Monday, February 25, 2008

Prayer for a Stranger

Well, I've tended to not get overly personal on my blog, but I have to say that I am having a oddly melonchaly day here. I seem to be greatly affected today by a tragic story that has unfolded here in Minnesota. I know that this story made nation news, but perhaps you may be unfamiliar with it. Last week 4 students were killed in a school bus crash in the small community of Cottonwood Minnesota. 2 of those killed were brothers, and for some unknown reason I am feeling such emense heartache for that family that I cannot even begin to explain it. I do not know this family, I do not know anyone that knows them, Cottonwood is no where close to my part of Minnesota, but I just ache for this family today. I cannot explain why am affected in this way by this particular story, but for some reason I am. The younger of the brothers, was 9 years old, the same age as my oldest and perhaps that has something to do with it. He also has a twin sister. I just cannot even imagine starting your day off as normal and watching your kids go off to school and you never see them again. I put my boys on the bus every day, and cannot imagine them not stepping back off at the end of the day. And to loose two of them....unimaginable! How do you possibly live out the rest of your life? It is days like this, stories like this, that test my faith. I have always considered a faithful person, not religious, but very faithful, and a absolutely believe in the power of prayer, and the idea that everything happens for a reason. But how do you see the reasoning in this...a great challenge that is greater than us and must be turned over to the Lord. I have lived through watching a my best friend cope with the unexpected loss of a 3 year old daughter, and perhaps I ache all the more for this family knowing the road that is ahead. To add to the tragedy, this family has previously lost a child. I clearly do not understand the "why" in this case. That family is burying those boys today. Somewhere in Minnesota they are saying goodbye to their boys, and my heart and prayers go out to them. I ache for people that I do not know and I ask that when you go to bed tonight (and in the coming nights) that you pray for this family. That they will find the strength to live without Jesse and Hunter. It is the only thing I know to do to help them and I ask that you do the same. I decided to make a card for this family and was able to find their address in a search. It is not my place to post it here, but I would share the address if you felt like you would like to do the same.Paper Trey's new Everyday Blessings set, which ended up being the PERFECT thing for this card. I love the sentiment on the front, "Someone remembers, someone cares, your name is whispered in someone's prayers". I colored the cross in with a blender pen and added a brad from the hodgepodge hardware kit. I feel a little odd explaining this card, as it wasn't really meant for the blog, but I was compelled to share where I am at today.
I do not mean to minimize the fact that there are 2 other families in the same position as the Javens, but I am struck by there story.Remembering the school bus crash victims. The following is a description of each of the 4 students that died last week:

February 21, 2008
The four Lakeview School students killed in Tuesday's school bus crash near Cottonwood, Minn., were Emilee Olson, brothers Hunter Javens and Jesse Javens, and Reed Stevens. Relatives and friends share memories of the children.


Charles and Traci Olson of Cottonwood adopted Emilee in China when she was 10 months old. Relatives said first sight meant everything.

"She looked up at Traci from the floor, and their eyes met, and you knew that it was meant to be from that moment on," said Terri Hutchinson, Emilee's aunt and Traci's sister, who joined Traci in China.

Emilee was already crawling, strong and vibrant that day, her aunt said.

"She sang in choir, learned to play piano and picked up pieces real easily," Hutchinson said. "Her sister Bailee played, and she could pretty much play the (song) right away.

"She was energetic, fun, loving. Loved life. Very talented with a smile on her face all the time. She lit up a room. Such a beautiful young girl with so much left."

Emilee's mother is a physical education teacher at the school.


Hunter loved basketball, football, wrestling and baseball. He also liked video games, drawing and hanging out with his friends. Friends described him as a happy-go-lucky kid.

Hunter was a fourth grader at Lakeview School. He and brother Jesse were the sons of Marty and Rita Javens of Cottonwood.

Robert Javens, a great uncle to Hunter and Jesse, said the boys "were just typical kids."

"They weren't no angels and they weren't no devils. They were normal kids."


Jesse was a big pro wrestling fan and could be the class clown at times. The seventh-grader liked hunting and being on the middle school football team.

"It hit everybody in the town really hard, but especially this family, with two of them gone," said Terry Lange, ex-brother-in-law of the boys' father, Marty Javens.

In addition, Lange said, Hunter has a twin sister, and there are four older siblings in the blended family.

"All you can do is just be with them," he said of the family members. "Everybody is still in shock."


Reed was remembered as outgoing, with an interest in sports, leadership and a strong faith.

The seventh-grader was the son of Dan and Kandy Stevens of Marshall.

"Reed was a young man who loved God, his country and his family. And he also loved his football family. We know that he is with the Lord," his mother, a former teacher at the school, said in a statement read by Superintendent Sheldon Johnson.

Reed had helped organize a "gather at the pole" prayer event at Lakeview School, and was planning for a trip to Australia as a People to People student ambassador this summer.

"He had a lot of imagination," friend Quinn Fenger said. "He liked to draw a lot of fantasy stuff."

There's now a memorial fund in place at a bank in Cottonwood for the families of the four students.

Contributions can be sent to:

Lakeview School Memorial Fund

c/o United Southwest Bank

PO Box 288

Cottonwood, MN 56229-0288

---Information from the Marshall Independent

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

I am oddly mixed with deep contempt for the woman you killed these children. An illegal immigrant who is lying to police about her real identity. She has no drivers license and is now claiming the bus ran into her-THERE IS NO WAY! If you have seen the pictures of the damaged bus and how it was over turned there is one person at fault here. But I don't want to focus on her, I am sorry that she does not recognize the gravity of her actions, but I understand that someday she will have to face a great force and she will have the proper judgement day. Sorry for the long post, I write with a heavy heart today.
I promise to not make this a habit.

Please pray for all of these families.


Corie said...

Oh my Kat, I so feel your pain. I will definitely keep these families in my thoughts and prayers.

Dawn said...

Kat, I don't know if your a Christian women or not, so please don't think I am nuts!!! I read your blog a lot. I really enjoy it. I have your blog in reader so, i don't leave comments a lot. I just want to tell you that sometimes God, tells us to pray by laying something so heavily on our hearts. I know that this has happened to me where I just feel so, helpless, but if your told to pray just do that and pray daily for this family. I will be too!! God Bless

Juliann said...

Oh my...I had not heard this on the news, I admit I don't watch the news too much, it is way too sad! I get too wrapped up in others peoples pain. I think because of what you do, and the things that you have helped people go through you know the pain these parents are going through. Sometimes we just connect to different people. I think it is just so that we can give them a little bit of our energy to carry on. I am sorry to say I don't pray anymore since the loss of my daughter, but I will keep these families in my thoughts.
Your card is just perfect.
Take care!