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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Friends or Not??

I always have questions going thru my brain about who is my friend and who is not. I know it sounds a bit juvenile but there it is. I tell myself that things like that really do not matter, but you know what? THEY DO.

I work in a call center and talk to hundreds of people a week and it amazes me how many people do not have anyone they feel they can turn to, to ask a favor.

So, I put myself in that postion.

  • If I need to borrow a cup of sugar.. who would I call?
  • If I need to borrow a car...who would I call?
  • If I need to cry on a shoulder... who would I call?
  • If I need a ride to the doctor, or store, or just home on a pouring down rain day... who would I call?

That then leads into the question... If I call, would they come? **Similar to the "If you build it, they will come"**

Then there is the question of, if they are my friend, and know I need something, would they just offer without my asking?

I bring all this up because the past couple days have been rainy. Monday it was raning in the morning and beautiful when I left work. I was a bit wet when I arrived to work, that was ok. I didn't mind the wait for the bus in the afternoon because it was gorgeous. Yesterday, Tuesday, it was nice in the morning, and POURING when I left work. I don't like to ask for a ride too often, and the people I usually would ask have recently shown they are friends/acquantances, but not friend/friends...

So, I was waiting to see if either one would think to say... Gee it is pouring, I should see if Michelle needs a ride home today. Neither offered, and both drove by me as I was walking in the downpour to the bus stop.

So.... there I am with this question going thru my brain...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Murder in the Burbs

This past Tuesday I got home from work and then set out for the grocery store. I was to catch the 5:50 bus #86 which would take me the few miles to the store. No trouble, the bus was a few minutes late but that was ok. I did a few stretches and curb-steps. Got on the bus and went to the store.

Now, mind you, I cant get a lot at the store because I have to carry what I get. The actual shopping took about 20 minutes total, standing in line about 7 more. I walked out to the bus stop. As I got closer the bus pulls up... I began to rush more because I was almost there, and if I missed the bus I would have to wait another 30 mins for the next one. Luckily the driver saw me and was kind enough to wait. Some don't. I climbed the steps, dropped my bags and hurried to find my bus pass in my bag... thanking the driver the whole time. Then I sat with a plop in the first seat. Luck was also on my side that the bus was not full of people and I did not have to search for a seat with all my bags.

I then organized the groceries. Put most of the items into my backpack/purse/bag thing. It is just easier to carry the load on my back rather than hanging from my arms.. Sigh.. I was ready to get home.

The bus was almost to my stop, I had just pulled the bell signalling my stop as next and I want to get off. The bus slowed in front of the complex. The stop is the next complex. I heard the bus driver say "What's going on????" Then I looked out the front window of the bus and ...

The entire road was blocked off with police cars, emergency vehicles of all sorts. Lights flashing, flares burning in the road. People sort of milling about. I told the driver I could just get off here because he was right in front of my apartments. I gathered my things and left the bus, looking towards the police vehicles, etc.

There was a security guard (for my complex) standing at the entry gate. I asked him "What happen? Did someone get hit by a car?"... this was the first thing that popped into my mind because there are always kids (and adults like me) who run back and forth from one side of the road to the other. And the cars fly down the road well over the posted speed limits.

The guard answered "No someone got shot."
"Oh ... My... God... " I answered, "are they hurt bad?"
"Yeah, dead."
"Was it a drive-by?"
"Don't know.. but there were about 8-10 shots fired, and he was dead when the police arrived"

I was a bit freaked out. I was gone for about 30-35 minutes, and someone got shot while I was at the store, and he was shot in pretty much the location I was standing for the bus. I walked quickly to the apartment and asked Charlie if he had heard any gun-shots. He hadn't but he listens to his music/tv loudly. I told him what was going on. He was on the phone with Grandma at the time and I grabbed his phone, told her what was going on, and asked her to check the tv to see if I had anything on it, because it was 630 and local news was on. She said nothing reported on the news about it yet.

Well, turns out the person who got shot was a 17-year-old kid. This boy went to school with my son, was in a class with him last year. Charlie knew him but not too well. The newspapers say that he was on the football team. Charlie said the rumor at school was that this boy had been in a few fights recently. Don't know what about or why, and that really does not matter anyways... Charlie said that apparently someone he had been in a fight with had shot him, other rumors were that the other kids father shot him... I don't know if anyone has been arrested or not.

My big concern here is our youth are not handling things. They have stress and problems in their life the way adults do, and maybe even more so. Charlie is always talking about revenge. We see it on tv. We read it in books. But, I always tell Charlie.. the answer is not in revenge. It doesn't solve anything but makes things worse. I tell him it is ok to be mad, angry, pissed.. but that he needs to deal with it because not everything in life is great, wonderful, perfect; he needs to deal with things as a child because he will need to know how to deal with the same type of things as an adult. AND REVENGE IS NOT THE ANSWER. It can only hurt others and yourself.

I wondered last night as I was talking with my dad about it if the person who fired that gun is feeling guilt and remorse. How is that person living with the fact that he took the easy road by pulling that trigger and killed another human being. It was a swift, probably in the heat of the moment, decision. What is he thinking about now, after the fact? Does he now regret the actions that will alter his life completly and has already altered the lives of so many others.

Not only did his actions hurt the person that he killed. It affected that persons family and friends. It hurt the neighborhood, schools and businesses nearby. It hurt the city and state and even the country. It is another wound of history. It may have only received a few short paragraphs in the local paper, and none in "world news"... but the affects are like that of throwing a rock in a puddle... It ripples and vibrates...

.... In His Loving Arms