I have the special privilege of working among neighbourhoods in and around the city of St. John’s. I see the good in every area I encounter; unfortunately I sometimes see the bad.
For close to a year, I visited daily many households in Fairview Acres, meeting home and business owners who smiled, laughed and shared stories, happenings and circumstances that truly enabled me to enjoy my time there. I had been given warm, homemade cookies, muffins, soup, beverages on hot days and was offered facilities without even asking. I was given Christmas cards and wrapped gifts addressed to me. One lady embraced me with a hug and cheek kiss upon learning that my mother was far from me in another country.
This area, like many others, had a place marked by flowers, a makeshift memorial. Each day I would pass by and notice when new blooms were there; some would be fresh flowers and there were bright artificial ones, also. I had no concept of the story behind this particular shrine, yet every day, when passing, I’d gently touch the pole where the flowers hung.
Finally, one day, I saw a young girl replacing the blooms. I stopped to say hello and inquired if it was for a family member. She said it was her best friend, a beautiful young woman with a lust for laughter and for life itself. I apologized for the loss, hugged her and said that I couldn’t imagine my life being taken and my one-year-old son having to grow up without me.
A shock came over me when I learned the girl had been murdered. What brings a person to perform such an atrocity?
In the following days, I could not erase the image from my mind. A nearby neighbour who often greeted me shared that they had watched from a window for hours while police surrounded the area and Triffie Wadman lay on the ground.
I was disheartened that my wonderful neighbourhood bore this evil. Where is the humanity?