Saturday was my bridal shower. It was a miracle that it occurred at all. My parents and many of my relatives live in St. Louis, MO, and if any of you ever read or watch the news, you may know that most of St. Louis residents (500,000 of them as a matter of fact) had been without electricity since a massive storm on July 19. (My parents got electricity restored Sunday afternoon)
It was such a blessing that the church where the shower was to be held did NOT lose electricity, so we decided to proceed with shower plans. It was quite a challenge, but my family & friends worked extra hard to make it happen. I had hoped that it would be an opportunity for some of my friends from Columbia to get to know my family and vice versa. Although a lot of people were unable to come for a variety of reasons, it turned out to be an intimate group, and great fun was apparently had by all.
The cake was incredible (chocolate/vanilla marble, chocolate pudding filling, whipped cream icing). I got some super cool gifts, and also some very odd ones (including a 6″ orb woven from twigs… not sure what that’s for). Even my great-aunt & grandma got excited over the uhhhh… “apparel” that my girl-friends got me. There was much giggling & general hilarity.
After most of the shower guests had left, my friends were on the road to Kate & Ryan’s couple shower and they called me with the bad news. Two of our friends (Chad & Tyler) from the Rock had been driving to the airport early Saturday morning and were hit by a drunk and/or high teenager driving the wrong direction on the highway. Tyler was killed instantly. Chad came away with leg injuries, chest injuries & some other minor injuries. (you can read the Columbia Tribune article about the accident here)
We all drove back to Columbia at varying times that day so we could be together with all our church family. Everyone seems to be doing ok, we all believe that God is in control, and that Tyler isn’t lost forever, his spirit is alive & well in the presence of the Savior that he loved & served so well. We’re getting ready to celebrate his life & what he meant to us at his funeral this coming Saturday. He was an incredible guy. He went on the trip to Camalote, Honduras, and I have already posted some of the pictures of him goofing off with little kids, working hard on the construction projects, etc.
I guess I’m just trying to figure out how to reconcile my emotions. People who don’t know about the accident have asked me how my bridal shower was. I manage to say “good”, but I can’t really muster much more than that. It really was a fantastic party, especially considering the power outage & everything that happened before. But the sadness about Tyler has made it really difficult to talk about that day with any real enthusiasm.
One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot is that this weekend was a reminder to me that life on this earth is a mix of joy & pain, but God is with us through it all. He tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice & mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15). My emotions went from one extreme to another this weekend, and I was so lucky to have my brothers & sisters to walk with me through it all.
I don’t want to focus exclusively on the tragedy, because God blessed me with a wonderful party with my friends and family. But neither do I want to sugar-coat the day & paint over the sad parts. The Lord gives & the Lord takes away… blessed be the name of the Lord.