Last night, there was a disruption in the force on our block of Dorrance Lane in Meadows Place, Texas.
A major disruption. Not music played too loud too late or cars driving too fast between two stop signs distanced by .02 miles, firecrackers for days at New Year’s, or mailed delivered to the wrong house or kids acting out up the bus stop.
Last night, my dear friend Muriel (who checks in on my mother Jean & me every day) called after our usual “Muriel on the way home” from work call to tell me that there were three people dead in a house on our block of Dorrance Lane. And while on the phone, my brother interrupted to tell me the police & media were outside.
The media presence was overwhelming. People were gathered in the streets. Bits & pieces of information trickled out from bystanders who moved closer to the crime scene tape, bits & pieces posted on social media, bits & pieces from local media outlets.
One young man, two women, all apparently related, dead. Two small children, unharmed.
My closest neighbors, many of whom I have known since I was seventeen, gathered, along with what I call the “young kids on our block of Dorrance Lane” in my next door neighbor’s driveway.
Gathered in our collective grief & horror & sympathy for the family facing this tragedy.
The media fiasco continued for what seemed like forever. I wondered about what those sweet young new residents on our block of Dorrance Lane were explaining to their little ones.
This morning, the day after, local media reports were sporadic & varied. Almost all repeats of what they had filmed last night.
I did not know this particular family personally. I have seen different family members coming & going, hanging out in the front yard, picking up the mail.
So I have no clue as to their individual & collective stories or what each of them was facing or why murder & suicide seemed an option for one of the family members.
But recent reports today indicate that murder / suicide is what happened. A mother apparently killed her daughter-in-law & teenage son & then shot herself.
What I do know is a son & father of the two young children, came home to find his mother, wife, & brother dead.
What grief that poor soul must have felt. And still feels.
A young reporter, by the name of Emily Foxhall, from the Houston Chronicle rang my doorbell this afternoon.
And asked if I was willing to talk about last night’s events. I explained that I knew nothing other than what was in the media, that I did not know the family.
I told her I did not hear sirens, that I learned about the tragedy from a friend in North Houston & talking to me would not give her much information for an article.
Emily Foxhall tried a different track, & asked me about Meadows Place, the hidden little city nestled along the borders of Houston, Stafford & Sugar Land. She reeled me in, pointing out that Meadows Place is rather unique.
I had to admire that kind of reeling.
So I told her what I know about this little square mile community – that neighbors watch out for one another & for neighbor’s children. She asked me how long I had lived in MP & I told her that my parents Jack & Jean bought this house on Dorrance Lane in 1971.
I told her that on our block of Dorrance, there are six or seven original families or their descendants that still live here. I told her that there were many current residents, like me, who returned to this little square mile to raise our children.
And I explained that living in Meadows Place is very much like living in a 2016 version of Mayberry. People may not know you by name, but they know your children & your vehicles & sometimes your routine.
That we have an awesome police force, a fabulous elementary school & that when tragedy strikes, this community comes together.
What I did not explain to Emily Foxhall of the Houston Chronicle was how last night changed my perception of myself & my relationship with a neighborhood & home I too often take for granted.
That is another blog.