Over the last 20 years it's population has probably quadrupled, but it still seems small town to me. There are plenty of old timers who've lived here for forever. There are lots of new people like me. There are homes that were built by the people who settled this town, side by side with new homes. Every summer there is a parade and a rodeo and a festival in the park. It's a happy town that feels like a safe place to raise a family.
However, just over a month ago, one of our town police men was murdered while working his shift. Early in the morning, he came upon two transients, high on Meth, sitting in a car at the side of the road. At some point in their interaction, he was shot. He attempted to drive away while they continued to shoot. He died.
This tragic situation rocked our community.
This heart breaking event took place about two blocks from my home. A makeshift memorial has been set up at the spot where the officer died. I drive by it almost daily and every single time I drive past it, I feel deep sorrow.
I didn't know the officer. Yet I think of his young wife and son, who are now living without him. Their lives have been changed forever.
I'm also aware of friends and neighbors who are hurting for one reason or another. I have stupid MS. My sister has stupid MS. My son has very little hearing ability in one of his ears.
All hard things.
A few days after the shooting, my husband and I were at Home Depot. We ran into some friends who are experiencing a really hard challenge. Yet there we all were at Home Depot buying things like light bulbs and paint. After we said our hellos and were headed back to our car, I had a moment where I looked around at all the people in the parking lot, scurrying to and fro and I thought to myself, "Every one of these people probably has something in their lives that is breaking their hearts. Yet, life goes on. We get up, we go to Home Depot, we carry on."
Sometimes though, it's hard to get up and get going. One major side effect of MS is depression. Right after my diagnosis, I experience more dark days that I knew were possible. I didn't know if I would ever get out of bed again. Miraculously, I managed to pull myself out of it. Once in a while I still have a blue day, but I usually blame it on PMS. (Ha!)
A man I greatly admire spoke about depression in a discourse over the weekend. His words offer hope and empathy. Go here to hear his kind words of comfort.
My wish for you, is that you will always be able to get up. To carry on. To know that however difficult it becomes, life is always a blessing.
(Dill from my garden.)