I am terrible about remembering things with numbers such as phone numbers or dates. However, there are a few dates I will always remember:
October 3, 1897, my grandmother's birthday
November 2, 1979, the day my BFF and I got our braces off
April 18, 2009, first date with The Husband
The birth dates of both my children
July 5, 2010, wedding anniversary
January 28, 1986, the Challenger exploded
December 9, 1980, the day I found out John Lennon had been murdered
As I mentioned before, I've been a Beatles fan since the ninth grade. In December 1980, I was a high school junior. I got up on December 9, 1980, got in the shower, dried off and got dressed, and then my dad stopped me in the hall.
"There's been an assassination, honey."
Those were his exact words. I can still hear them. His choice of the word "assassination" is what still rings in my ears thirty years later.
I first, of course, thought he meant the president, who at that time, was Jimmy Carter. Ronald Reagan had just been elected, and would have an attempt made on his life 69 days into his presidency.
Then he said, "It was John Lennon."
I remember I had to lean against the wall to avoid falling over. I know the expression "felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach" may be bandied about, but that's exactly how I felt. I started sobbing and my dad held onto me.
I immediately called one of my best friends, High School Mel (whose gift of an awesome "Happy Christmas from John and Yoko" t-shirt I still have, 30 years later). She had heard the news the night before. Back in those days, we were not allowed to call our friends after 9:00 PM, so she'd had a rough night.
I got to school and stumbled into home room. French with Mme. Sanchez. I remember that a senior named David came in after me, we made eye contact and we both knew what each of us was thinking. I can still hear him plop down into his desk behind me and let out a little groan. The rest of the day was a blur within a fog.
As the details about his murder came out, I felt the same feelings of waste as I'm sure millions of others did.
I could go on about the senselessness of his murder, the state of mental health care in America, gun control laws and whether or not Yoko really broke up the Beatles, but it still wouldn't bring back a man who truly and earnestly wanted to make the world a better place and wanted nothing but peace.
I don't believe in Zimmerman,
I don't believe in Beatles,
I just believe in me,
Yoko and me.