This has been a roller coaster weekend for me, my family and our community.Â It started late Friday afternoon with a drive to Hudson WI for a 6th grade confirmation retreat with my 11 year old daughter and about 50 of her Mt. Calvary church-mates.Â Pastor Scott has a great strategy to get these kids to understand and appreciate Life and the wonderful relationships it brings.Â The kids are teamed up in small groups, apart from their parents and with kids they don’t usually hang out with.Â New friends, new relationships, new perspectives….new life!
Then I got the call from my 18 year old who is a senior at Minnetonka High School.Â Two of her classmates had just died in a car crash.Â I was not familiar with the names,Â but my daughter knew them through school activities that exposed her to new friends, new relationships, new perspectives….new life and now….death.
For those of us in the public safety professions, we learn that death is a inevitable part of life.Â In most cases we cannot prevent it, but we are simply asked to be there and do what we can when it happens.Â My son, the student and firefighter now living in Alaska learned this early in his firefighting career.Â He has embraced his calling to “be there” and also learned how to deal with the death, then move on with the life.Â My prayer for him, and the rest of those in the profession,Â is that they never forget to “deal with the death” and the impact it has on their lives, on their body, mind and soul.
So now we have Monday morning.Â For an 11 year old it is back to school to continue the celebration of new friends and experiences.Â For the 18 year old it is back to school to continue grieving the loss of new friends and experiences.Â For the 21 year old it is simply back to work to continue living the experiences of the profession.Â And for mom and dad?Â We start Monday sharing the celebration, the grieving, the living, the death…..but most of all the “just being there” that comes from being parents.
Thanks for listening, sharing these stories is one way I find the strength and peace to continue “being there” at home and on the job.Â So, how do you find the strength?