Friday, May 11, 2007

Lost sailors on my mind

My mom called yesterday to ask if I recognized the name of one of the sailors reported missing off the coast of North Carolina after their 54-ft. sailboat sent out a distress signal on May 7th.

I did recognize her name.

Christine Grinavic and I had all of the same classes in middle school when I lived in Cumberland and shared some of the same extracurricular activities. We were never best friends, but I remember working on a school project at her house and how she was one of the most intelligent people in every class. I haven't seen her since I was 12 so I'm a little surprised that the news of her disappearance is affecting me so much. The last time I heard what she was up to, she was involved in an archaeological dig in Israel. I didn't know that she graduated from URI or that she studied English. Articles about the missing sailboat and crew have mentioned that she's traveled to New Zealand, Peru, the Caribbean, and Israel. Coverage of the story by the Providence Journal seems particularly poignant since she has written for the paper several times. What an interesting life she's been leading.

I'm struggling with the realization that reports of tragedies like this don't seem to affect me very strongly unless I feel a personal connection to the people or circumstances involved. It's probably a very normal, human response that we find it hard to really empathize with complete strangers. The shootings at Virginia Tech seemed much more real and gut-wrenching once I heard that the first victim was an R.A. in a dorm.

The father of one of the other missing crewmembers said that he's holding out hope that everyone is safe and that the boat may just be drifting somewhere out of power. “That’s a huge ocean out there,” he said. I'm holding onto the same hope.


princess said...

As you can imagine, this story could not come at a worse time for my nerves. But I am also holding out. It is a big ocean.

Joe said...

I know Christine from a winter we worked together on a boat in the Caribbean, outgoing and ambitious were traits that immediatly come to mind. It is a big ocean, but if someone can make it, she can