Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tragedy and Heartbreak

This is going to be a very personal blog post. I’m going to try to watch what is said to protect those involved, but I’ve had a lot of emotions and feelings that I need to share. 

Last Thursday we were talking to some neighbors who asked if we had any clue what had happened the night before down the street. There were ambulances and cop cars parked all night and lots of commotion. Adam had seen the ambulances at about 9:00 when he had come home from the gym. We had no idea what it could have been. 

Soon after, we learned that on Wednesday, there had been a tragic accident involving a gun in which a family member handling the firearm had accidently shot a thirteen year old girl in the head. We became aware of this, because this family is in our ward. Samantha, the girl who was shot, was in my primary class last year. 

This tragedy has affected our ward greatly. Many have reached out in love to the family who are dealing with this terrible accident. Samantha is in stable condition at this point, but if she is to survive, her quality of life will be seriously compromised as they had to do surgery and remove a large portion of her brain. In essence, she will never be the same girl. 

I’ve thought a lot about my last interaction with Sam. It was the Sunday or two before the accident. I was in the hall walking (chasing) Hannah to nursery. Sam wanted to give Hannah a hug and tell me about girl’s camp. She LOVED Hannah and was always taking care of her, as were all my primary girls. The thing I remember most about the interaction I had with her was that even though I was nice, I was in a hurry, I was distracted. I didn’t take the time to stop and look at her in the eyes and really find out how she was doing. I regret that. 

Her parents were in a family history class with Adam and I. It was a small class, about six of us. We never really interacted with her parents. I wish that I had so I could be more of a friend at this time. Yesterday our fantastic Relief Society president asked me if I could possibly drive Courtney, Samantha’s mo, to the hospital to visit Sam. I was really scared and didn’t know exactly how to act. She was pretty medicated, as was her husband but we had a good talk driving to the hospital. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been asked to do and I cried most of the drive home. It strengthened my testimony of the ward family as I learned of the service that has been rendered to their family by many of those in our ward, in particular the Relief Society president and Bishop. 

Tomorrow it will be a week since the accident. I don’t know how to pray for this family, I only trust God that if I pray for them to be cared for and watched over, and make myself available to help them, then He will continue to watch over them, and to bless Samantha. I hope that I can remember my last interaction with Sam, and to remember to take the time to be sincere with each person I contact. I’m grateful to know that I did have a good relationship with Sam, and I’m grateful for the time I was given to share my testimony with her weekly.

1 comment:

Lesley said...

That is a heartbreaking story. I sensed your concern about the last time you spoke to Samantha... I am sure Samantha knows how much you love her. I'm sure when you were her primary teacher that you conveyed that love and that is why you are still friends. I will pray for Sam and her family. Love you.