I returned from my trip to Beamsville (near St. Catherines/Niagara Falls) and Toronto last evening. I was traveling with my brother Rob and my Dad. There were 2 purposes for the trip – one was that Rob had an annual checkup for a medical condition that requires consultation with a specialist in Toronto. he was told (what I would guess is the thing you want to hear in a situation like this) “Nothing has changed – come back again next year”.
The second reason was that my youngest sibling – my brother Lawrence turned 50 on Monday and we had a chance to be a part of 2 different birthday celebrations – one Sunday and one Monday. I have some pictures and other details of that that I hope to cover another time.
It was a bit difficult not being home on Mother’s day. Don Smith at Beamsville preached a touching mother's day sermon and that made it more difficult for me to be awy from the mother of my children. Don quoted the passage about "Igo to prepare a pace for you - in my house there are many mansions ,,,: (not an exact quote) which had been one of my mother's favoorite passages and was used at her funeral. This brought tears to my eyes and my Dad was overcome with tears in thinking of here.
Linda was alone for much of the day – she had had a busy week and was looking for a quiet afternoon after doing her class Sunday morning. It was quieter than she expected. Saturday evening I had called to let her know I’d arrived safely at my sister Ruby’s place in Beamsville and in the course of dealing with taking good from the oven she had changed phones and left one of the hook. She didn’t discover it until late afternoon when she decided to call her mother after waiting patiently for a couple of hours for her kids to call.
She said it was quite amazing that she had barely got on the phone with her mother when one after the other of the kids called (we have call waiting so she was able to let them know she was here and then called them back).
I was speaking to Arlene King at services in Beamsville on Sunday morning. Her husband Byron is the son of Jack & Barb King who are part of our church family here in the Sault. Byron drives transport and, when I asked Arlene about him, she said he had called her that morning from the Sault area and that he had had to detour around the scene of a serious accident that had happened early Sunday morning.
When I got back to Ruby’s place I went on the Sootoday site to see if there were any references to this. I discovered that a Sault Ste. Marie police officer had been killed in a horrific collision at one of the major intersections in the city. I got more information on Monday the Sault Star online. This was the first time in the 150 year history of policing in Sault Ste Marie that an officer had been killed in the line of duty.
Of course this event was shocking to us. The Soo is a relatively small town (80,000) and it is rare when these tragic events occur that we don’t know someone who knows someone … who is directly involved. Of course events involving police officers always give us pause because Chris is a policeman. When I arrive d home last evening I was reading more about the accident and we also saw the obituary notice – and discovered 2 connections that brought this event even closer to home.
First he was the brother-in-law of Paula Case. Paula’s husband Mike attends Pine hill and they are the parents of Vanessa (who I had mentioned recently. She has just had a baby and Linda has been providing her some advice). But the stronger connection is that the officer’s brother Guy was Chris’ best friend for several years and was best man at Chris’ wedding. We called Chris to let him know and he was very shaken by it.
This is very much one of those situations that are difficult to understand. The lady driving the other vehicle was intoxicated and has been charged with a number of criminal offences. So we have 2 families whose lives have been turned upside down. The issues of bad choices and innocent choices that lead to this event doesn’t change the reality of the pain that is being felt and the brokenness of the lives involved. We pray that God’s love can be felt and received into healing those hurts.
Charlie & Linda-