Monday morning, March 11, 2014 dawned very peacefully on our pretty, quiet, orderly street in Huntsville, AL.
We woke up a little earlier than normal so we could get to some morning appointments. We had no idea what was happening about 6 doors down from us.
Everything looked normal, orderly… and quiet.
I got into my car to leave first, for my doctor appointment. It was shortly after 9AM. As I pulled out of the driveway, I looked one way and saw the 4th police car pull quietly up to a house down the street…maybe 6 houses down. As I looked the other way, I saw a fire engine and emergency vehicle next door. They weren’t in the house, they were outside, watching down the street. Waiting. . .
You can imagine the questions that were flying through my head. But I had to be somewhere. I couldn’t ask the questions that popped into my head. I knew I would find out soon.
I drove down the street a couple more blocks and there was a TV reporter with his truck. He was also outside his truck. . .waiting.
I knew something big had either happened or was about to happen. I hoped no one would die.
Driving up the main highway, Memorial Drive, I passed 4 police cars with sirens blaring. Somehow I thought, “They must be going to the house on my street.”
When I was almost to the doctor’s office, I called my husband.
“Have any sirens been going off near you?”
“Yes, just as I was going out the door 3 or 4 police came driving up with their sirens. There are a bunch of police at that house around the corner.” He said. “I saw a TV reporter a couple blocks down the street on my way out of our area and he didn’t know what was happening either. Just that the police scanner had gone off.”
We each went on with our day and I arrived home about 11:15. Or tried to. I was only able to get within a couple of blocks of the house before I hit a police roadblock. When I told him I lived on that street, he said they would be done in about 15 minutes.
I asked him what had happened. He said, “Someone was trying to commit suicide.”
I felt relieved. No one died.
Unfortunately, that isn’t exactly what happened. It was supposed to be a murder/suicide only the husband didn’t take enough drugs to die after he killed his wife.
I saw more of the news on TV that night. Very few details are known so I won’t pass on the hearsay.
I drove by the house yesterday (Tuesday). Our street is still very peaceful and quiet. The houses are still neat and orderly…except for the one with all the yellow tape in front.
There is a home where a woman experienced the end of an abusive marriage. I don’t know if she suffered physical abuse that ended in her death or constant verbal abuse that ended the day her husband got too angry and out of control…and murdered her.
I just know that this young woman (34) is now dead. It all happened in a peaceful, quiet, orderly neighborhood. It might be one just like yours.
These things happen everywhere. They don’t just happen in poor neighborhoods. There is abuse everywhere.
We need to pay attention. Sadly, I didn’t even know this woman.
I pray for her grieving family.
I pray for those who also suffered from this abuse. For the two children she left behind.
. . .and for those living in abusive situations now.
And I pray for those of us who are her neighbors. That we will be more alert to each other and to the next woman or child that is in our world.
That we will be able to love them well and give them hope…
That they are not as horrid as they are being told because of the image of GOD in them.