Monday, March 9, 2009

A Time For Joy, A Time to Mourn

Joseph Montgomery, a 19-year-old young man in our ward, was struck by a TRAX train last Monday. He spent all week in ICU, where tests and trials and scans finally confirmed that his brain was dead. On Friday evening, his parents--who are friends of ours--kissed their son and walked away from him, while the monitors continued giving him oxygen, etc. The surgeons were able to salvage most of his organs--minus his heart and lungs, which were damaged--and when Joseph's body shut completely down, he gave the gift of life to many people.

Joe made a mistake. He crossed the TRAX line without paying attention. He was riding his skateboard, listening to his Ipod, and texting. Just a few seconds earlier or later, and the train would have missed him completely. And none of us would be wondering why this had to happen, why his parents have to ache, why his siblings have to be so sad, etc., etc.

Joe's younger sister, Lisa, is one of Briana's good friends. Lisa has spent quite a bit of time with Briana this week, just looking for some normalcy. They saw the West Jordan HS boys basketball team (of which Joe was part last year and the year before) take the state high school basketball championship. They've watched movies and gone for rides and eaten snacks and just tried to be normal. Briana has been so sad for her friend, but she's stepped up to the plate, and we're very proud of her. And speaking of maturity, Lisa went and cleaned out Joe's room--boxed up all of his stuff, washed the sheets, etc.--so that his parents did not have to do it. I'm impressed.

Joe's youngest brother, Daniel, was one of my preschoolers and is now 8 years old and in our Primary. He did not come to church yesterday, but his teacher had made a large card for all of the children to sign. It is my month to teach Sharing Time, and we talked a lot about Heavenly Father's beautiful plan for us. He gave us the Plan of Salvation and a Savior to make it all possible. He allowed us to come to earth and make choices and mistakes--even mistakes that could cost a life. He sent us to families, who love us. He restored the gospel and the priesthood power through a prophet; and because of that priesthood, we can be sealed as ETERNAL families, even though death may separate us for a while. He blessed us with friends and neighbors who care for us in many, many ways, and who become our extended family while we are on earth. He gives us the ability to continue living, even when we think our hearts will break. He gives us the ability to empathize with people and help them carry their heavy loads.

It's been a difficult weekend. When you are an adult, your hurt can happen on many levels: concern for the parents, the friends of our children, the children in our responsibility, and our own aching children. But being an adult--with a little more life experience--also allows us to have joy on many levels. Thank heavens that we have what we have--and that we know it!


The Vuki Family said...

Amen sister!:)

T said...

I want to tell you again how wonderful your sharing time was on Sunday. I think the entire ward needed it. I know the understanding the kids received will stay with their for the rest of their lives. Thank you for being so in tune with our children.

Jessica and Tim said...

That is so awful. Accidents are sometimes the hardest to explain, especially to little kids. What wonderful insights you wrote, though. Thanks.