Today’s ‘What I’m Loving Wednesday’ is a pretty hard one to write. My world was rocked early Friday morning when my favorite Arkansan (my former boss, Frances) told me the upsetting news about Beverly’s disappearance. It’s consumed me for days, and my emotions have been all over the place ever since. I’ve cried more times than I can count, I’ve experienced anger and fear at a level I’ve never felt before, and with the news that they found her body in a shallow grave on Tuesday morning, I’ve experienced heartbreak that I’ve never felt before.
I’ve never felt safe. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s the truth. I grew up watching women get abducted, raped and murdered on daytime & primetime soap operas. I grew up watching true-crime miniseries on TV, where women were almost always the victims of violent crimes. I dealt with the aftermath of a violent crime six years ago, when a close friend of my families was murdered by her estranged husband. I saw the agony her mother and my brother went through. I’ve seen her little girl grow up without her mother. I’ve seen what horrible things can happen to a woman, and as a result, I’ve never felt truly safe. I refused to stay home alone for a couple of hours after school until I was about 15 years old. I rarely ever go out at night, unless I’m with people. If I do go out, I pay more for parking to get as close to where I’m at as possible. Once when Graham was deployed, I broke my ultimate rule for staying safe when I slipped up and told some kids who had come to the door selling magazines that the owner of the Jeep in the driveway was deployed. After that, I walked around with the biggest knife I could find for several days, convinced that these two 14 year olds were out to do me harm. When I walk Hermione alone, I spend the entire walk planning ways to save my life if someone were to attack me. I’ve never felt safe, and after this senseless (“she was a woman who worked alone & a rich broker”) and horrible tragedy, I probably never will.
I keep wondering why he chose her, because right now we have no answers. His comment about her working alone and being wealthy is ridiculous. Most realtors work alone, and a good bit of the female realtors I worked with were wealthy. So why her? Did he stalk her? Did he know her? I’m hoping that real answers will come forth as this develops, but right now the massive amount of unanswered questions just makes this whole thing even harder.
Just so you know, my lack of never feeling safe is definitely not what I love. I just need to ramble, and try to put into words everything I’m feeling right now. What I am loving is the amazing show of support, love, friendship and community that has been shown to Beverly and her family since this happened. On Saturday afternoon, someone started a ‘Find Beverly’ Facebook page. Within an hour it had over 700 follows. Now, it is at over 44,000. Thanks to the national attention this case received, people way outside the borders of Arkansas have been praying, hoping and sending good vibes for Beverly’s safe return. Now that we know she’ll never be returned home to her family, those people are now praying, hoping and sending good vibes for her precious family to find comfort. And that is a truly wonderful thing. The internet can be a cruel and horrible place. People can be selfish, ignorant, vile & hurtful. But seeing the outpouring of sympathy for the Carter family, Beverly’s friends, and for my Crye-Leike family has been amazing, and is giving me glimpses of goodness & light, at a time when it would be very easy to be pulled into the darkness.
I’m also loving the conversations about realtor safety. The realtors I worked with became family to me, and I adore most of them. I hope people can learn, change and make smarter decisions because of this, and do whatever they can to make sure this never happens again.
I ask that anyone who reads this keeps Beverly’s family and friends in their prayers and thoughts. She and I were work friends, and if I’m this devastated, I can’t even begin to imagine the pain her husband, sons, grandchildren, and other family members and close friends are feeling. Please pray for peace and comfort. Pray that the trial is quick, and the man who did this pays for his crime.