A friend of my youngest daughter since her teens, Sarah, is a military spouse. She is pregnant with her fourth child and they are stationed in Germany. Her 25 year-old brother died in a tragic car accident, October 19, 2017, here in GA. Sarah comes from a large family. Her mother, a deeply religious lady, penned a message for family and friends who are angry or sad about her son’s death. She reminded people that her son has just gone on ahead and she expressed gratitude that she had 25 years of joy having her son with her. She lives her life with devotion to God and her family and gratitude for all of the many blessings in her life. She also lives her life committed to forgiveness.
This morning I read a sad story, written by Jason F. Wright, about a mother who died in a tragic car accident, with a drunk driver. This mother in California died on the drive home from visiting her premature twin daughters at the hospital. She left behind her husband, four young sons and two premature infant daughters. The story is an interview with the grieving husband. The husband also penned a letter when he heard co-workers were expressing anger about his wife’s death:
“Obviously this is a difficult time for me and my family. It has been more difficult as I have heard that some are angry with the driver who killed my wife. Katie would not have wanted that. She was the embodiment of compassion. The hateful activities reported in the news recently troubled her greatly. She felt there was already too much anger in the world. I want you to know that I forgive the driver of that accident. Of course I am sorry that it happened. Of course I wish I could go back in time and change it, but we are all best served by moving forward with today’s reality and the best way to move forward is to honor Katie’s memory and focus on how to take care of her six children. Trials and tribulation are mandatory. Misery is optional. Happiness is a choice, sometimes a difficult choice. I confess I feel little in the way of happiness at the moment, but I am determined to be as happy as I can be and for now that is found in my profound gratitude to a generous and supportive community for the love they have wrapped around me and my family during this challenging time.”
All around us, we have leaders and media bombarding us with messages geared to fuel animosity and rage. Sarah’s mother and Katie’s husband sparkle like small glimmers of hope in an America, where too many people live consumed by anger and hate. Their message will likely resonate only within their small circle of friends and family, but it’s a message worth passing on to as many people as you can.
Katie was right. There already is too much anger in the world. We should all dedicate ourselves to showing more compassion for other people, looking for the good in others and trying to make the world a better place.