Dispatches from a Reporter's Notebook

A New Normal

Posted July 16, 2008

One day after Nancy Cooper's body was found after an exhaustive search not far from her Cary home life appears normal at the neighborhood pool she frequented.  It is a beautiful Carolina day full of sunshine and blue skies , matched only in intensity by the sparkling blue pool water where children splash, dive for rubber rockets and yell"Marco Polo."  On the other side of the pool  about a dozen women  are bopping up and down in a water aerobics class to the soundtrack of the rock band movie "Tommy" featuring the music of the "Who."  

The scene is so idyllic, it almost reminds you of a Disney movie, the perfect day in the perfect all-American neighborhood.  But it is shrouded in a veil of sadness.  One can't help but wonder how many times Nancy Cooper frolicked in this very pool with her young daughters, Bella and Katie, enjoying the cool water under a cloudless sky.  But that vision is quickly erased by the small groups of friends and acquaintances huddled around the pool talking in low voices about the tragedy that has taken place.

I didn't''t know Nancy Cooper personally, but as a mother I find it hard to believe that I could ever look at the pool in the same way, or for that matter the coffee house where she often met friends, or the streets where she jogged.  Unfortunately, even if and when someone is arrested for Nancy Cooper's murder "normal" will never be quite the same again in this neighborhood.  Instead it will be replaced by a new normal where we recognize that even a beautiful summer day isn't always what it seems to be...

About this Blog:

WRAL's Amanda Lamb offers a behind-the-scenes look at what TV news reporters do, the people they meet and how their jobs affect them.