Not a word I care to have my kids accustom to hearing….
It’s a typical Friday. I wake, workout, head to a meeting for the UP conference planning for 2017…. return home and successfully nurse baby C to sleep for an early afternoon nap. Leave to catch a 1:30pm appoint at Sprint, which of course, sucks up two and half hours of my day. Blech. It was horrible. As must service-based customer service experiences are. I’m pretty sure this was even worse than the usual because at this point I’m physically stuck in a store for this period of time accomplishing absolutely nothing. At least at home, on hold for obscene amounts of time, I can do other things around the house.
Any rate, I leave there, race over to Walmart to gather some snack foods for the kids (K and D) party this evening. I’m home, unloading the shopping and getting the house cleaned up. Kids are assisting. We’re all racing around because of the delayed Sprint appointment, we have less time to get ready for house visitors to show up. Amidst it all, S and D shout…. “uhm…. there are an awful lot of police, firetruck and ambulances outside.”
Truthfully, I give it a glance but don’t think much of it. There are two older aged folks, one in our building and one in another building across the street, who seem to have several health issues and call 911 fairly often for assistance. Seeing an emergency team is unfortunately a wee bit to routine around here. A slight sense of immunity about it takes over the household. But then D points out that there are an awful lot of police cars out there this time around. We all gather around and try to figure out what’s going on. They are headed to the west side of the building. And very very quickly we see the ambulance and fire trucks pack up and leave. Almost simultaneously S says, “mommy, they are saying something about putting yellow tape up (gesturing to the back window/alley areas).” I race to the back window, pull open the screen and stick my head out of the window.
There’s slews of officers everywhere. More cars and people in uniform than I can count. I detective sees me and asks if he can come up to question me. I ask what is going on and he insists on coming upstairs. I gesture to the first floor and open the back door for him. I immediately prompt him again, “Please tell me what is going on.” He subtle says, “There is a dead body in the storage room.”
My heart sinks I am pretty sure I go into a state of shock. I answer the questions he has, and keep asking, “Really? You all are sure?” I do prompt him if it’s someone from this building and he says all he can say is, “it appears to be an adult male.” Investigation full underway…. with in moments we see this next to the building:
It’s totally surreal at this point. The kids friends are about to arrive at our home. Fortunately, we were not expecting the usual huge crowd. It was just going to be a handful of kids. So we quickly get in touch with each to be sure they are still comfortable with coming over. I felt it was better to push forward with the gathering to take their minds off of this catastrophe, and knew they intended on being indoors this evening, obviously, till we knew everything was ok. But we weren’t going to just sit around and worry about this right now. It was sooo good for them to have friends over to play games with and hang out.
The night unravels quickly and a bit unnerving. Questioned by several police, detective and forensic officers. Spoke to a few neighbors who seem to feel the person did not live in this building. Went the entire evening awaiting some answers and nothing came. Late in the night I see them taking the body out and driving it away. It was not long after they finished up investigations and closed up for the night. We attempt to sleep with no answers at all. I am certain not a single one of us could rest easy last night.
We awake this morning with what felt like everyone going about life. I needed to take M to her first dance class early this AM. As we left the house, however, you could see the three-ring circus kicking right back up again. Channels 2 and 5 were outside interviewing people. I returned within the hour to more cops, detectives, investigations going on. More news trucks, channel 7 and WGN. It was continuous throughout the day till the news coverage went live at 5pm. As the day unraveled, much more information came to us. SBJ was also questioned by detectives. We found that indeed the young man was from this building. SBJ knows the family better than I. I know of the family but they hardly spoke a word to me. But when they released the photo and name, the whole family knew it was him. A very crazy situation.
This is a travesty through and through. There is no way around that concept at all. It makes you question human kind in its entirety and feel so immensely sad for my kids. For all kids really. They are growing in a day and age when homicide is a household topic? I mean WTF? I was telling my kids last night…. I know you’re scared. I know this sucks. This TOTALLY sucks. Kids just should not have to worry about this kind of thing. This is just not something you should need to experience. It’s truly insane.
In the same breath…. As horrific as this all there is something about this “day and age” that makes us slightly immune to the horror so ‘street crime.’ I truly can’t hide the fact that I was all-too-relieved to know that this was targeted and not some random act, susceptible to reoccurring. And certainly not to diminish the tragedy because these things are horrific in and of themselves. There is something that provides a worry mother some relief when we can separate an incident from our family unit. It does, however, completely alter the way we feel about the world. Knowing my kids will eventually get past their fright of this crazy thing, and want to again venture out into the world does not mean that I am not going to completely internally freak out. This kind of thing affects you in ways you cannot truly put to words…..
Like this AM when I felt like I was going on with ‘regular life’ and some mother, wife, brother, sister, daughter or son could potentially be hearing today that their significant other was found dead. How do you describe those emotions? How do you describe the relief of knowing that this was a targeted even, without sounding like a complete jack ass about the fact that someone’s loved one is dead? How do explain to your kids there is “nothing to be afraid of” when a dead man’s body is found in your basement? How do we move past the fear of not wanting to be in another room of the house alone (the kids are all feeling this way right now) and wanting to venture back out into the world again?
No matter how it looks or seems, there simply are no words. It alters you entire being completely and everything is just different now. This is the kind of reality I wish for my kids (or any kids for that matter) to have to deal with. I want the free bike-riding, run-out-to-play, chase-the-ice cream truck kind of childhood for them…. the kind I had as a kiddo. It’s just not fair for them, and it just plain sucks.