Friday, December 05, 2008
Tragedy at Neskowin
A heart-breaking incident occurred this week, near Neskowin, Oregon.
A young woman of 22 years, Leafil Alforque, had recently arrived in Oregon from her home in the Phillipines to visit her online boyfriend of 3 years, Scott Napper. Scott is a 45-year-old man from Silverton, Oregon. Scott and Leafil had been dating since they met over the Internet in 2005.
This visit was going to be special. Scott had purchased a ring and was planning to propose to his diminuitive girlfriend (4-foot-11, 93 pounds) at Proposal Rock. On Monday, the couple was walking out to the rock when a 3-foot wave surged at them.
Napper braced himself and kept his footing, but then looked around to see that Leafil had been caught by the outgoing water. Before Napper could react, she was carried out to sea.
Rescuers arrived quickly, but due to poor weather conditions, the search was suspended later that day. "That's the last I saw of her," Napper told reporters in an interview Wednesday. He wept as he said it.
You can read a detailed account of the incident here.
I'm grieved for poor, young Leafil and her distraught family back in the Phillipines. But, most especially my heart goes out to Scott Napper.
When I read the story, I noted the disparate ages (Scott was 45, Leafil 22). There were also the obvious differences in culture. And I noted the fact that the two had met over the Internet. Taken altogether, these facts pointed to a highly-unlikely love affair between two lonely people. Two people that perhaps believed they had overcome enormous odds to find happiness and the possibility of a future together.
I imagine Leafil to have been a brave young woman, accepting the world's challenge with courage and aplomb. And I imagine Scott to be a kind-hearted, lonely soul looking for someone to receive the gifts of his kindness and generosity, and his love.
To have it all taken away by callous and unforgiving nature... I've said it before and I'll say it again: Love'll take a man down.
I have no idea if my assumptions are accurate. But, in reading the story, I imposed the template of my own life and marriage on it. I looked at Scott and saw my own reflection, which made his pain all the more real for me.
I have no words of consolation to offer. Just an acknowledgment of the tragedy. That's all. That's all.