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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Celestial Child

I feel overcome with grief this week.  Our friends Brady and Angie Draper have been dealing with a terrible tragedy- the loss of Brady's parents and of their own 21-month-old daughter Quincy.  It's a pain that I can't even comprehend, and my heart has been aching for our friends ever since I heard the news.

How do you go on after something like this?

Quincy wasn't even my baby, and she is constantly filling my thoughts.  Her sweet little voice and radiant smile will be missed by so many.

Brady's parents, Val and Kathy Draper, were the best kind of people.  They worked hard, served the Lord, the community, and their family up until the day they died.  We have some special memories with the Draper family and we are so grateful for Val and Kathy's example.

The funeral services were today.  Seeing those three caskets at the front of the Stake Center took your breath away.  The building was completely packed- these people were loved.

Our Bishop spoke.  His words were so inspired.  He looked right at Brady and Angie and said the words that every parent yearns for-

"Brady and Angie, you are parents of a Celestial Child."

We raise our kids giving them all of the tools that we can to ensure that they are a success, but they make their own choices.  It's up to them to choose Eternal Life.  I can only hope and pray that one day I can hear the words that I am a parent "of a Celestial Child."

Brady and Angie will feel the sting of Quincy's death for a long time- probably for their entire lives- but these words are something that can keep them moving forward.

At a time like this we can do nothing but pray and include the Savior.  Although we don't understand why tragic things like this have to happen, through Him we can be lifted, strengthened, and filled with love.  He understands our pain.  He has been there.  I know that in the midst of our darkest grief, there is light in Him.

Just this last month we celebrated Easter.  To have this tragic accident follow so closely after this holiday has been a tender mercy.  What Jesus Christ did for us- suffering for our sins and bearing our burdens and afflictions, His crucifixion, and ultimately His resurrection- is fresh on our minds.  When we are in the midst of all this fear and turmoil, we need to remember our Faith.  This life is only a short time.  Quincy may have only been on this Earth for 21 short months, but her life is much bigger than that.  I believe her parents will be able to hold her again.  I believe that they will be able to raise their daughter and experience all of the joys that this Earth life has to offer, plus many, many others.

We struggle to know how best we can help our friends at this time.  We just pray every day that we can be aware of their needs and hope that when they feel like they need something, that we will have already had the prompting and be ready at their doorstep.

In a talk in the October 2008 General Conference President Monson said, "This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now." 

Thinking of the Drapers has helped us to slow down.  To treasure what is most important.  We love our family.  We love our friends.  We are so grateful for the Savior and for a loving Heavenly Father, and we pray that they will lift our friends in a time of such heavy grief and pain.
 We love you, Quincy.


Rachelle VDub said...

Amylee, this post was absolutly BEAUTIFUL!!!
My mother and father-n-law were friends with Val and Kathy. They shared some tender stories about them to us last night as well. They really do sound like amazing people!

Chris and McKell Provost said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful post every waking second of the day I am thinking and praying for Angie and Brady and this really was just simply stated I love them too so much and am thankful for your testimony helping me! Your simply the cutest girl ever and I am thankful for you as well. Love you little Quincy!

Erin said...

I never even met these people but their family has been in my thoughts and prayers. Sweet is the peace the gospel brings. Family and the gospel really are what matters most. That quote by president Monson rings true in my heart.

Nate, Cami and Crew said...

The Draper family too has been in our thoughts and prayers. It does remind me of what truly is most important in this life full of distractions. I know that the Lord will carry them in this most difficult of times. May Quincy's spirit live on in all of us as we love and care for our children a little more tenderly.

Hannah Neville McMillan said...

that is so heartbreaking!!! things like that really make you focus on your priorities. we'll be praying for them!

Amy N. said...

What a fantastic person you are! I love your testimony and the quiet faith you express in every post you do on both blogs!