Sunday, April 13, 2008

Life Cut Short

On Thursday evening, my cousin's only daughter was killed in a car accident. She was on her way to teach french horn at Colgate University, where she was an adjunct professor. By all accounts, she was an incredibly gifted musician and very accomplished for her age. She was only 24 years old.

I didn't know Gretchen as an adult. Her mother is my cousin - who babysat us frequently and always had a beautiful smile and a song on her lips. I remember her parents' wedding, how beautiful my cousin and her groom looked to my little girl eyes. Like a princess and her prince. I remember her dad's tickle-y mustache and beard, and how he always had hugs and kisses for me. And I remember the joy that this beautiful baby girl brought to both of them. I remember how happy my Aunt was to become a grandmother. My only memories of Gretchen are of a darling, chubby-legged little toddler, who looked just like her mama. And of her gorgeous little smile.

Over the years, I only saw Gretchen at weddings and funerals. Since we live further away than most of the other relatives on that side of my family, those occasions were really the only time we'd all be together. And because she was part of the next generation of cousins, I really only saw her in passing, usually in a crowd of all of her cousins (her mother was one of 6, her grandmother and my dad were from a family of 5). I spent most of my time at these affairs catching up with my own crowd of cousins (and believe me, that was a task in itself: 21 of us with spouses, too!). I wasn't privileged to be close to her in any sense of the word.

I cannot even imagine the heartbreak and grief that my cousin and her husband are feeling right now. I can only imagine the pain that my Aunt and Uncle are bearing as they walk their family through this time together. And though I didn't know her well at all, I, too, feel heartsick. This is my family. My heart is aching for their loss. And for mine. I didn't even know them well enough to know if she was right with the Lord. I can only pray that she knew and trusted in my Jesus. That she called out to Him and He heard her heart's cry. I can only continue to pray for those who've been left behind to live on. Somehow, they have to learn to live with the pain and move forward. And from what I've learned about her since I heard about her passing, that's just what she'd want from all of us.


On Fire For Jesus said...

Tracy, I'm so sorry. I can hear your heart through your words. I'll pray for your family...

Livin' Life said...

I am so sorry. My heart and prayers are with you and your entire family. Most of my family have died very young it is so hard.