Fred and Cindy Hawkins, Turk and Norma Milford, Gary and Barbara Adams, Mike and Debbie Champion, Tony and Diane Allen, Wade and Peggy Buchanan, Bob and Robin Dixon and many more couples all have something in common.
Each of these couples has buried a child. They have done the unthinkable.
I was blessed to have a conversation with Bob and Robin Dixon a couple of nights ago. They were with their family after attending a wedding. I guess you could say they were living their lives.
Bob and I had a chance to have a side-bar at some point in the evening. He was telling me about the success of the charity golf tournament that they had held to help children with brain tumors. I told him I was sorry I missed it.
He then went on to show me the new Make-A-Wish bracelet he was wearing in honor of his departed son, Collins. He told me about Collins praying and wishing God would take away the tumor.
But he went on to say that all Collins really wanted was for God to get glory out of his life. I asked him where I could get a bracelet. He took his off of his arm and gave it to me. And I wore it.
Every couple that I have mentioned and all those that I haven’t can tell you about their own situation with equal passion and love. Every one of these couples has experienced the unthinkable. They all handled it in their own way. And God forbid anyone judge how any of them handle it.
I told Bob I had no idea how it must feel and pray that I never do know.
He said to me and I want to quote him, “You know how people always tell you that it will get easier. Well, it’s not true. It just gets harder.” I didn’t know that. He went on to say how football season was really tough because of his son’s love for the game.
I left Bob with a handshake and told him how much I appreciated our conversation.
With the horrific grief that all of these parents must have felt, I couldn’t help but think about the children they still have and the effect it must have on them. I know that they are equally loved and feel sure their parents with the help of God make sure they know it.
Every situation is relative to another. I sometimes feel sorry for my situation because my Daddy can’t call me by name at his age of 77. But I should be thankful that for 70 years he could.
Of course, when he could, he didn’t call me Chris. He called me Boy. But that’s another story.
Everyone has heard the old saying, “If you have your health, you have everything.” There is a lot of truth in the old sayings.
Anyone that thinks this is a sad column is mistaken. It is nothing more than a reminder that life is full of good times and bad. It’s about giving thanks.
And no matter what trials we may face, we can always find someone that has faced trials that trump ours. And vice-versa.
We live in a society that is seemingly never satisfied. We are forever striving for more. We want bigger and better. We talk about other people’s kids who we think are spoiled rotten. But the truth is we as adults don’t always act a lot differently.
Something tells me those parents who have lost children have something special the rest of us don’t have. They have a greater appreciation for the simple things in life like friends and family.
When the reality is, we are all blessed. And we all face our own tragedies. And we handle them the best way we know how.
But our struggles will end one day. For dying is part of living. And a reward awaits those that choose to believe. The Apostle Paul said, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
After getting in my car and heading home, I had to thank God that somehow thus far He has spared me from the unthinkable.
Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.