Disquieting statements

Thursday, I sat in the Atlanta Municipal Court room where Brian Nichols, the Fulton County Courthouse shooter, is being sentenced for the murders of four people. The jury must decide whether to sentence Nichols to death by lethal injection. They listened to statements read out loud by 13 victims.
I listened to them talk about the void in their lives after the murder of their loved one. Of missed birthdays and anniversaries, graduations and weddings or just the ordinary. A quiet dinner at home. Watching a movie. Snuggling together. The comfort of love and understanding.
All of it was robbed on a blustery March day in 2005 when Nichols escaped from custody during his rape trial and went on his killing spree.
The statements once again reminded me of the loss that families of soldiers feel. Sudden, violent loss. It’s not something most of us experience in our lifetimes. So we take things — and people — for granted.
We shouldn’t.
Life has more meaning when we live every day to its fullest and take the time to appreciate the people who make our lives richer. Brian Nichols victims have realized that in the most painful of ways.

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