Until strangers intervened to make it just a little brighter.
A few nights ago, Kathie raced over to her 29-year-old son’s place after learning from one of his friends that there had been a shooting.
“I told them, ‘I’m Robert McKernan’s mom, what’s going on?’”
She was greeted by kind and compassionate Massillon police officers, followed a short time later by the coroner.
“I know what a coroner means,” Kathie said, fighting back tears, “and he said, ‘ma’am, I’m so sorry; your son has passed away.’”
Police arrested his 26-year-old wife, Colleen McKernan, and charged her with murder.
Colleen McKernan told police that her husband had come at her.
Police said they found no visible signs of bruising on her.
On Friday, Kathie and her husband, Michael Foehrenbach, Robert’s step-father, had just finished making funeral arrangements when they decided to stop into a local restaurant.
A younger couple saw their obvious distress, and bought them a drink from a nearby table.
A short time later, that couple left, slipping a note written on a napkin to a hostess to give to Kathie.
The note starts out by saying “Life gets tough sometimes,” and goes on to say that maybe Kathie needed what they left her more than they did.
Inside the note was a folded-up one hundred dollar bill.
“At the time they did that,” Michael Foehrenbach said, “they had no way of knowing that it was Kathie’s son and my stepson who had been murdered. So it was like the hand of God reaching down and touching us.”
The note was signed “The Mullets,” but it had no number or address on it.
The restaurant owners said they had never seen them before.
“They’re angels,” Kathie said, “they’re angels.”
The couple left quietly without waiting for a thank you.
Just as angels might do.