Thursday, October 1, 2015

Life's Sadness

Hello everyone.  All is well here at Lilly My Cat.  If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that I like to share positive things with you.  But, sometimes, real life creeps in and it can jolt you for a bit.  That's what happened this past week.

It was so sad to hear of the Umpqua School Shooting  in Oregon.  My heart goes out to all the families and loved ones affected.  I'm aware of what a community goes through when this happens.  It happened to my little town of Moses Lake back in 1996 when Barry Loukitis killed two students and his teacher at Frontier Middle School. I remember this day very well.  I was waiting for my children to arrive home from school when I heard all kinds of sirens going off. My dad had given me a police scanner back them and I knew something was going on.  When my children arrived home safe and sound, they informed me of what they had heard.

We knew one of the boys* that was killed; he and his family were members of our church.  Our pastor had a lot to deal with during this time.  It was a community of about 12,000 people so most everyone had some kind of connection when this tragedy took place.

Fast forward a few years to this past week. After doing some routine errands we wanted to escape the heat.   It was a very warm day and my husband and I decided to go to lunch at the beach.  We parked in the parking lot and purchased our parking ticket.   When we arrived at the restaurant, it was at least 13 degrees cooler.  We enjoyed our favorite meal watching the waves of the ocean and the surfers perfecting their craft.  After lunch we were going to walk on the pier but the sun was shining it's brightest and we had to walk back to the car to extend our parking.

Between the parking lot and the ocean, there is small green grassy area.  After extending our parking, we found that our beach chairs and umbrella were in the trunk so we set them up on the grass.  It was quiet and we were enjoying the view of the ocean, shaded by the trees.  There were a line of cars parked behind us and one of them was running with the driver inside.  I didn't pay much attention since I had pulled out my needlepoint and was busy stitching.

After a few minutes, my husband commented on the driver since her head was down.  I said "maybe she's bent over texting since the sun is shining".  You could hear the car engine accelerate.  A few more minutes passed and my husband said "I think she's having seizures since she's jerking".  We walked over to the car and I knocked on the passenger window - no response.  My husband walked over to the driver's side window and knocked - no response.

At this point, we called 911.  I was a bit hesitant since I never interfere with people and their personal space but obviously, this was different.  Within three or four minutes, the sheriff arrived in the parking lot.  He went over to the passenger door and luckily it was unlocked.  He then opened the driver's door and immediately knew what was happening.  The driver was had overdosed on heroin!

I was scared - I don't know why.  When my husband had looked in the window, he could see what he thought were bruises on the driver's leg.  Turned out they weren't bruises; they were track lines from injecting heroin.  The ambulance arrived within another minute and the sheriff cut the seat belt to free the driver.  They put the driver on the ground and immediately started oxygen and I think they gave the driver some type of shots too.  The driver regained consciousness within a few minutes.  They took the driver away in the ambulance.

The sheriff spoke with us and told us he could not arrest the driver for possession of heroin since the 911 call was in regard to the driver being unresponsive.  The sheriff did find the heroin "kit" in the car.  After awhile, the towing company arrived and towed away the car.  The sheriff was extremely kind to us and did his job well. 

Here's what surprised me that day.  When I hear or read of drugs these day, I immediately think of pills.  Not hard line heroin.  The area we were in that day is a very safe, family oriented place.  The driver looked like any ordinary person, driving a late model car.  But, obviously, this was not the case.  Why would someone want to do this to themselves?  I spent about an hour googling heroin addiction and how the veins in the arms collapse hence the need to inject in their legs.  How they have to wear long sleeves and pants, to cover their track lines.  And, how they are never sure what strength of heroin they are injecting into their bodies.  Sad, very sad indeed.

I'm hoping that this person will realize they could have died.  If the car engine had stopped, with the windows rolled up on this very warm day, I think it would have been the end. Or, if we would not have called 911 that day, would the driver have woke up from this overdose?  Maybe, this person will change their life but of course, we will never know.  I hope she gets the help she needs. 

It was a wake up call for me.  I always am positive with life and only see the good. After this experience, I feel that our world is really broken in places.  And, I don't know what I can do to fix it.


with my best wishes,

Pat

  

*There is a second part to this sad story.  The boy who was killed had a cousin.  The cousin killed his mother and sister later that year in our same little town of Moses Lake. . . 

