Monday, January 07, 2008

Missed opportunities

There was a shooting at a local church on Sunday. Apparently the husband and wife were getting a divorce. On Sunday morning, he opened fire on her when she got out of her vehicle in the church parking lot. Her mother was in the car. Other people were in the parking lot. They all watched the dad and husband gun his wife down in cold blood. It is such a horrific event, that I cannot imagine how it could happen - especially since I know the family.

We lived in the same neighborhood a couple of years ago, and we knew the family well. Ben played basketball with the husband, and I sang in the choir with the wife. I'll have to admit that I never got along with her very well. She was Type A, and I am too. She was outspoken, and I always felt that she was also a bit snobby. She and I were pregnant at the same time, and her poor little boy was born around the same time as G. Actually, now that I think about it, she and I had a lot in common. Maybe we could have been good friends, but I never took the time to even try. I can remember more than once telling Ben that I didn't like her - that she "rubbed me the wrong way". And every time he would tell me to be nice, give her a chance, etc. I never took his advice.

Then, I checked Carrie's blog this morning, and she had also posted about this. As I read on, it really suprised me to realize that the very qualities that annoyed me about this girl, were the qualities that made Carrie want to be her friend. I felt very guilty and ashamed that I'd never given her a chance.

There are so many missed opportunities in this life - to be a friend, to help a person in need. And how often do we overlook those opportunities, because we're too concerned with ourselves. So many times, I will get a thought or a feeling that I should call a friend, write my grandmother, stop by a neighbor's house, etc - but more often than not, I'll ignore the thought. Or think that I'll do it later, when its more convenient.

I really do need to be a better friend. I know that I've been complaining about my neighborhood a lot lately. I've been trying to figure out what it is about where we live now that is different from any other neighborhood, and nothing seems different. I've started thinking that maybe the problem is me - I'm too busy, I've put on weight and don't feel comfortable with myself, everyone already has their friends. Excuses, excuses. So I decided this week that I was going to try and be a better friend. I sat by some women at church that I knew, and we chatted. I even offered to help one of the girls out next week for her lesson. After church, one of them called to borrow an onion for her family's Sunday dinner. I was so happy to help.

I really do need to reach outside of myself.

10 comments:

The Gatherum Family said...

This post made me cry. It is all so true and I am glad you posted it. Thanks for making me really think today about the things that are truly important. I was so sorry to hear about this horrific event-I pray for her family, especially her two little children. THanks for the thoughtful comment on my blog...you are awesome, and maybe one day we should meet in person eh? Have a great day!

Gina Steinagel said...

Christie...I just had to leave a comment and tell you that you are not the only one that feels like maybe you should have given Kristy a chance. As you know I lived right next door to her for four years and as hard as I tried we just did not become close friends. How sad that a tragedy makes us see how important human relations are. Anyway I just want to tell you hello!! Gina Steinagel

carrie said...

Christy....I absolutely loved reading your post. It was full of such honesty and I think you're great. I feel like I've misjudged so many people in my life....and I feel horrible about it. Then I think about how many people I, myself, have probably (most likely) offended. It's sad.... You and Ben are both really great people, and I remember how kind you guys were to us when Jaxon was in the hospital. (way back when) I'll never forget that.... Jason and I don't have close families, so friendships are very, very important to us. And by the way, I love TYPE A personalities!! :o)
I love a strong personality!! Sorry to ramble on and on.....but your blog really touched me today. Thank you.

Erin said...

I heard about this on the news. So sad. This is a beautifully written post-straight from the heart. I think we could all ramp it up a bit in focusing on others more than ourselves. Thank you.

Savage Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Savage Family said...

Hi Christie,
It is Heather Savage remember me? I don't think we really knew each other but I am commenting because we are so alike and I want to be friends! (Cheese I know!) I loved loved your post and I am on the same page about everything you said!! I would love to get to know you more! What a great way with Blogging yay!!

Julia said...

I didn't know this girl, but I am so sad about the whole situation. Reading your post made me sad too. I'm totally the same way. I never reach out to anyone...even the people I used to be so close to. I always feel like I'll either be bugging them or that I'm just too busy. There are people in my neighborhood and ward that have reached out to me and I don't do much back. I guess I"m just not good at being a friend. Sad to say, but sometimes I don't WANT to put the effort. That's something I need to work on. Thanks for this post.

Anne Marie said...

Christie, I loved your post. I can really relate to what you said about needing to reach out to people. That is one of the hardest things for me. It's funny how even something as simple as someone calling to borrow an onion can make you feel good. I need to remember that and not be afraid to be call just people and take that first step.

Lynita said...

That is so sad, what a tragedy. Her poor children are now orphaned, I can't believe people are capable of that. I agree with you about the missed opportunities, there are so many times that I feel the same way. It does feel good to make a little effort when it might not be the best time. My friends mom had a saying posted on her fridge; "Give service at your earliest inconvienance." I find the best way to make friends and get to know people is serving them, so kudos on the effort! You are a great person and I know people will love you when they get to know you better!

Jan said...

what an eye-opener! I'm not such a great friend either - -thanks for a wake-up call.