Saturday morning I awoke at a ridiculously early time (as usual) to knock out 12 miles and some hills. I met my girls at the church and we headed to White Rock Lake. One of my girlies actually IS pregnant (not just sporting maternity fashion) and we hadn't gone far before she had to pee, so we stopped off at one of the pavilions, searched the premises for People Who Do Not Belong There, and feeling confident it was clear, stood guard while she took care of business. (incidentally, this is the same girl with Gu Poo issues from a few weeks back, that explains why her tummy was so finicky!)
We then went on about our run. The weather was perfect. Not hot, not cold, a little windy but all in all very decent. We were about 7 miles into our run when a police car came speeding past us with his lights on. A pretty rare occurrence at the lake, since it's in a neighborhood and there are very few roads near the lake itself. It's pretty much set up for runners, cyclists and families. We remarked that "He sure was in a hurry" and kept going. A bit later we saw more police cars and more lights. My first thought was that a biker had been hit by a car. That happens to cyclist more than I care to think about. I wondered if I could possibly be of any assistance. Then we saw and heard the ambulance. "Whew," I thought, "The professionals are here." But I still felt anxious. Someone was in trouble. I said a little prayer and kept running.
But as we got closer I noticed that there was no hurry of activity like there should be at an accident site. And then they began to roll out the crime scene tape. My heart stopped. That really can only mean one thing. Kat and I stopped to let the others catch up with us before we passed. I had a feeling I was going to see something that I didn't want to see. And I was right.
Floating in the water, face down, was a person. Presumably, a dead person. My blood ran cold. I've seen dead people before, but where they belong, in hospitals and funeral homes. I hadn't counted on seeing one this morning.
And this person was wearing a pink shirt.
We talked a little, all of us shaken, but suppositions did us no good. We really had no idea what happened. I kept thinking, I wonder if that pink shirt belonged to another runner? I looked down at my own pink shirt.
We are all out there long before daylight. They shouldn't, but many run alone. It's not like it is an especially dangerous part of town, but we DO live in a large city and it IS a pretty secluded area, especially early morning. Every life is precious, but I really didn't want that to be a runner or a cyclist. I didn't want it to be someone in "our" little community. I wanted to be mistaken, that I just thought I saw a body.
I prayed a lot yesterday. Some family was going to get a phone call that would change their lives forever. They were going to wake up, eager for the weekend, and then get news that would shatter everything.
That pink shirt belonged to someone's spouse, child, sibling, parent, friend. I just kept seeing that pink shirt. And I couldn't help but think, "Could that have been me?"
This morning I finally found an article. The pink shirt belonged to 78 year old June Bradley. At this time, they do not suspect foul play, but I have to wonder how a 78 year old woman ends up in the lake. What a lonely and terrifying way to die; alone and in the cold, dark water. So many questions. I'm praying for her family and friends.
June. I've always loved the name June. June who liked pink.
Be careful out there, and watch out for others too. We're all in this together. Be safe.