Tonight I am thinking about TJ Ordich. I didn't know him. I had never heard his name until he died a few days ago. And yet, I have cried continuously throughout the night over a boy who I never had the pleasure to meet. This evening there was a memorial service at Washington Park and hundreds of mostly high school students attended. I saw some of that service through another's eyes as I edited a memorial video for TJ. As I was working through the video, the song "Sorrow" by Bad Religion sprang to mind and I couldn't let it go. "And there will be sorrow no more." I wish peace for TJ's family and friends, knowing that it will be a hard journey.
So, I'm sitting at my computer, thinking about my life - the hard years of being a teenager and my role now as a mother. I remember my teen years. They really weren't that bad, but I remember feeling such tremendous pain and anguish over fights and friendships and boys. Remember when you broke up in high school and it felt like a knife was ripping through your chest? It's really not that much different today as an adult, except that I have 20 years of life experience that tells me these feelings will pass. I call my friends. I cry. I hurt. But then I stand back up and move into the next phase of life. When a young person dies, it makes us all sad. We think, "if only they had realized that this too shall pass." But I remember those days when it was impossible to understand or accept that fact.
A couple of years ago, I helped start a group called "Start the Dialogue" - a gathering of women, young and old, to discuss issues ranging from peer pressure to self-image. The group was primarily focused on giving teenage girls a safe forum and a voice, but it also gave the older women in the room a place to examine their lives. In the end, we had women ranging from 13 to 60+ years old teaching each other, learning from each other and listening. It is an amazing group. Tonight I am thinking about one of the topics from that group - "Three Adults You Can Trust." Here's a challenge - who are the three adults you can trust, the ones you go to when you have a problem or something goes wrong? Do our children know who those people are? Do we as adults?
On this very sad night, I am thinking about ways to change our community. To give people, young and old, a voice. To help them feel safe in their homes, schools and social groups To help them know that this too shall pass, and to give them hope when it seems like the end of the world. It's important to tell our loved ones that they are loved, but we need to go one step further and open our hearts and our ears to the people we see everyday. These people are our "community" - even when we don't get along, have the same interests or exist in the same social circles. We need to reach out to one another - not just those who are close to us, but those who are not - and give them love and support. So that the next time the teenagers you know - or the mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, cousins, friends - will understand that they have someone they can come to and that there is always another option.
A quote from the Golden Girls (one of my all-time favorite shows): "we are not in this world for peace." This statement was made to remind someone that, even though times can be rough, we have to keep on moving forward in life. I think we could find a way to do this with love.
May you have love. Rest in peace Timothy Joshua Ordich.
We've spent the month working on getting sponsors and advertisers for AlamogordoLive.net. It's been a slow process and we hope to continue working on it. In the meantime, there may be a few changes here and there in our programming and schedules so stay tuned. And if you're interested in keeping AlamogordoLive.net alive, please become a sponsor!
In the meantime, we've had some pretty amazing experiences this week. Our Friday episode of "On The Spot" featured some tidbits from Breakaway! The COPE Benefit. I filmed on Thursday during dress rehearsal and then attended Saturday on the arm of the very handsome President of the COPE board of directors. The concert as a whole was very good with some absolutely standout performances. My personal favorites included Luke West & Delaney Davis' duet of "She's Got Her Ticket," one of my very favorite Tracy Chapman songs. Their playing was fantastic and Delaney's voice is just breathtaking....definitely a must see duo. Mike Julian gave Andrea Bocelli a run for his money with an outstanding performance of "Time To Say Goodbye." Sheesh! That's all I can say really. No wait...I can say a lot more. Mike Julian...you have an absolutely dreamy voice. It is literally thrilling to listen to you sing. There. I said it.
The Academy of Ballet dancers added some flare to the event with some wonderful dance numbers including my personal favorite performed to Madonna's "Power of Goodbye." With their blue costumes, it reminded me of water...very beautiful. And, of course, I have to mention Anthony Kumpf's performance of "Bye Bye Bye," complete with back-up dancers. He's a very fun performer to watch, even if he is singing boy band pop :) Here's a link to our On The Spot show.
Tonight we held our March "In The House" featuring Egyptian dance...I can't wait to post video. Stay tuned! Hope everyone has a great week.
We decided this week that we would do some traveling - visiting nearby towns and interviewing business owners. So on Firday, Kari, Leona and I headed up to Ruidoso. Camera at the ready, we walked a few blocks of Sudderth Drive, visiting a handful of shops including Noisy Water Winery where you can sample some amazing New Mexico cheeses and wines. Watching Leona sample their Diablo cheese was just as amusing as I'd hoped it would be. The clip is live now - a special edition of On The Spot - so you can see what we did. Hoping to hit Cloudcroft, Tularosa and maybe even Las Cruces in the next few weeks.
We're in the midst of our March fund drive at AlamogordoLive.net. Working hard and praying to get the community support we need to keep going at a full run. Why? Well, because I have the best job in the world. Truly. This week, I received an Advanced Reading Copy of Michael McGarrity's upcoming book Hard Country which will be released Mary 10, 2012. The girls and I will be heading up to Santa Fe in April to interview Mr. McGarrity and will see him again in May when he visits Alamogordo to sign the book. I started reading last night - its excellent! Stay tuned for a book review coming soon.
In other news, this week I was honored to meet 2 astronauts, Sid Gutierrez and Dr. Harrison Schmitt, and retired NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz, the man who led mission control through the world's first moon landing with Apollo 11 and who was instrumental in saving the crew of Apollo 13. Mr. Kranz was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 10, 2012 and Rachel and I were absolutely thrilled to meet him, spend time talking with him and get a few photos. Thank you Gene Kranz for your contributions to the American space program and for taking the time to chat with a couple of starstruck and very appreciative gals from AlamogordoLive.net.
I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.