Friday, July 4, 2008

How is it possible?

I don't know what to say. A man in our ward, Lonnie Ramos, shot his ex-wife Wed. night (she did survive the shooting; she was hit at least one time in the upper torso), less than 3 minutes from our home.

She was coming to pick up Ryan for a custody exchange, and he charged her from the bushes, shooting through her windshield. I do not have words to describe my emotions. I am so sick to my stomach.

I know he's gone through a bitter divorce and painful custody battle, but I've also seen this kind and cheerful man show his good heart so many times each week at church. In Gospel Principles I saw a period of time where his testimony was growing, and he was working so hard trying to have the Spirit in his life, and forgive his ex-wife. I've seen him at the park practicing soccer with his 9 year old son. Last October Ryan spent all day making a pie for a contest, and won the pie-decorating contest at our ward Halloween carnival/dinner/trunk or treat--Lonnie & Ryan always dress up fabulously at Halloween. Lonnie dated a mom of one of Jeffrey's classmates for a year, and I often saw how caring he was, how kindly he treated her and her children. He was a dedicated and doting father at Ryan's weekly cub scout activities.

What happened? What was it that caused him to snap? Apparently the divorce and the custody battle was ugly, as well as disputes when one or the other parent picked Ryan up. He also recently lost his business, and his house was going into a short sale. A roommate who co-owned a house with him (very understandable here in CA) said that he swiveled to sad, angry, happy, sad, sad, happy, angry, angry, sad. Was he trying to make sense of the craziness in his life, and depression got the better of him? I watched my brother and sister in law get divorced, and it seems there's no way to keep things compartmentalized. It was so hard for both of them, so muddy, so messy.

And now what happens? He goes on the run with his son who may have witnessed him attempt to kill his wife. Any chance at working through problems, especially those related to his beloved son (with whom he spent the weekend at Legoland just prior to this), are gone. When the consequences start piling up, and he is caught, he will lose getting to live with his son, and will lose all custody of him. His son may be psychologically scarred for life, his ex-wife will be physically scarred for sure, and the passenger friend and her 4 year old daughter that were in the car are certainly affected (they were not injured). How was this possible?

My heart just aches for Lonnie. I tell you, I saw so much goodness in him, trying to make sense of his divorce and seek spiritual guidance. Sadly, it was only after I learned this tonight that I realized I haven't seen him at church for a few months now. Of course I wish SO much that I had continued to extend the hand of friendship and at least notice and call when he stopped coming to church.

On top of this, Wed. afternoon there was a car accident with at least one fatality, only 3 miles from my home, in the time that one of my mothers dropped her daughter off to piano lessons and then picked her up 1 hour later. How short life is; it can change in the blink of an eye!


Anonymous said...

This is so sad. Depression is such an awful illness. We will keep this family in our prayers.


Kimbooly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kimbooly said...

Thank you so much, Melody. I was at the hospital yesterday w/ a friend (who ended up having her baby this morning C-section, 1 1/2 months early), and was thinking of asking if I could send a note in to the woman who got shot to let her know we are praying for her. She is also LDS, and is being treated at Mission hospital where I was visiting my friend Tami.

Lonnie's RV was sighted in Kaysville last night, so perhaps it will be sighted again soon and they will catch him.

TJ said...

Wow, what a sad thing. So many people affected. We'll prayer for all the victims as well.

Kimbooly said...

Thank you all for your comments and prayers. At this point they do not believe his death the following week was suicidal, and this week we are holding a memorial service to remember the good things we know about him.

The worst part to me is that even though he's gone and things will be sorted out on the other side, his estranged wife will spend the rest of her life with the consequences of Lonnie's rash actions.

Still, thanks so much for your prayers and your thoughts. I'm sure his family can use them.