You know how a lot of times you watch a movie and find yourself saying “This is just a movie, these things don’t happen in real life?” I guess it depends on what kind of movies you watch as to how often that happens. Cartoons…yeah, just a movie. Horror movies with crazy monsters…yeah just a movie. Romantic comedies…aka ‘Chick’ Flicks…predictable, a slight stretch on real life. Dramas and suspense…another stretch on real life, but maybe it would be real life.
Enter Thursday 29 October, 2011. There was a crazy accident in South Austin…not far from our local bike as well as a couple of other popular bike shops. Continue to Friday 30 October, 2011 when a co-worker of our neighbor stopped by to ask if we had seen her. Then a couple of cop cars pulled up to her house. Then another neighbor brought by a clipping from the local newspaper about the bizzarre story that was on the news Thursday night. I caught small parts of it but I was on my to bed when the news was on, so I didn’t hear the full story. Turns out, what usually ‘only’ happens in the movies happened in real life.
Our neighbor, who kept an eye on our house while we were out, and generally knew what was going on on our street…was in one of those movie kind of accidents. She didn’t know what was going on in the street in a nosey kind of way, it was more of a neighborhood watch kind of way. I’d known her since I moved in. Kind of the perfect neighbor if you will. I didn’t know much of her personal life, she seemed to just come and go to work…she worked for the State. We talked off an on, sent her post cards from a few of our trips. I knew she had been married at one time and had a son that she didn’t really have a relationship with…that was about it.
The short story as we have heard. On Thursday evening, she met her son in a neutral location. He beat her while she was in her car. He had done this at least once before and had been in and out of jail. Beat her enough so that the police and paramedics had to be called. As the paramedics and police were loading her into the ambulance, her son ran into the stretcher killing her. We found out yesterday. It was really tragic, kind of surreal. This isn’t really TBB blog material, but I guess you could say that it was part of a professional triathletes’ every day life.
Is there a lesson learned? I don’t know, I’m just kind of writing here after a swim practice that tore my arms off. I told the news that people should get to know their neighbors, their community. Don’t pry, but find out what’s going on around you. Be observant. The neighbors to the other side of her kind of said the same thing. She had been kind of a grandmother figure to their two kids. She’ll definitely be missed. It’s easy to just be in your own little world. Especially in this day and age of social networking and ‘virtual’ friendships…you know the type…your best friends online, but can’t stand each other in real life. Put the phone down, turn off the computer, get outside. Be more of a real and not virtual person. It’s kind of a morbid story, especially to write and put on a blog. But, in some respects it kind of puts things in perspective. We never ‘really’ knew what was going on in her life. Seemed like a pretty fine life, but inside there was likely a lot of turmoil.