I’ve started this post a few times and haven’t gotten far because while I want to be honest about recent events, I don’t want this post, or this blog in general, to carry a negative air. While the past week has been heavy, I haven’t felt discouraged or down as much as I have felt thoughtful and grateful.
We got news last week about someone dear who had suffered an awful accident and while she is ok, she is dealing with a lot of pain, both physically and emotionally. I laid in bed that night fighting tears and trying to push away that big “why” question- the one that doesn’t have any answers and doesn’t do any good to ask. I would have taken away all of her pain in a second if that was possible. It is terrible to feel so much for someone and feel so helpless. I only hope that the prayers sent up in her behalf have been felt and have brought some measure of peace and comfort.
Saturday as we were returning from a fun family afternoon on the lake, we received word that a cycling friend of Denten’s had passed away during the LOTOJA bike race. He was near the finish, hit a pothole, swerved into a guard rail and then fell over the edge to the Snake River about 40 feet below. The river had about a foot of water in it. I’m not sure exactly how to define “freak accident,” but the term seems to fit. Bizarre, unexpected and so tragically sad as he leaves a wife and three children here to again fight that question, why. It has caused quite a lot of reflection among the cycling community here and made many question their extreme dedication to the sport. Is it worth it? Is the time spent away from our families justified? Some have considered giving it up all together and while I believe those drastic thoughts will pass, I can appreciate the reevaluation of balance and how our time is spent.
That same weekend came news that a 17-year-old in the ward south of us took her life in the middle of the night with a gun. I don’t know her or her family, but the pain of those close to her is evident all over their faces and when a life ends this way, there are always questions of “what if… what could have been done differently,” more questions that don’t have answers and won’t heal.
This morning Dent called to inform me that his good friend and former mission companion was involved in the attack on Libya this week. He works for the State Dept. and was present during the attack. His wife said he was able to escape and she would share more when she knew he was safe. Combining these bits with the remembrance of 9/11 proves for some heavy hearts.
I suppose several conclusions could be drawn, including both that our world is getting scarier by the minute or that I’m simply getting older and reality bites, but I was also reminded through each of these incidents that there are wonderful people in the world. Helpers, if you will- great people that provide comfort and assistance and through whom Heavenly Father brings peace. I have a knowledge that Heaven allows us to grow through trials and while I’m not brave enough yet to pray specifically for a trial to come into my life, I am certain that there are amazing blessings that can come from tragedy. That’s not something I’d want to tell someone who was working their way through their own hell, but I hope I can remember to look for the bits of light that grow more prevalent the further we move through unfortunate circumstances. As for that helpless feeling? I believe that prayers are incredibly powerful, that they can change lives and that pleading to our Father in Heaven never goes unanswered. Sometimes I ask the other unanswerable question… why me? why do I have it so good? what did I do to deserve the abundance of joy that surrounds me in my life? I suppose the trick is to stay on this side of the pride cycle, to remember to be grateful and to look for the good when negative hits.
I know my Father in Heaven lives and knows me. I know that the things that are important to me are important to him. I know that whether Rob’s sweet wife prays for peace or Cooper prays to find a lost shoe, Heaven hears the plea and takes it seriously. I know that blessings are waiting to be poured down upon us if we will simply allow them to flow. Ask. Listen. Act. Love. Remember life is short and relationships matter most.