Last night my neighbor was murdered. Across the street. In the park that all of our children play. The park that little ones learn to climb. The park that families feed ducks. The park that kids play ball. The park that golfers perfect their swing. The park that is home to an amazing summer league baseball team. The park that is home to our National Guard and the oldest outdoor concert band. The park that many have grown up in.
Last night my sweet, innocent, intellectually disabled neighbor was murdered.
I can not stop shedding tears.
You see, he was the kindest person on our block. He walked all the neighbor dogs. The first week I moved in, he was over helping me do yard work. He picked up a neighbor’s paper and delivered it to her front door. He checked in on the elderly. He always had a big smile on his face. He shouted hello—from a block away. He called me “Matt’s wife”. It was endearing.
He didn’t know boundaries. He was always in our yard and then helped us build our fence. He’d ring the doorbell at 10pm without a thought. He’d come over and hang out for an hour until I delicately extracted myself because I had 100 other things to do and the baby was crying. He named our coy fish and then asked to have them when we filled in the fish pond (he ended up giving them to a neighbor).
But that boundary-less personality is what made him so innocent. He always had a smile. Always.
What happened to him last night in the park was brutal and horrifying. And it begs so many questions. Who could be so evil to harm an innocent? And more importantly, how in the heck could this happen in the park? I have been harping about needing more security there for years…but mostly because of the sexual deviants. I never thought something like this could happen.
I know that there are no straightforward answers other than evil just exists. And it does. It presented itself in such a horrid fashion last night.
Tonight all we can do is pray. Pray for his family. Pray for our community. Pray for a nation that has lost its way to the point where the innocent are brutally murdered.
But the tears. They just won’t stop.