life in and around NYC is insane

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Orlando redux

It's been a very tough week in Orange County, Florida.

The huge headlines, of course, belong to the mass shooting at Pulse.  We are shocked, angry, horrified, mournful. 

The news of the mass shooting in a nightclub almost made me forget about the previous night's events.  A singer named Christina Grimmie, a rising star with a huge following on YouTube, who'd been a moderately successful contestant on the TV show "The Voice", was shot and killed by a deranged fan while signing autographs after her show. 

The theater where Grimmie was killed is about 2 miles away from Pulse.

And then last night, more horrifying news. 

A family of five -- father, mother and three young children -- on vacation at Disneyworld.  They're at the Grand Floridian Hotel, hanging out on the beach during outdoor movie night.  Father and two year old son go down to the water's edge.  The sign says "no swimming", but they're not swimming, they're wading in water that's less than a foot deep.

The boy's splashing attracts attention.  The wrong kind of attention.  The boy is attacked by an alligator and dragged away.

I can easily put myself in the shoes of those parents.  How many times, when Jen and Becca were little, did we go to Disney? How many times, when we stayed at the Polynesian -- right next door to the Grand Floridian -- did I let them play on the beach?    The thought that an alligator might be lurking in those waters never occurred to me. 

I cannot imagine the horror those parents witnessed last night.  I cannot imagine the grief, anger, self blame they must be feeling. 

It's a scary world.  Hug your children.

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