No, I didn't know this woman, but I know people who did. She worked right beside where I went to high school. She lived near where I grew up. So I, as well as many people I know, take this very personally. It's totally incomprehensible that this could happen in broad daylight, or any time of day or night for that matter, in my old neighborhood, my hometown area. Isn't this the kind of thing that we only see on CNN, or Nancy Grace, or on 48 Hours, that happens somewhere else? No, sadly it's not. It's happening in our own back yards, in small towns where everyone knows everyone by name, IN MY HOME TOWN. I can't begin to imagine the terror and fear she endured, nor can I imagine the heartache this is causing her family and the people who knew and loved her. It's absolutely heartbreaking, and terrifying at the same time.
This could have been me, or my sister, or your sister, or best friend, or YOU. This woman just stopped to buy gas, probably somewhere she's stopped many times, and was only 2 miles away from her Grand Mother's house, where she was headed. Did it ever cross your mind that some random person that you passed in a familiar place would want to cause harm to you? No, neither did I, and neither did she. But sadly, this is the kind of thing that has caused quite a few people I know to take up arms in self defense. And I am going to be one of them. No, I haven't been living under a rock and I know violence and crime is all around, but it's just hitting too close to home.
So in honor of Hope Melton, I and many other women I know, are taking steps to keep ourselves safe, so that hopefully, we or our families won't have to endure what she went through and what her family and friends are going through. For you Hope. May you rest in peace, and know that what happened to you will not be in vain.