It's not like we were friends. I wasn't even that big of a fan, I mean, she is beautiful, very talented and comes from this acting 'dynasty'...she's even married to Liam Neeson (who I also think is very good looking and talented). But my mind can't seem to grasp the fact that she fell while skiing in Canada...and two days later, she's dead. My heart goes out to her family. I cannot possibly imagine how they must feel. It seems so senseless.
In this day and age when the medical community can do mind boggling feats to treat, diagnose and heal people...how can a woman fall on a bunny hill of all places and then die! It's unfathomable.
Years ago my niece had a blunt head injury. She fell on a sidewalk and cracked her head hard. She was in intensive care for weeks. They opened up the back of her skull to release the pressure...and she's fine. No brain damage, no long term side effects. She does have the scars to prove the ordeal did indeed happen, but they saved her. It was all very touch and go for a time...but it all worked out.
My niece isn't famous. She didn't receive and special treatment. She wasn't flown to a special hospital. We do have the benefit of living in a city that has a world renowned hospital that people from all over the world come to be treated. One would think that if you are of the rich and famous set that special considerations would be made. Perhaps it was just 'her time'...however, the news just really upsets me.
It also makes me think about my skiing this past year. I don't ski all crazy (anymore) and don't go too fast or on too steep of slopes. I no longer push the boundaries of my skiing abilities. I'll leave that to the younger set. So I've never worn a helmet...although there seems to be more helmet wearers now than ever before.
Since my daughter has been skiing we've had her wear a helmet. Some of her friends in ski club do not. She tried to negotiate with me about her wearing the ski helmet and I told her she had to wear it. The negotiation came into play because she said that neither her dad or I wear one, so why should she? It was the classic, "Because I said so" answer. In retrospect, that seems a bit hypocritical. I make her wear one for safety yet I don't protect my own noggin'.
With this latest revelation that perhaps Ms. Richardson could possibly be living today if she had been wearing a helmet, it makes me rethink my own helmet-less head. Why don't I wear one? I believe it has been due to vanity. Our friends whom we ski with wear them. He's a doctor so I chalked it up to their sensibility. His wife also told me that it keeps her warmer, so that's a bonus. I personally don't really care for the looks of them. They look a little too geekish or speedracer for me and what it does to your hair for God's sake. Plus I have to admit that I like feel of the cold air in my hair when I ski. Perhaps it's because all those covers on SKI magazine have taken their toll on my psyche....the beautiful couple shushing down the slopes, tanned faces, white teeth gleaming, their hair flying out behind them as they seemingly are having the time of their life on that beautiful sunny day....
I want to be one of the beautiful people. And the helmet just doesn't fit into that picture.
But as I was fixated to the news cast reporting the fact that "We're confirming the fact that actress Natasha Richardson has just died", a tear slid down my face. My daughter doesn't miss anything and asked why I was so upset. I normally don't cry while watching the news. I explained what had happened and her next words made me think.
She said that she wanted me to wear a helmet next time we go skiing. That she didn't want to lose me. That she loved me and I would look just as good, if not better with a helmet on. That if she wears a helmet to save her life, then a helmet would save mine as well....and she didn't want me to die also.
I'm not planning any spring skiing this year, so I have quite a bit of time before the next ski season. My basement is already jammed with storage of winter sports stuff. But guess what I'm doing this afternoon? I'm buying myself a helmet.....