Twenty-four hours ago, a series of events took place that has left me feeling uneasy with the world. Suddenly, I feel like I don’t have it all figured out. Maybe the things that are important to me aren’t really what I should be worrying about.
I should start back at the beginning. On Tuesday afternoon, a clean-cut, normal looking man went on a rampage in our nearest “city.” It’s where I go to get groceries, where my college is located, where I bought my wedding dress. I have always imagined it to be a perfectly safe place and have never worried about being attack while visiting.
First, the man approached a women who had a flat tire. She was on the side of the road when he pulled out a pistol, demanding that she get into his white pick-up truck. The women fought back, escaping his grasp.
The man took off, stopping at a Love’s truck stop where he focused his attention on a new target. A sixty-three year old grandmother was leaving the store with her three grandchildren. The man decided to take the women’s twelve-year old granddaughter in broad daylight. The grandmother wasn’t having any of it and jumped in front of the children, telling them man to “leave them alone.” He coldly pulled out his pistol, shooting the women in the back. She would later die on the way to the hospital.
I knew that women. Her name was Sharrel and she lived three houses down from my high school. Every Halloween, she would make a huge batch of popcorn balls that she would hand out to the local youngsters. She was active in her church and a super nice lady.
She died defending her grandchildren.
The man didn’t stop there. Once again, he jumped into his pick-up searching for another target. This time, he spotted two eleven year old girls who were walking down a road. He stopped, forcing one of the girls into his vehicle. When the brave girl saw a policeman drive by, she jumped out of the moving pick-up.
The police chased after the man. He stopped, shooting at the officers from his vehicle. He was eventually shot and killed by law enforcement officials.
Things like this suddenly make me realize how quick I could lose everything. A women from my home town was murdered this week. People who live in a town of one hundred people aren’t supposed to be murdered.
Wear your best dress.
Get your toes done.
Smile. Laugh. Hug your loved ones.
Take time to smell the flowers.
Watch a sunset.
Treat every single day as if it could be your last.
“Life’s not the breaths you take
The breathing in and out
That gets you through the day
Ain’t what it’s all about
Ya just might miss the point
If ya don’t slow down the pace
Life’s not the breaths you take
But the moments that take your breath away.”
(Credit goes to George Strait for the song lyrics. I lurve him.)