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What Really Matters

This past Saturday there was a terrible boating accident near Camano Island—a boat capsized in the bay. An uncle died on the scene and his nephew died a day later on Mother’s Day. The young man was wearing a life jacket, but was trapped under the boat. This is a terrible tragedy for a family here. Some in the family lost an uncle, who was probably also a husband, a dad, a grandpa, a brother, and, of course, a friend to many others.

As I sat in church, I kept looking at my children, who often go boating with grandpa in pursuit of the mighty salmon. I was aware that the young man was still on life support and the family was deciding on Mother’s Day to release their precious baby to Jesus.  I cannot begin to fathom the depths of courage and love it would take to say good bye. I know that this family has hope to see their son again in Heaven, but it must only slightly comfort them.

I have a 13 year old son and I couldn’t imagine if he was gone. I would so miss his smile, sense of humor, and hugs. I would long to see him fall in love and marry, raise a family, and succeed in his career. I spent most of that church service, before hearing the fatal news, weeping and praying that Jesus would let this family keep their baby. But that was not to be.

We had a daughter born on a Mother’s Day and this mom lost a son on Mother’s day. Both major events in the life of a mother, one filled with happiness and one with sorrow.

As I write this, I want every conversation, every goodnight, and every hug to be meaningful. How can anyone prepare for the accidental or sudden loss of a child, a relative, or a friend? I would contend you can’t, but you can soften life’s blow by mending fences quickly, keeping short accounts and not letting the sun go down on your anger.

Life is so precious. Make your relationships count, so that when death comes, and it will, your sorrow will not be full of regrets, but of the sweet memories shared together.