When tragedy strikes on the news and on TV, we sigh, talk about how sad it is and we move on. When tragedy strikes at home, close to us, it’s an entirely different story.
I write with a heavy, heavy heart this morning.
Yesterday afternoon, a dear friend, former pageant competitor [We competed a few times together…] sorority sister and just a beautiful person in general was killed in an awful car wreck. She was pronounced at the scene, and her little boy—a 15 month old, was air lifted to the children’s hospital in Critical Condition. He passed last night as well. I know that God promises strength for the weary and hope for the broken. I know that he promises to comfort us in times of grief and mourning; I know that for whatever reason, he has a plan for this terrible loss. And I know that I’m not supposed to ask why…so I’ll do my best not to.
I spent a good part of last night crying. I didn’t think that I would because it has been a little over a year since I’ve talked to her, aside from telling her frequently how precious her little boy was. And this morning, I woke up, heavy hearted and sad. Sad for her—a life lost so young; a former beauty queen and someone who dreamt of impacting children and spending her days as a wife and a mother. Sad for her little boy—that sweet little face with those big blue eyes; a little boy who will never play baseball or football or grow up. Sad for their families—the mother and father who lost their daughter and grandson; the in-laws, the friends. And sad for the husband…the father—losing his wife, his only son all in one day. My heart absolutely breaks for this man.
As I sat on my couch in silence, checking Facebook only to read the scriptures and words of encouragement that people were leaving for this family, I thought about my life. How easily that could have been me or my son. How fragile life is. How quick things can change.
I thought a lot about the things that matter. The things that really matter. Telling my husband that he’s the only one for me and that I love him—wholeheartedly. Holding my son. Sitting in the floor to play cars, just because. Calling my parents and telling them how much I love them. Not taking for granted the people and the time that I’ve been given in my life. We all know that our time on this Earth is limited, but unfortunately is takes something like this happening to really remind us of that. We put things that don’t matter ahead of the things that do; we focus on the temporary rather than the eternal.
My mom always told me that God only takes the ones who are ready for heaven, to give those who aren’t a chance to get that way.
I think I agree. I look back on my life, at the people I’ve lost and the impact each death has made. At only 23 years old, I’ve said goodbye to a lot of friends—friends who passed way too early, friends who were never given the chance to “grow up” and live a full life.
But even in times like this, when I think about how ‘unfair’ it seems, I am reminded that God’s glory and grace carry on. He comforts those who are weary. He brings peace to the hearts that are broken. And though understanding seems so far away, some day, it will all make sense.
Rest in Peace Brittany Shepard Pugh and Shep Alan Pugh.
You will be forever remembered and cherished in the hearts of those who knew you.