If you are reading this, then the message is for you. I love you. Regardless of how well I know you or what our history may be, I have love for you.
So often, we don’t take the time to tell each other how we feel. We don’t let people know that we care. I want you to know that you are loved. You are supported. I care. Whether I know you well or I’ve had limited contact with you, something brought you here, at this moment. And at this moment, I am communicating a message of love to you. At this moment, I am making a personal vow to show appreciation for people and life, in general. I vow to approach each day with an open heart. Every moment is a gift, and there’s no guarantee that tomorrow will come.
Many times, it take tragedies for raw emotion to surface. A tragedy is what prompted this blog… writing is my therapy. It always has been, and the message that I want to share is that life is precious, and it should never be taken for granted. Something bad happened yesterday. Something really bad. A beautiful soul left this world in a heartbreaking way. I received a call around 3 p.m. and was told that a friend of mine was found dead outside of her home… a block away, there was another crime scene where her husband’s body was discovered. Police were calling it a murder/suicide, saying that it was domestic in nature. The details were vague.
After crying my eyes out in disbelief and total confusion, I got into my car and drove to their house. Reason being, my friend has two huskies that she loved dearly. Her family lives out of state, and I couldn’t stomach the possibility of the dogs being separated or ending up in the pound. I know that if this had happened to me, she would have taken in my dog without a second thought.
I called the police department, in an effort to communicate my intent and offer to take the huskies (Sasha and Shyanne) but I didn’t get much information on the dogs’ whereabouts. So, I arrived at the house to find multiple police vehicles, officers from the forensics unit, reporters and neighbors gathered there. The police told me that a neighbor was temporarily caring for the dogs and that they would take my name and number. They wouldn’t tell me which neighbors picked up the dogs or where Sasha and Shyanne were being held. I got in my car and started to drive away when I saw a few ladies gathered nearby. I approached them and explained that I was a friend, offering to care for the dogs. One of the ladies got into my car and took me to the house where she believed the dogs were being held. A woman answered the door – eyes red and puffy. I introduced myself and mentioned that I just wanted to leave my name and number, in case I could help with the dogs in any way. The woman recognized me, and I realized that I had met her before. She invited me in, and there were a couple other people there who I had also met in the past through our mutual friend. Come to find out, the family still had not been notified… the police were still working to contact them. Permanent decisions about Sasha and Shyanne will be made by the family. So, the dogs are in a safe place until then.
We talked for a while and I learned more about what happened. As far as anyone knows, there were no former incidents of abuse. I knew her husband also… always smiling, always joking. They were carefree, laid-back, good-hearted people. They separated about two weeks ago, and he was living with a neighbor a couple blocks away. Apparently, a few days would go by and they would spend time together again. Their marriage was rocky but they still saw each other regularly.
We won’t know what happened for sure until the autopsy report comes back. It’s obvious that a fight broke out, but we don’t know if he pushed her, hit her, or if she fell, in an effort to flee the situation. All we know is that she was trying to exit the house when it happened. She has injuries on her upper torso, and her body was found on her front doorstep at 7:30 a.m. yesterday by a neighbor who was out for a morning walk.
The lights were turned off and the house was locked. A couple blocks away, her husband was found in her jeep. He pulled into the garage, closed the door and left the jeep running. Even though the police have not reported it yet, we know that he died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
In my experiences with death, I’ve found that those who shine the brightest lights are often the ones who go before their time. I want to explain for a moment about the kind of person my friend was… she hired me at the company I’ve been with for almost four years now. Over time, we developed a friendship, even though there was a 20 year age difference between us. I looked up to her and respected her. When I bought my house a year and a half ago, she was proud of me. I was willing to sacrifice some luxuries in order to be a home owner. I didn’t have furniture for my second bedroom; I didn’t have cable and I didn’t care about those things. I was a home owner before the age of 30. That was a goal, and it felt good to accomplish it. Soon after I bought my house, this friend invited me over because she said she had some things for me. “Some things” turned out to be: a grill, gardening supplies, beautiful plants that she had cut and boxed for me so I could start a garden, a dog bed, a doggie house, a bed (with boxspring and mattress) for my second bedroom, and the list goes on… her generosity blew me away. Not only did she give me all of these things, she drove over with her husband and helped me move them in and get settled.
Every time a news story would run about Hoola Monsters, I would receive a call from her. I could hear the sincerity in her voice when she told me she was proud of me. A couple years ago, I went on a trip to New York City but the zipper on my winter coat was broken. I happened to mention this to her, and she came to the office the next day with three coats for me to choose from for my trip. Not long ago, she was laid off from our company due to budget cuts. I know that it was a hard time for her, but she always seemed to remain positive. She would still come to see me at the beach on Sundays… she knew that I went there to practice, and she made special trips to see me. She believed in the things that I’m passionate about. She brought friends there, and she supported me and encouraged me to follow my dreams and pursue my passions. I saw her at the drum circle two weeks ago… at the time, a crowd had gathered as I was hooping. I looked out to see her smiling face, and I threw my hoop to the ground and gave her a huge hug. We chatted for a moment, and she introduced me to her mom who was visiting at the time. My last memory of her will be that big hug, her magnificent smile and the sun setting in the distance. She’s going to be missed dearly.
Death opens up the survivor’s soul. It’s an introspective experience that causes you to confront reality. There are no guarantees. There are no second chances.
Please do me a favor today and call or visit someone. Tell them how much you care. Approach each day with honesty and integrity. Know that life is a gift. Have no fear in seeking out truth and discovering beauty. Live in the moment, and love with your entire being. I don’t know where this quote came from, but it’s one of my favorites:
“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”
I love you.