Do you believe there are some people who are born cursed and who are doomed to a life of misery for reasons beyond their direct control?
You’ve heard the commonly shared memes that, by default, label and curse while labeling and cursing: “A rain cloud follows her around.” “He was born under a dark star.” “She could never catch a break. “He’s unlucky in cards.”
How do you explain those common phrases in our vernacular? Are they made ordinary because they are true or are they used because we seek to give definition and expression to that which we cannot comprehend? Is it simpler to label someone “unlucky” than it is to plunge deeper into the reasons for their failure and help them out of a physical and emotional hole? How do you explain the cursed life of Kathleen Caronna?
Kathleen Caronna (born 1964) is an investment analyst and New York City resident who became well-known due to her involvement in two accidents that came to national attention in a nine-year span. On Thanksgiving Day, 1997, while attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with her husband, Ignazio Massimo, and then-infant son, Caronna was seriously injured when high winds pushed the Cat in the Hat balloon into a lamppost. Debris from the accident fractured Caronna’s skull and left her in a coma for a month; she later sued the city for nearly $400 million and received an undisclosed settlement.On October 11, 2006, a small plane carrying New York Yankees baseball pitcher Cory Lidlecrashed into Caronna’s 41st-floor home in the Belaire Apartments on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Although the plane’s engine landed in her bedroom, Caronna was unhurt, as she was not home at the time. The high-profile nature of the accidents led to changes in guidelines governing the use of parade balloons in high winds  and the piloting of aircraft under visual flight rules along the East River general aviation corridor.
Is Kathleen Caronna unlucky? Is she a martyr? Is she s messenger?
Is she merely the victim of coincidence? When I was a student at UNL, there was a young woman my age who was known campus-wide as “The Black Widow” because any man’s life she touched in a significant and enduring way ended in his death or permanent paralysis. In high school she dated a football star who was hit hard into the sideline filled with cheerleaders. He was paralyzed for life with a broken neck.
She was one of the cheerleaders. As a Sophomore at UNL, one of the men she dated died in a car crash while she slept in the passenger seat. She was unharmed in the accident. During our Junior year at UNL she found me.
I admit I avoided her as much as possible and I never accepted her offers to “hang out” together only because of her Black Widow reputation. I later learned she was engaged to be married when her fiancée died in a car crash. He was killed head-on while she slept beside him in the passenger seat. She walked away without a scratch. How do we reconcile these eerie anomalies of living?
Do we earn our dark clouds or are they provided to us at birth? I’m sure you must have met one or two of these “cursed” people in your life. Do you avoid them or welcome them? Has their bad luck ever rubbed off on you? Is it possible for a cursed person to change someone’s luck?
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