My small town is reeling this morning, as we are faced with the loss of a local family from a car accident. A mother, a father, and their two young children, 7-year's old and 12-year's old. All gone, pronounced dead on impact from a head-on collision in another state, as they returned home from a summer vacation road trip.
I wasn't much of a worrier growing up. As I became a mother, I certainly had a bit of a life and attitude change, worrying about my children's well-being. I generally think I handle it pretty well. I don't check in on my kids every 5 minutes. I don't pull my hair out or chew my nails as Boom travels back and forth to college and spends 9 months of the year living 200 miles away, though I do wait anxiously for her safe arrival.
But there is always that something in the back of my mind. A little worry, a little anxiety. More and more, I feel like it wouldn't take much for it to consume me. Health, travel, safety - so much could go so wrong at any minute. Life can change in the blink of an eye. I think that it is likely the sum total of life, the accumulation of tragedies that I have witnessed, both personal and from a distance. How can a decent person not be affected by senseless loss, disease, violence, and death?
Perhaps it is a crisis of faith. I am told not to fear, to know that those who have gone before me are in a better place, without pain, joyously waiting for me in a place so wonderful that my earthly mind can't really grasp it.
I am, understandably, profoundly sad at the loss of a sweet family that I knew. I draw the parallels from that family to mine, and wonder what forces decided that my family could travel 2,000 miles safely, and this family could not. There is little I can do, other than pray for the peace of those left behind, hug my family about a million times today, and tell them how much I love them, since we never know what tomorrow brings.