Five years ago this morning Mom and Dad were murdered in their home. In many ways it seems like just yesterday but in other ways it seems like it has been an eternity! On April 24th, 2011 Mom and Dad were at my house and I grilled lamb chops for Easter dinner. Amazingly, neither of them had ever had lamb chops! Mom asked where did I buy it? How did I prepare it? Later when we were going through Mom and Dad's things, I found a little notebook Mom had in her purse. In it she had written, "Sam's Club...lamb chops...Canadian seasoning". I knew Mom had to have written this on their drive home and she had intended to prepare lamb chops.
I imagined their conversation as they were driving. How excited they must have been as they discussed the birth of their second great grandchild. We had just been given the news that my daughter and her husband were expecting a boy! I am certain they were excited for Sarah and Troy! Did they talk about the home Bible study they were starting with neighbors? Or perhaps they talked about going to Florida the following winter with Aunt Sis and Uncle Virgil. Oh the plans I know they had! All those plans came to a screeching halt early the next morning.
I went to the jail last night. One of the young women who has been in my Bible study for nearly a year now just received word that the "deal" being offered her by the District Attorney in order to avoid a trial is 18 years in prison. She's in her late 20's. 18 years seems like a lifetime. Her world came crashing down one night that was not supposed to end the way it did. Her plans were drastically changed that night. Now she sits in jail crying, wondering, what now? My heart breaks for her as I know the guilt she carries. She longs for a "do-over". She would give anything if she could change the events of that night.
Jose Huckleberry, the young man convicted in my parents murder sits in jail now, too. Another night that ended badly. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for this coming Friday. Another young person in his late 20's. A life gone drastically wrong. Is he crying? Is he remorseful for what happened? I wonder. Does he even realize it was 5 years ago today? Would he do things differently if he had another chance?
How quickly our world can change. If nothing else, I have learned how unpredictable life is. I have heard it all my life, but now I truly know that we are not promised tomorrow. If you have loved ones still alive, call them today and let them know you love them and tell them that God loves them, too. I am blessed to know that Mom and Dad are with Jesus in paradise. It does ease the pain although I still wish I could pick up the phone and talk to them.
Several weeks ago I bought lamb chops at Sam's Club and put them in the freezer. Yesterday afternoon, I grilled them just as I had done 5 years ago. I planned it.
Jeremiah 29:11 (Good News Translation)
I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.