26 Years Ago Today...."An Unspeakable Tragedy in New York City"
26 years ago, on December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed outside his apartment building on the upper West Side of New York. I heard about it while laying in bed in Denver that night while my then-spouse was watching Monday Night Football. Howard Cosell interrupted the program to announce "An unspeakable tragedy tonight in New York City."
I was nine months and three weeks pregnant -- way overdue -- and had just returned from the hospital where they tried to induce labor but failed. Immediately after hearing Cosell's announcement, I heard a loud pop. My water had finally broken. I rushed to the hospital and a few hours later, at 1:00 am MT, the TL kid was born. I tell more about the events of that night here, and how for the past 26 years, I have told the TL kid that when John Lennon's spirit left his body, it must have entered his.
John Lennon has been a spiritual member of the family ever since. From listening to his music, discussing his life, and at least once a year in New York, where the TL kid attended college and is now finishing law school, canvassing the sidewalk art shows for Lennon memorabilia, he's always been in the background of our lives. December 8 is a contemplative day for us, but it is followed by a day of celebration, the TL kid's birthday.
I'm not sure which I'm more amazed at tonight, that John Lennon has been dead 26 years, or that the TL kid is 26 years old.
Last year, Newsweek took a long look back, particularly at the effect of his death on Yoko and his former wife Cynthia and their respective sons, Sean and Julian. It's a sad article. This comment by Yoko struck me most:
"You know, this is like a Shakespearean drama almost," says Ono. "Each person has something to be totally miserable about because of the way they were put into this play.
To Yoko, Sean, Julian and Cynthia: There are millions of people in this world whose lives were enriched by John Lennon, his persona and his music. He told his truth and it was the truth of an entire generation. His death was a tragedy, but his life was an inspiration. His legacy is timeless. I hope someday soon you can focus on his life instead of his death and that the memories of your time together bring you great joy.
With peace and love, from Jeralyn and the TL kid.
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