Got a call that some old family friends had suffered a tragedy. It's almost surreal. We knew them years ago, when both our families were young and we both had very young daughters close in age. They were the kind of people that barrelled into your life and affected it in big ways, both for good and not so good, but always affected it. We have a lot of dear mutal friends, even though we ourselves had to back off from the friendship, mostly because our husbands had business disagreements and there was a huge falling away.
But to their credit, and ours as well I guess, even though we attended church together for many years, there never was any gossip or back biting and we were able to live in peace. Shortly after the disagreement, J's (the mom) and I happened to go to our mutual friend's house at the same time. It was uncomfortable for a few moments because I really didn't bear her any ill will, but I didn't want to be non-supportive of my husband because his feelings were really raw at the time. I also knew she was worried because we were very popular in that congregation and I thought she might feel like the church members might view them as the bad guys in all this. So I told her the one thing that I knew was true in everything that had happened. I told her that I knew without any doubt that if I or my children needed help, I could call her husband and he would come to my aid without question. And regardless to anything else that had gone on, that was what was important and that was the kind of character I knew he had. I remember how her face lit up with relief, and after that, she and I were good. We never really hung out again together, but we both knew we were okay.
It took a few years longer for my husband to make peace, but he eventually did, even went out for lunch a few times with him, but we moved, and they moved and contact was scare. The last time I saw them was a year or so ago at a distance during a large church conference. J was singing in the choir, seated next to one of the most beautiful girls I'd ever seen, which I learned was her daughter R. Seriously, this is one of those kind of girls that radiate so much beauty, you can't stop looking at them.
Anyway two nights ago, Pat told me J and her oldest son were killed instantly in a head-on collision, two of the younger children were in critical (One has already passed as well) and R, that beautiful girl the same age as my daughter, was also hurt
but will survive. The dad was not with them. I just don't know how he can survive this. How could anybody? In a mere moment, half your family is gone. It's devastating to even think about, let alone live through. It's such a helpless feeling to know there isn't anything that any of us can do.
Faith was one our mutual friends. It was her husband that called us. She has written a touching memorial here.