I apologize. I don’t know when something I am listening to is going to be worthy of comment on my blog until it is finished and I may often fail to retrieve the information I should have before writing about it. Case in point: Today I was listening to news about the Olympics and the reporter told of a young girl from China or Japan (forgive me) who won a medal for a sport which I didn’t catch (sorry). I think it was a gold medal that she won (does this detail really matter?) Anyway it is reported that as soon as she won, her parents told her that her grandmother had died. I guess you might call that bad timing. But it appears that they had held back the truth from their daughter until after her event so that sadness would not interfere with her performance. Understandable, you might say. That is what I said, too, and wondered why this was even being reported. But then the newscaster said, “The grandmother died a year ago.” I nearly dropped the iron. A year ago? Then my imagination got its way with me (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa).
How did the family hide the grandmother’s death from the girl for a whole year, my imagination asked. I mean, if she didn’t notice that her grandmother wasn’t around, maybe they weren’t all that close to begin with. She is an Olympian. Maybe she was training in the capital city for a year and her parents told her that grandma was too old to travel to see her. Did someone forge letters of encouragement to the girl signed from the grandma? Maybe they baked a recipe of grandma’s famous molasses cookies and sent them to the girl. Did the girl not go home for holidays? What excuse did they give for grandma not being there? If the girl couldn’t go home, maybe they took family pictures and pasted in an old picture of the grandmother as though she was at the family gathering as usual.
I know this is disrespectful. The newscaster, as she ended the story, said something about being respectful of other cultures. I will have to work on that. Meanwhile, I like to think as I write that the girl’s grandmother had a great sense of humor and would want me to write it. (Or not.)