I've asked this question here previously, but it was before I let you in on all this new information:
How many episodes of gunfire would it take, outside your home or apartment at night, for you to start to think someone was trying to send you or a neighbor a message?
What if you encountered the same thing at your next residence, and you didn't move any of your neighbors with you?
How much gunfire are we talking about? Roughly eight incidents over about three years. Could have been a little more, could have been a little less. We're not talking about shots off in the distance either.
One of the incidents was during the Christmas/New Year's holiday described in the last post. There was one incident in which I remember the date, because it coincidentally happened on my sister's birthday. The final one was the last night I spent in Galveston before I moved to my mom's place temporarily, waiting to move into my new apartment in Southwest Houston.
At that apartment, I can remember precisely where I was in the apartment and what I was doing on two of the occasions. Both were late a night, and the gunfire seemed to come from behind a fence that was near my bedroom window.
"BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!"
Not an inadvertent shot like someone firing their gun accidentally. Each incident (both in Houston and in Galveston) sounded similar. Multiple shots squeezed off relatively quickly with a handgun (although our Christmas/New Year's shot in Galveston sounded like a shotgun).
Could it have been firecrackers? Or a cap gun?
No. I have personally fired both rifles and 9mm handguns in the Marine Corps. I know a gun when I hear it.
Needless to say, this period in my life was a time I prayed often for God's hand of protection on myself and my family. Truly believing that the people threatening me had to go through my Heavenly Father to actually harm me was what I held on to, as well as that prophetic word on the beach I talked about earlier.
In my mind, I have two trains of thought during this period. First, who is doing this, and why? And secondly, how serious are they?
Obviously I don't care how serious they are anymore. It's all in God's hands now. The apostle Paul wrote that "to live is Christ and to die is gain," so what can man do to me? Absolutely nothing, frankly.
I wouldn't call my situation then living in fear necessarily, because of God's word and His promises over my life. But I always wondered how serious they were, and if they were serious, when my appointed time would come.
Then I checked the mail one day and discovered a small, blue postcard from a Galveston funeral home.
Let me explain why I found this strange (other than the fact that it accompanied everything else I've explained here).
My apartment in Houston, near Westheimer and Voss, was about 59 miles from the center of Galveston.
Galveston is a small island, more than an hour drive from my home. I have no family in Galveston. I've never had family in Galveston. I've never been to a funeral in Galveston. I've never even known anybody personally that died in Galveston. Galveston funeral homes are for people who live and die in Galveston. That's not me.
Why would I get a mailer from them? The place I got my oil changed in Galveston didn't have my new address and didn't send me notices in the mail. Or any other business I actually frequented while I lived there.
I dismissed it as a strange coincidence and went on with life.
Until the second mailer came from a different Galveston funeral home...
This time it weirded me out, because it not only was addressed to me, but inside had a note printed with words to the effect of: "Dear Mr. Tyler, We're so sorry to hear about the death of your family member..."
I nearly dismissed this one as well, but instead decided to take it to work and show it to a co-worker to see if this was as strange as it seemed to me.
Keep in mind, I didn't tell him about the gunfire I'd been encountering, but I did tell him this was the second similar notice I'd received from the island in recent memory.
My co-worker's advice: If he got a letter (or two) in the mail talking about the death of his family members that were all very much alive, he'd call and find out where these people are getting their information.
I did call, and the gentleman on the other end of the phone was very nice and apologized, but couldn't really tell me how my name would get on such a list.
I'm sure it's just a coincidence. Or is it?
If it is, Galveston funeral homes could be considered the worst marketers on planet Earth. Here's a tip: no one living at Westheimer and Voss is going to plan their funeral there, so save yourself the postage and printing costs.
In our next post, I finally go talk to someone about the things I'd been encountering.