Sunday, August 03, 2008


A gift in the mail--- on a day that I really needed it. I’ve mailed over 3 dozen postcards—this is the first I’ve ever received. I often wondered the feeling my friends, my Mom or even Sunday school kids had when they received theirs… I was right on target. It was just the feeling I was aiming for. Thanks again Susan.

Aside from the everyday tides of life—the ups and downs were totally different that day than I had ever experienced before. Our community made national news for totally horrible reasons. Four teenagers were shot, three fatally by a total stranger. Teenagers from 17 to 20 years old swimming at a local railroad bridge happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just when we get lulled into thinking “Not in my town” we get the shock of our lives. Hey it could have been my kids—they both swam there before… talk about reality check. Chelsey’s taking it pretty hard. While only one boy was a friend, in a small town you know everyone.

There are no “right words”. I’ve always considered our woods as a comforting place. But I was scared to death to leave my house that Friday morning after it happened on Thursday with the guy still loose with an assault rifle. I had never been so glad to see state troopers as I was when they were at my office when I got there. They had refueled their helicopters there throughout the night looking for the guy. They did get the guy 16 hours later—why did he do it? I don’t know, but there’s no answer to justify this.

Chelsey has a friend that ran—literally—for his life that lived. Funny, I pick at her lately about using the house as a closet because she’s never around, working two jobs and an active social life. She’s never home. That Thursday night when everything went crazy, she had stayed home with us. Something she hadn’t done in ages. Cellphones put our world in a different place now. She had friends calling and checking to find out where she was before it was announced on the TV, radio, or internet. It continued throughout the night. I sent her to Green Bay the next day with a friend. I didn’t want her in town with this guy on the loose. There were so many speculations—I wanted her away from the rumors. But even in Green Bay, news travelled.

She worked today. Calling to check in every hour or so. She’s still having a tough time. ‘Mom, I have helped people pick out clothes for funerals before, but I could always separate myself from the situation. I know why they need these clothes today. This is so hard. Mom—I don’t want to talk about it.’
I just told her that people need strength, and maybe they draw strength from her. But she doesn’t realize the comfort she can give others. A tough lesson for an 18 year old kid.

I didn’t mean to dump on anyone, I guess I’m rambling because as a parent I am living the “what if” scenarios in my mind. I can’t imagine the heartache the parents are going through.

21 comments:

Juliann in WA said...

This is one of those parent moments and I am so sorry that you have to be there but so glad that Chelsea has you. Stay strong.

Pat said...

I am so sorry Mel. Give Chelsey a big hug for me. I will keep you all in my prayers.

Joanne said...

Oh yes, it made national news. I can't imagine the terror those kids went through. Hugs and prayers for Chelsey and her friends, and strength for you to help her through this.

Tazzie said...

Ohhh Mel hon, I can feel the pain in your words. I hope you can feel me reaching out to hug you both. You're in my prayers.
*hugs*
Tazzie

rachelgriffith said...

oh my.
i am SO sorry to hear this.
i am, however, very glad to hear that your daughter is safe.

Toni said...

Mel,

Its funny I thought of you and Chelsea when I heard the news..I am not sure why I guess because I knew you lived somewhere in the area...You guys are in my prayers along with the familys who have lost there children...Toni

Di said...

My heart goes out to you, your daughter and family and to your community. Something like this has no reason...and I wish our children didn't have to experience these awful, awful things. Please know that many of us downstate are thinking of you all and wrap you in love and peace.

G'G'ma said...

Oh my, such a heartbreaking thing to have happen. I can imagine how frightened everyone in your area must have been until the man was caught. Prayers for everyone in your community.

debby said...

hugs to you and your daughter

Lea of Farmhouse Blessings said...

I'm so sorry. What a terrible event! I guess all we can do is hug those we love a little tighter and never forget to make every precious moment with count.

Blessings,
Lea

nicolette said...

What an awful tragedy to happen so close to your safe home. I’m sorry for the families who lost a dear one.

I’m glad your daughter Chelsea is safe.

Take care!

Clare said...

Oh Mel. Sending you big hugs. You will help Chelsey get through this, I know you will, but the initial shock must have been awful.

Hugs

Leanne said...

What a terrible thing... it takes away all the securities we take for granted...Chelsey is very lucky to have you...it will take some time to get over this terrible tragedy.

Linda said...

Me, I'm just catching up on blog reading and was so saddend to read this post. Hugs and prayers to you and your family.

Claudia said...

I can't imagine what you have been going through. What a horrendous tragedy. I know, we always think it won't happen in our town. Unfortunately, no one is immune in this day and age. My prayers and support are with you and your family during this terrible time.

Stina said...

I can not belive what I read at your blog...this is so sad news...hope your daughter do feel a little better and sending you a lot of hugs to the whole family....and sending a lot of thoughts to the familys that lost someone...
Take care

yellowfarmhouse said...

What a terrible tragedy and I send you, your family and your town hugs of healing.

Karen

Terri said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you, your daughter, and the victims of that senseless crime. Sometimes there are no right words, and we just have to be available to listen. God bless you all.

Muddling Through said...

Oh wow! I missed this post somehow. How awful! And yes, we do always think it won't happen to us, to our family, to our friends, not here. But then it does. I'm glad you have that strong faith in the Lord to help you. He is the only One who really can! And Chelsea has that same faith. Thank God! He will see you through.

julieQ said...

Oh how horrible. I am so sorry for the trauma you and your entire family and town are going through. Prayers be with you!

Carole said...

Oh Mel, so sorry to read about your town news! (((Hugs)))