endeavoring to believe

we were eating at a restaurant/bar tonight when we saw that the space shuttle endeavor was going to launch at 6:36 p.m. we rushed home so that we could all watch it together. i was very nervous about this. i remember one afternoon in 1986 when my dorm-mates and i had our soap operas interrupted because of a space shuttle launching. and before our eyes, we watched the shuttle explode into a billion fiery pieces. we were all stunned. it was live. on TV.

nothing had ever happened like this to our generation before. previous generations had the question: where were you when Kennedy was shot? and now my generation had: where were you when the Challenger blew up?

college being college, i remember the fresh wave of sick jokes that followed. the only one i recall:

Q: where does christa mcaulife vacation?

A: all over florida.

(i know. no one deserves that.)

i was very nervous about having the kids watch the shuttle launch. nevermind how many successful space launches there have been in my lifetime; i was fixated on the one i saw that didn’t make it. of course, the newscaster was fixated on the teacher in space, who has been waiting patiently for over 20 years for this chance. it made me tear up.

“mama,” BC said, noticing me on the verge of tears, “don’t worry. they’re showing this on TV. they wouldn’t film it if something bad was going to happen.”

if only.

i’m delighted to report, though, that the shuttle launched without a hitch. my kids got to watch a little piece of history.

and somewhere inside of me, a tiny shred of sanity and wonder was restored.


2 Responses to “endeavoring to believe”

  1. On one episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” I’m pretty sure that Meredith was screening out housemate applicants by asking them where they were when Challenger exploded. Most of them answered, “um, what?”

    BC has a lot of faith in TV! I wish she was right, too.

  2. I was in calc class. My teacher had wheeled in a TV for us all to watch it live. He had been on of the finalists – I don’t remember how close he came to being chosen – but knowing Mr. Gerver had “almost” been in that shuttle made it all the more horrible to watch. You could practically see the poor guy’s life flash before his eyes as fiery bits rained all over the screen.

    Last week I heard a 10 year old ask his 7 year old neighbor where he was on 9/11. And so it goes…

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