Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sifting Through

There was a minor ice storm last night and a hard freeze this morning. The world is covered in crystal, and that's going to delay our efforts to comb through the destruction in the fallback point. It may be an exercise in futility, but the citizens of New Haven are adamant that the bodies of the fallen be located. It's going to be a big job and will take a long time, but it'll get done. We'll haul truckloads of the debris here as the search teams work. We can break down the rubble for a variety of uses.

God, I just reread that last part and it makes me want to vomit. Trying to find a silver lining, trying to be practical, trying not to find an enemy and tear their throat our for killing so many of our people. I'm terrible at coping sometimes.

The expected response from the UAS came yesterday evening. It was, of course, a denial that they had anything at all to do with the destruction. I'm still leaning toward believing them right now but my shock has totally given way to anger. I want them to be responsible, because then we'd be more than justified in killing twenty of their people.

Of all people to commiserate with me, my brother Dave was the last I'd have expected to show up visibly upset and toting a crate of booze. Dave has always been a deeply rational person, rarely given to displaying the deeper emotions. He's fun and pleasant and gets annoyed easily, but overwhelming joy, rage, and despair aren't things he lets show very often.

The deaths weren't the hardest part for him, he explained. Though of course he was as upset as any of us to suffer the loss of fellow survivors, people who had stood every test we had, Dave is used to that. It doesn't catch him off guard. The worst part for my brother was when he got home and was blindsided by his children. All three of them wanted to understand what happened. They needed concrete reasons why those people were dead and why someone would commit such an act.

We've all asked those questions when people around us have died, and indeed Dave's kids have asked them before. But this was different. This was cold, calculated murder. This wasn't nature taking its course or even the undead. David's kids weren't asking what death was--this world answered that question for them years ago--but rather why someone would do this thing.

How do you answer that? Think hard before respond. Dave did.

Though he keeps it fairly private (and you wouldn't know it unless you shared a meal with him and heard him pray in the earnest way he does), my brother is a man of deep and wide faith. He's the kind of Christian I adore; truly selfless in many ways, fair to all, loving without condition. The reason for his unexpected visit and the resulting unexpected bender flowed from his inability to explain the actions of truly awful people to his kids. How do you tell a child who has learned to love the world even as bad as it is now that there are people who will kill wholesale for no good reason?

I can't wrap my mind around explaining that kind of evil to my nieces and nephew. I really, really can't. I wish I could have done more for my brother than be someone to lean on. A piece of wisdom, perhaps, or some brilliant idea to make the whole thing easier. That's the way it goes in stories, but in real life we sadly have to live with the truth that there are rarely easy explanations. A child's need for absolutes crumbles to dust as they grow, but part of that mindset grants them a wonderful sense of optimism. Maybe that's what Dave was trying to avoid, killing that positive outlook. Such a rare thing now and almost solely found in the hearts of children.

How could he break them?

No comments:

Post a Comment