Saturday, January 12, 2008


While I like to think of myself as a caring and compassionate person for the most part, I generally am not very bothered by things unless they directly effect me or the people that I know and love. When I hear about something bad that has happened to someone I don't know, I think to myself "oh that's terrible" but then I go on about my life. Which leads me to wonder that maybe I'm not that caring and compassionate after all but that's another post for another day. However I have been quite bothered over the disappearances and eventual discoveries of the two missing women, Meredith Emerson and Cayle Bywater. I cannot even put into words all of the emotions that I feel when I think of these two individuals and their families and other loved ones who have been living a nightmare. I can't imagine being torn between holding onto every ounce of hope while knowing deep down that you must prepare yourself for the worst. And then it's the worst that prevails in the end. I cannot buy the "everything happens for a reason" logic in instances such as this. There is no reason why that terrible man should have carried out those heinous acts towards Meredith. I know that I should not wish bad things for him because that's not WJWD, but I'm human and I do. My heart has just been so burdened as I watch the news and read the headlines.

Perhaps this hits especially close to home for me because I'm young (in comparison to a 50 year old) and I live alone. And I happen to live in the same town as one of the women, Cayle. And I happen to have red curly hair like she does. And when I was at work the other day, an instructor walked past my workspace and said "you know, for a little bit you resemble that missing girl...anyone ever try to flag you down and rescue you?" I could have made it just fine without anyone ever verbalizing that.

Maybe I'm the only person who ever does things like this but when I hear about cases such as these two and if it instills a sense of fear, I start thinking of all the reasons why something like that would never happen to me. Like I think to myself, "well, I would've never gone hiking or to that park alone like they did so as long as I don't put myself into those types of situations, then I don't have to worry." Well that's my first mistake. Just last Sunday afternoon I was thrown from my "that will never happen to me" high horse. Picture it: Athens, GA. Beautiful Sunday afternoon. I had just gotten back from meeting my sweet friend and her girls at the Mall of Georgia and I'm in my apartment getting ready to head out to the gym. I'm in the kitchen getting my water when I hear a knock on the door. (Side notes: I live in a gated community and while I give the gate code to my visitors, no one has committed it to memory or anything so if someone was coming to see me, I would know it. I don't know any of my neighbors well enough for them to just drop in for a visit.) So I go over to the door and look through the peephole and I'm not exactly sure what my thought processes were over the next few seconds but they must have been something like this: "Oh look, there's a male that I don't recognize at all knocking on my door, I'll open the door to see what he wants." (Idiot!) So I open my door (only slightly and I'm standing behind the door with both hands on the door in case I need to push it closed, but still...what was I thinking? If he had wanted in, he would've done it.) and he proceeds to ask me if I wanted to subscribe to the AJC. This dude was empty-handed. I don't know much about door-to-door selling so maybe that's normal...or maybe it's not. Fortunately I had the sense to say "oh no, we wouldn't be interested at this time." He doesn't need to know that "we" consists of myself, the devil sitting on my left shoulder and the angel sitting on my right. So I shut the door, but only long enough to gather up the rest of my things that I'm taking to the gym with me and then I head out. (Moron!!) I hadn't given him enough time to leave. He was knocking on my neighbor's door. Sure, he was probably a legit paper salesman just trying to make a buck, and yes, I'm safe and sound, but there is definitely a lesson in this little incident. Obviously, I'm not as cautious and aware as I claim to be, but hopefully I am a more so now after this experience. I was lucky that the guy was harmless. So all this to say, please be careful and please be aware. I don't believe that we should live our lives in a constant state of fear because that just gives the sick-o's of the world more power and they win. However before putting yourselves into vulnerable situations, take that extra second to think before acting. You're all too precious and valuable not to!


Josh & Donna said...

wise words hp! i have a key chain mace. i've never used it, but it gives me some sense of power as I am well aware I am not strong enough to fight off most attackers. i'm glad you're safe and sound, love you!

Tiffany said...

I totally understand where you're coming from Heather, esp being that I hike in N. Ga. all the time, even a couple weeks ago (never alone)...and I have also opened the door to a strange man before who was drunk, but praise the Lord, harmless....and a few minutes later arrested! Definitely learned my lesson not to trust everyone....stay safe!!

Jenny said...

Donna, I carry pepper spray with me, too! Before I was married, I kept a big mag lite by my bed. I thought tat it was one of the hardest but easiest things to hit somebody with. Those stories bother me, too. It just really breaks my heart! It's hard to imagine that something like that happens so close to our homes. Thanks for the reminder to be extra-careful!