Today, all day long, the Chapman family's loss of their 5 year old daughter Maria has been on my mind. I have been wondering how a family continues the next day after such a tragedy. I remember waking up the morning after my grandmother died - which was the first significant loss in my life - and having just a brief second of normal before the waves of grief crashed in. Watching the videos of how much those little girls were loved, I couldn't help but think how blessed little Maria was to have been able to be a part of such a loving family for such a brief time on this earth - and yet it makes her death no less sad.
I was also wondering how a family copes with the situation - a teenage son has literally wielded the weapon that caused a fatal injury to his baby sister, and even though it was accidental, it must be such a bitter pill to swallow. The pain the whole family is feeling must surely weigh on the young man's shoulders, and for his sake I hope they never reveal which brother it was driving the SUV. It isn't important for us to know. I also know as a parent how I react, regardless of intent, when one of my kids hurts one of their siblings. How can something like this be made better?
I have just had a heavy heart for this family today. I was hoping my friend Kirsten, a big Steven Curtis Chapman fan who is headed back for the mission field in Africa yesterday may have escaped hearing such sad news. This afternoon I had just gotten home from an afternoon out when my husband called and said he was 30 miles away with a flat tire,and he needed me to bring him some tools. The traffic that time of day is terrible and I was out of gas. When I stopped at the pump to find that gas was $3.79 a gallon, I was tempted to grumble and complain - and then I remembered a family mourning the loss of a little girl - and how something like that makes the importance of everything else come into crystal clear focus.