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.