Stay Alert, Stay Alive

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  My husband and I adopted that mantra above after completing basic training in the Army in 1997.  It is, in my opinion, a reminder never to forget where you live.  In my case New York City, where it can be a dream to live in, but, and this is where the realist in me comes out, it can also be extremely dangerous.  Stay alert, stay alive.  I always walk that way.  I always ride the train that way.  I always jog that way.  But nowadays, every place in the world seems to be unsafe, especially for women and children.

Every morning after dropping off my daughter at school and coming back home to eat breakfast with my youngest, I take some time to read the news online.  When I read the stories of children missing, I long to see the update story with a headline that reads, “Child found, safe and sound.”  Unfortunately, the headline that we’re usually met with starts with, “Body found” and my heart breaks.  I really don’t understand what kind of a human being can hurt a child.  To me, they’re not human.  They’re monsters, plain and simple.  Two recent crimes, in different states, have been etched in my mind and heart forever.  They’re completely heart breaking.

Ten year old, Jessica Ridgeway from Colorado was abducted on her way to school and her body was found, but it wasn’t easy for them to identify it because it wasn’t intact according to news reports!  If that doesn’t make you sick to the stomach, I don’t know what will?  They have currently arrested a teenager for the crime.  A teenager!  Read more here:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/jessica-ridgeway-murder-suspect-austin-reed-sigg-confessed/story?id=17558599

In Oregon, Whitney Heichel was on her way to work when according to news reports a neighbor and member of the same church asked her for a ride.  He sexually assaulted and shot her several times.  Her body was found on Larch Mountain.  Read more here:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/murdered-barista-whitney-heichel-raped-shot-times/story?id=17534209

Whitney’s husband, Clint Heichel asked, “Why?” and I know that many of you, including myself, ask the same thing.  Why?  It doesn’t make sense that these innocent people’s lives are taken away.  Just for being an innocent child or a friendly neighbor.  It’s mind boggling.  That’s why that mantra is so important to me, especially now because you never know what’s going to happen or where and being a woman with two young daughters, hello I’m a walking target and so are they.  We have to protect ourselves.  We have to stay alert in order to stay alive.  We have to do it for ourselves and for our families and in no way do I mean any disrespect to Jessica and Whitney.

My heart goes out to Jessica’s and Whitney’s family.  I didn’t know them, I’m just a stranger, but they’re in my thoughts.  May they rest in peace, innocent beings.

Please take care all.

Stay alert, stay alive.

Until next time…

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