Sadness and Confusion
Things are about to get a little serious here. On Friday, February 17, 2006, my Auntie Judine was murdered in her home. She lived in a nice neighborhood in an even nicer North County town of San Diego, where violence that is this shocking and permanent is rare. The suspect was a tenant of Judy's, a 26-year-old "man" who was nabbed by the authorities on Saturday. No motive. At least none that I'm aware of yet. What I am aware of is that her son, my childhood buddy, is hurting right now. I know that my parents, who recently moved back to that same town, were counting on Judy finishing the interior design of their new house, and then sitting down for meal after meal together, enjoying each other's company. My sister will never get the recipe to her famous Yiddish treat, but that was only available if she married into Judy’s family anyway (but we somehow knew Judy would give it up one of these days). Judy beat ovarian cancer three years ago... and some desperate fool killed her anyway. I'm not exactly handling the "death" part of this tragedy well, but the "murder" part of it is unreal. It's like every time I break from whatever everyday activity I'm doing, my mind wanders to Judy and there is an awful pang that then follows. I don't know she died. What she was feeling. What her last thoughts were. Did she feel any pain? My earliest memories in San Diego had me across the street, playing with Sean in the backyard, while my mom and Judy cooked/chatted/cleaned in the kitchen. Sean was an inventive kid, always making tire swings, wood swords and pulley-things. Judy was a designer, and would always go to fairs and shows, displaying her work -- I/m sure many of her friends and colleagues are touched by her passing. I've thought more about her the last three days than I have in months, when I saw her during a Christmas Day party at my parents’ new house. Obviously, I didn't say "goodbye" to her in any dramatic or spectacular fashion, heck, I'm not sure we even had that meaningful of a conversation. But I know how meaningful she is to me now. I took for granted the influence she had over my earliest years, and now that she's been taken from us, the world is a sadder, lonelier place without her.