Tonight I was supposed to be hosting another enjoyable Sherrill Summer Concert, welcoming a couple hundred area residents out for some fun and sun and the music of the Easy Money Big Band at the Reilly-Mumford Memorial Park gazebo.
Instead, I met with a couple hundred area residents at that same gazebo to pick up candles for our memorial walk to the home of Lauren Belius, the six-year-old murdered by her mom's live-in boyfriend a couple blocks away this morning. The youngster was killed in front of her two siblings, including her twin sister.
Today could be the day the world officially went to hell for me.
What could possibly possess a grown man to stab a child to death? And how was it that this monster was welcomed into their home?
The possibility that nobody saw this coming boggles my mind. Are we to think the mom never had an inkling of the danger this evil creature posed to her children?
As a divorced dad of three daughters who has since dated women with daughters of their own, I have seen that there has always been the utmost scrutiny on both the actions of my ex-wife's new husband towards my girls, and on myself as well from the ex's in my girlfriends' lives. And rightly so. In fact, I welcomed it -- it showed that people cared about my kids and I always felt that took precedent over covering up for me if it seemed I might injure a child.
So how does something like this just happen out of the blue?
They say there's a lot more to the story that will come out in the future. I'm not sure I want to know any more. All I know is the is a new angel in Heaven and a monster off the streets of Sherrill.
Sadly, it happened a few hours too late.
RIP Lauren Belius. You go to a far better place than the one you left today.