Tuesday, April 20, 2010

First my heart filled with fear, then my heart felt utter relief, and now it is full of deep sadness or: my crazy day.

I went on a grand adventure today to Atlanta for the Top Chef Tasting Tour with Roger. He took a long lunch and my Mom watched the boys at her house so that we could have a "date". We had a great time. Little did I know that I was being spared serious trauma.

As I drove home from my fun adventure into the city, I noticed in the distance that a helicopter was hovering in the air over what looked to be my neighborhood. I thought it odd but shrugged it off. Then, two police cars came barreling behind me. I pulled over and let them pass but was behind a slow poke so I didn't get to see where they were headed.

I went to my Mom's house and fetched my kiddos. As we drove to my neighborhood, a Crime Scene Unit passed us. Something big had happened somewhere. My heart started racing. As I pulled into my neighborhood, I noticed a big firetruck sitting at the entrance. I thought...Oh no, it's a fire. I rushed to get to my home to make sure that it was in one piece.

Let me interject here and tell you about my neighborhood real quick. It's a sleepy little neighborhood that is very rural. Every house is an Estate and has tons of property. We live in the smallest house on the smallest 2 acre lot. It's quiet and most of my neighbors are reclusive professors who keep to themselves.

This is a stock photo...not one of mine.

You can imagine my shock when I was met with a 5 car Police blockade on my main road, one block from my house. A female officer was speaking to a man in a truck in front of me. He turned his truck around and left. My heart pounded in my chest as I rolled down the window

"Is everything okay, officer? Is there anything I need to know about my neighborhood." I asked her. She looked in the backseat and saw my two boys. She then very coldly said "Go inside your home and lock the doors. Don't answer the door for anybody!" I then asked "Is it safe , should I leave?" She looked over her shoulder at all of the male officers gathered and then leaned into my car door. She very quietly looked at my boys and said "TURN AROUND NOW AND DON'T COME HOME UNTIL YOU GET THE OKAY." I booked it out of there.

As I turned on the road to leave my neighborhood, I passed my mom in her car. She looked frantic. We pulled over and she dropped the bomb on me. "Three people have been shot in your neighborhood and the killer is at large. It's an all out manhunt. Go to my house." She was trembling. "Here, call Scarlet (one of my closest friends) she is looking for you and wants to know that your safe!"

I called on my Mom's cell and we chatted. It turns out that a woman with a one week old baby was shot and killed. Her mother and sister had been shot too. The baby was okay. The man who shot them was unaccounted for. My heart broke. My stomach turned into knots. I had two sweet boys looking at me through the car window with question marks on their faces. My heart sank...I told Griffin that there was a gas leak and we couldn't go home.

They have since found the man. He locked himself in the bathroom and shot himself in the chest. He's alive and was taken the hospital. The mother of the baby is dead and the two other women lived. It looks to be a case of domestic violence.

After hours of wondering and worrying about when I could return to my home, I knew that it was okay to go to my house. When I got home, I had 10 messages from different friends calling to check in on me. They all sounded so worried that they couldn't get a hold of me. I sobbed as I listened to each one and was so thankful that we had been spared the police sirens and the scariness of the realization that a murderer was loose in my neighborhood. I envisioned my fear as I ran to the car to flee my home. Thank God we were safe and sound at my Mothers' house. It also means so much to have friends that love and care about me. It's almost heartbreaking.

Then, I just read about it on my computer and saw this photo of the baby.

(photo from WSB TV)

My heart is shaken.
It's all just so tragic.
I want to grab that baby and love her.
She is in State Custody at one week old.

Now I have to go and bake cookies for a bake sale at Griffin's school tomorrow.
I feel so lucky to be safe and sound and doing something as nurturing as baking cookies.
I'm hugging my children a little tighter tonight.

36 comments:

Katherine said...

Stories like this break my heart. Hopefully, that baby finds somewhere safe and love-filled to spend the rest of it's life.

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

Amen Leigh! I am of to hug my kiddies too. :)

Wym said...

My goodness. Count your blessings tonight. Sometimes I feel like we can't escape the sadness of the world no matter how hard we try.

MiMi said...

Oh no...this just made me sick to my stomach. So sad. I'm glad you and your family are all safe!

Cathy said...

Oh my goodness. How terrible. I am so glad you and your family are ok. I will send positive thoughts to that poor little baby.

Mama Bird said...

Thank Goodness you and your family are all ok, how incredibly sad for the family that lost a new mother. It makes me sad.

Sue said...

What a sad and shocking story. And very unsettling, to put it mildly.

Domestic violence is one of the saddest situations we deal with in our country. It's heartbreaking.

I'm just the MOM said...

My goodness! My heart is in my feet. Just pulled my 2yo over to me and squeezed him tight. (he didn't like it but too bad) My hubs says that is just too scary to be so close to that type of violence. Bless that sweet baby.

purseblogger said...

