Before I heard about the magnitude of the Oklahoma tornado, I tweeted:
Hamburgers on the back patio this evening; life is good.
— Dana Pico (@Dana_TFSJ) May 21, 2013
Obviously, you see a tweet like that when there is such a terrible tragedy unfolding, and you have to wonder about it. But, for me, life is good. We’re not broke, we both have good jobs, and my sisters, whom I have not seen for several years, are coming to visit this weekend. The tragedy in Oklahoma is something I see on my television screen; the tragedy in Oklahoma happened to other people.
Now, we could become “other people” at any time; you just never know when something like that will happen to you. The bombing at the Boston Marathon was an act of terrorism, but for the people killed and injured, it is a tragedy in the same sense as the Oklahoma tornado: for someone who lost a leg in Boston, there is no real difference between having been injured by terrorists than having been injured by nature.
It wasn’t too long after we moved to Virginia in the mid-1980s that there was a local news story: a woman, minding her own business, driving home from work on Oceana Boulevard in Virginia Beach was alive one second and dead the next, when an A-6 from Oceana Naval Air Station had a problem on take-off, and fell right on top of her car. It was a tragedy, completely unexpected, a bolt out of the blue, and it could have happened just as easily to someone else, including to me, as it did to the woman who was killed.
We all have sympathy for the people who lost their loved ones, who lost their homes, who lost their livelihoods, and somehow, we all know, that it could have been us. For me, and for the vast majority of Americans, life is just as good now as it was before the tornado struck. That’s a heck of a difference when you think about it.