Sunday, August 16, 2009

Life Flight



This afternoon I took The Chief to the park.
I sat by a tree and watched him bounce down a grassy hill. As I watched his spirited body I said a prayer of gratitude. A thank you to my Heavenly Father for his goodness on this anniversary of my sister's plane crash.

My amen was interrupted by my son's sudden change in direction. He was coming toward me with his dutiful pointy finger in the air. A helicopter was overhead. We watched it sail towards the Y mountain and circle several times. The Chief was captivated, his eyes traced every movement. Climbing up on my lap, we watched together--our cheeks like magnets.

To our surprise, the helicopter came closer and closer to our spot in the park. It flew very low over our heads.

"It is going to land in the park!" I told The Chief. The trees started to blow and unbelievably, the helicopter hovered and landed not far from us.

It was a red and white helicopter. The unmistakable Life Flight.

A crowd that included The Chief and me gathered around. We could see several police cars parked on the park's lawn close to the helicopter. Officers were out of their cars with binoculars looking up at the mountain.

Earlier, as we were headed to the park, I noticed two para gliders up in the blue sky. Sometime later, we saw one para glider flying just over the trees in the park and land. I guessed the other para glider was trapped somehow on the mountain. Eventually Life Flight took off again, and with the help of Chup's binoculars we spotted the downed para glider on the top of a jagged peak. Heroically, rescuers from Life Flight were lowered down and we saw them hike to the aid of the injured.

My first thought was this: people should stay out of the sky in August.

My second thought was this: everyone needs rescuing.

This past year has been a story of stories. I have heard from good souls. I have heard their stories of depression, divorce, illness, disease death of parent, death of sibling, death of children, death of relationships, suicide, infertility, loneliness. So many stories. I will never get over opening an email and reading about disability or distress and not being able to do more. I wish I could do more. Today I read my emails with a prayer, a simple plea to the Lord.

"I will never be able to say what needs to be said, so please let them know I read every sentiment, and I sent my love in return."

There are accidents and tragedies presented in various packages. And some will require the aid of Life Flight (like my sister, or today's para glider) and some will necessitate deliverance from heartache. No matter, there really is only one rescuer. He who sends the aid, offers redemption, saves us from real or symbolic jagged cliffs. Jesus Christ.

Tonight, after The Chief was sleeping, I went outside to stare at the stars. From where my body lay down on the grass I seemed to be directly below the North Star. For a while I listened to a chorus of crickets and thought about Joseph Smith. How Joseph Smith sacrificed his life to give me knowledge of Jesus Christ, and how this knowledge rescues me, lifted me up on this very day last year, and has saved me everyday since.