Summer school is over--Praise the Lord! I have never doubted myself more as a student than I did in the first summer session. It was not pretty for a while, but I made it through. Second session was much better since I took one class instead of two, but it was still a challenge. Now I have two weeks off for VACATION, and then it is back to a fast and furious fall!
Our church and our community experienced a devastating tragedy on the weekend of July 23-24-25th. My friend's family was driving back to Florida after spending some time here visiting. They moved there a couple of years ago, but they tried to get back here at least twice a year, if not more.
Tim, the dad worked for L-3 and took a wonderful job opportunity in FL. Diane, the mom and my friend, grew up here, so it was a difficult move for her. Bethany is their 18 year old daughter that just graduated from high school and is headed to college. Hannah is the 16 year old that went to school with Keegan from Kindergarten to 8th grade. This family is the kindest, most loving Christian family I know. They live their faith everyday, and give of themselves selflessly.
While driving through Louisiana, they were in a violent car crash. Tim was killed instantly at the scene. Hannah was taken by helicopter to Shreveport, where she underwent
several hours of surgery that same night. Diane and Bethany were treated and released from the local hospital several hours after the wreck. A kind nurse drove them from their location to Shreveport to be with Hannah. Her injuries were critical, and sadly, she passed away early Sunday morning.
The news rocked our world! First of all, they had just been here (although I did not get to see them at that time), and now two in their family were gone from us! It was a sad and shocking time for so many who had been touched by this loving family. For many, it was a wake up call. Personally, it made me realize how important it is to be with other believers who understand the pain, but also have hope that we will see them again one day in Heaven.
It reminds me that life may be short and we should rid ourselves of hurtful, negative situations that we can not control. I can not handle the drama of other people's poor choices, actions or words because my body literally feels the stress, which will physically drive me into the ground. This does not mean that I do not reach out to others or try to help when I can; it just means that I must weigh what I can handle, and try to let others work in situations that I can not. God did not bring me through cancer three times in my young life to watch me self destruct. I am here for some reason, and I do my best to figure that blessing out every day.
I hurt so much for the daughter who lost her daddy and sister; and for the mother who lost her partner and youngest daughter. It is beyond comprehension how this has affected their family. What I want you to know is that Diane is a strong woman of God. She has glorified God through this entire tragedy. She knows that Tim and Hannah fulfilled their purpose on earth, and that although she would want them to be here, it was not His plan.
She must have drawn strength from the number of people who showed up for the visitation at our church the night before the double funeral. We literally stood in a continuous line for over two hours just to get to them personally and give our condolences. The church was overflowing for the funeral; our sanctuary that seats 500 was packed, and the over flow in the gym that seats 200-300 was standing room only as well. Tim and Hannah touched so many lives, but so have Diane and Bethany. If you will, please pray for them. Bethany faces her new college journey with a heavy heart, and Diane has many decisions to make....alone. They both love the Lord, and will seek to do His will. Yet, they are human, and they will grieve. Holidays, birthdays, anniversary days, and so many more special moments in life are forever changed.
This is a picture of them taken in the Spring. Tim was a proud father, and Miss Hannah always had a smile on her face. We love them and will miss them terribly. We know they are praising God in Heaven, and what could be better than that?