Oh my gosh! This is so heartbreaking. I'm at a loss for words. I am so glad you are okay but am shaken for this poor baby, her grandmother, and aunt. How horrible!!

Stepping On Cheerios said...

It's good to be reminded not to take anything for granted...so sad. Maybe that baby will be adopted by a loving couple who have been wanting a baby for years.

w said...

this breaks my heart.

From Tracie said...

oh my goodness...how scary...how awful! I'm going to sneak into my daughter's room right now and give her an extra hug.

I'm glad you and your family are all safe. I will be praying for that sweet baby.

Joy said...

I don't even know what to say. After reading this, I cried. And I don't mean "my eyes got watery." I cried, and then I held my 2 year old and kissed her like crazy. It breaks my heart to think of this 1 week old baby without a mommy. My heart goes out to the baby and all the family. Thank God, you and your family are safe.

Tom and Karen Mortensen said...

This is so awful. Why do people have to do this kind of thing? That poor little baby. Hopefully she has a good family to support her. I hope those other two ladies will be okay. Glad you and your family are safe.

My Mercurial Nature said...

Oh my, you must've been absolutely scared to death and yes, I'm hugging my kiddos extra tight tonight. I'm so glad you & your family are safe!

MommyLovesStilettos said...

That is so awful :(

Bossy Betty said...

So sad. I would be shaken up about this for days....

Wendy said...

Holy crap! This sounds like a story for 48 Hours or Dateline! Awful! I'm glad you and your family are safe. And now I'll say a little prayer for that innocent baby and her family. So sad.

P.S. - I'd really like to hear about the Top Chef thing though in a future blog.

The Empress said...

Oh, that story has me quaking over here.

HOW DANG SCARY IS THAT??!!!

Your poor sweet mother, she must've been dizzy with worry as she drove over. What a doll.

Alicia said...

oh honey...my heart hurts and is thankful all at the same time. what an awful thing to have happen. that poor family. breaks my heart...the mother in me just weeps for that baby and the mama she'll never know. but i am so thankful you and your little ones are safe and sound. hugs to you friend...

girlinga said...

Really hits home huh? I'm so glad you all are safe and that the shooter is not at large anymore... Love to you!

Teddy Started It said...

!! Yikes !! When I was in college, a serial rapist escaped from one of the local prisons. His mom lived across the street from my apartment. They eventually found the guy...at his mom's. I know those sites adn sounds - the police tape, the blockades, the helicopters. It took a long time to feel normal walking to and from my car after that. My heart goes out to you.

Rita/Fighting Off Frumpy said...

Oh, that makes me sick to my stomach! How heartbreaking for everyone involved. (Not to mention terrifying!)

Sarah RDH said...

OMG. Thank God you and your family are safe! But this made me cry, reading it. That's just awful. God bless that little baby. This breaks me heart.

June said...

Holy Cow!
That is heartbreaking.
Counting our blessings daily.

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Oh my goodness, Leigh. I am crying reading this and am SO glad you and your family are safe. I feel so sad for the mother who was shot and her sweet baby. I will keep them in my prayers today. So crazy that happened in your neighborhood..and again I am just relieved,a s I know your friends and family are, that you and your family are safe.

The Only Girl said...

Holy crap Leigh! That's shocking and frightening! Glad all your family is okay.

foxy said...

That poor baby! That is a crazy story. I'm just amazed at the lengths some psychos are willing to go to in order to get their way. Crazy bastard.

I'm so glad that you're okay.

Danielle said...

I have goose bumps and tears in my eyes. That poor little baby. I am going to hug my daughter a whole lot today!!!

Lisa said...

I've had your post up on my computer since I read it...I had no idea how to respond. I am so overwhelmed (probably not half as much as you are/were) - it has stayed with me even in my dreams.

I type something then backspace...the words just don't seem appropriate! At the risk of writing nothing: I am so glad you and your family are safe and I pray for everyone effected by this tragedy - particularly that young child.

Kearsie said...

I am just now reading this post. I'm so sorry for that poor baby, for the family that has been blown apart, and for the man who caused such irreparable damage. I'm so glad you're safe.

Lindsay @ Just My Blog said...

I remember seeing this on the news (local Metro ATL mom). I never did catch more of the story other than a normally quiet neighborhood was put into panic mode and that 2-3 people were injured. I'm so sorry for that baby and entire family. :( Breaks my heart.

Vodka Logic said...

HOw awful. I guess you never know what is going on inside any home.

Glad you are ok

Marla said...

This is so horrible and sad. So glad you were all not there.

bellorel said...

So sad, brings tears to my eyes. To be so cruel to kill so many, and it is even more cruel to leave that child without his mother, and family.

Lizzie Ann said...

This brought me to tears. I'm glad you and your family are safe!