This morning as I woke up, my mind flashed back to last night with a sting in my heart.
While I was at my computer emailing my missionary son, another email popped up. I instantly thought my son had beat me to the email, but instead, my heart sank as I read devastating news from our elementary school that a dear friend and her sweet son with a heart of gold had been killed in a car accident.
I didn't know what to do. What a loss! Although I didn't see her everyday, or hang out together, like so many others she was the 4th grade teacher to two of my children, and her son worked at a local grocery store where he greeted every single person like they were his best friend. They probably were his best friends! He had touched the lives of so many people. Just last week after buying groceries, I was walking to my car and sweet Nyals again asked how my Sam and Kash were doing. He knew them by name, knew where they are serving their missions, and as we parted he said, "Tell Sam and Kash hi for me, will ya?" Like he did every time I saw him.
As I dropped my youngest off this morning at the Elementary school where Jan has been teaching for as long as I can remember, I noticed the welcome teacher on the sidewalk with kleenex in hand and a red nose, evidence that she had been feeling the pain of Jan's loss already this morning. My thoughts turn to those little 4th graders who would learn that their teacher who undoubtedly said to them "have a great weekend!" on Friday, won't be there in the classroom today. Or tomorrow. Or for the rest of the school year. How would a young and tender 9 year old heart handle that? I though of the staff that interacted with her daily, her husband who is in critical condition in a hospital bed, and their younger daughter Samantha who was not in the car at the time of the crash.
Inevitably, my own mortality comes into laser focus and I wonder to myself when will I die?
Jan didn't wake up and get out of bed yesterday morning knowing that it would be her last day on earth, and neither will we. When will my last day be?
Will I be really old? Or not so old?
Will I be ready?
Have I been good enough?
Have I been kind enough?
Have I learned enough?
In times like these when life becomes
real and raw, I have to turn to my faith and hold tight to my belief in Jesus Christ and his atonement
that there is life after death, and that Jan and her family can be reunited again. And although I'm not particularly excited about dying, I know there is a plan in place for our happiness, and I trust that plan.
To have that perspective keeps me focused in life. It's the whole reason I do what I do daily. It influences my every action and choice. While many of us will mourn this week, we also have so much to celebrate and be grateful for!