I , too, am stunned, but more than that........I am in a similar situation.....so it just raises the hair on my head. I have also just left an emotionally abusive marriage----one in which my husband threatened suicide on a regular basis, one in which when my daughter and I were in a car accident last spring only received ANGER in reaction to our injuries and car loss(it was HIS van). He endangered us on the way home as well(with his wreckless driving). The list goes on and on.......but I won't go into it here.
So in addition to starting a new career in teaching art, we are also in hiding........hoping for a better day. This story strikes way too close to home. My heart goes out to those dear children. I can't imagine them ever getting over this short of a miracle......not only was their mother brutally murdered, but at the hand of their father. What a heartbreak. They will DEFINATELY be in my prayers.
Artsednetters, this is way "off topic," so please delete if you want, but something has shaken me so deeply that I'm seeking the collective kindness, support, and prayers of this list.
In '92 when I first started working at an elementary school, I met a rather incredible parent volunteer named Debbie. In the 7 years that I was there, I had two of her children as students, and also knew her older son.
I'm sure all of you know a "Debbie"--someone who has the ability to always make you laugh, someone who tirelessly volunteers her time to do whatever needs to be done in a school--from helping to prepare materials for kindergarten classrooms, to working with small groups of students, to coordinating fundraising events, etc. Cheerful, upbeat, and just downright FUNNY, she was the stabilizing force in her kids' lives when her husband left her a few years ago, and a devoted daughter who helped care for her aging parents who are both in very poor health.
I saw Debbie each week when she came in to volunteer, and we also talked a lot during the time she was going through the divorce (as she knew I was also a single parent--she was so concerned about money and the impact that all of this would have on her children). After I left the elementary school I only saw her every now and then, and I last saw her this past spring or summer when she said that things were still very ugly and difficult regarding the divorce and its complications. (This was an upper class situation, beautiful house, ex-husband a doctor, etc.) One of my current students went to Debbie's 8th grade son's birthday party this past Sunday....
This week, someone (and most of us who knew her situation are pretty sure who that "someone" is...especially since her ex-husband can't be found--though we may never know "why") entered her home and viciously beat her. Her children were at school at the time, and a neighbor called 911 when he heard her screaming "Don't hit me!" By the time police arrived, no one else was in the house, and she was already near death. She died later at the hospital of massive head injuries.
This woman--someone just like the "Debbie" that you know--someone to whom things like this just "don't happen"--was murdered.
I remember both Debbie and her husband coming into a kindergarten class one December to decorate cookies (by painting them with food coloring and sweetened condensed milk)....
I remember how proud her daughter was at age 5 at being able to do "color magic" by mixing paint...
I remember this unstoppable bundle of energy who was always there whenever anything needed to be done...
I can't imagine how her children (now a senior & 8th grader--boys--and 6th grade daughter) will ever, ever recover from this--or how Debbie's parents (who now have custody) will cope. I know that the schools and teachers and countless others in the community are poised to offer assistance in any way possible, but nothing has been formally organized yet, as the family struggles to make such unthinkable things as funeral arrangements and the police continue their investigation.
Even though you don't know them, please keep these children and Debbie's parents in your thoughts and prayers. They're going to need every ounce of support that the world and the heavens have to offer.
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