Since we didn’t get blown up….

Warning: This has nothing to do with TTWD. And it might be kind of a downer. Feel free to skip it if you’d rather not read a serious post.

Some of you might have heard there was an emergency alert that went out in Hawaii yesterday morning at 8am: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” It happened because someone pushed the wrong button, creating a real alert (going out to everyone) rather than the test alert (going out to just people in the building). It took 38 minutes before they sent out another alert saying it was a mistake (although there were tweets before that from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and various government officials).

As you can imagine it caused some hysteria. People trying to hide in their bathrooms, or put their children down a storm drain. People driving through red lights, since we only have 15 minutes before it would hit. People saying goodbye to family members. Tourists hiding in basements, travelers having to go through TSA twice (since they weren’t allowed to check in the first time), people frantically trying to find out if it was a mistake. And the aftermath — sobbing by the roadside when you realize you’re not going to die after all, trying to explain to kids that we’re sort of at war even though they didn’t know it, and realizing they have to now live with a fear they never had to before.

Anger at the Idiots-in-Chief in the US and North Korea who have put us into this situation. Anger at the newbie who screwed up big time. Anger at the government because they obviously don’t have safeguards in place to prevent this (“My phone prompts me three times when I want to delete something and even then must use a passcode!”), and didn’t have a way to cancel it immediately after it happened (“There wasn’t a procedure to reverse a warning, so we had to wait for FEMA to approve a message saying it was a mistake”). They are saying at the very least someone needs to be fired for this, as it was a HUGE mistake that impacted so many lives.

Well, I beg to differ. I lost a friend yesterday. She had cancer, and she had elected to die with dignity, rather than suffer through any chemo or waiting till she was in too much pain. In other words, she took her own life.  And one of the last things she posted was: “You tell me I am an inspiration. So, be inspired, from this moment on in every conversation, think well of the person in front of you, love them even if you don’t know them, look them in the eye and tell them they are good. I heard the Dalai Lama speak once on world peace, he said just be kind to the person next to you. That’s it, that is the answer to saving the world, just be kind to the person next to you.”

We are all better than the worst mistake we have ever made. We are all capable of redemption…and forgiveness. We are all capable of greatness. We are all deserving of love. I’m very grateful today to be alive, for more than one reason. Thank you all for your support and good wishes. I so appreciate your presence in my life. 🙂

This entry was posted in Gratitude, Philosophical Stuff. Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Since we didn’t get blown up….

  1. Joss says:

    First, I am very sorry to hear that you lost a friend. I hope you are well and able to grieve.

    Thank you for this post, it was touching. And thank you for this website, I know we all appreciate your presence as well. I often think about how lucky I am to have found your site. I really am grateful that this place exists, and that we have a community here. Again, thank you.

    • Alyx says:

      Thanks, Joss. Yeah, I’m still grieving a bit, but I’m well. I’m happy for this community as well. It’s one of the things that makes life worth living, y’know? 🙂

  2. Ash says:

    ❤ ❤ ❤ Warm hugs to you, Alyx. ❤ ❤ ❤

  3. Peachie says:

    So sorry about your friend, Alyx. She sounds like a very courageous woman and her message is very powerful! Please take care of yourself and know you are appreciated very very much. *hugs*

    • Alyx says:

      Thanks, Peachie. She was a very courageous woman, and I was lucky to know her. I am trying to be gentle with myself (just like I advised you), and watched “Zootopia” yesterday. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, it’s great for raising one’s spirits. 🙂

  4. Wookie says:

    I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend but what a meaningful legacy she left.
    Your post delivers a very strong message which is good to do at times such as these.
    I know I am extremely fortunate to have met you and this great blog. You are an amazing person Alyx and have created a wonderful community here. Thank you for this. *hugs*

    • Alyx says:

      Thank you, Wookie, I really appreciate your support. *hugs back* My friend did leave a meaningful legacy…deservedly so. And I’m happy you and everyone else is a part of this wonderful community. 🙂

  5. Anna says:

    Hugging you tight, Alyx, and sending you my thoughts. And as a tribute to your friend and because it’s so very true, I am looking you in the eye and telling you that ‘You are good’, and I am thankful for you.

