Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sweet, sacred, sad, scared, spiritual...

Sweet, sacred, sad, scared, spiritual--all of these feelings wash over me several times every day. If you've read my blog from last week, you know that we witnessed a horrific tragedy on Valentine's Day. The accident is still on my mind numerous moments each day. Since that time, I've come to know a little more about the young man who lost his life. I appreciate Josh's sister telling me more about her kind, funny, quirky brother. She had an enviable relationship with him, so losing him is all the more sorrowful. We often describe our losses as heartache. It's amazing how well that describes what happens--your heart literally hurts. The pain is physical, spiritual, and emotional. Every portion of your being is involved.

Every day I walk about three miles into South Canyon. Two days ago, I saw a Great Blue Heron. It rose from the Little Bear River and landed out of sight, but I got to see it again around the next bend. There's also a lovely kingfisher with its distinct chatter-call as it flies from tree to tree along the water. I love where I live. The sky today was mostly gray, but yesterday the sun broke through and patches of vibrant blue and white scattered across the landscape. Walking clears my head and helps me to smile. There are a lot of cows on my route and yesterday they were feeding in a barn, but when I walked past they spooked and frantically ran like they were being chased by a wolf. I actually turned around to see what they danger was, but figured out it was me. I said, "Hi little cows--it's just me." But they ran anyway.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

So so sad!

Life is fragile. A trite cliche until you witness it firsthand. By all accounts Josh was a wonderful happy BYU-I student brimming with promise. He had served a mission in Chile, the same country my son served in years earlier. On Valentines Day Joshua, his girlfriend and another friend were heading home from college for the long weekend. But he didn't make it.

We were going to Orem to visit family. The roads were slushy. Near Willard on I-15 an accident had just happened and we saw two cars pulling off onto the shoulder. My husband wanting to be sure everyone was all right also pulled over. The two drivers got out to check out the damage to their cars and exchange information most likely. As my husband walked toward the young men, a car slid out of control hitting the two men.

I won't describe what happened next. But even as I try to type this five days later, my hands tremble, my heart pounds, and my eyes tear up. Ever since being a parent, I've had a recurring nightmare of something terrifying happening and me trying to call 911 but not being able to do it. But as soon as I saw the horrific events my daughter and I jumped out of our car and ran to the scene. I wasn't aware of grabbing my cell phone, but there it was in my hand and I automatically called 911. My daughter too immediately called 911. I'm sure there were others who quickly called from their cars. Within minutes several cars had stopped. The emergency vehicles took too long to get there, but it wouldn't have mattered for Joshua. He really didn't have a chance. The other man was 31, and we haven't heard how he was doing, but he fared much better.

I'll be forever connected to Joshua DiScuillo although I didn't know him. Witnessing someone's final conscious acts on earth can do that. I wish more than anything that the accident hadn't happened. It isn't lost on me that a few feet or a few seconds difference and my husband might have been killed. But then a few seconds or a few feet difference and the car would have missed Joshua as well and everyone else. It was an unbelievable, unimaginable moment of standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. If, if, if, and why, why, why? Why him and why now?

I've thought a lot about life and death since the event. I know I won't ever be quite the same. As I tried to hug and comfort those standing at the scene who were obviously traumatized there was Josh's girlfriend huddled with another friend. They spoke in another language to each other--so I don't know what they were saying, but I can imagine the desperate prayers offered. A lone woman with a long coat trembled and cried as I hugged her. I heard her talking to someone and realized she was speaking in a bluetooth. She frantically described her car spinning out of control to an unknown person on the other end. She was the woman who had hit the young men. I can't imagine what she must be going through. The newspaper article said she was treated for shock. I hope she finds peace to continue with her life.

For those who were friends and family of Joshua DiScuillo, I offer my deepest love, my most heartfelt sympathy, and pray that you might find the comfort to go forward, always remembering your son, your brother, and your friend with warmth and fondness. But I hope that you can move forward and be happy. I have a feeling Joshua would have wanted that.