On a familiar theme

Or actions have consequences, late 2011 edition.

I’m sure you hadn’t heard the news, what with the holidays and the recess appointments and the Iowa clown car, I mean caucus. So in case you didn’t, here you go.

The tauntaun made a bad choice New Year’s day and ate Princess Leia. As my 3-year-old nephew explained it, the tauntaun did not do what he was supposed to do, which was protect her, instead helping the tiger to eat her.

“But she’s ok. She came back to life,” he said as he made the tauntaun climb the door frame on the sun porch.

Well, thank the Force.

Most of our choices don’t have a complete reversal, especially if they’re tragic.

As I wrapped up the tauntaun the day before (we do our Christmas on New Year’s weekend), I was so mad I could spit. I intended to buy L a different present, as well as a more deliberate choice for my new month-old niece MM.

But I never got to the store last week for Christmas shopping or groceries. I ran out of milk, orange juice and patience as I chased the worst story I’d ever covered and the worst I hope I ever cover. It’s not over, so it will continue to aggravate the #*$(& out of me, but whatever. The bad choices of that guy spread out like so many ripples in a shallow pond after a boulder falls into it. The cops missed their Christmas with their families searching for that little girl. Normal people throughout the community prayed and hoped beyond reason for her safe return. And I sat and listened on the scanner to the fruitless hunt, lit a candle, had a good cry and knew in my heart she was dead. But all that work, hours and hours of chronicling the madness (I told one of my judges I felt like a carnival barker in hell…step right up and see the freak show), left me without the time and the emotional energy to engage in my own joy.

Thank God, seriously, I realized that was happening. It only took a day or two to figure out how to deal with it, put it aside for the time being and join in the celebration of so many recent blessings in my life and the lives of my sisters. I sit here now, on the tail end of a week off, nearly ready to go back to work. I know, though, that that one choice made by that mom to put her child in the care of that one guy, who made the choice to do what he did will continue to ripple throughout my own life, professionally and personally. I know it’s going to wear me out, make me cry, make me pissed off and make me spend time in the basement with my heavy bag, hitting the only thing I can.

The little princess didn’t come back from this one. I give thanks knowing that my sister is raising that little boy to understand that bad choices have consequences. And in spite of the resurrection of Leia and the rehabilitation of the tauntaun, L knows some things aren’t made right.



Author: Rebecca

Orthodox Christian. Journalist. SAR K9 handler. All three of those are deeply related.

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