Olive Background

Saturday, October 22, 2011

When Life is Cut Short

It's been a tough week in Southern Alberta.  Last weekend a tragic vehicle accident on a gravel road near one of the smaller towns took the lives of four teens.

When I read about it, I felt like I was hit with a two by four in the chest.  I didn't know any of the kids or their families.  I do, however, have children in that age range.  I am a mother.  Worse, I am a woman.  What do we do?  We immediately put ourselves in the shoes of these mothers and it's our own child that perished.

Now I am NOT going to assume that I know what these parents and families are going through.  I don't.  I can imagine, but I can't go beyond that.  What I can say is that I had a few real feelings that I shared with James about how I never wanted to experience what these dear families are and I know I was not the only mother in the general region who did that.

James will be old enough to take his driving exam next month.  Most of his friends are already driving.  I often spend my nights when he is off with his friends worrying just a little that something might go wrong.  I can't help it.  I want them to make choices that keep them safe.

Funerals for these teens have begun and will conclude early next week.  Four funerals.  Six days.  I know there will be some who attend all of them.  I would find it near unbearable to do that.  My boys have good friends with good families.  I wouldn't want to bury any of them.  I find joy in their accomplishments.  I smile as I see them growing up.

It's times like these you are reminded that we don't know what our ultimate mortal timetable is.  We are here to learn and grow.  I know some people who would be elated to leave this world - not because of any feeling of depression or hopelessness, but rather because the peace and splendor that lies ahead after this life, I am confident, is a better gig.  Personally, I am not in a rush.  I want to be here for as long as possible.  Why?  Because there is so much to learn.  Because there is so much to experience and so many challenges to overcome and be strengthened by.  Because there is so much joy to be found and I want to get really good at finding it.

But we don't know what our mortal timetable is, so I am reminded that I can't waste my time.  I need to use it wisely.  My time is valuable.  Your time is valuable.  Every single second.


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