Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The past few days have brought about an emotion that I don't typically feel. Fear.
Sure, I'm afraid of spiders. sharks, deep, dark water, tornadoes, etc...but these fears aren't normally part of my daily routine. Scared of sharks? Stay out of the ocean. Scared of spiders? Get the house treated by The Bug Lady (shout out). Avoid the situation causing fear and go on with your day. That's how most of us GET to live our life.
Lately however, avoiding fearful situations has become more challenging. Our hometown seems to be under attack by a drastically climbing crime rate. Every day, without exaggeration, there is an armed robbery at a local business, a mugging, a home invasion, a shooting, etc... You cannot log onto Facebook without seeing a report of victimization somewhere. The news haunts my sleep. There are bad people in our city and they seem to be getting stronger, bolder, and closer. No area is safe anymore. Crime used to stay on one side of the river. Crime is now in our neighborhood and on our streets.
Last week an elderly couple that lives down the street from us were shot during a home invasion. Two men broke in at 1pm. I drove past their home at 1pm as I headed home for lunch. At the very moment that I drove by, someone was in their home to rob and harm them. Shots were fired and people were severely injured. The criminals escaped. There are no leads. That thought gives me chills every time I think about it.
At 1:50pm that day, I drove back by their street and noticed cops, news crews, and yellow police tape. I immediately called my husband to check the news. This is not a scene that we pass by everyday in our quiet, quaint suburban neighborhood. Their entire property had been roped off to keeps others out after someone had broken the rules and forced their way in.
How do you feel safe, even in your own "safe haven" of a home, when someone can come in at anytime and take what they want? How do you not fear being harmed on your own property? I shouldn't have to know the difference between a burglary and a home invasion, but I do now. My mind doesn't need to comprehend that a home invasion is when someone forces their way in while you're currently inside.
There's now a cop car that parks directly across from our house in a church parking lot to ward off any future invasions. My husband thinks it's a good thing, and in my mind I know that it is. In my heart though, it's just a constant reminder when I look out of our windows and pretty curtains that there's a crazy world outside and without warning, that craziness can come crashing inside. It's a reminder that there are bad people in this world who take what they want when they want it. Apparently crime knows no boundaries.
I like being a part of this community. I want to do what we can to make it a better place for our children someday. I'm just not sure how to do all of the above when I, myself, am struggling with living in fear and telling myself that I'm safe.
Safe. You never know how powerful of a word it really is until you find it being forcfully pulled out of your vocabulary.