    • Alyx says:

      Thanks, Micah, for your words and your support. *hug* You know those words are returned, right? Thanks for all you do for the community, and for what your friendship has meant to me personally. It makes me feel very humble at times like these to be surrounded by such caring. I’m very lucky.

  6. cj says:

    Alyx you have honored your courageous friend by sharing her thoughts with us. Thank you for that gift. Life is such a fragile miracle.

    It seems like such a small way to repay you for all you have done for us. But I am sending you a hug that I hope serves as a blanket of love from all of us that have ever benefited from your global village.

    • Alyx says:

      You’re so right, CJ — life is both fragile and a miracle. I’m thankful for all the blessings I have received, such as knowing my friend and knowing a community like this one. You are a very cherished member of that community (SuperBrat, no less! 😉 ), and your hug is returned many times over.

  7. mo says:

    hugs, Alyx.❤ sorry for your loss. I bet she was awesome and courageous before she got ill. Too bad a lot of times it takes a tragedy, or near tragedy to wake people up. I learned that lesson on a plane trip out west when the wheels wouldn’t go down. At first I took it lightly, saying, well, I hope I get to finish this mystery I was reading. But when the time came, to make an emergency landing, on the tarmac, it occurred to me to do some soul work and make a better effort at random acts of kindness. Thanks, Alyx, for all you do.

    • Alyx says:

      My friend was amazing even before she got ill. It was the second time the cancer had come back, but those two fights weren’t the worst she’d endured. She was actually paraplegic, and used a wheelchair for the last 20 years. In spite of that she lived an incredibly full and active life. She was one of the bravest people I will ever know. But thank you, Mo, for the sentiments. *hugs* I agree with you completely, and try every day to improve myself too. 🙂

  8. stardawn19 says:

    I’ve very sorry about your friend. It’s terrible news and I feel for your pain. I hope that you can find some peace with her decision.

    As far as the missle thing, that’s a whole other subject. My first response was that it as tragic, and terrible that people went through the range of emotions that that kind of message created, but I think there can be some light in it too. I pray that we never ever have a real emergency like this, and even if we did — maybe it would be better not to get a ‘warning’ about it, but it reminds me of something that happened at my school last year.

    We (3rd grade — about 130 kids) were out at recess when they called for a lockdown. This was freshly after a school shooting that happened not to far from us, so it was fresh on everyone’s mind. This wasn’t a drill (that we knew about — it was a ‘surprise drill’) so we didn’t know if it was real or what the threat was. Long story short. The kids panicked. They didn’t know where to go. They ran all over the school. Some to another room, some in the bathroom, some even tried to leave the campus. Luckily it was just a drill and no one was hurt, but it was a learning experience. After that the (the kids — and us teachers) were better prepared because we knew what to do next time, rather than guess and panic.

    • Alyx says:

      My friend went on her terms, and that’s more than most of us get. She’s free now, and at peace, and that is everything I could wish for her.

      I think you’re right that some good can come out of a tragic mistake. That episode you describe is terrible, but so understandable. After a school shooting no one is ever the same, and I can’t imagine the anxiety the teachers and children have to live with. However our Emergency Management is already taking steps so that it can’t happen again, and also to fix it so that any future mistakes can be corrected much faster. Just like at your school, what matters more than the mistake is what you do afterwards. Thank you for your good thoughts and sharing your experience.

  9. Claire says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, she sounds like a very courageous woman with her long time struggle.

    I’m glad she was able to make her choice at the end on her terms.

    Wishing you peace and strength in your grief and thank you for this space you have created here for us.

    • Alyx says:

      Hi Claire, thanks very much for your sympathy and good wishes. My friend was definitely one of the most courageous people I will ever know, and a true inspiration. I’ve been in a rather emotional state the past few days, but the support of this community has been invaluable, and very much appreciated.

