Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Faith Perspectives: Tragedy Reminds Us to Cherish the Children

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Faith Perspectives: Tragedy Reminds Us to Cherish the Children

Article excerpt

At Catholic churches, a Mass can be offered to pray for a loved one who dies. It is one way that we honor and remember.

One parishioner, Alyssa Berry, expressed it this way: "It's a way to let our loved ones know that we care for them, that they were important in our lives and we are praying for them."

Recently, I picked up a Mass card for a family who lost their 4-year-old son in a freak, tragic accident. His uncle and my son are on the same baseball team. I accompanied my son to the wake to pay our respects.

The family organized the memorial to celebrate his short life. The room was filled with balloons depicting his favorite heroes. They included the Power Rangers, Cars, other action figures and Winnie the Pooh. Looking at the bear brought back memories of when we had bought our son a bear just like it.

The family members wore shirts adorned with action figures and cartoon characters. The main color was red. His mother and father pointed out pictures that showed him at Baptism, sporting events and play time with his little sister. His mother told me that they were able to donate a lifesaving organ to another child in need.

On the drive home, I pondered all the little children who came into my life: my best friends' grandchildren, my sisters' and brothers' grandchildren, and my own children when they were little.

I looked back over the years of trials and tribulation as my husband and I tried valiantly to keep our two children safe. We did the same things as other parents did: put safety latches on the cabinet doors, covers in the wall sockets, hooked up car seats in our automobile, read and researched before buying "safe toys."

Accidents still happened. One horrible incident involved a frayed lamp cord hidden behind a chair that my 3-year-old son managed to find during one his many forays into exploring small spaces. This led to a visit to the Emergency Room and a year of followup treatment. We were lucky. The burn healed. The scars faded. He went on to other adventures, more trips to the ER. I wonder if it has something to do with being a boy?

I thought of my childhood, growing up relatively unscathed. I always felt safe at home. …

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