I wonder. If one knew in advance that a day was going to be a horrible, terrible, life-changing day, would it be easier? If when the alarm went off, it could say, “Warning! Today will suck beyond the imagining of it,” would it make it a little easier to deal with what is coming, or would one still be in denial until the terrible thing happened.
I don’t know.
Eleven days ago, a man was murdered. I live in a different state, and didn’t know anything about it.
This afternoon I got a phone call from my sister Liz. She had gotten a phone call from J., the former boyfriend of another of our sisters, A. J. wanted to talk to A., who told him that she was living with Liz. She wasn’t. J. said that the police had gone to talk to him, and informed him that they needed to speak with A. in connection with the murder of the man.
Liz and I were sickened by the mere thought that our sister had been involved in a murder. We were nervous about letting our mother know, as she is in poor health. Our mother is a trouper, and handled it far better than we dared hope. She called the police, talked with them, and then let us know what she had learned. A. wasn’t suspected of actually firing the shot that took the man’s life, but was definitely believed to have been with the person who did.
When I got home from work, I called the police officer to give him some information on A.’s half-sister who might possibly have had some knowledge of where A. was. He didn’t take the information from me, but said that they had some new information and that he was going to my mother’s house to talk to her. Thinking that perhaps they knew where A. was or even that she was in police custody, I tried not to worry about things.
The phone rang about half an hour later. My mother, sobbing, told me that A. is dead. She and the man that had committed the robbery and murder with her were on the move, and had gotten involved in a police chase in another state. Their car crashed, and the man got out of the car firing shots, and was killed by police. A. got out of the car, brandishing a knife and making threats, and was killed by police. Apparently she was close enough to an officer that she could have killed him, and they had to shoot her.
I hold no malice or anger whatsoever to the police. They were doing their job.
I can’t believe that A. is dead. But even harder to believe is that she could have been involved in a murder. I had no trouble believing that she was involved in a robbery that went wrong–she has been a drug addict for some years, and drug addicts do all kinds of things to get drug money. I believe the police when they say that she was there and was involved; and if she was participating in a robbery that ended in homicide, then there is nothing more to be said.
My heart aches for the family of the man who was killed. I saw his picture, and he looks like my late father-in-law. He was a hero. And his life was taken for nothing.
My heart aches for my mother. She loves A., and couldn’t love her more if she’d given birth to her. My mother taught A. right from wrong, and adored her, and has been heart-broken by her continued bad choices.
My heart aches for M., A.’s daughter. She has been in the sole custody of her father, who has since remarried, for two years. I hope her father can keep her from this knowledge for now, but eventually she will know what her mother did and be hurt by it.
My heart aches for A. I keep wondering if I could have done something that would have made a difference for her. Maybe I could, probably I couldn’t have. Either way it doesn’t matter–it’s done. She’s gone.