I find myself here again, asking for the help of the Planet community. I received a phone call a few minutes ago that shocked and appalled me. The mother of a dear friend of mine was attacked in her home today, here in North Carolina. She is now in Intensive Care at North Carolina Baptist Hospital in critical condition with skull fractures.

This lady is at least 85 years old, certainly not physically capable of fighting off brutal intruders. Needless to say, my dear friend is completely devastated and continues to echo the same question over and over…”Who would do such a horrible thing?”

The questions that I keep echoing over and over are…”What is happening to humanity? Where is the respect for human life? What has made some people so cruel and heartless? How could anyone do this to a little old lady?”

Daily, we are barraged with the news of atrocities, some committed for political reasons, some for religious fanaticism, and some for petty differences. We shake our heads and wonder why the violence. But a situation like this defies all logic. There can be NO reason for such a heinous crime!

If you, the members here, feel so inclined, please say a prayer for my good friend’s mom who is fighting for her life as I write this. I know in my heart that you people already pulled off one miracle over the Christmas holiday, and I ask you, once again, to send your positive energy to this devastated family. My most fervent wish is that I will never have to ask for your help again…that somehow, all violence will cease. Let us all vow to make it so.

Addendum: My daughter, who found out about this situation, called me and asked me to “please get on the Planet and blog about this”. She knows, as well as I do, the collective power of this community! When good people are bent on good purposes, nothing in the world can stop us!

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Emerald, I just couldn’t let another day go by without telling you that your friend and her mother have been in my thoughts and in my prayers.

Preying on the elderly has been on the increase here in Japan too. Usually it’s through scams, but recently there have been horrific murders, the house the set on fire to cover their tracks. It is such a cowardly, despicable thing to even contemplate and I believe there is a “special” place for these inhuman humans.

I worry about my 87 year old father, made him install security, know that he is surrounded by good and caring neighbours but still feel uneasy at times.

I will keep you all in my thoughts and hope that another miracle occurs.

Take care.


Once again I fell asleep over the keyboard, this time wondering if we will ever find an answer to Emerald’s question: why the senseless violence? Wide awake again, I am no closer to answering it than I was before.

I look at it this way… and it is so abstract it looks like a cop out. Human beings have either lost something they’ve always had and can’t find it again… and it isn’t something human beings simply want, it is something they need in order to function as thoughtful, civilized creatures…or else human beings have acquired something they never had before, and it not only isn’t something they need but it’s something they should never have, the human psyche just can’t handle it.

I know this looks like I am setting up a false choice with an exclusive ‘or’, as in: it’s either this or that, it can’t be any third thing. (Oversimplification is a good way to get yourself out of a pickle.) But I’m not trying to do that. There’d be no point in setting you up like that unless I had a pat answer coming in at the end, with the above being my of steering you toward it. And I don’t.

My point is this: it isn’t always true that when things start breaking down like this, something is missing . That we have lost something essential. It could just as easily be the case that something has been added…something that is incompatible with the thing that makes us thoughtful, civilized creatures. Something so new and fresh and accomodating that we are just plain drunk on it.

But what could it be?

(Btw, Hopeington, if you are still around, the above is a very fine example of what I meant when I said to you that I do ramble sometimes.)

Maybe if we stop asking what is missing and, just for the sake of exploring other possibilities, start asking what has been added, we might get a bit farther with this.

Just a thought.


My thoughts and prayers go out along with everyone else.

I would only remark, that while I may be younger, my readings of world history tell me that such things are not a remarkably new phenomenon (Dostoevsky, anyone?). Rather, they are likely talked about more openly and disseminated through ratings-based media, thus possibly affecting a greater incidence rate – but, human behavior has always had such depths, unfortunately (even if there may have been a day when people could leave their doors unlocked, incomprehensible to me as that is, admittedly) – and it is for us as human beings to evolve that we must also pray.

I send both these generic and specific vibrations to your loved one, and humanity as a whole.

Pepe Lepew

How terrible. My mum is 79 and in frail health. I can’t imagine what I would be going through if something like this happened to her.

I am thinking of you…


Oh, Em…I’m so sad to see this disturbing news after my work day has ended and I log on to the Planet to catch up. Of course prayers will go forth for this poor lady and her family. As you say, injuries this serious, for an 85 year old, are incredibly daunting.

Are there any suspects at all? Do the police have any thoughts on what happened and why? The poor family members! What they must be going through!

Please, all, if you will, also hold in your thoughts an 85 year old patient I cared for tonight, as well as his wife. He is a WWII vet who regaled me with stories of his work as a radio operator/navigator who guided pilots through the darkness on their way to their European destinations. Very sharp and clear minded, he is a fabulous story teller and a true “mensch.” He is distraught, though, because his wife is in another hospital (in our town also). They both have pneumonia. He also just had surgery for a fractured hip about two weeks ago and she is having renal problems, so there are plenty of complicating issues as well. They’ve been married 65 years, he tells me. He’s a very stoical man, but you can see in his eyes what he’s feeling.

Without getting sentimental, I think we can safely say that this generation has been through some amazingly difficult times (this includes your friend’s mom, of course, Em) throughout their lives. They deserve to have some peace and comfort in their final years.


Oh Em I am so sorry to hear this. Please know I will be praying and thinking about her. Why Why Why? I can only surmise that some people in this world are just without any humanity. I hope they catch the creeps who did this and make an example of them. Please tell your friend there are people out here who really do care.


