Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The north side entrance, where customers parked
and entered Osborne's.

The back of the building.
A fire fighter chased me back behind the yellow line.

Osborne's Hardware Store caught on fire last week
and this is all that's left.

It's kind of hard to imagine downtown Davie without Osborne's. And, that's just what we said two years ago when they closed down. The family still owns the property, but they moved the store to New Smyrna Beach. They couldn't take the overcrowded highways and impersonal attitudes of the people who were moving into the area. Which is totally understandable.
This is a family that opened their business in the 1950s during a time when there wasn't much more in Davie than their hardware business, a grocery store, a couple of offices, a feed store and a multitude of orange packing houses and dairy farms. In that era of south Florida's development, traveling from Fort Lauderdale to Davie was a day long trip. It was a different time and Davie was a different place.

I know the Osborne's. Cindy Osborne and her husband opened the business way back when. Her daughter, Cindy Lou, ran it up until the time it closed and she was assisted by her daughter, Kimberly. They offered all manner of hardware and specialized in those things you couldn't find at Home Depot or Lowe's.

I know things change. But, do they have to change like this?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Katie & Mike at the Key West Conference, July 2007

Mike & Katy, one afternoon last winter.
She was all dressed up, looking so pretty!

Mike & Katy --- Katy was the best Teddy, the Turtle, I ever had!
Last week was one of the longest weeks of my life. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s the truth: it was a week of death.

It started on Saturday, September 20. I got a phone call at home that my boss’s 19-year-old daughter had drowned. To say it was a shock is truly an understatement. It blew my mind. The first thing I did after that phone call ended was to call my own 21-year-old daughter at college and make sure she was alright. She was fine and I counted my blessings.

Monday, the 22nd was the twentieth anniversary of a life-altering experience. On that day in 1988 my beloved husband stabbed a young man because he thought the boy was my lover. He wasn’t. He was a friend of my then-18-year-old daughter.

The police took my husband away to jail and emergency medical technicians took the boy to Broward General where they misdiagnosed his three stab wounds. By the time they discovered their mistake, the boy was brain dead. In Florida, the law required he be connected to life support for 72 hours, so the family held vigil while we all prayed for a miracle.

Wednesday, September 24 of this year, my boss’s daughter’s funeral was held. I never saw so many people, young and old, paying their respects to her memory. There were photographs of her all over the funeral home and as I sat in the midst of this crowd, I was overwhelmed with grief, old and new, at the loss of these young lives filled with so much promise. Now, as then, I could not make any sense out of the randomness of it all. Why her? Why him? They were so young! They had their entire lives in front of them! Why? Why? Why?

On Friday, the 26th, I was feeling downright morose. It was on this day, twenty years earlier, that a beautiful young man was allowed to quietly leave this world for the next. And, an entire new chapter unfolded for me and my family. A chapter filled with depositions, court hearings, trials and sentences. It would be another three years before I would find any semblance of normalcy in my life.

Today, as I look back on last week’s events, including two anniversaries and a funeral, I am struck by their similarity. While one was a crime and one was a horrible accident, the pain that follows that kind of loss must be nothing short of torture for the parents, family and friends of the departed.

They may never know, but I pray for all of them, every day.
I wish I could do more.

NOTE: I liked taking pictures of Katy & Mike. It was clear that they loved each other and enjoyed their relationship as Dad & Daughter. I'll miss seeing Katy. Especially with her dad.