Our community has been rocked in the last week by the deaths of two of our teenagers. Both high school seniors, one at P-High, the other at NLHS, and both victims of single-car accidents. By all accounts, both of these kids, Hannah and Charles, were top-notch, quality young people with the brightest of bright futures ahead of them.
It's when things like this happen that I only imagine that their parents want to shout STOP!! REWIND!! Let's take this last 24 hours again, only this time I'll say, "why don't you stay home tonight?" or "hey - how about if I drive you there?" or "wait - let me have one more hug before you go..."
And it breaks my heart to think of parents, looking at the door, at the phone, wondering when the door will open, or when the phone will ring...and it never will.
From the time our babies are born, we teach them to do things for themselves. Eat. Talk. Walk. Read. We plan our lives around it: "I cannot WAIT until they can fill-in-the-blank, so I'll have a little bit of time to myself." But that's only as it should be. That's what we're supposed to do. That's what they're supposed to do.
They go off to their first day of school, and we cry. They come home at the end of the first day - just thrilled with their new independence, and our hearts are eased.
They drive off for the first time, and we don't take a complete breath until we know they've made it safely to their destination. They come home after their first trip - just thrilled with their newest independence, and our hearts stop pounding.
They go off to college, and we wonder if anything will ever be the same. They call home for the first time, bubbling over with stories of triumph and sorrow, and our hearts hope that they will always want to come home.
Live your life. Do what God intends. Go places. Have fun. Learn stuff. Do good things.
Just, please. Come home.