35 comments:

  1. Hi Pat! Thanks for your post regarding this latest shooting tragedy. People are almost becoming numb to these events. I live in Aurora, Colorado, and one of my teammates graduated from Columbine, so I know a little of what a community goes through. Such tragedies your town has gone through! My heart goes out to the families and friends of Umpqua.

    Thank you for helping the girl who was overdosing on heroin. That was the right thing to do, even if it was scary and even dangerous. I don't know why people take these risks, but I've found myself play Ed Sheeran's A Team a lot since I first heard it. Drug abuse happens everywhere, and there is often pain behind it.

    You can't fix the broken world; but you can spread compassion and kindness in your life. And always, always love and appreciate the people in it. A special blogging friend of mine posted today because she was suspending her blog. Her husband suddenly and unexpected died. It's tragic, one loss among so many.

    Life is a gift, a miracle, and we must treasure every moment. Sending you a hug!

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    1. Thank you for your uplifting words. I remember Aurora and it was a terrible tragedy. But, as you said, we need to treasure each moment. My best to you, Pat xx

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  2. Yes, it's a very sad day here in Oregon. And I used to live in Washington and drove through Moses Lake many times. I just don't understand why this country can't take mental health and gun control more seriously. I've lived abroad, and the US is a very primitive place in some ways.

    That woman in the car was very lucky you and your husband were alert and caring.

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    1. Hi Val, yes, I feel so sad for all the people whose lives have been changed today. I agree with all you said. Small world isn't it that you know where Moses Lake is located. Thanks again for taking the time to comment, Pat xx

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  3. A very moving post and whilst in the UK we do not get so much of this know when it happens it can rip a community apart such as Dunblane and Hungerford, take care x

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    1. I agree. Thank you for your comment today.

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  4. Hi Pat, I have been upset all day over the shootings in Oregon and have thought of why this has been happening with such frequency in our country. I just feel so powerless.....I am so sorry that you had that experience in Moses Lake - I remember it well. It is so sad about the drug addicts, too. All we can do is hope and pray for these sad, lost souls and the victims they leave behind. I always try to remember that for every one of these tragic stories, there are millions of wonderful and giving people in this world. You are one of them. Hugs xo Karen

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    1. Thank you Karen for your kind words. That's why I always like to think of the positive things in life and keep moving on. I appreciate you taking the time to comment today.

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  5. So glad you were there for this lady. It seems so incomprehensible to me the level of sadness and mental health issues that cause people to act in such ways. I too tend to live in a positive and dare I say sheltered way. we are called to be light to the world😀

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    1. Hello Vicky, yes I am going to continue to live positive and maybe sheltered but my thoughts and prayers are with these people who struggle out there. I do hope they can get help one day. Many thanks for your kind comment today.

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  6. Pat, you are an angel in disguise. I hope that person you rescued knows that. As for todays events, well we heard about it here in Australia too, and it's just another terrible, terrible tragedy. Gun control is a big issue over there I think. We just don't have that here. How horrific for all involved. When these events occur, all we can really do is hug our loved ones close and offer a prayer for the affected families. It's so very sad. Mimi xxx

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    1. Hi Mimi, I just did what I felt was needed. Gun violence is a big problem here and it occurs so often that I'm afraid we will become immune to this type of news. Something does need to be done. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment today. My best to you.

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  7. Yes, the world is somewhat broken but people like you and your husband are living proof that compassion and love for others are still alive and thriving. Thank you for not looking away when you could so easily have done. So many do. x

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    1. Thank you Christina. I still feel there is so much good in this world to overcome the evil. And, I'm blessed to have such wonderful blog friends. Wishing you the best.

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  8. I do hope that the person that you found in the car will receive help and treatment that they need. You did a very good thing. If only there were more good people like you in the world. xx

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    1. Greetings Amy, I too hope that this person will seek help. I can only hope and prayer. Thank you for your kind words.

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  9. Well done hun bet you was shaken- what an ordeal and i hope the person recovers and gets help- maybe it was fate that you both were there to help this person and that you both are so caring to act on it? hugs hun xx

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    1. I too, hope that this person gets the help she needs. Maybe it was fate. I'm glad we were there. Many thanks for your kind words.

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  10. Mentoring the young is our best hope. Teaching them to revere the sanctity of life is utmost. That's about all we can do.

