It was a massive outdoor "party", who's main reason-for-being (as I understand it) was to let students and school faculty/teachers reconnect with each other before school starts next week.
The weather held out...there were tons of games and activities....hundreds of people came to enjoy each other....and from what I understand it was a big success.
I think it was a GREAT idea.
Toward the end of the evening they showed a memorial video dedicated to those with links to the Joplin school system who had lost their lives during the tornado.
It was followed by a moment of silence.
A friend of mine posted the video on facebook last night.
Now mind you....yesterday was a busy busy day.
We are still in "recovery from t
We (we being kids and I...which....as cute as they are....the fact that they're involved in "helping" makes whatever they are "helping" with become 2-3 times more difficult!) ran some errands and met up with Dave for some deliveries...
We took 2 friends to the mall for lunch and to see Smurfs
We sat outside and ate frozen custard (as a
We made/ate dinner went to football practice did a long walk with dog which ended up in in-laws pool where we chatted until after 9....
Hence...it was a busy day.
A fine day...but I was tired by the end of it.
So.....enter the video.
There were beautiful pictures of precious faces that are no longer on this earth.
There was a third grader.....
There was a seventh grader.....
There was a college student and a newly graduated high schooler....
There was a school secretary and a preschool student....
The music was beautiful.
The lyrics were perfect.
And at the end....when the written request came across the screen to "Please stand in memory of"...
In the middle of my kitchen.
And I cried.
Let me correct that.....
You know the cry where it actually physically hurts your chest?
I surely know that those people in the video are all ok now.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are dancing and laughing and singing.
But wow....even knowing that.....it's hard to be left behind and try to keep living with the person-shaped-hole that is is left in your life.
And I didn't even KNOW these people.
I truly can't imagine......don't know if I WANT to imagine....how the parents of those kids feel.
Because here's the thing.
At the same time my heart was breaking for all of the families of the people in that video...
I found myself thinking how very easily two first graders could have been added to that list.
If RH's uncle's truck had been ONE BLOCK further south...
If his uncle had left 15 seconds earlier.....
If his uncle had pulled out of the intersection to the southwest instead of the northeast....
If that stop-sign had hit the back window with a little more force....
If Ethan had been facing the window instead of looking forward....
So the truth is....that while I was crying for the pain of the families who lost their children....
I was also crying for my own "what if's?".
I have to admit....probably 3 out of 5 nights I lay in bed with "what if's?" going through my head.
What if the kids had been playing upstairs instead of in the basement?
What if the basement had collapsed on us?
What if RH's uncle had pulled up and we'd all been dead and Ethan had seen us?
What if my sister and brother-in-law had been driving with my niece and Carolyn?
What if RH had gone out of the storage room when the 'eye' passed over?
What if we'd gone down the stairs 2 seconds later?
What if what if what if what if what if what if what if???????
"What if?": What a stupid but haunting question.
Do I believe in God' divine plan? Yes.
Do I believe He doesn't make mistakes? Yes.
Do I believe that He gives us what we need....not what we want (and that that is a MUCH better plan?) Yes.
Do I believe that "what if's" are just evil-born tugs at the "peace in His plan" that God's promised me? Yes.
Do I still get shaky....inside and out....when I think of all the different ways things could have happened?
I am only human.
I am only a mom
I am only a wife.
I am so so so so so grateful for His plan.
I am so so so grateful that I am allowed to spend more time with my family on this side of heaven.
And I am so sad for the moms that had to say good-bye.
And I am so sad that I give in to the "what-if's" .
Maybe when things have gone the way you would have chosen..."what if" becomes a self-indulgent luxury.
But....I think that when things haven't gone the way we had hoped..."what if" might be even worse.
So....I'm only mortal. And a fallen mortal at that.
I indulge (especially late at night when I'm really tired) in stupid fearful questioning.
I go through scary non-happened scenarios in my mind.
I cry about things that could have been.
But I do my best to shake it off.
To remember that God's plan is perfect.
To remember that everything has happened the way that it should....and that I should look forward, not backward.
My dear friend gave me a wooden sign when we moved into our new place that says:
Sorrow looks back.
Worry looks around.
Faith looks ahead.
I am sad.
I was worried.
But I do have faith.....
So....I'm going to move onward, confident in His plan.
Afterall...the tornado didn't touch Shakey's, right??