Life in a suburban neighborhood is ideal for family.
A two-story home, a garage, green lawn and maybe that white picket fence, still remains as the good, old-fashioned American Dream many of us strive for. We all want to get along with the family next door. Host barbeques, and watch the kids play Wiffle ball in the back, or basketball in the driveway. Some of us have that. And, some of us just wave to each other as we mow the lawn.
At worse, the blocks we live on represent little more than a chamber community. A peaceful place to turn-in and sleep away the evening before going back to start the work day again tomorrow. We know little of those people who live within yards of our doorsteps, but assume they’re not much different from ourselves. What we don’t know, we let our imaginations fill in the blank spots to conjure the perfect next-door neighbor.
Colonie is not much different than any other suburban community. We take pride in our schools. Our town services are considered among the best. Even the local daily newspaper has rated our town as the best community to live in.
Last week’s news about the Roman family shook everyone. The details that have been shared by investigators have horrified even this newsroom. It all goes against the grain of what we envision things to be in our own lives, in the lives of the people we share property lines with. Last week shouldn’t happen. Yet, it did, and we are all asking why.
Some of us have turned towards judging. Speculation as to what had happened, filling in the blanks with our imaginations in order to make sense of it all. First thing we have to understand is that we don’t know what was going on. We don’t know why last week happened, and we’d be hurting those family members who have survived by continuing to speculate.
Though we may live in the same community, in the same neighborhood, perhaps attend the same church together, our storylines are not the same. What we value in our lives, in ourselves and of what is around us differs from person to person. We are not the same. The struggles we endure as individuals are not the same. How you choose to live your life is your own choice.
If one positive note can be gleaned from this tragedy, it is how the community stepped up, got together, and raised funds for Noah, the young man who survives all of this. It serves as a reminder that life in a suburban neighborhood truly is ideal for family.