Last night I went to a church party where we were supposed to play a mystery game. You may have heard of these before. Some of the guests from the party act out a murder mystery, and the rest of the guests have to figure out "who done it". When we got to the party, the person in charge announced that "due to recent events", we would not be playing the mystery game, but would just be eating dinner instead. I happened to be sitting at a table with the Bishop of that congregation (we call it Ward). I asked him what recent events happened. He told us that a woman in his Ward had been found dead in an older section of town near a school for troubled teens. She was 45 years old, and they suspect it was a homicide. He took a few minutes to address us all, and asked us to, "Leave it alone, don't speculate". I think that was very wise advice considering the fact that she left behind a husband and several children. We don't want them to suffer because of gossip or speculation.
For some reason this really hit home to me. Just the other day, probably the same day she died, I went walking alone down by the water. I had my camera, and was walking by a Dow wildlife preserve. There is a nice cement path that skirts by the marina and wildlife preserve. As I walked, it occurred to me that this wasn't the safest thing to do. I was all alone, and although there were house boats not far away, it was possible that they wouldn't be able to hear if I yelled for help. A man was walking some distance behind me, but just as he neared, two other men came walking in the same area. I decided to cut my visit short and head back to the car.
Another reason this hit home to me was that she was my same age. She had teenage children just like me. I thought about those kids tonight and the loss they are dealing with. I thought about my own children, and how devastating it would be if my life were ended abruptly and I were not allowed to raise them to adulthood.
These are the days that make me just want to hug every child and cherish the time we have together. We should count our blessings that we have each other, and pray that we can be allowed live together a good long time.