September 18, 2011
It is with a heavy heart I sit and write today. I woke to such sad news….a family I have always admired from afar just lost a brother and a mother just lost a son. I’m stunned with the way his life ended the irony of the tragedy. This brother and son who spent most of his life in a wheelchair lost his life at a special event or occasion. It is hard to describe the impression this family had on my life. I have admired their faith, their strength, and their will. I reached out to them last year wanting to help unaware that three of their four children share the same names as my three boys. I hope this piece will prompt you to learn more about them. I would not feel right trying to summarize their story .It would not do it justice. Please view the attached news article and video clip to learn the particulars from a professional’s voice; a voice more seasoned and eloquent, more appropriate to share the intimacies of their lives.
I feel the sadness and the sorrow this family may feel. I also feel the comfort. There is comfort in knowing that he no longer suffers and he truly is living pain free. There is peace because we know this man of faith is living in a better place. He has made it home. The sadness is for those he left behind while we know this is all God’s plan we will always question the why’s and try to make sense out of non-sense. These boys shared such a common bond, an identity to something and/or someone that not many people will experience in their own lives. This bond is sometimes hard to live with and may even be harder to redefine. The loss of one forces the redefining. I’m fairly certain this family trusts in God’s plan but those questions will still surface and will continue to challenge their faith. The days ahead will not be easy the physical pain is always there…..the emotional pain may just be beginning. However, I pray that it will be much less and that they draw from their faith, their love, their will and strength.
A couple of things really spoke to me from the news coverage. First, their mom had called him “ange” short for angel. It is always people with such character, ….. who as his mom states “lit up the room” that God summons earlier than most. People like Michael who touch people’s lives and leave an angelic and lasting impression. It was at 4am that his able bodied brother posted to his Facebook page and it was at 4am that I laid awake and wondered WHY was I awake. I can and do sleep through anything. I’d like to think and will hold on to the belief that at 4am a certain “angel” was receiving his wings.
Secondly, after going through the rigors of my day driving my children to their various activities and truly dying to write about this family, and the emotions I have for their loss. Our family missed Sunday morning mass due to activities and found ourselves at the church where Michael and his family worship. The same church and today the same mass he often attended. Our Pastor gave a moving homily and spoke of this Family’s pain and suffering but most importantly their faith. Michael’s brother James said “I’m going to live my life as he could have lived his life. I’m going to do well” James said, “because Michael showed the way.” I question coincidences and prefer to live and believe in my faith and God’s plan for my life. I left mass grateful for my faith …turned on the radio and heard Peter Frampton’s, “Show Me the Way”. The first song I heard in a rather quiet, reflective, and somber day of driving. A coincidence, no, rather an affirmation or testament to a brother who believes his brother has shown him the way. God bless you all, may peace be with you and your faith sustain you.