A few weeks ago, prior to starting my new job and neglecting my blog, I was writing quite a bit about Sandra Teichow. Sandra was a wife, mother, teacher, friend, humanitarian…and so much more. As many of you probably know, she was taken from this world in a very horrifying manner as she was attacked and murdered by a man who should have never been on the streets. At 67, she did more than 10 of us will do in our lifetimes. Learning about her was quite an inspiration and it prompted me to want to write more.
I was asked – and I knew the question was coming – why did I pay so much attention to her when there are murder victims in Racine all too often these days whom I do not even mention. This is very true. I do not typically write about crimes or their victims. Seemingly there is a new tragic story every week in what I always felt was out little home town. I try not to even read about the stories to be quite honest with you. It triggers anxiety, makes me angry and fearful, I often feel helpless and it causes me to be quite embarrassed of a city I once defended.
Sandra’s story came to my attention in an unusual way. As I was watching the news with my husband we realized that a live report in Racine regarding a murder happened to be in the yard of a couple we know. Immediately I tried to find out if they were okay and did learn they were quickly. But of course, by then…I needed to know more. As I learned more details, as I learned more about Sandra Teichow…I knew I had to write about her. And that is my honest to goodness explanation of why I chose to write about this particular victim over the many others. Not because she was white. Not because she was a woman. But because of the kind of human I was quickly learning that she was.
This morning I read the following on my site written by Sandra’s husband, Denny. I have to share it with you because it was/is so moving to me…and so heartbreaking. His advice is something we all need to recognize and attempt to follow. And her legacy is something in which we should all try to model – or at the very least, appreciate.
I want to thank everyone who took the time to post their stories, condolences and comments. I hope it helped as a release. I hope it allowed the world to meet Sandra. And I hope the stories will provide some comfort to those who loved her daily.
Thank you, Heather, for helping us share what a wonderful person Sandy was. She really was as remarkable a person as everyone has been saying. Sandy & I shared a strong sense of adventure, and we had more adventures, big and small, in eleven years than most people have in a lifetime. And we involved ourselves in many humanitarian activities (usually on Sandy’s initiative). But what I will miss the most about her is the daily exchanges of silly humor (another trait we shared), her impish smile, her asking my opinion on a several little things each day, picking up the half full coffee cups she left sitting about our condo, hopping in the car to do some errand that we often managed to turn into a mini-adventure, telling each other how lucky we were to have met, watching Desperate Housewives and Boston Legal on TV, finding some new cafe or restaurant to try. These daily doses of small pleasures and sharings are what really make a life rich and satisfying.
I have a sense of loss that is indescribable. And yet, if God had come to me 11 years ago and said “Denny, I have found an incredibly good match for you; but you can only have her for 11 years, then I will have to take her from you.” And if I had said “Can I get to know her a little bit first?” And if He had let me get to know her, I would have said, “Where do I sign?”
Every day learn a little, help a little, have a little fun.