Groceries and Gone . . .

I am (about to say something very obvious) in many ways, a very, very immature man. I don't just mean that in my language, behavior, sense of humor, or any other count but also in terms of my emotional maturity. 

To that end - something happened the other day that has me truly shaken. 

A woman, Annette Hedke, was struck and killed at 8:15 AM in the morning in the parking lot of a Dillons (grocery store) after putting her recently-acquired food stuffs in her car and falling down. She was stuck and dragged fifteen feet by another driver. 

This is a horribly tragic story on so many levels. Take the randomness of it all (if Hedke had not have left the store when she did, if the other driver had not left the store when she did, if Hedke had not have fallen, if the SUV driver had taken a minute to tweak the radio or her hair, if Hedke had jumped back up sooner, if . . . if . . . if) but then also factor in that as horrible as it is for Hedke to be gone and her family to feel the void the driver of the SUV is left to process that she was involved in this horrible tragedy and her family will forever have to process this.

ALL this was and is upsetting but here is what has me most upset about this . . . Hedke is the wife of a three-term State Representative (the esteemed Dennis Hedke). Forget my politics. Forget his politics. That truly doesn't matter. What DOES matter? That Mrs. Hedke was reduced to nothing more than his wife in the press coverage and much of the discussion around her death (I work across the street from this particular Dillons and this was all the buzz for the latter half of the week). 

There was no mention of her as a woman, a daughter/sister/mother/soon-to-be grandmother. There was no mention of her as a Christian or any discussion of her involvement with a Jews-for-Jesus congregation here in town. No one talked about her hobbies, her passions, her wants, hopes, or dreams. Nope. She was just the spouse of a State Rep. 

I get that it is important and relevant that she was who she was in marriage. I understand that is the obvious headline. I see why people care(d) but I don't think it is fair to a person or their memory - especially in the immediate moments after death - that they are simply the wife-of or mother-of or daughter-of. They are them. They were them. They are sovereign. They are and should be missed for them. Even an emotional child knows that!