Becky Says...

March 2008

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Layers - March 17

The other day I was downtown doing errands. When I got to the bus stop, I decided I'd spend some of the short wait reading one of the local newspapers. A gentleman was standing in front of the paperbox, but he was happy to move. When I had the paper in hand, he looked at me and said, "I would love to read some of that news. But I can't read. Will you read it to me?"

My reply was a little incomplete, in that I never got the word "yes," out of my mouth, but I think my readiness to do the requested reading was obvious. The main article on the page was about Eve Carson's death. So I said, "Well, I think you probably know this one already. It's about the young woman who died."

And the man replied that he did know the story, and was sorry for all the lives lost in that case...hers and those of the two young men who had been charged with her murder. We both apparently decided to ignore the rest of the paper, and talk about the layers of tragedy in this.

We mainly discussed how neither of us could imagine being age 17 (the younger of the two suspects) and facing life in prison without possibility of parole (since he's under 18, by law he will not face the death penalty). We stayed on this subject probably five minutes, until the gentleman's bus came. I hope someone did read the paper to him, later.

I don't know about my companion at the bus stop, but I remember having hopes and dreams when I was that age. Some have come true, others haven't. I wonder about the hopes and dreams these two young men have. I wonder how they got involved in criminal activities (both have been convicted of other things prior to this). I wonder about the hopes and dreams Eve Carson had, too.

Layers of tragedy.

* * * * * * * * * * *

The Westboro folk did request a permit, which has been granted. But the space where they will be allowed to do their protesting is a great distance from the location of Eve's memorial service on Tuesday. I knew the local police (UNC's force, in this case) would do their best to keep disruptions to a minimum, and they have.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Of course, I wish you all a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Becky's Leprechaun pin

Text and photograph © copyright 2000-2008 Becky