When the Unthinkable Happens
Yesterday, something happened in my little community that should never happen. Four families will never be the same and countless others will feel the effects for months, possibly years to come. Yesterday, four young boys — not quite men were caught in a fire. Three didn’t make it out alive. As most people were sleeping, lives were being altered forever.
The fire broke out in an abandoned building. Why the boys were there doesn’t matter. Why no one knew they weren’t sleeping peacefully in bed dreaming of their futures is not important either. What matters most is that three families lost their babies. Another family is praying that their son recovers from serious burns. Never mind the emotional and psychological damage that will haunt those close to these boys in the days going forward.
As I read through Facebook posts, looked at pictures and talked to friends, my heart ached for their families. I’m lucky because Keagan did not know any of them but he has many friends who did. PEI is such a small place that one tragedy can ripple right across it.
A police officer told the media yesterday that in his thirty years as an officer, he has never seen something as tragic. My only thought was thank goodness one boy got out because if he hadn’t the first responders never would have known that three others were inside. As hard as yesterday was for our first responders, not knowing there were three more teenagers in the building and finding them later would have been worse.
Yesterday, as a mother, I had a stark reminder of how precious life really is. Each time Keagan did something to make me crazy, I remembered to be thankful that he was there to make me crazy. Today, I ask for prayers for the families of the boys that died, and for the young boy in the hospital and his family. I ask for prayers for our first responders who had to do the unthinkable. Prayers for their friends and teachers. Why? Because prayer will be what gets each and every one of these people through the days, weeks and months ahead.
And those who aren’t living the unthinkable in your community this day — hug your kids. Tell them you love them — even if they shrug you off — and pray you will never ever have to experience the unthinkable.
And he said, “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live?
But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:22-23)