MS and Tragedy: Connecticut School Shooting and Katrina

This has got to be the saddest day in our country, with the exception maybe of 9/11. Today is the worst mass school shooting in our history. How can I write about anything on such a dark day? I turn the radio off, get my notebook and drive to my favorite Cafe’. As soon as I walk in, who catches my eye but Stitches the Clown? I try to walk by with pleasantries, “You look GREAT, I bet you’re gonna make somebody really happy” I say. Stitches response is, “Why not you?” I am stumped, speechless. He comes right over and slaps a smiley sticker on my sweater and gives me a hug. What’s a good clown without a bag of goodies? I get a little bitty notebook, a pencil and a super cool star shaped eraser. As I’m saying “Thank you,” up walks his wife, Band-Aid. I can’t leave now, I’d LOVE to take their picture for my Blog. They’ve turned my day around already.B.N5

Band-Aid tells me that Stitches has been married three times. Thinking I have a great joke I say, “What happened Stitches, you couldn’t hold ‘em together?” (Laughter should be here) Stitches says, “No, my second wife died from Cancer”. That was THE END of my career as a Clown. Band-Aid says, “MY husband died of an aneurysm.” Stitches finishes with a smile, “Went QUICK…no suffering!”

Band-Aid tells me, without a smile, “Ya know Stitches had Cancer two years ago. Actually he still does, the doctors say it’s amazing how low his numbers have dropped. It’s Leukemia.”
Just as I think of leaving, the place is flooded with kids! Really, really happy kids. One little girl runs up and hugs another just because they’re so happy to see each other. You would never know they went to the same school and were in the same class. I overhear one little girl say with glee, “I’m soooo hyper”. This must be the same as “happy” in my day. I say to one of the girls “Is your mom here and will you please take me to her?” I tell the mom that I have MS as I hold my cane up a little. I explain that I am writing for my blog about MS and I like to keep it happy and uplifting, but after today’s shooting in Connecticut …I start crying (can you believe it!) somewhere around happy and uplifting! I tell her that I’d love to take a picture of the girls for my post today because they are so happy and full of life. She quickly rounds up the other parents for permission and VOILA ! I have my picture.
This is GREAT. I feel like I work for the newspaper again, I start looking around for “that” picture. You know the one that capture’s all things. But I don’t work for the newspaper anymore and my MS soon reminds me. I sit down, still I am happy.

When I learn of tragedy now, it must be filtered.
The news cannot be watched.
I get the number of dead, city and state, from my husband. Was it a Congress Woman or a teenager? Was it in a theater or an elementary school?
NPR is not my friend.

Katrina hit with a vengeance,
I watched CNN for days, my husband tried to pull me away, but couldn’t.
I saw a body float down the street.
I saw a man push his dead mother in a wheelchair.
There were people on rooftops screaming for help.
I was looking for my brother.

When new tragedy strikes, the feeling in my stomach is exactly the same; the hole in my heart just gets bigger. My MS is always an issue; the stress is too dangerous of a risk. I turn CNN off, and I am happy to meet Dr. Band-Aid and Dr. Stitches.

"The last time I saw my brother one month before Hurricane Katrina"

“The last time I saw my brother one month before Hurricane Katrina”

Tell Me What You Think:
Have you or a loved one been affected by a natural disaster?
If you could only save one thing when your home burned down (hypothetically speaking), what would it be and why?

Model credit to my happy little helpers:Emily, Maddie, Allison, and Carly.



Filed under MS and Tragedy

4 responses to “MS and Tragedy: Connecticut School Shooting and Katrina

  1. Patrick

    Nice post Estizer. Is your brother OK?


  2. Yes, you are one of Mr. Rodgers “helpers” those who rush in and find a way to help others in tragedy–Always. Never underestimate the story of Band-Aid and Stitches.


  3. Thanks Patrick. I don’t know about my brother. I haven’t seen or heard anything from him since the day we took this photo.


  4. Paula,I hope there’s always a Band-aide and Stitches to help ME get through. What am I thinking? That would be YOU:)


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