Friday, December 16, 2011

Never Take Life For Granted

We had a horrific incident here in our little community yesterday afternoon. Thankfully no deaths resulted, but lives were changed forever.

A man entered the courthouse with the intention of inflicting bodily harm. The victim who was the shooter's target and who was most seriously injured is a county employee and friend of the family. He was shot three times in the torso. The shooter also put three bullets into another man (who was not a county employee) and shot a bailiff of the court once. Another county employee sustained non-gunshot related injuries. Because our community is small, most everyone knows all of these people.

Two of the victims were treated here in our local hospital and released. Our family friend, T, and the other man wounded three times were rushed to the big city 125 miles away in ambulances over treacherous, icy highways. We were experiencing snow and rain with winds clocked at 53 mph so the life-flight helicopter was unable to take to the air.

T underwent extensive surgery and, miraculously and thankfully, is expected to come through it all, but has a long road of recovery ahead of him both physically and mentally. The other man shot three times was not injured as severely for which everyone is thankful.

Obviously, whatever problems the shooter had experienced previously are now magnified greatly.

It's true what they say. Your life can change in the blink of an eye. This incident was a wake-up call to me to find a way of better handling the piddling little trials and tribulations in my own life. I'm going to think about the important people in my life and hug 'em and kiss 'em and tell 'em I love 'em. I'm going to make a concerted effort to appreciate all the good and wonderful and awesome things in my life. I don't want to ever take them for granted. I'm going to try to ignore all the things I wish were different in my life except if I can move in a proactive, positive manner to change them.

Each day is a fresh beginning and, if you don't find yourself unexpectedly starting it in an ICU hospital bed after surgery for three gunshot wounds, there's not a lot to complain about.

There truly is a difference as to whether the problems in life are mountains or molehills. Yesterday's incident was a mountain for the people involved and has definitely changed their lives. Some of them just for the length of time until this crisis is over, some of them forever.

32 comments:

Jane said...

Oh MY!! So sorry to hear this and I am very glad your friend will survive. It really does make you look at things differently. I hope all of those involved are able to make a full recovery.

fullfreezer said...

So sorry to hear all of this but glad your friend will be Ok eventually. We recently had an incident here (not violent, thank heavens!) not that long ago where a friend our own age suddenly died. It definitely makes you appreciate life a bit more. Hugs to all involved.
judy

Mama Pea said...

Jane - Thanks, Jane. When something like this happens, you tend to feel vulnerable. Both for yourself and those you love and care about.

Judy - I remember you blogging about your friend who passed away suddenly. Thanks for your caring.

You Can Call Me Jane said...

Oh, Mama Pea, I am so sorry. I will be thinking about these individuals, their families and your whole community. These kinds of things make me all the more ready for Jesus to get on back down here. Thinking of you....

Dmarie said...

as Jane said, Oh, MY! such a thought-provoking post.

dr momi said...

I read this as my husband started the video "It's a Wonderful Life".....I'm putting everything into perspective right now.

Praying your friend heals fast and all the others involved also.

Alla said...

Oh goodness! So sorry. My daughter-in-laws brother (46) passed away last week. They found him at the computer. I will definitly be thinking of them and their families. Its got to be so hard at Christmas time. It makes me even more of a believer to make grudges and wrongs right as quickly as possible and tell the ones you love, how much you care and spend time making memories because like you said, in a blink of an eye it could be to late. So glad all will be ok.

Jo said...

I'm so sorry Mama Pea. I read about this in the newspaper and wondered if you were affected. Of course, in a small town like yours (and mine) most everyone is affected by such a horrific event. Sending my wishes for a peaceful and speedy recovery for those injured.

Sparkless said...

Oh that is horrible! The only good thing is that no one was killed. I'm glad to hear you are not dwelling on the negative and making something positive out of the whole thing.

Jennifer Jo said...

That's so sad.

Tombstone Livestock said...

So sorry to hear this Mama Pea, you are so right about life changing in the blink of an eye. To bad a person has to inflict pain and suffering on others unnecessarily. Hopefully those injured will have a speedy and full recovery, just so sad that their holidays are being spent like this.

Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

So sorry to hear this. My own eye-opener came last month when my ex-husband passed away unexpectedly. Life needs to be lived and valued. Prayers going out for all injured and involved, including the shooter and his family, as they certainly weren't expecting that, I'm sure.

LindaCO said...

Good heavens. I'm glad to hear the victims will survive. It is a crazy world sometimes.

dikvipreal said...

Thank you for sharing.

Sue said...

Oh dear. What a tragedy this all is. Though I'm certainly glad everyone survived, you're so right--lives have changed.

What a reminder to take time to enjoy---really really enjoy-life.
One never knows what's around the corner.

judy said...

when I heard this on the news yesterday,I said out loud,I hope my friend wasn't in that place. thank you for your positivity ,it is catchy. prayers and well wishes to all involved in this horrible incident that happened to close to home

Mama Pea said...

