On a journey to find the silver linings

On a journey to find the silver linings

Monday, July 11, 2016

Missing the Moment

Here's my deep thought for this Monday morning, something that's been bothering me for days.
As I'm sure most of you have, I watched Diamond Reynolds' video. She was recording her boyfriend Philander Castile in the aftermath of his shooting by a Falcon Heights, MN police officer. It was tragic, simply tragic, watching a man as he lay dying. One of the worst things I've seen in a long time - because it was real.
But here's what struck me. And please don't get me wrong - I am not diminishing his death, I am not taking sides on who did what or what went wrong, who was at fault, any of that. Here's what caught my attention as I was watching it for the very first time. Diamond Reynold's was paying more attention to her phone than to the man laying next to her dying. Period. She gave very few words of consolation to him, but many to her phone. And it struck me as so obvious that even the bloodied Castile was secondary to her need to be taking video. So like a weirdo I went to her Facebook page and was dismayed at what I found. I'm not here to smear someone or discredit the story - do your own research and come to your own conclusions, but I came away with an awful realization, and because I saw a bit of myself in it I'm not exempt from my own contempt; people are so narcissistic that they live through their phones, missing the actual moments that make life on this planet worth living and dying for. She missed the moment. She missed it. He was passing, and then gone, and she missed it. Yes, she experienced it, but she experienced it through Facebooking.
Let me say this. My dad died nearly two years ago. He passed suddenly of lung cancer; it was the most awful thing I've ever seen with my own eyes, and I will not ever forget those last moments before he left this world. The look in his eyes. And at that moment he needed my mom. He needed me, my brother, our family, and for someone to hold his hand as he made the journey out. What if I were taking video of that moment? What if I were giving a play-by-play to Facebook Live instead of sharing wordless conversations with my mother? What if I were paying attention to my phone and not my dad? 
This is too big of a thought right now. Words are not adequate. My mind is shutting down. I truly TRULY cannot comprehend missing that moment for the sake of engaging in social media. 
Granted, there are many other dynamics at play in these situations, countless things about them that are different, and I acknowledge that. But at the very essence, down to the core, a life was passing from one world into the next. With all political, social, and racial issues aside, she missed the moment. And regardless of Philando Castile's guilt or innocence, and despite the fact that his girlfriend was a foot away from him, her company was her phone, and he was alone when he passed over. And THAT is tragic.
Lord have mercy. 
Please let us learn.


  1. So very well written. Sorry for your loss two years ago. I sat with my father as he passed of a hemorrhagic stroke over a decade ago and the depth of those moments are burned into me. I would have rather been anywhere but here... but I was there and glad that I was there at the same time.

  2. What you write, Tanya, is always worth reading. I've been so impressed that I took the liberty of sharing a couple of your pieces on my church's Facebook page. I hope that's okay.

    Thank you. And keep up the good work!

    Pastor Dolph Abrrnethy
    Mt. Olive Lutheran Church
    Newton, NC