I always thought there would be some sort of sign, a warning of impending danger, a bird stealing it’s way into the house, a picture falling off the wall. I thought people were supposed to have some sort of a sign.


The only warning I got that my son Tod was in serious danger was a phone call from Tammy Wilson, the woman Tod had hired to work at his alarm and security business.


           Now she startled me. Tod hadn’t mentioned this. “When did that take place?”

“Last month.” Tammy claimed Evelyn Gettman, a girl Tod had dated, and her two brothers rammed knives in the kitchen walls, broke mirrors, stole money and some of Tod’s jewelry, cut up Tod and Rose’s wedding pictures, and, before leaving, ripped up the plants in his garden.

“Where was Tod when this took place?” I asked, not even trying to hide my concern.

“Doing a guard check.” She replied casually. 


Another thing you should know, she continued. “Evelyn threatened to kill Tod. She said if she couldn’t have Tod, no one would.”


“It’s Tammy on the phone,” I said, putting my free hand across my mouth. I began sobbing. “She said that … Tod’s been shot!” My body was shivering and my hands felt like ice. I repeated my conversation with Tammy as best I could remember. “Why is she doing this? What kind of person would make up such a story?”


[The phone rang. It was Tammy] Rog picked up the kitchen phone while I went to listen on the bedroom extension.

“I hope you’re calling with some good news,” I heard him say.

“I wish I could give you good news, but the police just left here, and I’m afraid I have to tell you they have officially declared Tod missing.”


I went into the family room and sat looking out into the back yard, watching two cardinals at the bird feeder as tears continued streaming down my face. It has to be some terrible mistake.


 As we stood holding the box between us, a sweet fragrance of flowers from another room permeated the funeral home. The odor was making me sick to my stomach, but I didn’t want to let go of the box. I didn’t want to give him up. How could I ever accept the fact that he was gone?


 With Elizabeth in first grade and Heather attending pre-school, I wasn’t needed as much for child care. As a result, I dwelled on Tod’s murder and sank deeper and deeper into depression. Sleeping became my favorite escape from reality.


 For some reason I felt compelled to read my Bible. I opened it, and as I leafed through it, I came upon the passage commonly known as, “The immoral Woman.” I read it like a drowning person grasping at a life preserver.

Suddenly he was going with her like an ox on the way to be slaughtered, like a deer prancing into a trap, where an arrow would pierce its heart. He was like a bird going into a net, he did not know his life was in danger. Now then sons, listen to me, pay attention to what I say. Do not let such a woman win your heart: Don’t go wandering after her. She has been the ruin of many men and caused death to too many to count. If you should go into her house, you are on the way to the world of the dead. It’s a short cut to death.  


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