Sometimes 'Random' Hits Too Close
The February 14th shooting at Northern Illinois University was one of those events which I was certainly aware of, but didn't have a connection to, despite its proximity to my current place of residence. Dekalb, which hosts NUI, is a small town about an hour from here out beyond the farthest stretches of Chicago suburbia. I've never even been there in my two-plus years in the area, despite it only being 40 miles or so away.
I was saddened, of course, by the news, but didn't think I had any connection whatsoever to the tragedy. I was wrong.
When I first moved here it was of necessity, as I'd been evicted and out of a job in Milwaukee, and a dear family that really is my family in a lot of ways took me until I began getting back on my feet. There are two kids in the family, a sister and brother, with the sister now a sophomore in college, down at the U. of Illinois in Champaign.
NUI? No connection, I thought, until I came over to the house today to do laundry and arrange for some furniture shopping. I was told that one of the victims, Ryanne Mace, was rather more than an acquaintance of the college-aged daughter; in fact, they'd sat in adjacent orchestra seats for seven years. A couple of reporters following up the massacre even grabbed an old Dundee-Crown yearbook and went to interview teachers and students, who readily identified the daughter here as one of Ryanne's close friends. There were at least a couple of calls from reporters here today, and then we stopped answering the phone.
It all means changes of schedule for the next few days. I cook the occasional meal at the home, and have, ever since I lived under this roof. Today I cooked, since the normal family cook was off to Champaign to fetch the daughter back for the services. Might have to cook more meals or serve as Haley's Taxi in the next few days. That's fine -- happy to do it if it helps out.
Random violence begets deep ripples. Tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people are affected by an event such as this. Even dispassionate hermits such as me.