Tuesday, January 03, 2006

sick to my stomach

I took Nick into school this morning and noticed, on our way in, clutches of parents talking, a few folks in suits I didn't know, and an air of anxiety. I took Nick to his classroom and retraced my steps. Passing a couple I know, I stopped. "What's going on? People seem...stricken," I said. I didn't know I thought that until the word came out.

They looked at me oddly. I wasn't sure what I saw in their eyes.

"Did you just get back into town?"

"No, but I don't read the paper, I don't watch the news."

A murder. A young family. Two kids, one in Nick's grade. The parents. All dead in their house on New Year's Day.

A group of parents stood in the auditorium. A detective spoke. A school board member (who has a child at the school). Several ministers, one the pastor at the church where the younger child went to day care. Another, a dear friend, husband of a teacher at Nick's school. A couple of counselors. After morning announcements, the principal joined us.

Nick didn't know. He heard it this morning from his teacher. He is spending the day in school as usual--they're "trying to keep the routine for the kids." But the third graders, who knew the older daughter, are being watched carefully this morning. "Grief counselors will circulate through the classrooms, pulling kids out in small groups to talk if they need to." They are doing a writing project, writing about, or to, the girl they knew, drawing pictures, remembering. He knew her, a little, knew the toystore the mom operated. What will he think? What will we say when he comes home? What will we tell Mariah, who already has trouble sleeping, imagining dangers we have never discussed? She will hear, I'm sure--this is not that big a town, and the kids at her school will have heard already. We lived in ignorance for two days, and I want to go back to that ignorance. I want not to know this. I want it not to be true.

6 comments:

Claudia said...

Had to comment. I knew the Harveys - Ruby attended Grace & Holy Trinity childcare with my daughter (they were very good friends) until GHT closed this summer. Since then, we've had little contact but I'm still steeling (sp?) up the nerve to tell my 5 year old daughter. Still don't know what, exactly, to say. Horrible, horrible.

Becca said...

Oh my god, Libby, how truly awful.

Jody said...

Oh No. I am so sorry.

I hope your kids are sharing their emotions and handling it as best they can.

I'm so sorry.

Susan said...

Libby - that is terrible, terrible. I'm so sorry. Sometimes the world is so inexplicably awful...

Mrs. Coulter said...

You've probably seen this, but they've arrested two men in connection (I'm guessing this is the same story--it appeared on my AP headlines--based on the details in your post). How horrible and unexplainable the world can be...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060108/ap_on_re_us/richmond_slayings

Anonymous said...

poor thing,i know what that feels like