Seniors Today Newspaper
Feel Free To Share!

Staying Safe

by Matilda Charles
I never thought this kind of thing would happen where I live: A woman was kidnapped in front of a store, in broad daylight, by a man carrying a gun.
It’s hard to even type those words, so shocked am I to learn of it.

To cut to the chase, the woman is thankfully fine, although no doubt rattled and upset. After being forced to drive the kidnapper to another location, she was able to drive away safely after he fled the vehicle.

Still, it might not have turned out that way.

I can not count the thousands of times I’ve gone to that same store, or strolled down the main street to the ice cream shop, or come out of a restaurant—at night —and never been afraid. After all, the relative safety in this area is why I moved here. There are no guarantees that things will stay the same, are there?

That woman’s experience has been a life changer for me, unfortunately.
I now carry my wallet and cellphone in an inside coat pocket. If a thief wants my purse, he can have it—with no hes-itation that might cause him to do bodily harm to me.

I’m now paying more attention to what’s around me—people in parking lots, people milling around—instead of just going on my merry way oblivious to my surroundings.

If I’m headed to the car, my keys are in my hand. Once in the car, I lock the doors, something I’ve never felt compelled to do.

I trust my instincts if something makes me un- easy. After a recent trip to a store, I waited a minute and walked out with a couple of college students after asking if I could walk across the parking lot with them. They were pleased to escort me all the way to my car.

Stay safe out there and beware of what’s going on around you.