Disclaimer: This is deep.
My small town of Cairo seems to have experienced so many losses in the last few months. There are too many to name all of them, but there were some that really struck close to home.
First, Jake Elkins, the heart of our State Championship football team. So young. So vivacious. So loving and giving. So very, very tragic. He was snatched from life so early and pointlessly. No one knows why, and no one probably ever will. There are no answers, and there are so many questions. All we know is that his life ended before he ever really got to live, and his death left a community aching and comforting each other in its wake. All of us questioning. All of us hurting. All of us coming together.
Next Wendell Harrison. I didn't know Wendell, nor do I know his family, but his death was so quick and the people around him loved him so much that it has left an impression on my heart. What really affected me about his death was that I saw him about 10 minutes before his death. I had to run home for something and I cut through the back roads. On my way back, I noticed the men standing in the hole in the middle of the street attending to the gas line. Ten minutes later he was gone. Taken right from the spot where he and his fellow workers stood returning my wave as I passed. So quick.
Then there was precious Mikiah King. This angel was taken by an impaired driver as her parents were driving down the road. I don't know all of the details of her death, but I know that her parents were making a trek that I made today with my own children, and she was snatched from their lives in the blink of an eye. The pain her mother and father are feeling is unimaginable to me. I can not even comprehend, and I pray every day and every night that I will never have to experience such utter and complete despair. Why would God choose to take a beautiful child? No one can know his plan, but we can't help but question.
Finally (at least I pray it is because I don't know how much more our community can take) my friend, Jenni, lost her husband. He got up in the middle of the night to be the good daddy that he was to take care of his precious son, and sometime in the hour and a half left of the night he had a heart attack. Can you imagine? You kiss the love of your life good night and awake to find him gone. They had such a short time together, barely even six years. But they knew how much they loved each other. I think about the ten years I have been with my husband and the times we have gone to bed angry or the times I have been so mad that I have left in anger not even saying I love you. What if something had happened to him?
We take too much for granted. Maybe that is why these things happen....to teach us to appreciate those around us. Maybe they happen to help us learn to tell those we love that we love them every day with every chance we get. Maybe they happen so that we will know that no day is guaranteed, and we should live each day as if it is our last. Maybe they happen to keep others from dying in the same way later. Maybe they happen to bring people together, like Jake did for our community. Maybe they happen to bring people to God. Just think about the people who have come to know Jesus through the deaths of those they love. Maybe...
We won't ever know why tragic, heartbreaking events occur. We won't ever know how anyone comes through on the other side of these events....how they are able to go on living. I pray that I never have to find out in my own life.
All I know is that I will tell those I love that I love them everyday. I will try to treat the people I see with love and respect, because you never know what they are or could be soon going through. And I know that I will trust my Lord and Savior no matter how much I might question him about Why?
I do not know his plan, and I never will. I just know that he loves us and commands us to love each other. And I know that we are never promised tomorrow. I know that every day I need to love those around me with this in mind. After all life's too short to let one chance to tell someone you love them pass.