I’ve asked myself the question “why write.” Why write about this part of my life’s story when it’s so tragic and grim at times.
Mostly it’s healing for me to share things about my sons short life, about the deeper meaning behind my grandsons words.
I want people to know our story. Even though the ending on this earth is a horrific nightmare that I never get to wake up from.
There are many dreadful endings of life.
Tragic accidents that gave no rhyme or reason.
Devastating accidents on the highways or backroads.
Vehicular manslaughter caused by texting and driving or erratic unexplained behavior causing the horrific accidents that take our loved ones, or just a slight wrong turn that turns our worlds upside down.
Devastating illnesses that attack our loved ones and take away all hope of them ever being healthy and living normally as we watch them suffer unbearable pain that hospice workers can only manage and try to make our loved one more comfortable.
How about the relationship that was a match made in heaven but he ended being the right hand man of Satan himself,putting her through hell on earth before ending her beautiful life in a jealous fit of rage.
Of course there is the epidemic that is killing our beautiful children with only one puff or push of a needle. Promising them euphoria and delivering a horrid addiction that keeps them shackled in bondage that they can’t be or don’t want to be free from.
Then there is the despondency of suicide.
Believe it or not when I was in the eighth grade we were asked in health class to write a paper on suicide. I have never been suicidal however I suppose my empathetic personality caught the attention of both the health teacher who got the gym teacher involved and they both sat down with me to make sure that I was indeed not suicidal based on what I wrote on that assignment. I hurt for the people who choose that ending.
Billy’s ending matched none of the above. I just want to scream ” It’s not fair!”
None of the scenarios I mentioned are fair. I’m not implying that at all. Billy’s ending is different. Just like his life was different, so was his death.
I know that thousands of people have been murdered by strangers. I would imagine burglary of some sort. ” Give me your money, give me your watch”
Maybe a drug deal gone bad.
Not Billy. Billy wasn’t robbed. There was no drug deal. Billy and the 4 other young men he was with, one of which was his little brother Jami, did not know the guy.
They were walking down the street, they didn’t even see the guy who was all by himself, his shadow hiding between row homes in the dark when they passed him by across the street.
Those young men were minding their own business, in a group, walking down the street. They were a little loud as they were cheering on the Philadelphia Eagles one week before they beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Of course all of Philadelphia was cheering on their Eagles.
It’s madness. Why cross the street and follow the group of them? Why take on a group of 5 young men?
It wasn’t drugs or money. That young man who was a stranger to my son and their friends was just looking for someone to hurt and he choose my son.
My boys didn’t antagonize, they didn’t instigate,they just kept walking.
How do I know this? It’s ALL on surveillance cameras up and down the city block.
A random, senseless, act of violence.
Walking and cheering.
Billy’s only offenses.
I write because this arbitrary act against my son happened to my son.
Could it happen to your son or your daughter or your niece, nephew, brother or sister? Yes.
This world we live in is a fallen world, it’s crazy. It’s not how it was originally created to be.
We teach or children and grandchildren to never talk to strangers, even on social media, only people you know. No friends of friends. Be aware of your surroundings.
Yet all the time we hear about this shooting and that accident and that robbery. School shootings by a delusional stranger church shootings by a stranger,maniacs driving their cars into a crowded public area and the list go on and on.
They call it news and we are so used to hearing about it, we become desensitized to it unless it happens to us.
When’s the last time we heard about a plane that landed safely?
Anyway, back to why write? So people hear our story. Is it a typical occurrence? Tragically it’s becoming more common in the world in which we live but until it happens to you, it’s just someone else’s story. It’s our story. I’m trying to squash the assumptions because that’s what we generally do right?
“Oh that kid was probably up to something…”
“Oh I bet it was drugs….”
“Kids out there looking for trouble on a Saturday night…”
Wrong. None of the above.
This is our story. From his Mothers heart.
Not a spin from a news station that may get parts of it right but lots of it wrong.
Everyone wants to know about the person who committed the act of violence. I want to know about the people whose lives were cut short and their families that are left behind, trying to put back together their shattered lives.
I needed a place to put into words, sometimes articulate words other times scattered words, what this random act of violence stole from us. It is so far reaching that I struggle to find the right words.
I needed a place, a page to share it to so my personal Facebook feed doesn’t get all clogged up with murder and tragedy and death and things my friends don’t necessarily want to see in their newsfeed. If they want to see it and read it, they have a choice to click on and see what “Thrive or Survive Life after Homicide”has posted.
I have many friends who have not liked my page and that’s their choice.
I have mentioned before that I do understand that I am now a reminder that bad things happen. I don’t even want to say that bad things happen to good people. Yes I believe that a majority of my friends on Facebook would say that we are good people.
It’s their prerogative whether to like my page or not. I don’t get a lot of likes or comments from my friends on Facebook that do like Thrive or Survive and that’s OK. I believe that my page is going to be more far-reaching than just my 200-some odd Facebook friends. I’m just thankful for their support.Most the time I don’t even get any likes or comments from my own family!
That’s not why I am telling our story, they know our story, they live our story. We all have our own ways and mechanisms of coping or trying to cope.
I write because I can. I write because maybe someone will connect with my words and it will help them in some way. I write because I do have a story to tell.
One thing I remember from the night that changed my life forever was a verse that I got a Jami to repeat with me over and over while we were on the phone.It was calming for both of us and now I understand why that particular verse came to mind.
“I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. “Psalm 118:17
Billy’s physical body did die but he will live on through my words, the words of his family and especially the words of his son. We will see the good that will be brought out of this tragedy, I’m not saying the tragedy was good but I believe God and He will bring good out of this and we will declare the works of the LORD.
I certainly don’t always feel good, but despite my feelings, God is good and He’s bigger than my feelings.
May you receive God’s blessings.