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March 12, 2005

You know when you read a story in the newspaper about some kind of tragedy and you feel bad and then forget about it, because it is no longer relevant to you and you have so much going on in your own life? You never expect to run across intimate details about those kind of things in the future.

A new family just joined our local homeschooling group and their name sounded familiar to me and when the mom referred several times to an accident and how it had affected them, I searched the archives of our local paper to confirm my suspicion. They are the family that got hit by a truck hauling a trailer in October of 2003. I remember reading the stories at that time because they were so average, like we are, and thinking how unfair life can be-a family is out driving home from a day of fun, enjoying the last warm days of fall and suddenly they are driving over a bridge and a truck approaching them crosses into their lane and they can’t go anywhere to avoid it. You get the watered down version of their life in the stories, their injuries, their financial problems, their emotional scars. It is so much more powerful when you meet them, however, and realize that even after a year and a half, their life is still hard. The husband has permanent brain damage, in fact, he will be going into foster care later this month. Their daughters have healed physically, but not emotionally. They have lost their “father”, the man they live with no longer functions as a father. They lost the business they had started a year before the accident. Their house is being foreclosed and auctioned in June. The insurance payout was only $150,000 which didn’t begin to cover all their medical expenses. Their lives are changed forever. Yet, they are so strong and their positivity and the way they have taken things in stride and continued on with their lives, despite the questions and depression and lingering issues, inspires me. I am so glad to have met them and hope that I will be able to learn from them as we get to know each other.

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