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    1. Oh, I agree completely with you. That's what I always preached to my children and now it will be grandchildren. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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  11. This morning here in Oregon, I found myself writing parts of the morning and evening prayers that are in The Orthodox Study Bible. I wrote them in a green spiral notebook with the intent that writing down some of my prayers and specific concerns will encourage me to focus more regularly on the needs around me and trusting those needs to the Lord in my conversations with Him. I find it comforting that Jesus not only prayed while on earth but that He intercedes in heaven for His creation as well. He could have created us as puppets, but instead He allows us to make choices that can range in results from sorrow to joy. He said that He came to give us life abundant, but in this world we would know trouble, and in that trouble He would be with us even to the end of the age.

    Still, as you have shared, Pat, it is so very difficult to confront the tragedies around us. I am so glad that even though it is difficult, you care as you did for the person who mistakenly thought using heroin was a good idea.

    Thank you for caring. xx

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    1. Hi Gracie, yes, I remember reading those wonderful prayers and trying to focus on their meanings. I should follow your advice and write them down. And, I agree with you about choices. I will continue to prayer for comfort for these people who are having trying times. Many thanks.

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  12. Moses Lake must have been in total shock after the first shooting so I cannot even imagine how awful it must have been when the cousin killed two more people!

    Yes the Oregon shooting has been on Canadian news too. Such a tragedy!!

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    1. Yes, it was a tragic time for the community and the families involved. Since that time so many more needless shootings have happened. It saddens my heart. Many thanks to you for taking the time to visit and comment.

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  13. How very, very sad. I feel so frustrated about gun control and it's so heartbreaking to hear of these poor children and there families. I also read about the poor man who was shot several times while trying to subdue the gunman, what a brave man he is and reminds us that there is still so much good in the world too.
    The unfortunate lady in the car was so lucky that you and your husband were there and alert to what was happening, it could have ended very differently. So much sadness as you say, but so much compassion and love too xx

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    1. Hello. yes I too read about the man who risked his life to save others. He's a real hero. You make a good point as to although there is much sadness, compassion is still alive and well to try to compensate. I appreciate your comment.

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  14. First of all I am so sorry for the loss you experienced years ago in that middles school shooting and about your horrible experience recently. Heroin is on the rise they say, I have read many articles about it. I fear once you get in that far with drugs it is hard to turn your life around. Thank goodness you were near to call for help. And for the shootings in Oregon, it is just so sad that this is happening, and that frankly it is becoming more of the norm.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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    1. Hi Meredith, yes, it really opened my eyes to see how drug abuse is alive and well, unfortunately. I hope and prayer our world can turn around someday and that these people can get the help they needs. Thank you for visiting and your kind comment.

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  15. I've been so sad about this news from Oregon; just the latest in now such a long list of atrocities. There has always been mental illness and violence of various kinds, and I struggle with how grapple with hearing about these things, other than praying and trying to stay positive without being blind to reality. I agree with Mimi, you were an angel to the person in the car. We are so often powerless, but in that moment you chose to take action, and you no doubt saved that person's life. As others have said, alongside the darkness there is a lot of love and compassion. And like Gracie, I think that while God has given us free will, he is also listening to our prayers and helping us.

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    1. Yes, I agree with you Christine. I hope now our country can really do something in regard to gun violence and mental illness so that these things can be stopped. In the meantime, I will continue on my life's path and continue to ask God's help and blessing along the way not only for me but for others, too. Thank you for your comment today.

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  16. I was so sorry to hear about the shootings in Oregon. To take innocent lives like that is sickening. Good on you for being a good Samaritan. Hopefully this will be a wake up call for them to get help.

    Sorry I haven't visited for a while. Hope you are keeping well. Take care xxx

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  17. As a uk citizen having good friends in the states and having spent many happy holidays in your beautiful country I ask the question when are you seriously going to look at your gun culture please put your efforts into that once you have lit your candles and said your prayers

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  18. Oh Pat. I've got such goose bumps reading this. You're right your posts are usually so upbeat and positive but this was a good post in that it gives a reality check on so many different levels. It's made me stop, think and ponder a while. Sending virtual hugs from the UK

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  19. I'm so sorry you have had these dreadful experiences . x

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  20. We were saddened about this over here in England too.

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