Yesterday afternoon I finally got around to checking out Facebook. A friend of mine posted a link to a newspaper article about the former priest at the parish we attended in SC. He had passed away on Saturday. He was such a sweet, dear man. Our loss is certainly heaven's gain.
While I was looking for the funeral arrangements, I got a message from another friend in SC. She let me know that the son of some friends had been in a wakeboarding accident. It didn't look good. By the time I had chatted with the first friend, found the arrangements, and checked out a few other things, I got a message from friend #2 that the boy had passed away. He was 19; the same age as MS. He had a brother who is the same age as OS. In fact, the brothers made their 1st Communion and 1st Reconciliation with my oldest boys (with the priest who had just passed away officiating), as well as going to school with them and CCD (Catholic Sunday School). We had been in Supper Club with their parents. You wouldn't find a nicer family than this one. They are well-known in the community, yet they aren't the kind of people who only act like they know you in certain situations. Mom is prim & proper; the epitome of a southern belle, even though I think she's from the north. Both of them would give the shirts off of their backs if they needed to.
To be perfectly honest, I was always a tad bit jealous. They appeared to be the perfect family: upper middle class, good kids, close family, nice house. This absolutely breaks my heart for them. I spent the whole hour of adoration in tears for them. The thought that they'll have to walk into their house, see his things, and know that he's gone. The thought that they'll have to make funeral arrangements for their little boy: choose music, a suit for burial, and a casket. The heartbreak they must be going through just rips my heart apart. I know he's in a better place, but I grieve for the family. They won't know the joy of seeing him graduate from college, get married, or have kids. I just keep imagining that Sunday, they woke up and went to Mass, just like every Sunday. They probably went out for brunch/lunch, and went about their normal Sunday routine...until they got "the" call. I imagine that they made the 1 hour drive in about half of that time. He was put on life-support, but there was no brain activity. I'm assuming they had a decision to make. A decision that no parent should have to make. I would hope that the decision was made for them and they were spared that.
My heart goes out to whoever was driving the boat that he was wakeboarding behind. It also goes out to whoever was with him on the lake.
When MS came into the house, I hugged him harder and a little longer than usual. Please pray for the family, that they may find peace in God's mercy.