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We had a day of reprieve from the time that we got back from our trip to the time that Chris' parents called saying they had no power in Huntsville and wanted to come stay with us until they could get power again. Six days later, they went home (yesterday) to find they finally had power again. As far as I know, no one I know personally has lost their homes or worse in this round of storms. I think everyone has checked in at this point and I feel very lucky to not have lost anyone down there.

From 12:30pm yesterday when they left to right now, I have not turned the TV on at all. If I ever hear the voice of another news anchor, it'll be too soon. There were times the first day or so when my mother-in-law was watching the royal wedding coverage and my father-in-law had tornado coverage cranked up so loud on his laptop that I'm certain his speakers were blown, I would retreat into my bedroom with my nook and shut out the world.

The wedding was lovely, even though I'm really not into the celebrity of it all. I could have watched just the wedding without commentary or analysis and been perfectly content. Kate's dress was simply stunning! And the huge trees in the abbey were gorgeous. The departure in an Aston Martin a fun touch. They seem truly happy together. But all the gossip and speculation and such was too much for me to handle. So irritating! There was a point that evening when a story about Syria came on and then they were about to play a statement from Gaddafi in Lybia after his son and grandchildren were killed in a NATO airstrike and I really wanted to hear it. But she changed it to wedding coverage that she had already seen earlier in the day. At that point, I got up and left the room to busy myself elsewhere.

And on the 5th day of their stay, came the news of Osama bin Laden's death, which they also didn't watch much of, favoring more storm coverage instead. I get that completely. They were trying to figure out when they could go home and what sort of things they could expect when they got back and got power again. It's locally important news that affects their immediate area. I totally get that. But not even a mention of it really? This is a hugely symbolic thing that's happened, even if it doesn't change much in the war on terror, and not even much more than a "oh, this happened" nod of acknowledgement? That, I don't get. Don't get me wrong, I love my in-laws, I really do. But a 6 day stay with nearly anyone is a bit much, especially when you're coming off a trip and not exactly prepared for house guests.

My initial reaction to the the news as I lay in bed Sunday night when it broke was something like "ding dong the witch is dead." But then I saw people taking to the streets, getting drunk and chanting "U-S-A" like we just won the World Cup or something. Yeah, not our country's proudest moment in my opinion. That feeling of relief quickly became a feeling of anxiety that the hundreds of radical followers he left behind will watch this and become empowered with renewed hatred against us. I'm not saying a more solemn response wouldn't have empowered their rage either. For their own reasons, they hate us and our reaction to killing their leader isn't going to change that. I'm also not saying people don't have a right to celebrate if that's how they feel about it. By all means, this is a process of grief and everyone handles it differently and everyone NEEDS that freedom to express their grief and their closure however they need to. So I'm not going to go around shaming anyone for joining in with those celebrations. But I will sit here and feel my anxiety. That's mine and I'll own it, just like anyone out there celebrating will own that. For me, I had some moments of quiet reflection (as quiet as I could get in a crowded house) on the massive loss our country suffered nearly 10 years ago and sent hope out into the world that the victims and their families could find some peace now that justice had been done upon their attacker.

And I do feel this was justice. He needed to die. That's the way of it. I feel no tinge of guilt for being glad that he's gone, out of this world, never to hurt another. Will 10 more rise in his place over time? Of course. This solves nothing and stops no wars on terrorism. But he is gone, shot in the head for what he did to thousands of people and never able to hurt another. Some have said they wished it could have gone differently so that he wasn't viewed a martyr. Shot down like a rat hiding in his nest doesn't seem very martyr-like to me, but his followers would likely spin any demise in that direction, so I don't think it matters how he met his end. Capture would have only spelled exponentially more trouble for all involved. He needed to die and he needed to die quickly. And fantastic call on not bombing the compound there, Obama! I'm so glad our forces pulled the triggers that took him down. Not a drone, not a bomb, but our people. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all our service men and women who have and continue to sacrifice for our safety and freedom.

And that's the end of that chapter. *tosses end of scarf over shoulder*


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May 2011

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