Sunday, August 21, 2011

When Tragedy Hits Home

I've been feeling a bit melancholy about posting lately. In fact, this time last week I couldn't even muster the energy to hit publish on a post I had already written about our upcoming weekend plans. Nearly all my writing, both here and at Visit Indiana, involves encouraging people to get out and do fun things. So it's particularly hard to get in the right frame of mind to write when the images splashing across the news and in the paper involve crumbling stages and a growing list of fatalities at those very attractions I've written about.

Those killed and injured at the Indiana State Fair last weekend had plans for a lovely evening, enjoying live music and taking in all the wonderful aspects of a night at the Fairgrounds. Exactly the type of thing I focus on.

That night, as the weather turned ugly an hour north of my house, I, too, was listening to live music at a nearby park. No big stage infrastructure, it was just a local band playing on our town park's little stage. It all seemed so ideal and picturesque for our family: we could supervise The Arrow on the playground while my husband and I relaxed on a blanket. We even said to each other that summer nights don't get more perfect than this.

After we tucked The Arrow into bed that evening, we heard the awful news about the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair. Fortunately, everyone I knew at the concert had either already left by the time of the collapse or were seated out of harm's way. Too many others weren't so blessed.

My heart hurts for my fellow Hoosiers. This tragedy, at a venue I've attended many a concert, in a city I often go to for fun, at an annual event I've done my part to encourage people to visit, struck too close.

And yet I look at that picture above and think, isn't this what life is all about? Getting out and enjoying our families, our friends, the places we call home?

Kiss your kids every chance you get.

Take them to interesting places.

Expose them to all the world has to offer.

The world is a scary place. Staying home doesn't make it any less so. While I'm unbelievably saddened by what happened last weekend, I continue to hold these truths close to my heart. And I'll continue to write about them.

There are some amazing bloggers in Indianapolis. A few of my favorites posted their thoughts on the tragedy. I wanted to share their posts as well:

This post is a part of Mondays are for Dreaming at The Mother of All Trips. I'm dreaming of better days ahead for Indiana.