Life is Fragile, Handle with Care

Across the road from the iris farm we visited on our trip to the mountains, was this abandoned church.  I was sad that it was padlocked, as I wanted much to go inside, to see what remained of it and what spirits might still linger there.  Always when I see abandoned buildings, I wonder about the lives of the people who once visited or resided there.  In this case, there were surely baptisms, weddings, and funerals, family celebrations and times of trial. Who built it? How many hands from the village helped to raise it up? How old was it and how long did it remain in service? Who decided that its time of usefulness was over, or that attendees had dwindled to the point where it was no longer feasible to keep it open.  Were the old ones who remained sad to see it fall to ruin? Is anyone still in the area who once attended services there?  A building is so much more than walls and ceilings and floors... I think it would make a good story to tell a tale of the various families whose lives were intertwined with this church.

On the topic of life and death... I arrived at work today to be given the sad news that one of my coworkers, a 32 year old diesel  mechanic, had been shot and killed in an altercation in the parking lot of his apartment complex last night.  A second victim remains in critical condition in the hospital, and the third person involved is in custody on charges of first degree murder.  Some sort of argument had taken place, some say our friend tried to intervene, I don't know if that's what went down.  What I do know is that in an instant of crazed anger one young man's life has been cut short, a second hangs in the balance, and the third has been cursed with the burden of knowing he is responsible. His life too is now forever altered. The tragedy and the stupidity of such occurrences boggles my  mind. 

Joe is survived by a young son who resides with his mother in another state, and a mother who also lives a few states away.  I pray to God that I never have to receive that kind of call regarding one of my children.  I can't begin to imagine the shock... horror... pain.  Joe is also survived by the most beautiful and gentle big dog I have ever seen. Casey often came to visit at work with Joe and we all loved her.  I am not a dog person but she captured my heart. She was present last night when Joe was shot. A neighbor took her home for safe keeping.  His mother is coming to retrieve her, Casey is now the closest connection she has to her son. Being an animal lover, my heart goes out to  Casey who must be struggling to make sense of what occurred last night and to understand why her best friend Joe is no where to be found.  Animals are perceptive of spirits, I am sure she knows that Joe has passed over, but how she must miss him!

It was a quiet, somber day at work.  What can be said to make sense of something that is utterly senseless.  A coworker-friend who is a few year older than me noted the fragility of life, how we are here one moment, and gone in a flash the next.  It seemed like Joe should come walking down the hallway and pop into our office to say hi today, as he does many days. I looked up several times searching for his face that wasn't there. I think of the ripple effect and how very many lives have been affected by what occurred last night. I believe that things happen for a reason, and perhaps even that Joe himself chose this path before being born.  I am not sad for him... he is set free, but I am deeply sorrowful for the mother and the young son who  must go on living without him.


  1. Oh gosh, I am so sorry to hear about this. My deep condolences to you and your co-workers. I must say you are such a deep thinker. I love how you started your writing by pondering on the past life behind the wall church and then linking that to what happened to your friend. I hope you and your co-workers can find peace in your mourning. My prayers for you all and your friend's family, and of course, for Casey too.

  2. Olive - I appreciate your caring thoughts. While such deaths are tragic, they are good reminders to us all of how fragile life is, and how important it is that we keep our relationships and our affairs in order.

  3. Oh Josie, how awful, I'm so very sorry. My heart goes out to all who mourn him. What a senseless tragedy...

  4. I am sorry to hear about this tragedy as well. Senseless violence. What could have been so important to argue about to cause such grief to so many?

    I have experienced those somber days at the office after a sad event. It is good to be together and support one another.

    Take Care

  5. Robin - it was indeed aweful. So very sobering. Makes our little problems in life seem so small.

  6. Lena, I agree, nothing could be worth the flash of anger that resulted in the loss of life and suffering for so many families. Read the rest of the story in the post above.

  7. How terribly sad. I am so sorry to hear of it. We just never know what lies around the corner. That's just awful.


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