Friday, October 25, 2013

Inconvenienced By Tragedy

You know, when you plan a trip to the zoo or park and it rains?  How the weather doesn’t cooperate with you or your plans?  Maybe the car doesn’t start, or someone gets sick.  You end up having to change those plans, or postpone them, or . . .

I had planned on writing a much different post today.  Much different.  Lighter.  Happier.  As I said, different.

This morning as I was getting ready for the day and my phone rang.  I recognized the caller by the name and number on caller ID.  My sister, Judy, who I consider to be the Matriarch of our family, was the caller.

I don’t like early morning phone calls.  I received one when my sister Joanne was suddenly taken ill and became hospitalized for a long, long time before she passed away.  One month and a day after that morning phone call, I received yet another morning phone call.  My sister, Donna, passed away.  You might understand why I don’t care for early morning phone calls.

I ran through a list of possible reasons for the phone call.  I ran through a list of possible names that might be the topic of the phone call. 

Loved ones.  Truly loved.

My family of ten brothers and sisters, a bit diminished in number now, are close.  There is a bond that neither time nor distance can change.  A bond that is strong no matter what.  We’ve seen and have been touched and have felt tragedy. 

My Grand-Nephew, Jared, died in a car crash last evening.  Twenty-one years old.  Was to have graduated in December as an engineer.  Had been offered a full-ride to grad school.  Brilliant.  Playful.  Quick wit. 

It had snowed.  Slushy and icy.  Lost control and hit a guard rail.  But alive.  A Good Samaritan stopped to see if he was okay.  I can imagine Jared being shaken up.  Nervous.  Worried.  But he was okay.  However a third car lost control and hit Jared and the Good Samaritan.  They died.  Gone in the blink of an eye.  Alive one minute.  And in the next . . .

A future full of promise.  A future full of hope.  A lifetime to live.  To laugh.  To love.  To . . .

So my day changed.  The day for my niece, my sister, for my family changed.  Their lives have been changed.  Devastated.  Altered, never to be the same. 

Inconvenienced By Tragedy.

Left us, all of us, wondering why?  Why Jared?  Why?  Left us wondering what was, is, the sense of it all?  Left us saddened.  Hurt.  Bewildered.  Angry.  Confused.  Perhaps numb because it hasn’t sunk in yet. 

For me, tears will come later.  It hasn’t sunk in.  Heck, it might never sink in.  I just know that October will be different, changed, from now on.  I know that Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s will be different, changed, from now on.  I know that my niece and her husband, my sister and their family . . . our family . . . will have a hole that won’t . . . can’t . . . be filled.  Not with time.  Not with anyone else.  No, never.

Inconvenienced By Tragedy.

I know that there are those of you who have suffered similarly.  I know that there are those of you who are suffering even now as you read this.  I know that there are those of you . . .

Wish I had something important to say.  Wish I had some nugget, some truth to impart. 

Folks, I got nothin’.  Nothin’ at all.  Not a thing.

Those of you who read my blog probably have come to know that I have a deeply rooted faith.  That won’t change.  My faith will not, cannot, be Inconvenienced By Tragedy.  I know to some that sounds simplistic.  I know to some that sounds illogical, perhaps ignorant.  Tough!  I know I might not have an answer for my niece, my sister, my brothers, my family.  I know, like them, I will question ‘Why?’ and will come up empty.  Don’t know.  Won’t know. 

I know that eventually there will be laughter.  I know that eventually there will be moments to celebrate.  Moments of joy and hope and inspiration.  I also know that there will be other tragedies.  Moments to wonder.  To sit in silence and feel the pain and the emptiness that tragedy brings.

So if nothing else comes from this post, perhaps it will cause you to hug your children and loved ones a bit tighter.  Perhaps it will cause you to call and reach out to those who are important and special and loved and let them know just how you feel.  Please do so, because it can all change in one moment, one breath, one eye blink, one heartbeat.  It can all change.  All of it.  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Live, and Make A Difference!


  1. Thank you for writing this.

  2. I am so sorry for your family's loss. My heart was heavy as I read your post ... beautifully written.


Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe