Living in small towns has its advantages. The main advantage is that the towns people are able to pretend naïveté to much of what happens in the real world. However, as with all parts of life, reality affects everyone-even in small towns or especially in small towns. This past weekend, our small town was punched in the face with the unthinkable: a double murder perpetrated on a teacher and her boyfriend by a jealous ex-boyfriend.
It was announced on one of the blogs that the entire police department was on their way down one particular street. Did anybody know what was going on? Of course, at this point everyone was just speculating. Was it a riot? Or people at an accident scene? No one really knew. But it did not take long for the ugly, heinous truth to surface. One minute life is living. The very next second a wonderful couple is laying in a car in their own blood life slipping rapidly away. Three families devastated. How can a parent prepare to lose a child? To bury that child before their self?
In the big city, things like this happen frequently;however, the citizens are not reminded everyday like in a small town. In a big city, many people may not even know when murders occur. It is not that big city people do not care. They just hear about it so frequently they just turn it off in their brains. Unfortunately in a small town, the same is not true. When something of this nature unfolds, for days the scene festers in the entire community’s life. In a town with only one newspaper, that newspaper every day reiterates what everybody is thinking with detail about the victims. It’s the talk of the coffee shops, the McDonald’s, the workplace, the street corners everywhere and even on sports fields and in churches. One cannot escape the tragedy that has taken place in the center of the town. It is not that a person wants to escape; they just wish it did not happen at all and certainly do not desire to think about it.
Unlike the big cities, in a small town, everyone knows each other through someone else. One high school means everyone is connected somehow. Can’t talk about someone because you may be talking to a relative. A little bit of drama in a small town means-a hell of a lot of drama! Commonly, in small towns there are no gangs, everyone goes to the high school football games on Friday nights, people congregate at the local bar or restaurant of their choice and the kids hang out at the local mall. Basically, gossip is the norm. Everyone knows who slept with whom and how many babies a certain young man has fathered. But a double murder- pure shock!
My prayers are with the families. I think, ” Did the victims know in the last few seconds of their lives they were dying? I hope it hurt so much, that they felt no pain. Was there an angel with each of them?”
But worst of all, I think-thank God this did not happen to my family. In a small town no one escapes the grief of this horrendous loss. Where every person goes one must face someone who knew the victims; or worse- the murderer. Oh, the quilt a parent would feel if their child pulled that trigger. “How did I miss the signs my child was troubled? What could I have done?”
Yet, the fault is not theirs. The blame belongs to the only person who thought he could play God. May he spend the rest of his life remembering the two beautiful lives he butchered. Ironically, he was not a part of this town. He came from outside and brought the violence in. I don’t want to live in a big city, for I have. This is why I live in a small town. I moved here for some measure of peace. Another myth shot to hell. Sorry should not have used the word “shot”. That is what started the problem. 😥