Friday, January 28, 2011

Understanding the unthinkable.

25-years-ago, I lay on my side in the livingroom floor watching the news. My belly was so huge there was no way to be comfortable.

Many changes were going on. In about 2 months, I would become a mother. My boyfriend was at work at McDonalds, his life also having changed drastically. I can remember the day, where I was, how I was feeling, what he was doing...all because it came to a crashing halt with a news break.

The Challenger lift off was being broadcast live. I remember watching the teacher getting on board, her class writing her letters. I remember the countdown and the thrill they must be feeling to be the first civilians in space.

And I remember my own confusion when the explosion happened. I thought it was supposed to have that grand plume of smoke. But, wait,..split in two..something falling...
In the background the announcers were going wild, frantically trying to understand.

In my mind, I was also trying to understand as panic gripped me. Did Russia just hit us with a missile? Were we under attack? From whom? And why?

The evening news would begin explaining, and for a whole week try to explain, about solid rocket boosters and split seams and explosions.

But all my teenage, pregnant mind would absorb would be the face of that teacher as she waved 'goodbye'. Her very last goodbye.

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