I live in a suburb outside Portland, Oregon. We live in a good community with lots of families, schools, and a safe place to raise children.
On Thursday, January 26th, at 3:15 pm a young man named Ryan Johnson was shot and murdered at our local grocery store. He was 22.
When the news was first released, no name was given for the young man, and a shock of horror coursed through me. My son lives across the street from the grocery store and shops there often. Fortunately, within minutes of the news, I verified that it wasn’t my son . However, he did know Ryan, and my daughter is friend’s with his younger brother. The news blasted through the community and shook it to its core.
A candle light memorial was held Saturday evening for Ryan, and my daughter chose not to attend her friend’s 16th birthday party, but instead to attend the vigil and support her friend. I was proud of her. A huge crowd showed. It’s amazing to see a community pull together.
Ryan left behind a 3-year-old son, 2 brothers and his parents. His life cut short by his son’s grandfather. I can’t comprehend someone so angry they would murder a human being in cold blood. I just don’t get it.
I’m grieving as a parent, and grieving for Ryan’s family. If I could turn back time for them, I would. I can’t imagine the anguish of losing a child, and I hope I never have that experience.
Our community will never forget this tragedy. Heaviness is in the air as so many search for answers to their questions of how something so horrific could have happened here. Our bubble of safety burst within seconds.
As I continue my prayers for the family, I look at my own and value each minute I’ve been blessed to have with them. I’m guilty of taking so much for granted, and this tragedy is a reminder not to.
So as you enjoy the sunshine on your face, or hear the rain on the roof, drive through busy traffic or watch tv. Please take a few minutes to tell the people in your life that you love and appreciate them.
Until Next Time…