Emerald, so sorry to hear of this horrific attack, I am indeed sending all my best thoughts to your friend’s mom.

My mother is nearly that age, imagining this happening to her makes me nearly blind with fury.

Drugs and/or gangs are often at the root of this kind of senselessly violent crime but not exclusively.

We have sociopathic greed as the corporate role model for society, it’s mirrored everywhere you turn, even in the so-called “humorous” commercials corporations put on, people selfishly knocking others aside or dissing others to take what they want.

The media we’re surrounded by is presenting selfishness as what’s expected of us, is it a surprise there is so much violence and hatred generated by narrow-minded selfishness?

This is a systemic problem, we do have to come together and grow as a community, as we have begun here, to affirm principles and respect as a necessary requirement of a decent and civil society. We need to stand up against this corporate-esque, self-justifying mantra of selfishness that is decaying our society.

Again, wishing all the best to your friend’s mom, please let her know of the many concerned and decent people here who are thinking of both of them.


So true, Adlib


Emerald, thank you for using the Planet in this way. It gives us another way to share our humanity. She is in my prayers, as are you and your sister.


Emerald: yours is a sad post but the content is not unfamiliar to me. Over here in the UK we have lots of pensioner attacks…attacks on elderly, retired people… and they are increasing.

Equally, though, we have attacks on just about every age group. Gangs of youths roam the streets of London (and elsewhere), drunk as little skunks. They vomit in the streets, urinate on parked cars, break windows. Last month a gang of youths put a firework through the letterbox of a home of a young single mother; the house caught on fire and both she and her little boy died.

If the owner of a property being vandalized goes out to stop these outrages upon his personal and private property, he or she is likely to be beaten to a pulp and very possibly to death. The newspapers are peppered with stories of incidents like these, they happen every day. Three months ago a gang of youths beat a father of 3 little boys to death, in front of his house, all because he didn’t have a cigarette for them when they demanded one.

Like you, I don’t know what explains crimes on the elderly. Unless it’s the fact that the gov’t has so coddled youths that the youths no longer fear anyone older than they are. When it comes to youth crime, over here, anyway, I think what partly explains it, is this: the gov’t has virtually taken all authority away from parents. You cannot lift a finger against your child; if you even shove a rebellious teenager around and he gets a bruise, he can report you for parental abuse. Not that I am for child beatings. But when you broadcast to the entire country thropugh a megaphone that your own child is off-limits, that child will lose all sense of authority. And respect. And fear.

And responsibility too. After telling parents their own kids are off-limits, the gov’t saw to it that parents can be prosecuted if their child doesn’t show up at school, if it becomes habitual. How can you control your own kids if the gov’t won’t let you, and then be punished, even jailed, for not doing so?

Sometimes I think the compass of the UK has been broken, and, metaphorically speaking, people are just wandering aimlessly about, in some cases virtual hostages to their own children, not knowing which direction to take, to fix it…while the gov’t goes on legislating contradictions, like the one I just mentioned, above.


Absolutely unreal. I have stopped trying to understand the evils of this world and have diverted my attention to avoiding being a victim myself. Here in the town I live in,…it has become a weekly occurrence for your house to be shot into multiple times in the middle of the night. And I live in PODUNK! I will be thinking positive thoughts for the woman.


Sending healing wishes, good thoughts and prayers you way, Em.
So sorry to hear of this.
We just had a incident down the street where a woman was jogging with her dog early
the other morning and a man came up and attacked her and her dog.
She was hurt and the dog (mini schnauzer) fought back but then the man grabbed the
dog and beat the poor thing to death.
She feels that her dog gave her life for her.
I feel there is collective desperation out there and the sooner they
get the economy on the mend and health care fixed, the better.
It would help if we could get the obstructionists out of the way and get
on with taking care of this country.
There are sick people out there. Sad.


What a horrible thing. I’m so sorry to hear this. My thoughts of support are with you and her. I completely empathize. I was attacked and injured by a huge burley 6′ intruder, while I was home alone at the age of 23; it was very traumatic. Horrible. I cannot imagine it for someone, who is probably so frail.

I don’t understand it. I never will.

{{hugs of hope}}



What a terrible thing to happen. Anyone who would do such a thing has no heart, soul, or conscience. Wouldn’t you think intruder has a Grandmother? Jeeze. And I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers.

I remember I was traveling on business a while back. I stopped in a convenience store one morning for coffee and there were 2 clerks behind the counter — a young kid and an elderly gentleman. Well, the kid was speaking to and treating the elderly man like he was a piece of dirt; so disrespectful. It went on for about 5 minutes and, believe it or not, there were 6 or 7 other customers waiting in line, including me. Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore and practically jumped over the counter. Told the kid he was being disrespectful, abusive, and rude. He had the balls to deny his behavior. All the while I’m telling the kid what for, everyone else stood there nodding their heads like bobble-head dolls. The kid kept arguing with me and I slammed my fist on the counter, he shut up, looked me in the eye, and I asked, “Do you have a Grandfather?” He answered yes, and then I asked him “Would you speak to your grandfather that way?” He looked like a deer caught in headlights — I calmly said “I didn’t think so.” And the bobble-heads kept on bobbling, yet none of them said a word.

I think if I’d had a baseball bat, I’d have knocked him upside the head.