brilliant Christmas day in the middle of laughter and Italian snail salad my father suddenly became ill and lost consciousness. We thought he was having a stroke. All of us scared out of our minds.

I remember thinking, “Is this how it happens? This sudden? A changing of life as we know it?”

Dad, thank God, was fine in the end and was released from the hospital the next day. We all are so grateful to still be celebrating Christmas with him.

But every Christmas it crosses my mind.

Yesterday’s paper details the story of two firefighters ambushed by a gunman in New York.

I am always in awe of those that help us and protect us. Can never see too many Facebook photos of firefighters, policemen or emergency personnel. I know some get a bad rap but there are too, too many great ones that never make the papers.

I live in Malaysia now. And I don’t take anything for granted. I do not have any degree of confidence that if I call 911 (or equivalent) to report a fire that someone will show up in a hurry. Or show up at all. I am not sure if I am in a crowd and need immediate assistance that a policeman /woman will be there by my side. I am not even entirely convinced that if I get pulled over by a policeman on the road that he wants to help me, point out an error of mine or if he just wants me to give him money. Don’t know if I collapse from illness that emergency workers will be there in minutes.

It’s just the way I feel. But here, in the U.S., I don’t have those same worries or concerns. I truly don’t. I know someone will be there for me.

Because on that sunny Christmas day so many years ago (and many other examples I can list off the top of my head) the fellas in my hometown showed up at my parents’ house in minutes. Minutes. One of them we even knew from our school days and the local parish.

I cannot convey to you the professionalism, kindness and comfort they provided to my family. They were the experts and they took control. We were glad to give them a wide berth.

And we were never, ever so relieved, happy and grateful to see anyone in our lives.

I mourn for those families that lost their firefighters yesterday. On what should have been a routine, typical day.

But I guess that is the thing that I admire most about them. They hear the call and they respond- never quite knowing exactly what awaits them. That is their routine and typical day. And yet, they go. Willingly.

Yesterday’s tragedy will prompt discussions on the state of this country, guns, violence, mental illness and many other topics.

Maybe the most important discussion should be about how much we need these people. How we appreciate them. How they should be paid accordingly, their needs protected and ensured job security.

We think our country is in a world of hurt right now? Maybe. But without these courageous policemen/women, emergency personnel, and firefighters our world will hurt so much more.

This posting is not just because family members, childhood friends, and old neighbors proudly hold these positions. It is for each and every person who has a job that requires the safekeeping and protection of others. Heeding the call.

Thank you. And thank you again. God bless you and keep you. We mourn with you always.

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Last night three people were shot and killed at a restaurant in Ohio. A man killed a woman and a girl. He was later shot and killed by police. Apparently a domestic dispute.

Also last night. A California Sheriff’s Deputy was shot and killed while serving an eviction notice in Modesto.

In New Hampshire, the police chief, with twenty six years on the force and due to retire in eight days, was shot and killed. Four other officers were injured. Possible drug bust gone bad.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, four different men and one woman were randomly gunned down -three of them died. Racially motivated.

Dallas, Texas. Fourteen year old intruder shot and killed by the fifty one year old homeowner. Protecting property with a firearm.

Florida. An unarmed seventeen year old is shot and killed while walking to a relative’s house. Vigilantism.

Oakland, California. Guman open fires on a college campus and kills five people. Reason unknown.

Down in Georgia. A nine year old shot by nineteen year old babysitter. Child might live. Unknown reason.

Up in Washington state. Nine year old charged with shooting and critically wounding his eight year old classmate at school. Parental negligence.

Out in Pittsburgh. A man kills one and wounds others at a clinic. Instability.

Los Angeles. Two international students shot and killed. Attempted carjacking.

Hmmm. Starting to see a theme here. When someone is shot then they will probably die. Seems to go hand in hand.

Also appears to be a U.S. thingy.

And seems to be happening with frightening frequency.

This is recent news. Nothing old about it.

People are shot and killed every single day in this country. Are we comfortably numb? No longer horrified? Until it hits really close to home?

How much closer does it have to be?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Guns don’t kill people, Mary! People kill people. Well, yes, that’s right and we are killing each other with a gun ho (I meant gung ho!) ferocity.

My thought is this. Just my thought. That without guns there would be a lot less dead people.

Isn’t it ironic how we get all up in arms (that pun just slipped out) about atrocities that are committed in other countries? That would never happen in our country.


Do we really want to be known as home of the free and land of the dead?

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I love Facebook because it allows me to view photos of relatives and friends. To keep up with everyone’s news. And also to exchange ideas.

But there are a lot of things I don’t love about it. And sometimes it is those exchanges of ideas.

Today, someone posted on a Facebook friend’s wall. About the media and how it doesn’t give white victims as much news time as they are giving Trayvon Martin. And that the media was portraying him as an innocent boy. And that he looked like a thug.


Just in case you aren’t aware of the case. It is about an unarmed seventeen year old black kid who was gunned down by a neighborhood volunteer patrol. Trayvon was walking to his relative’s home. He never made it because he died. The killer has not been charged due to a Florida law.

I felt I had to respond to the posting on the wall. Because I don’t care if he was suspended from school and smoked pot. Is that cause for a bullet to the body? Shoot, (pun intended) if we killed everyone that smoked pot my old neighborhood would have gaps for generations. College campuses across America would be empty. I’m not condoning pot. I am just saying it’s not relevant in this case. I really don’t care if he looked like a choirboy or a thug.

Typical victim smear campaign. You only get to be a victim if you are lily white (pun intended). Happens to rape victims all the time. Who’s perfect? Not me.

A boy is dead. Someone shot him and that person needs to be accountable. At least charged. This did not take place in anyone’s home. Or on someone’s property. It took place on a street.

But the shooter gets to walk freely. Alive and well. With a gun and an anger management problem.

Anyway, I soon figured out this Facebook interaction was going nowhere. So I had my say and finished with, “I’m done.”

Found out that he has a radio show about white power. A blog and a website. Disturbing. The only thing I can take solace in is that there are more of “us” than them.

These were his last two statements following mine.

why dont you ask yourself WHY the stereotypes exist…

C’mon let’s just stop avoiding the truth here. Thats how “they” are! 7X more likely to commit murder etc… Whether it’s nature, nurture, genetics, or society that is the way it is!

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Walking Freely

A young man, seventeen years of age, was shot and killed in Florida a couple of weeks ago. His name was Trayvon and he was black.

A twenty eight year old man was patrolling his gated neighborhood and thought Trayvon looked suspicious. So he called the police. The police told him not to pursue. He did anyway. And shot Trayvon.

Someone’s son.

That is the tragedy.

Trayvon who was visiting a relative in the neighborhood and was armed with nothing more than candy wrappers. And was scared of this grown man chasing after him.

But sadly, that is not the only tragedy in this story.

The man who murdered him in cold blood walks freely among us. Not charged. Not jailed. There is a law in Florida that protects him. A law that states you can stand your ground. In a nutshell- someone can meet force with force if they feel that it will prevent death or harm to themselves.

But what if you follow, chase and hunt down someone? Provoke and then shoot them? Not in your bedroom. But down the street in your neighborhood.

Well, apparently that law still protects you.

I’m not going to discuss guns. That’s a posting for another time. I’m not going to discuss the racism. That’s also a posting for another time.

Lots of people talk about how this country is going downhill and we are losing all of our rights. That can’t be true. Because we still have rights. The right to kill. And walk freely after doing so.

Walking freely was probably something that Trayvon, being young and black, never took for granted. He was scared. He was murdered. And he will never walk freely again.

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