Friday, October 25, 2013

Change of Plans

John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."  That is our story this week. Our travel plans have taken a major shift in response to the tragic death of our grandson Terry. We will be making tracks to Georgetown, Kentucky to join his mother Colleen and his three siblings: Charlie, Spring and Luke. There will be a memorial for Terry on November 16th.  Here’s a picture of the four of them in better times. From left to right are Terry, Spring, Charlie and Luke.

We’ve been pondering the concept of resiliency in terms of people and communities. One of our accidental stops was the high desert town of Yarnell. This was the place where a wildfire swept through a mountain village in Arizona on June 30, killing 19 firefighters and destroying 120 homes. We saw the burn and pulled over in front of the bakery in the main part of town. Everyone had a story to tell and what we thought might  be a 10-minute coffee/bakery stop, turned into a two-hour conversation. Two shop owners told us that their homes were destroyed while their businesses were untouched. One said she thought it was only because all of the businesses had been spared, that that the town was going to survive. Had the businesses been destroyed, she said, Yarnell couldn’t have made it back.

So what is the learning? Terry apparently made a choice that went badly and ended his life. This is something we cannot change. But we can try to remember to look for hope: perhaps it’s over there, on the other side of hopelessness. We can find opportunities to reach out to one another with love and kindness and not let our grief diminish us. We can try to remember to find inspiration from folks like those in Yarnell.

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