Each night, it seems, we hear news reports of a random shooting, someone killed unintentionally by someone wanting to kill someone else. Sad. Tragic. Disgusting. Senseless. No other words suffice, but even those seem inadequate. While I hear the reports and watch the commentator expressing sadness, hear the parents and loved ones in their agony, it affects me, just like it affects you. At least I hope so.
The thing is, this happens each night. Pick up a newspaper. Pick out a newscast. It’s all on display for us to see. We become numb to it because the occurrences are so frequent. That in itself is tragic, beyond the actual shooting and death. We feel . . . something, I guess, but nothing like the victim’s family and loved ones.
That changed for me on July 12, 2014, when our son was shot and killed as he walked home from lunch and a quick trip to pick up a couple of things for his and his wife’s new apartment. Caught on a street between two rival gangs. One gang saw a rival, and according to court testimony, a 35-year-old gave a gun to a 15-year-old and said, “Go wet his shirt!”
“Go wet his shirt!”
The only shirt that “got wet” was our son’s shirt. An innocent pedestrian. Collateral damage, it’s called. Rather cold, don’t you think?
From the moment Kim and I received the news that Wil was shot and killed, news reports of gun violence and death mean something different to me. My heart hurts for the family. My heart hurts for the victim. My heart hurts for Kim and our daughters. My heart hurts for Maria, Wil’s wife, a young widow. My heart hurts. It’s something one does not “get over.” Loss, any loss, is something one does not get over. We learn to live through it. We learn to live with it. The loss is there. It will always be there. Always.
I was reminded of that as I sat and watched David Muir interview three Capitol police officers about their experience and aftermath of January 6, 2021. Their experience, their ongoing trauma. One man nearly crushed to death, caught between a crowd and a door frame. One dragged down steps face to the stone. One sprayed with so many chemicals, he still has scars. And all of them carry scars on their heart, in their mind, and on their soul.
One congressman described the event later as: “Nothing more than tourists!” even though he helped barricade the doors. A picture shows him front and center, terror on his face. Yet, he called them “tourists.” The former vice president called it “Just a day last January.” Just a day? Even when the “tourists” built a gallows and shouted, “Hang Mike Pence!” Just a day?
A memorial was held on January 6th last week to honor those who died. It was symbolic of what had happened to the victims, to our government, to our country. Only two republicans were present: a congresswoman and her father, a former vice president. Why? Why weren’t more republicans . . . all of them . . . present? Why?
Have we become so numb to political discord, to political division, and political derision that we cannot remember those who died and cannot remember the assault on our capital, our democracy?
Numb. Substitute one letter and you have dumb.
We cannot allow ourselves to become numb to the suffering and hurt of others. We cannot allow ourselves to become numb to that which is so meaningful to us, to our neighbors, to our country. We cannot allow ourselves to walk through this life numb to what others are going through. We cannot allow ourselves to go through life numb to what others are living with each day. We cannot allow ourselves to be numb. Something to think about . . .
Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!
To My Readers:
I received great news this week! My newest book, Blaze In, Blaze Out won two awards and some recognition! Blaze won a Literary Titan Gold Book Award, an Author’s Shout Recommended Read Award, and was selected by BestThrillers as an “Editor’s Choice.” I am pleased with the recognition and the number of 5 Star Reviews Blaze has garnered.
A Goodreads Giveaway for Blaze In, Blaze Out Began Friday, December 17 and will finish at 11:59 PM PT on Saturday, January 15. My Publisher, Black Rose Writing and I are giving away 5 copies to Goodreads members in U.S. To Enter the Giveaway, use this Link:
I am pleased to announce that my book, Stolen Lives, Book One of the Lives Trilogy, has been named a Crime Thriller finalist in the 2021 Best Thriller Book Awards! That is the second award Stolen Lives has won. Previously, it received a Literary Titan Gold Book Award. I’m happy, as well as humbled, that there has been success with Stolen Lives.
Connect with me on Social Media:
Author Website: www.jrlewisauthor.blog/
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor
Facebook at: www.facebook.com/Joseph.Lewis.Author
Amazon at: www.amazon.com/Joseph-Lewis/e/B01FWB9AOI /
Blaze In, Blaze Out, is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites!
Eiselmann and O’Connor thought the conviction of Dmitry Andruko meant the end, but it was only the beginning. They forgot that revenge knows no boundaries, vindictiveness knows no restraints, and ruthlessness never worries about collateral damage. A target is a target, and in the end, the target will die. https://amzn.to/34lNllP
Betrayed: A PenCraft 1st Place Winner for Thriller-Fiction! A Maxy Award Runner-Up for Mystery/Suspense! A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read Award Winner! A Reader’s Favorite Honorable Mention Award Winner for Fiction-Crime-Mystery!
Betrayed is Now Available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! https://amzn.to/3AfUUpS
late-night phone call, a missing kid, a murdered family, but no one is talking.
A promise is made and kept, but it could mean the death of a fifteen-year-old
boy. Seeing is not believing. No one can be trusted, and the hunters become the
Spiral Into Darkness: Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards!
He blends in. He is successful, intelligent, and methodical. He has a list and has murdered eight on it so far. There is no discernible pattern. There are no clues. There are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, do not know they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement. https://amzn.to/2RBWvTm
Caught in a Web: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner! Named “One of the Best Thrillers of 2018!” by BestThrillers.com
Caught in a Web is also Available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! http://bit.ly/2WO3kka
found the bodies of high school and middle school kids dead from an overdose of
heroin and fentanyl. MS-13, a violent gang originating from El Salvador,
controls the drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors. They send Ricardo
Fuentes to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach
them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old
boy, George Tokay, who had killed his cousin the previous summer. Detectives
Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the
drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else,
especially George or members of his family. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CKF7696
The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they live in separate parts of the country, the lives of Kelliher, 11-year-old Brett McGovern, and 11-year-old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their futures grow dark as each search for a way out. https://amzn.to/34nXBH5
Book One, Stolen Lives: Editor’s Pick by BestThrillers! Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner!
Two thirteen-year-old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they will end up like the other kids they found- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. To make the investigation that much tougher, Kelliher suspects that one of his team members might be involved. https://amzn.to/3oMo4qZ
Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
The boys are home, but now they have to fit back in with their families and friends. Their parents and the FBI thought the boys were safe. They were until people began dying. Now the hunt is on for six dangerous and desperate men who vow revenge. With no leads and nothing to go on, the FBI can only sit back and wait. A dangerous game that threatens not only the boys, but their families. https://amzn.to/2RAYIk2
Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
Three dangerous men with nothing to lose offer a handsome reward to anyone willing to kill fourteen-year-old Brett McGovern. He does not know that he, his younger brother, and a friend are targets. More than anyone, these three men vow to kill George, whom they blame for forcing them to run and hide. A fun vacation turns into a nightmare and ends where it started, back on the Navajo Nation Reservation, high on a mesa held sacred by George and his grandfather. Outnumbered and outgunned, George will make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his adoptive father and his adoptive brothers- but can he? Without knowing who these men are? Or where they are? Without knowing whom to trust? Is he prepared for betrayal that leads to his heartbreak and death? http://bit.ly/SplinteredLives
Photo courtesy of The National Cancer Institute and Unsplash.