Some people believe there are no coincidences.
I think about this whenever things happen that make me go, hmmmm.
I like to check in on cable news when I travel because we don't have cable at home. I was tired when I got into my hotel room today and flipped on the TV while thinking about what to do about dinner.
MSNBC was airing a repeat show called When a Killer Calls - a special two-hour report by Dateline's Keith Morrison. It's one of those dramatic true crime reports. This one shares the story of the Lords of Chaos and writer Jim Greenhill's book based on their crimes/attempted crimes (and his tangled involvement). Members of the Lords of Chaos (a group of teenage guys) were convicted of the murder of high school band teacher Mark Schwebes, only 32 when he was killed. The killing occurred in Ft. Myers, FL.
Have I mentioned before that I grew up in Cape Coral, Florida (right next to Ft. Myers)? I knew Mark quite well all threw our teen years. We were in a drum and bugle corps together called the Royal Lancers. I used to blow dry his naturally curly hair. Mark really liked that. We never dated, we were just good friends and we both played the soprano bugle. He stayed in the community and became a beloved music teacher.
The story of Mark's murder was shocking - to the whole community.
It's very strange seeing a two hour drama about a crime committed against someone you know in a place you once lived. They keep showing pictures of Mark - he did not age much and looked just how I remember him. Such a shame - such a loss.
Why was I seeing this show again today?
I think there are signs everywhere that tell us how fortunate we are and what a great life we have. We just need to pay attention. One of the most powerful forces of correction occurs when we lose someone - we realize that life is precious and ought not be wasted.
These experiences can be catalytic and can nudge us forward. How?
I have found that many people - myself included - are most bogged down by complacency. By not expecting enough from ourselves. Perhaps this is why I need to remember what happened to my friend Mark this evening.