Just recently the community that we live in was changed forever by tragedy. In the aftermath there are 8 human beings dead. 2 adults and 6 children. Tragedy. Loss. Death. I received the notice from the Editor of our newspaper via Twitter. I was preparing to leave the house with my 3 girls to meet someone regarding a Pomeranian puppy we are selling.
I glanced at the phone and saw, “Are you meeting the man in Bell?” I replied “No, Barbeque Bills, why???” For a moment there I felt like Olaf in Frozen. “Why, why, why….” The tweet came back instantaneously “8 dead, six kids”. Life stopped as my heart thumped in my chest. What? Why? How? all these thoughts ran through my head and my heart-felt as if it were breaking. The next tweet from me was “praying”. At that moment in time I thought it was a car accident. I mean after all how can 8 people be dead unless a motor vehicle was involved.
It wasn’t until almost two and half hour later that the full story began to unravel in our community. And as I say unravel, the community unraveled with the story. When you live in a rural, small town, 8 people is too many. When you live in a community that is all about caring, sharing, farming and hard work, 8 people affects everyone who lives there. But, why didn’t these 8 people catch our attention before? hmmmm Or maybe they did and we were just too busy, too full, too consumed with other things.
I don’t watch the news. I hate the news. It is not news, it is the opinions of the newscasters, it is the opinion of the politicians, it is not news that is true and I want truth. I think the only time I actually watch the news is when there is a hurricane headed for my home and then it stays muted so I can watch not hear. I know that sounds hypocritical as I work for a newspaper. But, I read the newspaper and I listen to the stories that call in, email in and I get all the news I need locally. I don’t read webpages for our local area from people who could not cut it in the newspaper business, I read our physical printed copy of the newspaper and I visit our website to read the breaking news. I read the newspapers that are invited to press conferences and actually attend. I don’t use Facebook for my news, only to talk to family.
A grandfather in our community shot and killed his daughter and her six children. Tragedy. I chose after receiving the full story not to share this with my children. I knew that the story would be all over our small town by tomorrow morning. It was bedtime and I wanted them to end their night with prayers and the LORD.
The next day, I felt horrible. My mind just could not reconcile what happened, how it happened and why it happened. As I kept returning to Jesus’ arms for comfort about this tragedy, I was reminded that He was there and He has this situation. What an exhausting day, the phone calls, the emails, the press conferences, everything pressed heavy on a momma’s heart that was grieving already. When I picked up the girls from school, all three could not wait to share with me the murder that happened right down the street. I listened to three different versions of their story. Of course all three were very different. I asked them if they forgot where I worked? They all replied “No” and then realized that what they were sharing as news was not really news but gossip that had spread to their school and their world. Most of what they shared was not based on fact, it was based on the speculation of some parent of some child within their school. It breaks my heart that these three precious little girls had to hear these horrific stories passed down from adult, media to child. It breaks my heart that children have to die at the hand of adults that are trusted with their care. It breaks my heart that our legal system has become all about plea bargains and short time prisoners. I am totally heart-broken. What is a momma to do? Pray. Seek God for comfort and guidance. It is a scary world we live in and it will get worse the Word of God says.
I hugged my three little girls a little tighter Thursday, Friday and …. As each day I am given from my Heavenly Father is a blessing. Hug your loved ones a little tighter because in a blink of an eye everything can change.
Until Next Time,