Monday, March 10, 2008

he "wasn't a hero in his death. He was a hero in his life."

that's what ross' mother said of him in an article found on oregonlive.com. it was a very touching article that gives us a glimpse into the sort of person that ross was. please, read the article here. also, here is a video clip of the family talking about what happened.

the past two days have been quite emotional for me. it is strange to me how deeply this tragedy has affected me. you know, i hear about stories like this all the time on the news, but it is always so far removed from me. whenever i hear one of those stories, it is easy to just think, "that is so sad! i feel sorry for them," and then go on with my day.

but this one hit way too close to home!

since they are a family of all boys (they have one daughter, who is away at school), and we are a family of all girls, i don't interact with them a whole lot. mitch, however, is in the young men's and knows the boys well. i remember the first sunday that i saw them at church, they sat right behind us and i thought, "wow! that is a lot of boys!"

since then, the plaid, thrift store suit ross wore every sunday had become a fixture in our ward. i think that if people didn't know him by name, they definitely knew him by his suit! yesterday when talking with mitch, what little i was able to talk to him because he was at the coast all afternoon and evening, i was asking him about ross. "was he a good kid? he always had a smile on his face. every time i saw him, he was smiling!" and he was! though i didn't know him personally, he seemed to have a way of brightening the room and the people around him.

as a mother, this has been a lot harder on me and more emotional than i thought it would be. it just rips my heart out to think about the difficult days and months and years ahead for his family. we know that they will see him again, we believe that families are eternal, thank goodness for this knowledge, but it still doesn't take away all of the hurt of the here and now without ross. i can't imagine if it were one of our girls!

because i have been thinking about this all day, tonight, we had a little family home evening lesson on eternal families. we talked about ross and his family, and the blessings of being sealed for time and all eternity in the temple. i asked the girls if there was a song that they thought would be good to sing, and lala said, "temple!" (that's what we call i love to see the temple from the children's hymnbook). so, we sang the song together.

then mitch asked the girls, "do you know what ross was doing when he went into that water?"

and nani said, "he was sacrificing his life to try to help someone else. he didn't think about himself, just about the other boy." wow! i was floored, i couldn't have said it any better!

we talked about charity and the example that ross set as he ran out to save that boy, without a thought for his own safety! apparently, that is just who ross was. those who knew him well are not surprised that he did what he did!

i love what his mother said at the end of the article (referencing that his body had not yet been found),

"Ross is not his body. He was that personality. That smile. That suit."

it is still so unreal to me! i just ache for their family. i can't imagine what his brother's are going through! and the parent's!

love up your children every moment that you can! hug them, kiss them, enjoy them, tell them how much you love them! and make sure that they really know it!

16 comments:

Becky said...

Im right there with you. I didnt know him well, but you could tell he was a good kid. Im so truly sad for his family.

Tonya said...

I just found your blog through Lisa's blog. I didn't know this family, but alot of the mia-maids I work with in our ward were friends with him. My heart goes out to them. Nani couldn't have said it any better. My kids constantly amaze me with their knowledge of things. Hope all is well:0) By the way, I am brand new to blogging. Find us at mattandtonya.blogspot.com

Darilyn said...

We had a similar FHE tonight.

Katie Smith said...

I feel ya Mahina. I'm not even there right now, but we got to know the Barfuss family through the Smith's and this whole tragdey has really hit home with me too. My heart aches and my stomach flips every time I think about them and the sorrow they must be feeling.

Melissa-Mc said...

When something happens to a family in the ward, it really is happening to the whole ward. That is the wonderful thing about mourning with those who mourn. It just hit me that I have 1 daughter (the oldest) and then 4 sons. This has deeply affected me and I haven't been in the ward for over 3years.

Amanda said...

Have they found the body yet? It is such a tragedy. Your daughter said it perfectly though. Kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for sometimes!

Stephanie said...

I have been feeling the same way. Thank you for sharing your wonderful children's testimony with us. They've usually always got it right.

Stephanie said...
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Danielle said...

i have been feeling the same way. i think as mothers we can relate to one another so deeply, and the compassion we feel is so strong we can't but feel for those in their most trying times.

i was amazed as i watched a local tv station talk to the youth at the seminary building and the strength and love they have towards ross and his family. what wonderful young adults these parents are raising.

Bridget said...

Amen to that. Ethan commented as we were talking about it that after the resurrection "his body will be all shiny and new again."

Elizabeth said...

Oh, that's so sweet. I just love that article. I also love Nani and Ethan's comments!

Chelle said...

That picture of Garrett and Braden is so difficult to see. I'm thinking about how much those kids have to face and emotions they have to learn how to deal with at their age. I'm so glad they're in a ward that can help them learn how to work through it. Tell Mitch my prayers are with him in working with these kids.

Thanks for the post and sharing your thoughts about it. It was perfect.

ashley said...

wow, i can't even imagine. sounds like a neat kid, how cool is it that he helped to save the other boy? thank goodness for the gospel at these times, i can't even imagine what life would be like without that knowledge.

tutu lady said...

Thanks, Mahina for the link to the article about his life, What a great spirit. I guess he was needed elsewhere. Sounds like a really neat family. We will remember them in our prayers. Nani is a special little spirit. tell her I love her.

Caleb Clausen said...

Mahina, thank you so much for posting this. The articles have been so touching. I am greatful we have such a wonderful ward family at this time. Talk to ya later.

Caleb Clausen said...

Mahina, thank you so much for posting this. The articles have been so touching. I am greatful we have such a wonderful ward family at this time. Talk to ya later.