As you may guess, my world was rocked by the news earlier this week that a friend had been murdered. I have been, for the past few days, a very difficult person to live with. I have not been very nice to certain sales clerks. I almost punched the lady who cut me off in the grocery store line. I yelled at my kids. Pity the lady at the bank that told me I couldn't meet with a personal banker without an appointment despite the fact that my debit card was mal-functioning and refusing to give me MY money (only because of one very astute branch manager am I still with that bank). I couldn't focus.
Let me tell you, that is not the way Pat would have wanted to see me. I knew that, but I could not figure this out. Why was I so upset? I mean beyond the grief of losing a friend ... what was wrong?
Last night figured it out. I am scared. How can this kind of violence enter into MY life?
I don't have friends who get murdered. I know people die. But they have heart attacks. They have cancer. They are in car accidents. They do NOT get shot in the head with a rifle at close range on their own property by a crazy neighbor while his wife and daughter are in the house.
It is too close. Now it is not some random person in the news. It is a friend of mine. And it didn't take much for me to imagine a scenario in which I could have easily been at the house at exactly the same time. I could have had my kids with me. I could be gone and my kids could be the ones without a parent.
Let me change that ... I am not scared. I am TERRIFIED. And now I am learning to live with a new normal. This kind of senseless and violent act is closer than I ever imagined.
Because of the circumstances, I have also lost any faith I had in the police department. As someone said to me the other day ... the police are no longer in the business of crime PREVENTION - they are too worried about how their actions will look to the world around them. THIS crime could have been prevented. One arrest. One "yes, I believe he threatened to kill you and your wife, let's take him in for questioning." Pat would still be with us. Instead, I now see the police as an after the fact crime mitigation and solving force.
My world has changed.
I liked it the old way.