Today is not about my Mama but another, one whom I felt a need to write about for my own heavy heart if for no other reason. Yesterday I watched this mother at the funeral of her baby boy, a young man, but still her baby boy. It was an amazing gift of grace from God to watch her as she comforted everyone else there. She walked around and sought out others to hug them and give them peace, to give them a piece of herself, a piece of her son. I believe God had filled her with a strength that can only come from Him.
As the service proceeded, I watched our children, and they’re all “our” children, grieve and grasp for understanding, as well as all the rest of us there, an understanding that may never come. I have no doubt as our sons on the baseball team came in, there was not a mother there who did not think as I did, how easily this could have been my son, or daughter, what would I do, how would I survive, how would I get through one day. The boys all look so grown up on the outside, some with the scruff on their faces, some muscle, some still with freckles, regardless, they’re still our little boys.
As Dave and I were driving home, we were discussing whether God knows in advance when we will die, whether He knows how we will die, it can all be so overwhelming to take in, and I don’t know that I’ll ever grasp it or comprehend it. But no matter what the answer, we know that He uses all things for His good and in this, it’s so apparent. In all God’s plans, despite our lack of understanding, I know that Dez saved more than one life this week. We may never know, and probably won’t know, whose life he saved or how many lives, when that one decision is made because of this week that will change someone’s future, but it will happen and I feel certain.
Dez so clearly touched everyone he knew in some way and while I don’t profess to have known him very well, I am thankful to have had him go on a couple of photos shoots with his sweet MacKenzie, who is a rock like I’ve never seen, and I knew instantly Dez was an adorable sweetheart and that she’d picked a good one. I also knew he loved that girl. After all, how many boys go on two photo shoots with their girl so they can get some sweet couple shots together! And he had that darn smile that would melt your heart, no wonder she loved him. Prayers to that sweet girl. Yes, she’s 18 and neither of them knew what the future held for them, but in this moment in time, he was the love of her life, he was everything. We can all remember that feeling and there’s nothing like it.
As we walked out of the church yesterday and the baseball boys were all lined up, I thought about Dez’ Mom, what she would give for her boy to be in that line. I thought about the pain of Mrs. Williams, whose son survived, but who still hurts so much… to have been through this twice, which I can only imagine, but hurting so badly for the friend of her son who isn’t there, for the Mom of that friend. This Mama’s heart hurts for her too and for her son. But as I walked down that line, I then saw my boy standing so tall as I’m sure every Mom saw theirs and I thank God mine allowed me to give him a hug. He knew how desperately I needed one. And I knew none of us would ever see our children drive down that driveway the same way again.
I thank the people from other schools, our rivals, our competitors, who step around all that and are our friends, who have reached out and sent words of prayers and encouragement to the EA family from their teams and schools, it’s been pretty amazing to watch. Several have said we’re all in this together and when it happens to one, it happens to us all. Yesterday proved that to be so true and I am thankful for living where I live.
Although our own family are observers in this week’s events, the outpouring of love and support for my husband has been rather astonishing, people who have called to make sure he is okay. I’m embarrassed to say that never crossed my mind that he would be okay, but as I would get yet one phone call after another it dawned on me that he is the rock at school while his heart is a Daddy so hurt over the loss of someone else’s son, so thankful to be able to hug his own. I forget sometimes that as strong as he is and can be, he is a Daddy who adores his children, all of his children, and all the kids at EA, regardless of circumstance, of what they do or have done, they are his children. He feels responsible for them, for protecting them, to get them through to the next chapter…and when one is lost, he hurts. But we send thanks for the encouragement from everyone. We know no matter what our hurt is, it can never, ever in a million years compare to that of these families involved.
From this Mom to another, my heart is like all of yours and I send prayers for peace. As this Mom said yesterday, which I needed to hear, we should not put question marks where God puts periods. That speaks volumes. Even if there were an answer to why, it would not change a thing, so may we all be reminded that Dez is an amazing, incredible, beautiful child of God and God’s peace surpasses all of our understanding period.