Sunday, June 18, 2017

There Is So Much We Do Not Know

My husband has pointed out that my Facebook post about Thing 2’s friend, drugs, alcohol and guns was rather vague. That someone might think she was somehow involved and injured or something.
That was not the intention.
She was not involved any way.
She is not physically injured in any way.
But her heart hurts. Greatly.

And there is so much we do not know.

What we do know is a small amount of what is, no doubt, a large story.
There were 2 boys.
Friends to each other.
They were partying together Wednesday night.
They both slept at one of the boy’s houses and were the only people there.
Thursday morning, at 6 a.m., there was “an altercation.”
There was a gun.
Now one boy is dead and the other is in jail.
The shooter is her friend. Someone she knows well.

There is so much we do not know.

When she was an infant, we lived in a small house in a declining neighborhood.
We moved to avoid any problems with guns, drugs and violence.
We stretched ourselves financially at the time to move to a nice neighborhood, believing that would shield us from the problems that come in “certain areas.”
We were wrong.
As it turns out, there are guns and drugs and violence in all neighborhoods. Even the ones nicer than ours.
And no matter where you live, that toxic combination is a powder keg. All it takes is one match.

There is so much we do not know.

In Hollywood, it is all so clear. The line between Right and Wrong, Good and Evil, is so clearly marked for you.
Shooting always follow a formula. Either the shooter is an evil person who shoots the innocent out of the blackness of his heart, or he is a righteous person who shoots the evil ones in order to save the innocent, thereby becoming something of a hero.
It is so hard to explain to a 16-year-old that Right and Wrong can be a fluid concept. That the rightness or wrongness of your actions can change from moment to moment in a situation. That you can be Right, until the moment you are Wrong and vice versa.

And still, there is so much we do not know.

The story was all over the local news. Her social media feeds exploded since most kids in her orbit, meaning her school, knew at least one if not both of the boys.
He’s a Murderer!
It was Self Defense!
Maybe both are true. Maybe neither is true.

There is so much we may never know.

I have met “the shooter” several times. He has been in my house, I have given him rides to and from school. There are things I know about him from my own personal observation.
He struggled in school.
He played baseball and ran track.
He was constantly trying to get back on track to graduate.
He wanted to join the military.
He was unfailingly polite. Always.
He was a country boy through and through.
He was making bad choices with drugs and alcohol.
He had a gun.

I never knew the boy who died. My daughter didn’t either, but from mutual friends since he was killed, there are things we have learned.
He struggled in school.
He was perhaps coming back to try and get on track to graduate.
He had a big smile.
He had a lot of friends.
He was making bad choices with drugs and alcohol.
He had a gun.

There is so much we will never know about them.

There are things I know without knowing them.
I know that right now there are two mothers who have been ripped open to their core. Two mothers who will never recover from these events. Two mothers who have lost their sons, one literally, one figuratively.
There is a mother nearby right now choosing clothes to bury her child in.
She most likely wakes in the night, wracked with grief.
There is a mother nearby right now choosing a lawyer to try and save her son.
She most likely wakes in the night wracked with fear.
There are brothers, grandparent, aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors of both boys who are shocked. Saddened. Who will be forever changed by this.

My daughter will be forever changed by this.

There is so much more, but we do not need to know.

So I try to help her navigate her grief and fear for her friend, while learning the lesson that is so apparent in this all.
That there is nothing that could have happened to start this altercation that was worth this. That, if they could, they would take back whatever was said, whatever was done, and let life continue as it was before.
That nothing good has ever come out of the combination of drugs and alcohol.
That adding guns to that mix is surely the most efficient way to make sure something awful happens.
That violence doesn’t help your situation, it makes it worse.
That it is important to choose friends who share your same beliefs on these things so that you do not find yourself in an unimaginable situation.
That when you know people are making bad choices, you need to walk away.
That people can be nice, and funny, and enjoyable to hang around with at school, but you will still need to walk away.

There is so much we do not know, and nothing we can do.

I explain to her that what is done, is done.
There is nothing we can do to change anything.
There is nothing we can do to help anyone, as we have no actual involvement in these events, but rather we are just witnesses to them, the same as strangers from across town.
There is nothing we have to offer except prayers.
So we pray for the families.
We pray for peace in their hearts.
We pray for a lessening of their grief.
We pray for wisdom for the police officers investigating.
We pray for the truth to come out, whatever that may be.
And I pray for my daughter’s heart.

There is so much….
That we do not know
That we will never know
That we do not need to know

What we do know is enough to know that we will be forever saddened by these events.