I'll Call You Jane - Thank you. It is so sad to think of how prevalent something like this has become in our world today. I don't think we can go on like this.

Dmarie - I know I've spent a lot of time thinking of a lot of things since it happened.

dr momi - There have been a lot of prayers for all involved. That and offering support in any way we can is all we can do.

Alla - Good to hear from you. And thanks for your good thoughts.

Jo - Yes, I have often had conversations with the shooter's mother and can't stop thinking about how this must be affecting her. It's heartbreaking.

Sparkless - Thanks for your support, as always.

Mama Pea said...

JJ - Yes, in so many ways.

Tombstone Livestock - It is hard to understand how a person gets to a place where he thinks that physically hurting or destroying another person is the only option. So, so sad.

Ruth - Life can be difficult in so many ways these days it seems. But incidents like this do pull you back to what is important.

LindaCO - A crazy world, yes. And getting crazier, I'm afraid.

dikvipreal - You're welcome.

Sue - It does make you think in a different and hopefully better way.

judy - Thanks so much for your kind thoughts.

Erin said...

Thankfully CM sent an email warning me about the events that would soon be in the news or I would have been even more shocked than I am anyways. I'm so glad all parties are going to be okay and that the shooter is in custody. What an incredible shock and emotional time for your little town. I'm praying for the victims and families and friends like yourself. I will be hugging my loved ones too today.

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Thanks, friend. Hug your boys (all three of them) for Mama and Papa Pea, too.

Stephanie said...

Prayers for all the people involved. I am glad to hear that they will recover.

Anonymous said...

Life is precious and you just never know what a day will hold. Each day is a gift.

I'm thankful that no one lost their life in this incident and thank you for sharing the account, Mama Pea.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

My gosh, this is horrible! I don't know what it is, particularly around the holidays even, that these things happen. I am so sorry for your entire community and I send many prayers for comfort and healing. A not so subtle reminder that life is very fragile and should be handled with love and care indeed.

Karen L. said...

What a terrible thing for you and your community to have to bear. Happy to hear that all will survive. I have been using that expression "Life can turn on a dime" a lot lately. In the town near me, we just recently had a woman involved in an adulterous affair shoot and kill her two teenage children, her sister's two teenage children who were living with her after the sister died, and a girlfriend of one of the boys. The guy involved was wounded. Then she killed herself. What makes someone do this kind of thing??? People here are still trying to figure out WHY. Bet your community is doing that also. Hugs and prayers to you and all around you and the families involved. And thanks for this post and the wake-up call. The Serenity Prayer is what came to my mind when I read your words. I think I need to post that in my home.

mtnchild said...

I've been away for a while, still reading posts though. I am so terribly sorry to hear of this, I am glad to hear that your friend will recover, but sad for all the recuperating ahead of him, and his family.

You are right, it puts a different perspective on our own 'problems' and we come to realize that all of our little annoyances are nothing compared to this.

I am sending prayers and thoughts for your whole little town, and especially for the people injured.
Many hugs,
Yvette

Mama Pea said...

Staphanie - Thank you. There's no doubt there will be a lot of healing involved in this tragedy.

Mooberry Farmwife - You're welcome. Writing it out helped me process.

APG - Life is precious and we need to remember this before it's too late.

Karen L. - I think we all want "answers" to questions when we experience or hear of this type of thing. Unfortunately, we need to find another way of healing because sometimes the answers just aren't to be had. Thanks for your wishes for the families involved.

Yvette - Thank you for your words of sympathy and caring. It's good to hear from you again.

odiie said...

It's always hard to believe that things like that can happen way up here. I don't get any news so I had no idea. This is a good time of year to get our priorities straight. Thanks for the wake up call.

Leigh said...

Oh my goodness, that is shocking and horrific. A real shock for the whole community. What you say is so true, and it's so easy to forget how precious life really is.

Mama Pea said...

odiie - Our society is in such a mess that I guess it doesn't matter where you live any more. Living in a sparsely populated area just means the "bad" things don't happen as often. Sad.

Liegh - Yes, but it is important for all of us to keep thinking positively!

Susan said...

How sad that so many members of our society reach for a gun whenever they are unhappy about something. Is there such a lack of empathy and complete disregard for the consequences of our reactions? I am glad to hear that no one died - but how sad for all of you.

Dirt Lover said...

You are right--life is so precious. Such a huge shock, and pointless. Prayers sent for the friends and family.
~~Lori

Mama Pea said...

Susan - We as a society seems to be lacking in the basic laws of what is right and what is wrong. Too many people have gotten by with unacceptable (that's an understatement) acts for too long.

Lori - Many thanks for your words of support.