Scott City is a little Kansas town that seems to be an epicenter for random tragedies. A few years ago there was a nine months pregnant woman who was widowed when a deer flew through the windshield of her car and killed her husband. Then there’s the house fire that took the lives of a handicapped woman and her two daughters. And, of course, everyone in the area knows about the Spencer family accident — one of the worst to hit the community.
During April of 2011 the Spencers — husband, wife and two young daughters — were flying their plane to Topeka to celebrate Easter with family. The day was foggy, causing the father Dylan to crash the plane — killing the entire family.
My friend Mindy — and nearly everyone else in town it seems like — was good friends with the Spencers. Mindy heard the news of the deadly crash when she was in the parking lot of Pamida — getting ready to do some ordinary shopping. When she talked to me about the pain of that day she said something really profound that I haven’t forgotten, “I’ll never take a mundane, normal day for granted again.”
The recent Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting tragedy brought Mindy’s words to my mind. One of the victims of that shooting really hit home with me — a girl named Caroline Previdi. She was a first grader born on the same day as my daughter. I can’t help but think of all the ordinary days that Caroline’s family won’t get to spend with her.
Lately I’ve felt like I’m in a swamp of regular living — taking care of kids with colds, cleaning house, paying bills and making little traction on some seemingly impossible dreams. But these accidents have reminded me that average days are worth cherishing and being thankful for.
It would be easy to become discouraged or stressed about all the recent tragedies in our country, but of course, that doesn’t do any good. Instead I think we should focus on the immediate tragedy of not fully living and enjoying life today. ❖
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