Seven years ago, when my son Michael died, I spoke at his funeral. My son Justin spoke too. We asked his cousins if any of them wished to speak about Mike at his funeral. Out of fifteen nieces and nephews, one decided she would like to say a few words about her cousin. My niece Shannon, got up and read a beautiful speech she wrote for my son Mike, at his funeral. I was so proud of her for doing that for him. It made me feel so good to know that he meant so much to her, that she wanted to talk about him, even in her sadness.
Five years later, a few months before the anniversary of my son’s death, Shannon’s young life also vanished in an instant. She was hit and killed by a drunk driver, just like my son Mike had been. She was just thirty years old and had a little four year old daughter at the time. Little Audri was Shannon’s sunshine in life. She loved her very much. She took a lot of pictures of her daughter, just like my son had done with his little daughter. We all knew how much she loved her. The absence of Audri’s mother in her life has left a devastating void. Thank God her daddy loves her very much too and will be there for her, but he can never fill the roll of her mother.
So my sister and I have both lost children due to irresponsible people, whose inconsiderate, thoughtless actions took the life of another. Both of our children were younger than the drunk drivers who killed them. Both Mike and Shannon loved to enjoy life, nature and their children. You may ask what is this senseless tragedy for? What is the reason for it? Only God knows the reason for sad things like this, but I do know that God loves Mike and Shannon even more than my sister and I love them. They are with him in heaven and we will see them again. My sister and I move on with broken, wounded hearts, that may never fully heal until we are in heaven and can see our beloved children again. James 4:14 says “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” If life is so fleeting, we must make the most of our time here. We do not have time for petty arguments. We need to forgive each other and move on. We need to encourage each other often and show our appreciation for each other now. We need to be intentional about our actions. Worrying about tomorrow is a waste of time. Take one day at a time. If we die tomorrow, then we die, but let’s not die with a lot of regret. We never know when our last day will be. May we carry on in love.