Monday, December 8, 2014

"Love who you love with all that you have."

Hearts are heavy in my area of the world today.

A small plane crashed into a house in a nearby town in the late morning hours.  Parts of the plane landed in another home, and a wing hit a third home, causing it to catch on fire.  It took a while to learn of injuries or casualties.  But the wreckage looked horrific.

The small airport it was heading to was just a mile or so away.  But a witness saw the plane struggling to maintain altitude before it crashed.
It was later reported that 3 were dead and 3 were missing.  The 3 missing were the mother and two young children that lived in the house which was hit by the wing.  The husband was accounted for and their 5-year-old child was at school when the crash occurred.
Hours passed as crews fought the fire and searched the wreckage.  When I visited Victor at his new office around 3, they were still searching.  I was watching the news coverage and silently praying that the mom and her two kids had gone out for the day and would come home to a nightmare, but would still be safe.

By the time I got home, it was reported that the mother and her two young boys were home during the crash and did not survive.  In fact, one news outlet reported that the mother had posted on Facebook earlier that she just wanted to stay home and watch TV with her kids.  And sadly, nothing could have prepared that mother for what she would endure hours later.

Look at all that open space just in front of and behind the house.  If only the plane had drifted a few more yards.  Then the mother and her boys would probably still be alive.  Of course, it is still tragic that the 3 people on the plane died in this freak accident, as well.  But I know everyone's thoughts here are consumed with the family in that house.

There was no way for that mother to know that the plane would come down and cause such extensive damage to her house.  There was nothing she could have done in the seconds before disaster struck to protect herself and her two sons.  And there's nothing any of us can do to wrap our heads around this entire situation to help us understand it.  It was a freak accident, completely unpredictable, and extraordinarily heartbreaking.

I can't even begin to imagine the turmoil the husband and their eldest child must be experiencing tonight.  Worse than having their home and all their possessions destroyed is the reality that three of their family members are gone forever.  I pray that the "what ifs" and "if onlys" keep their distance from this poor man as he moves forward from this terrible accident.  I pray that their surviving child will not be plagued by nightmares and fears of leaving home or losing his surviving parent as the days go by.  The after effects of something so tragic can wreak havoc on such a fragile young child.

Events like this really force you to take a minute and consider how fortunate you are.  This could have happened to anyone.  It could happen anywhere.  That reality resonated with me this afternoon as Max napped up in his room and I was in the basement switching over a load of laundry.  The thought made me want to run up the two flights of stairs to his room, grab him, and cradle him in my arms to protect him.  I seriously even considered bringing him down to the basement in case something crashed into our house.
After the Aurora, CO shooting, I was wary about going to a movie theater for several months, and I definitely wasn't going to see the Batman movie.  I wondered what I would have done to protect myself in that movie theater had I been there that night.  After the Sandy Hook shooting, I was a little scared to return to my classroom and worried about how I would address the topic with my students if they asked about it.  What would I have done to ensure my students' safety if we had an armed gunman loose in our school?  Those tragedies caused me to consider ways in which I could possibly prevent a similar event in the future, or at least ways to lessen the severity of the outcome of such events.

But I don't know how to prevent something like what happened here today; I'm not sure anyone does.  There's no warning.  There's no predicting when and if it could happen again.
So instead of worrying that it could happen to me and my family, I've resolved to love who I love with all that I have (inspired by this Rascal Flatts song): kisses, hugs, "I love yous," cuddles, quality time, undivided attention, extra patience and understanding...because you never know when it could be the last time.
I squeezed Max a little tighter, rocked him a little longer, and kissed him a few more times than necessary tonight.  Not because I'm scared.  I did those things because I can.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment! I would love to hear from you!