  10. Carrie says:

    I’m sorry for your loss Alyx,–Sending you a hug.
    Thank you for sharing those words, they are truly special and obviously come from a very inspirational person.
    The community you and others have built is pretty much a life saver, so thank you! I don’t know you like the others do, but I’ve heard from others what a fab person you are and have been following your blogs!

    • Alyx says:

      Thank you, Carrie, and welcome to the blog! 🙂 I’m happy to hear you’ve found this community helpful…they certainly have been for me and many others. The loss of my friend has hit me harder than I expected (considering I’ve known it was coming for months), but it was definitely made easier by the caring people surrounding me. Thanks for delurking to share some of that caring. 😀

  11. Jojo says:

    Oh Alyx, I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. She sounded like such an awesome and brave lady. Sending a virtual hug .

    • Alyx says:

      Hey Jojo, thanks so much for your sympathy and good wishes. *hug* It means a lot. She was an awesome and brave lady, and I am lucky to have known her. 🙂

  12. Ellie says:

    Alyx, I am so sorry for your loss. Your friend was such a brave, incredible person. Her message is inspiring indeed, and I couldn’t agree more with you: we are all better than the worst mistake we have ever made.
    I am giving you a tight, warm hug, as late as this is. Thank you for sharing this and thank you for being such a wonderful person, a leader and an example for us all.

    • Alyx says:

      Aw, that’s such a sweet thing to say, Ellie. *hugs back* Thank you for your warm caring and lovely thoughts. I’m glad you agree with what I said about our worst mistake (funny how, even though we know that, we keep replaying those worst mistakes and agonizing over them, isn’t it? Or is that just me? 😀 )

      • Ellie says:

        Definitely not just you. It’s unfortunate it takes such painful situations to help us see the truth. Maybe we should tell ourselves these words whenever we start replaying those mistakes!

  13. Robin says:

    I send you a warm hug Alyx. Im so sorry for your loss of your friend. Thank you for sharing her wise message and inspire us with her courage. I truly agree that to be kind to the person next to you is how to save the World and make it a better place. Forgiveness, not hate or anger. Your friend did that and so are you Alyx. You definitely made the World a better place for us in this wonderful community you created. A big, sincere and warm hug to you and thank you for all you have done for us all.

    • Alyx says:

      Thank you, Robin — thanks both for the kind thoughts and for being a part of this community you describe. I agree too about the way that saving the world can be as simple as being kind to the one next to you. And forgiving. It seems so simple, yet so hard to do. But definitely something worth working at. 🙂 *warm hugs back*

  14. Hupotasso says:

    I just saw this post today. I’m so sorry for your loss, Alyx. I’m grateful that your friend was able to make her own decision about timing and circumstances. She sounds like an extraordinary person who will continue to inspire those who knew her or of her. Thank you for sharing. She lives on through you and others whose lives she touched. I wish you peace and strength and love. Hugs.

    • Alyx says:

      Hi Hupo, thanks very much for your condolences and caring. She was an extraordinary person for sure. She even had a “funeral” beforehand, so she could say goodbye to everyone she knew and hear what they were going to say about her! It was a big party, fabulous food and drink and music, and tributes from so many people that she touched. It was fantastic that she got to hear how much she was loved. We should all be so “lucky,” huh? *hugs back*

  15. Klax1 says:

    I just saw this, I’m so sorry for your loss.
    I hope she finds peace and rest, and I hope you get through this.
    Her message is the absolute truth. A truly beautiful saoul.
    I wish you the best. I do hope you’ll continue to let us enjoy your gift for writing.
    As English is not my native language, I apologize in avance for any mistakes of mine.

    • Alyx says:

      Hi Klax1, welcome to the blog! 🙂 Thank you for your kind thoughts and good wishes. She was a very special person, and I feel very privileged to have known her.

      I am continuing to write (although slowly), and am hoping to publish my gypsy story next. It will have new content, which is why it’s taking so long. (And your English is great — I wish I spoke another language as well as you speak English. 😀 )

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