An Old Friend
I was just reading a post by GOM and it reminded me about something that I found out a month or so ago. I was going to pick up my daughter and bring her out here to my house for the week. I used to live in Georgia where she lives and I have quite a few friends out there still.
On the way there, I was going to meet my ex for lunch (we’re still good friends) and I was running late. It’s a long way from where I live in Alabama to where I was going in Georgia. So while he (Frank, my ex) was waiting for me, he went by to see an old friend of ours named Scott. Frank used to work for Scott and he was our next door neighbor for a couple of years as well. Scott and his wife Julie were a really sweet happy couple in their early forties. Scott ran a very successful construction business doing insurance repairs on houses. Julie was a stay at home soccer mom with two beautiful teen aged children.
When Frank walked into Scott’s construction company and asked for Scott that day, everyone looked at him kind of strange. Frank is a very happy go lucky personality so he just stood there for a minute puzzled. “Where is he?” he asked.
The receptionist buzzed Scott’s business partner, Mike, who promptly came out and took Frank back to his office. “You haven’t heard about Scott?” Mike asked.
“No, what happened?” Frank replied. Frank and I really hadn’t seen Scott or anyone else we knew then in about three years.
Apparently not long after we saw him the last time, Scott fell off of a ladder and hurt his back. The doctor put him on pain medication for it and he spent the next year severely addicted to the pain pills. His wife Julie said he was depressed and suffered with mood swings and wouldn’t go back to work even though his back had gotten better. She tried to get him to get help but he wouldn’t. He got up one morning in “a mood” and got out in the back yard shooting off guns. They lived in a very nice subdivision and of course it didn’t take but a couple of shots being fired off before someone called the police. The swat team responded and apparently Scott was so out of it, he fired a shot at the police officers and they shot and killed him.
Now, in a big city full of thugs this would not be a big deal story. But this wasn’t a big city and it wasn’t a bunch of drug dealing thugs. This was a soccer family, literally. This was a great guy. He was totally dedicated to his family, his job, just his life in general. He was highly successful and had been very smart with his money. He was a happy man. I was just dumbfounded by this whole story. There are so many questions I could ask.
I grew up in Atlanta and gradually moved further and further out to the country over the years. The more people that are around you, the more chance you have of dealing with someone else’s trauma and drama all the time. Living in a small town and staying rather isolated like I do now, I don’t deal with stuff like this much any more. It’s painful when you actually know the people.
Incidences like this really scare me though. When someone can go from being a happy well adjusted successful husband and father to being a gun wielding drug crazed maniac shooting at the swat team in a year’s time, well that’s just scary. I was glad to get back home to my isolated little slice of paradise.