Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Comfort

The call came in the morning.

Are you guys alright?

Yes, why?

Where’s your car?

What?

Where’s your car?

In the parking lot, why?

 

A few driveways down from our property, an accident scene.

A mangled vehicle the same color and size as mine.

A 17-year old driving her little sister to school.

 

I know what t-boning someone at 50 miles per hour feels like.

But not being on the receiving end.

 

Since she’d only just pulled into the main road from her home, her parents heard the impact and ran to the scene.

 

She was gone.

 

Her little sister was strapped in with a broken arm.  I can only imagine what went through their minds as they worked to help her while reeling with the realization that it was too late for their eldest.

 

 

As the morning went by, pieces began to filter in.

Her dad is the pastor of the church in front of the parsonage they lived in.

Our family and neighbors are longtime attendees of the church.

She was well-loved and finally got to meet the Jesus she served.

No one knows why she pulled out in front of the cargo van.

 

All day, the news haunted me.

It didn’t help that the road was closed when I drove home… the vehicles still in place.

I was waved through the roadblock since our driveway was yards from the scene.

And it really truly did look like my vehicle.

Again and again, I felt such sadness for the father that didn’t know he was hugging his daughter for the last time.

~

 

I had no idea.

None.

Three men entered the office and I was alone in the lobby.

Can I help you?

His eyes were rimmed in red.  He attempted to return my smile.

He haltingly spoke, barely above a whisper.

He turned a small red cell phone over and over again in his hands.

My daughter

was in a fatality accident

yesterday

 

A sudden weight crushed the wind from my lungs.

 

The state troopers…

they said to bring her cell phone in.

 

As he rubbed the phone with his thumb and looked down at it.

My voice wouldn’t work.

His eyes filled and matched my own tears.

Oh God.  What do you say?

This is the man who found his girls.  His little one is hurt.  And his oldest isn’t coming home.

 

I cannot wrap my mind around his grief.

And I don’t understand how he came to wander into our office.

But he did.

And I saw the fresh emotion written on his tired face as he did what was asked of him while cradling that precious little link to her.  His friends smiled sadly at me as my mind reeled.

I had nothing.  I looked at this broken man and my heart broke.  His grief wasn’t on a newspaper page, it was right in front of me, running down his cheeks.

And all I could think of:

Praise be to … the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.    2 Corinthians 1: 3

 

I felt utterly hopeless in the face of his sorrow -the only thing I could do was to pray.  Pray for that comfort.

 

Hug your kids.  Even if they’re asleep right now.

Tell them how amazing they are and that only God loves them more than you do.

And read that favorite book to them for the fourteenth time.

 

Grateful

29 comments:

HeatherOz said...

That is so sad! I can't even imagine!

Hold on!

Ok, 4 babes just got an extra goodnight kiss!

Jennifer Haas said...

That story, broke my heart. It is the third story like that I herd today. After reading it I went right away to hug my little guys asleep in their beds, safe and sound, how lucky am I?

Thanks for sharing, I will keep this family in my prayers!

City girl turned Country Girl said...

Oh dear God...I am just sobbing reading this...We have had multiple kids in our area die in car accidents, 3 this year alone...It scares me to death every time my J gets in his truck to leave.

My heart absolutely breaks for this family. And WOW coming into your office! God really needed your prayers for them.

I went back and re-read your accident story, everytime I read that it tears me up! You were so strong in that court room and said exactly what needed to be said, with such grace.

Praying for the victim's family and your family...

{{HUGS}}

Kelly said...

That is so very sad! I'm glad you were there to pray for him.

Nothing can be done or said right then, only prayer

Kmama said...

I just cannot imagine. I'm sitting here at work, with tears streaming down my face. Many prayers for that family.

Buckeroomama said...

Every time I read something like this, I feel a jolt of realization at the blessedness of each day, each moment spent with loved ones...

Heather said...

Praying for that precious family.

K- floortime lite mama said...

oh Rach
I am devastated heartbroken
how much pain there is in this life

Shana said...

Oh my goodness. I am crying so hard right now. This just breaks my heart. It brings back when my cousin Jessica passed. She was 26 yrs old and it was her, her husband and 2 yr old son in their car when she pulled out of her driveway (which is in a blind curve) and was broadsided by a garbage truck. She was gone and her husband and son were broken up in many places. We still ache for Jessie and miss her terribly. I cannot imagine losing my own child. I am praying for the family.

