24 Apr 2018
Hello family and friends,
My apologies for not send out a regular April/May edition of KaTsZoNe. At this late date, I was going to skip April and just start in May. However, I just had to send a special update about a tragic event which occurred yesterday (April 23rd).
To those of you who are my "Friends" on Facebook, I did post something in brief, but I will post this email on Facebook. I also wanted to share this with those of you who are not on Facebook, I wanted to let you know what's been on my mind. I have not slept yet. I just wanted to send this to all of you.
On Monday, April 23, 2018, a horrific incident took place. Right away I thought of my nephew, Chet. He worked in a building along the path where the driver of a van was on a rampage and killed 10 pedestrians and injured 15. Chet and I, as well as a friend of mine (currently on mat. leave), have met for lunch or coffee from time to time in the past couple years and on a nice day like Monday, I knew Chet may be out there at lunch time. In the next few hours after the event, I learned about others I knew who work there. My friend, Abigail, said her nephew worked near North York Civic Centre, and my friend, Kay, also worked in the area on Yonge Street in North York where a man drove onto sidewalks hitting pedestrians. My friend, Irene, said her brother saw victims who lay dead in front of his condo. My mind went back to the day we now call 9-11 when my niece, Laura, worked across from the Twin Towers. And, on that same day, I emailed my nephew, Tien, to wish him a Happy Birthday and learned that he was attending a conference in Washington DC. Both were safe, but, it was such an awful day trying to get in touch with them and hoping they would be okay.
Yesterday, there was a lot of information released through the media which we all had to sort through. I am sure many of you tried to find out if your loved ones were okay. When I had not heard from my nephew, I started to get concerned, yet, all the while, hoping and praying that he would text me back soon. Was he in a meeting? Did he go somewhere for lunch? He's usually good at responding to my messages. I didn't ask, "Are you okay?" I just told him I heard news about a van striking pedestrians possibly in his area. I had no idea the extent of the path of destruction yet. So, I just waited for Chet's response. Many minutes of anxiety!
A friend happened to text me yesterday about Starbucks food. I never expected her to text me in the middle day about lunch. It was a bit out of the ordinary. When I heard the news on the radio, I told her about it. I learned that her nephew worked in the same building as Chet!
I also learned from my friend Irene, that her brother saw bodies lying in front of his condo. Then, I learned that my friend Kay, works in that area as well, and I am glad she is okay.
Facebook shared a post asking people to respond to this tragic news, and click if they are Safe. I thought this was a great idea. Oftentimes, when there is a storm or tragedy like 9-11, it would be nice if we could get a hold of our loved ones but perhaps, they cannot get in touch with us. Social media can really help.
I want to say thank my friends who messaged me yesterday to ask if I was safe. They know that I live in the area. Like I've said, I do go to that area. I appreciate everyone's concern.
I wanted to share a story in Macleans which really touched me. It is about the police officer who did not shoot - he is a hero. And, I am impressed by stories about police, first responders and everyone who tried to help the victims.
My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones and are victims of this tragedy. It reminds me about how fragile life is. So, I remind all of us to please take time to tell your loved ones and friends as often as possible how much you love and appreciate them. It may be the last time you will see them. Your words and loving expressions can also change someone from making a tragic decision.
Lots of positive thoughts, prayers, and blessings to all of you!