I thought twice about penning any words this week. Truth be told that feeling came from two fronts.
First, ‘tis the season for running this reporter girl ragged. From Rodeo Week until mid-June there is little time to sit at my desk, aside from quickly writing and sending my work off to Editor Marg Jackson. Spring has sprung and this town quite simply lights up with activity.
Second and more notably, the events of the past week in relation to a homicide, have left this single mom perplexed, angry and saddened. What words could I possibly have to share that matter during such a time?
Perhaps the words which follow will resonate with a reader or two, words written not as “the media,” that’s a completely different story. Words as a mom, a community member, a human who does not understand such monster behavior.
Before proceeding I want to be clear on two things: I did not know Aimee Eddington Crawford or her family and second, all thoughts and opinions which follow are mine based on my own personal (not professional) experiences the past several days.
In short this whole sordid thing is simply unreal. While I did not know her, apparently we had several common friends. Being the newspaper girl placing us in a gray area at times. In regards to this tragedy, I maintained all conversations with friends in an open and confidential manner. Learning of the news and details early Wednesday morning – it stunned me.
My exact words to a girlfriend “unreal.” By Friday morning the word “Monster” found its way to the conversation and to this very moment those are perhaps the two best words I can find in all of this. Well … and tragic.
As one friend shared, this is the type of thing you see on the news in other parts of the state or country, yet here it is in our own little town. A town where we feel safe, supported and loved.
That’s what I’ve learned the past several days about Aimee. She was very loved, by a lot of people. Every common friend we shared, spoke of her in such a positive light. I heard of her smile, her laugh, her quirky spirit – a true fun loving lady.
My natural inclination is to follow that with – but why? The truth of the matter is we will never truly know the answer to such a complex question. What I know is that a selfish coward decided he should play God. He made a choice which wasn’t his to make. He took a woman from her children, her family, her friends and a community. She was much too young and it was much too soon.
So now we wait. Oh boy, that thought is a column unto itself and I pray to God that what I suspect may happen in our flawed system does not.
What I know for sure, is that through the many conversations one thread remained constant – it simply makes no sense. There is no way one can wrap a (right) mind around this occurrence and the way in which it played out. There is no way to make sense of something we can never comprehend.
What we can do, however, is be mindful and supportive of the ones left to deal with this tragedy. Her children, her family, her friends. Silence the chatter, idle speculation and hearsay, because despite it all one painful fact remains – she’s gone.
All my love, wishes and prayers to those who loved this woman I never knew. As a fellow single mom, who has moved on with a new life and lives for my children – my heart breaks for you all. God bless.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.