Saimi said...

That just left me with a pit in my stomach. Wow, you just never know.

Glad to hear it wasn't your car, but oh my, how sad for the family.

deepintheheartoftexas2 said...

That is so sad. I have experienced loss but that has me in tears. Praying for the family.

Hugging my kiddo right now.

Allenspark Lodge said...

This story pulls at your heart strings...and as a parent, you can't do a thing but pray not to lose a child. You suddenly realize how fragile they are - at any age.
Juanita

iamthatmommy said...

This reminded me of in April, when my car was totalled with my 4 yr old riding beside me. I can never express how terrified I was in that moment before I could see he was okay.

Horrible.

The family is in my prayers.

Tiffany said...

There are no words. We have had to walk through that far too many times, being in youth ministry. It never gets easier. It only hurts.

My kids will be getting extra hugs tonight when I get home, for sure!

Emily said...

Wow. Heartbreaking. I don't even know what to say. :(

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

That story had me in tears. Oh, that's just awful. I'm going to hug my baby right now.

Amy said...

I can't find the words to express to you right now, through my tears. Just know that as sad as this story is, I needed to hear it today. More than anything. Sometimes it takes a lot to humble us.

lifebythecreek said...

Rach. wow. This needs to be printed up and handed out to every kid BEFORE THEY GET THEIR LICENSE. Not that it would help. They are invincible, right? I pray that there's no evidence on that phone that she was texting or talking. I pray that it was just... something that happened. My dad was hit by a 16 driver as he crossed a busy intersection. DOA. And when the boy went through the light, it was green, even though it was green for my dad as he started across the street. It just happened; a sad, horrible accident and somehow, it is easier to come to terms with God's will when there is no one to blame. I am so sorry for those parents; to have to see their youngest terrified and in pain, and their big girl... oh, that breaks my heart. Yes, Rach, life turns on a dime. We are guaranteed nothing really, on this side of Heaven, but the promises of what comes after are what MUST sustain us in the darkness. I will pray...

Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) said...

My heart is breaking for this family. I can't imagine their pain. I am going to hold my boys extra close tomorrow (and remind myself how lucky I am that they are home with me even when they are driving me mad!!)

myletterstoemily said...

where did you learn to write like this?

both stories were so compelling and
heartbreaking.

you are a phenomenal writer!

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

Now I am crying.

Speechless.

I will be praying for the family.

Just heartbreaking...

Mrs. NB

Brandi said...

Oh, that is so sad. :( Praying for that family.

Kameron said...

That is simply heart breaking. I can't imagine what it would feel like to loose a child. I will remember that when Nate asks me to sing the same song I have been singing for 3 months now. Hugs to you and prayers to the man and his family. :o(

GunDiva said...

That is so sad Rach. My heart aches for the family.

Crystal @ Semi-Crunchy Mama said...

It took me a while to comment, this was gut-wrenchingly sad. I can't even imagine loosing my child...I want to go crawl into my son's bed and hug him as he naps right now.

Melody said...

I hug the boys relentlessly and extra relentlessly for the one I can't hug daily anymore.

I know this man felt your heart.

robin said...

OMG! Like, Wow...so terrible...I know this happens in life but to be able to read your descriptions and feelings makes this SO real. I'll definitely hug my kids...now.

Heather said...

I saw your update on facebook, but reading the whole story is just heart-breaking. I know you won't forget it for a long time, especially being right down the road from you. Our neighbor's teenage daughter (maybe even in her 20's) was driving on a rainy night and smashed into the tree on the corner of South Bay and Phoenix, which happens to be where I turn every morning. She died instantly, and I can't help but think of her when I see that tree. I almost wish they would chop it down. But imagine what the family feels like when THEY turn there every morning.

Heather said...

I saw your update on facebook, but reading the whole story is just heart-breaking. I know you won't forget it for a long time, especially being right down the road from you. Our neighbor's teenage daughter (maybe even in her 20's) was driving on a rainy night and smashed into the tree on the corner of South Bay and Phoenix, which happens to be where I turn every morning. She died instantly, and I can't help but think of her when I see that tree. I almost wish they would chop it down. But imagine what the family feels like when THEY turn there every morning.