I saw the young mother and the five years old boy coming down an aisle.
Suddenly the boy saw the tall and skinny young man in the distance and ran the distance between them yelling “DADDY…. DADDY!“.
then launch himself in to the arm of the young man, who spun the boy then hugged him close.
The young mother got to where I was standing and we stood watching the interaction of the young man and the boy.
The mother express to me how happy she was that she had found a man to marry that accepted her son as his own. Then she shared a little secret, Aaron the young man was making matching coats for him and the boy.
It was a joyous day for them all, after two custody hearing before a judge finally the judge had made a decision that cleared the way for Aaron to make it legal and he would formally adopt the boy.
The mother had the boy at sixteen, the natural father wanted nothing to do with being a father and had taken off. So that the boy would be covered under her parent’s insurance she had agreed to give custody to her parents.
Now in her early twenties she had found a man she loved and married.
To make it complete and them all to be real family, the young man wanted to adopt her son.
But the parents did not like the young man or the idea of giving up custody of their grandson.
They fought the court action and every time there was a hearing they came to fight it.
The judge put off a decision until some report was in or until he heard from some expert.
The parents could not come up with a good reason to prevent it.
Till finally that day the judge had decided that custody should go to the young mother.
It was a good sight seeing the young man and the boy interacts, there was nothing to indicate that in a few short days the boy’s world would be turned upside down and thrown into a spinning of hurt and confession.
I had worked till seven A.M. and about nine thirty the phone rang, I looked at the caller I.D.
It was someone I worked with and I somewhat cursed wondering why he was calling?
I was suspecting he was wanting a ride somewhere as I would pick him up and drop him off.
Fred voice was hurried and sounded of the seriousness of the matter.
“Dude…. Dude… Someone was shot and killed at Wal-Mart around nine!”.
He had been called by someone he knew and was there when it happened.
I sat back and let the news sink in then asked “Who?”.
“It was Aaron, some guy just walked in and shot him three times from behind.”.
I had seen Aaron come to work that morning, he always had a smile on his face and that morning was no different. Now was the question of why?
It was later that day before I heard the reason why, the murder what the father-in-law who had lost custody of his grandson. He had driven from Great Bend earlier in the morning with a gun and the intent to kill the man who was taking his grandson away.
Perhaps even more troubling, his daughter would have been at the customer service desk by the front door at the time he walked in and then left. Had she not taken her break early that morning.
There has always been a real question if his intent was that there would be two murders that morning?
I have always been troubled by the plight of the boy, one of the most important men in his young life had killed the other most important man in his life. The bewilderment he must have felt and the anger and hurt being torn by his love for both.
I being much older could not understand how selfish the grandfather was to being willing to destroy his grandson’s and his daughter’s lives. How could a five years old understand what had happen either?
I so felt for the young mother too, her father had cold bloodily killed the love of her life and her future.
The question of was his intent to as he walked out and pass her was he going to have killed her too?
So many lives were being ripped apart and destroyed, so many worlds were spinning so out of control.
And as it turned out it would not end and allow for some time to reason for over a year.
If the mere fact of him killing an innocent man and destroying his daughter and grandson’s world.
Had not been enough, during his trial struck out again at the man who he saw as stealing his grandson.
White made the accusation that his victim had been molesting the grandson!
he evidence as he re-sighted was he had briefly seen a picture of the young man and the boy standing in front of the toilet peeing together! So, why had he during the three custody hearing did he not bring this concern up?
He stated reasoning for not bring it up was his love for the young man and not wanting to see the man go to prison. (Yeah, I too see the oxymoron in that!).
I do know both the boy and the young mother received counseling.
This was all about six years ago, the mother has remarried and now the boy is around eleven.
I have not seen the boy in some time and only on rare occasions have I seen the young mother.
Last night I wondered how the boy was doing, how well he could be doing?