I’m glad my week is over!
My Monday started like nothing I have ever experienced in my life!
My alarm went off as normal, but my garage door slammed as I was waking up, it was my wife. Now this wouldn’t seem all that weird, except she was due in her office in 15 minutes, and she was still home!
I heard her run up the two flights of stairs to our bedroom, and she said “get up!” in a tone of voice I have NEVER heard her utter.
“Our neighbor is DEAD!” With that she said grab a sweat shirt it’s cold outside, and she ran back down the stairs & out the garage door.
I was in a fog, What neighbor? Where? I ran down the two flights of stairs grabbed shoes hopping one on my foot as I broke the plain of my garage door, only to see 7 sheriffs cars surrounding the 4 corners of my street.
I made eye contact with neighbors I never see at this hour of the day, unless we get a big snow and we are all out shoveling simultaneously, and the teary eyes told me a story I was in NO WAY prepared for.
My 42 year old neighbor was dead, his two sleeping children & now widow were in the house, and I’m L O S T !!!
My incredible wife said we need to get the kids out and to our home, the issue was, their father was dead in the doorway of their home, and we sure as hell didn’t want them waking to that vision! I ran to the officer on guard at the front door and pleaded with him to let me go in & get the children, NO DICE..there asleep and we are trying to figure out how to get them out the back of the house. FINE I said ~walking off. Still in a teary fog! A few minutes later the officer motioned to me “their coming out the back side of there house, you can take them to your home.”
In the mean time another couple detectives showed up, a crises counselor, and a coroner, it was shift change for the sheriffs office, so a few new officers showed up, and others dispersed. One officer said “we don’t see this often, he’s only 42.” With no real reason to be deceased, the officer walked away from our teary eyed group, as if to try and make sense of the whole thing in his mind. ( I assume he went home & hugged his family a little harder that day, the officer exclaimed he was “our age”)
Many tears flowed, my home became the base of operation until the body of my neighbor was removed. Through many tears, multiple neighbors made there way to my home, the community was in rally mode.
The coroner needed to do an investigation interview, and ask the children to leave, we decided to take them next door to await the arrival of their grandparents. Just as we were breaking the plain of my garage door, the coroners were wheeling out a gurney, with my neighbor covered on a blue blanket, just at the same time as I was seeing the children to another neighbors house. This was JUST THE SCENE i WANTED TO PROTECT THEM FROM!
I told them to keep eyes forward as we crossed the street, but all I heard was the sniffling, and whimpering of my fallen neighbors two children, those tears & that pain was just about to do me in! I watched as they got my neighbor into the van, and made my way back into my home.
With the interviews wrapped up, the children safely with their grandparents, and neighbors dispersing, it was all I could do to not just sit & stare at a wall. It was now 9:01AM I awoke at 6:41AM. All this took place in less than two hours, twenty minutes, it was now quite, the widow in her home alone, my teary eyed wife, upset, trying to make her way to her office, and me trying to prepare for a statistics quiz at 12~noon.
My head pounded all that day, it was all I could do to sit through my class. I made my way home after the quiz and lecture, and it was time to gather the neighbors and see where we were. While not quite as emotional, we were still all in the same space, headaches, breaking hearts, sorrow, but we
were we ARE community!
The week has come & gone, Friday night I made a bonfire, we gathered our neighbors, we had hot chocolate for the kids, I swilled a whole bottle of red wine, others had a beer, we were together on Friday night still reeling from Monday, but we started laughing a bit. The kids loved playing around the fire & in the dark. Our community was healing, we have a long way to go but we are making those first steps.
That night his daughter had written a note to her father, and decided to put it into the flames to have the ashes carried aloft. The most AMAZING thing happened. Not 3 minutes later after the paper had been burned completely, a shooting star came over one of my neighbors homes, BRIGHT , LONG TAILED, and was SLOW MOVING FOR US ALL TO SEE! I screamed to get everyones attention, we were all amazed.
I looked at his daughter and said “your dad musta got your message.”
The truly weird thing was, several weeks ago she had told her dad she wanted to see a shooting star one day…
I have traveled regularly to Utah & points South West in Colorado to watch meter showers, but NEVER IN MY LIFE, have I seen one this close, bright, slow moving, and purpose serving!
I saw a shooting star that night, but I believe it was something more.