St. Rufus of MetzOver two years ago, I wrote a post about how I destroyed a Moka coffee pot by leaving it on the burner while I went to help my neighbor jump his car. This is only one of a series of Moka pots I’ve destroyed in various ways, which is why I think maybe I shouldn’t use complicated machines (does a Moka pot really qualify as a machine?) when I’m caffeine deprived. The neighbor and the neighbor’s car survived the experience just fine. I would see him and his family every once in a while, and we’d say hi. When the windows were open in the summer, sometimes I could hear his wife trying to get the kids out the door in the morning. The guy gave me a nameless bad feeling, so I didn’t go out of my way to be any more friendly than politeness demanded. But we were neighbors.
Wednesday morning when AP and I were leaving for work, we noticed that there were several news vans from the major local tv stations parked around our corner. We couldn’t see anything much going on, so I assumed that something must have happened at the hospital on the corner. It made me curious, so on my lunch break I checked out their website. What I found out was horrible.
Apparently my neighbor had been abusive towards his girlfriend (I guess they weren’t married after all) for some time. Very late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, things came to a head. He shot her in their bed, killing her, and then tried to kill himself. All of their kids were in the home at the time. It was one of the children who called 911.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard of situations like this on the news, in books, on tv shows. I’ve even had to call the police myself when a man who lived next door to me decided to start beating on his girlfriend. I’ve helped employees who were victims of abuse find help to recover. I know the signs of abusive relationships. But none of that struck home as hard as watching the news segment, and seeing the back of my own home behind the police cruisers.
Lately it seems like there has been a lot of bad news. The woman who usually sits next to me in choir has missed a couple of weeks because her son in law just died after a long, excruciating illness. Someone I care about found out that the cancer they beat a few years ago is back for Round 2. None of it is really my bad news, but still. My usual autumn asthma has been especially brutal this year, which wears me out, makes me worry and grieve for these things more.
But there are good things too. Flo just got engaged. Next April The Duchess will be giving us another niece or nephew to dote on. Pippi is back in Dayton, and little by little moving in to our place. After months of no news, there has been a spate of articles about the kidnapped Nigerian girls I’ve been praying for, some tragic & awful, but some cautiously hopeful. At the least it gives me hope that these girls have not been forgotten, which means they still have a chance. So I’m choosing to remember those things, and I’ll keep praying.
Today I am praying for Patiant Dzakwa.