Mr. Grandcolas.

Have you ever lived through a week that was both one of the best weeks and the worst weeks at the same time? Welcome to last week in my life.

Last week on the blog I talked about how I was sick with strep throat when we were in Indiana for a fundraising trip. That about sums up the “worst” part of last week…but I really was absolutely miserable. But at the same time we got to see a ton of our Hoosier friends, speak at the church we met at, go to Fishers Cru high school where I used to be on staff, and eat at my favorite Mexican restaurant. And since Stella stayed home with my dad, we were able to spend the night in a hotel BY OURSELVES which was a big deal since we’ve been living with my mom for a month, stayed with friends in Indy and will be living with my mom then Stuart’s parents probably until March. So the reasons it was one of the best weeks definitely outweighs my strep throat.

Then on our way home we decided to take a slight detour and stop at the 9/11 Flight 93 memorial. It’s crazy how real it becomes when you see the faces of the crew and passengers who were victims on that day. The term “Let’s Roll” became famous because of a voice recorder that survived the crash which allowed the police to hear Todd Beamer say those two little words followed by the courageous action of the passengers and crew to reclaim control of the plane. Everyone on board was killed in the crash, but the plane missed the targeted Capitol Building and instead crashed in a field where no one else was hurt. It’s a reminder that when people are courageous, even in the face of certain death, it is not for nothing. I’m glad this memorial stands so we remember each one of the people who died in a random field in Pennsylvania that day.

The pictures below show the “wall of names” listing each passenger and crew member who died on the flight.

For some reason, seeing the somber way “and unborn child” was written next to this name made me so emotional. I don’t have any kids nor am I pregnant, but it really hit me hard. It made me think that maybe there was a man out there, let’s call him Mr. Grandcolas, who not only lost his wife, but also his unborn son or daughter. Did he and his Lauren have a name for their baby? Did he/she have siblings that Mr. Grandcolas is now having to raise alone? Do they ever wonder what their brother or sister would be like today as a 12 year old?

That day was tragic and horrific in every way imaginable, but since I didn’t know anyone personally who died or lost a loved one, I think there was a “realness” to that day that I didn’t experience. It definitely hit me emotionally on the day and the days following the attacks, but seeing specific faces, and this name with “and unborn child” next to it especially, made it more real to me than it ever has before.

And that was another reason why it was one of the best weeks (I know that may sound weird…but stay with me). Because it made me realize that even on my worst weeks, when I’m out of state and fighting an annoying sickness, there are many more out there who are dealing with so much worse. And all of the sudden my pity party is gone. I will gladly take strep throat over what Mr. Grandcolas had to deal with on that horrible day. And what so many others are dealing with today and tomorrow.

Thank you Jesus for my life, health and the safety of my loved ones. May I never take it for granted. Ever.