Friday, September 9, 2011

Grace under Pressure

Tragedy brings out the best in some people and the worst in others. I still struggle to forgive some people, notably the "journalist" who published an article years after my Grandpa's death, revisiting the graphic details simply because my uncle was granted more freedoms within the psychiatric center where he resided for care.

But there are heroes of this story.

My religion teacher, Miss Fehrenbach, who scolded my class for staring at me when I came in ("She's the same girl as yesterday, regardless of what you saw on the news, so let her be in peace and do your work.") and who came to the calling hours after chaperoning the school dance, apologizing for being in jeans.

The police officer who arrested my uncle, a former teammate who had admired and respected my uncle as a fair, compassionate upperclassman on the soccer team. The officer took the time to be kind and to explain what he could to my mom.

Kelly and Megan, my best friends from elementary school, who came to the funeral Mass even though we were only twelve and I'm sure it was uncomfortable for them.

The retreat leader, two years later, who brought me peace. She couldn't have imagined when she volunteered to help at a high school diocesan retreat that she would become the counselor to a girl who desperately needed healing. I wish I had found out her name. She was so accepting -- of me, of my story, of my tears. I hope some day she will know what a difference she made.

Ordinary people, just trying to be decent human beings. In tragedy, these people make all the difference. I hope I can go and do likewise.

C is for Candle
She had grape candles, which now always make me smile inside.


  1. My apologies, mother dear. I have edited this post to include the proper sport. :-)