Tuesday, March 5, 2013

For the Hensons

 photo 167289_497680518856_6556207_n_zpsd0699f0b.jpg
Haley, Me, Wendy, Amber and Anne in 2010, Provo Temple

When I was a seventh grader at Dixon Junior High School I met a girl named Haley. She was very pretty. One day she handed me a note in the hall. After I read it, I thought, she's pretty but she's also funny. After that, it was hard for me not to envy Haley, but it was hard not to love her too.

One day Haley invited me to her house after school. She wasn't bused about town to junior high like I was, she lived a walk away. So we walked to her house and I met her parents for the first time. They were young. So very young I had a hard time thinking that her parents were actually parents.

That was the start of a friendship that endured high school and passed through college into marriages and babies and careers. And no matter how much we changed and grew, it seemed every time I ran into Haley's parents they never, ever seemed to age.

And I always thought, Lucky, lucky Haley. Her parents have so much youth and energy and they will live forever and see her five tow-headed children grow and become as pretty and as clever as she was when I met her in junior high.

Then yesterday, Haley's mom and dad went for a walk in sunny St. George, Utah. According to reports, a car rear-ended another car and sent that car onto the sidewalk where Dave and Leslee were walking. Dave took most of the impact as they were hit from behind. He died almost immediately, while Leslee was air lifted to Provo to save her from neck, head and spinal injuries. It seems she's going to pull through.

I am heart-sick, devastated for my friend. And yesterday, there were texts and facebook messages from our friends and family, and a lot of spiritual affirmations that families are forever and we will see those who are taken away from us again. In heaven. No matter what sort of life we lived here. That's what we've chosen to believe, that's what we know. So we stand in testimony of that, even in the face of tragedy and loss. It's what returns us to peace.

This morning I am thinking about Dave, how his character changed so much in a lifetime. How he couldn't let you pass by without a genuine embrace. How not many men are as sweet and guileless as Haley's dad. How much those tow-headed children are going to miss terribly their sweet, loving grandpa.

And how, in the light of what we believe, he really will live forever.





22 comments:

T said...

I am so sorry to hear about this tragedy. My heart is so sad for this family, and my prayers are with them.

Aiketa said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend and their family. And also for your loss. I'm sending virtual hugs to you all.

Marianne said...

Bless you all through this time! The older I get, the more I realized how the Savior's atonement can help us through tragedy like this. I pray for your friend's family and for all of you who loved Dave.

Lisette said...

We never know what tomorrow will bring. We just need to practice being grateful for today.

Tamara Lambert said...

Oh, I am so sorry. In an instant, it's so hard to believe. Please let Haley know that her family in being prayed for through your blog, all over the country

amber_mtmc said...

Oh my. Keeping her and her family in my thoughts. What a tragedy.

Jaana said...

I am so, so sorry. Praying for comfort, courage, strength for all and swift healing for Leslee. I am so grateful for the Atonement and the peace it brings to our hearts in times of tragedy.

Vesuvius At Home said...

My heart hurts to hear this. Sending much love to Haley and her family.

louBlou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
louBlou said...

It's amazing how much our lives can change in a minute. Each morning I kiss my husband goodbye never thinking that it will be the last kiss. Hearing news like this always brings me down to earth with a thump, realising how much we need to cherish each moment. I am so sorry for their loss, and yours too, and I'm glad you have a faith that allows you to find comfort.

millerjk said...

I pray for peace for Haley and her family. I have only met her once - she took our family photos before my husband went to Pakistan. They are placed around our home and I love them...and instantly loved her.
Hoping everyone can find happy memories, peace and comfort at this time.

Unknown said...

Thanks Courtney for writing this! We have the greatest friend, our Miss Haley Ann! You nailed Dave and his judgement free love for everyone...I will miss him.

Amy said...

How very sad :( My condolences to all. Scary how one random act can effect so many..

Alisha said...

That is just heartbreaking. Sending prayers for Leslee, Haley and their whole family as well as their friends. God be with you.

Sammi said...

this post breaks my heart. lots of prayers for their family XX

A. Verzello said...

What a shock, a great and utter tragedy. Sending prayers for your friend Haley.

Paula said...

Hugs....to you, and to Haley for the sudden loss of her father, and to her mother for the tragic loss of her husband. Prayers all around, especially for peace and healing for her mom....both for her broken heart and her broken body. Such news always makes my own heart heavy. Life is so unpredictable. Give those kids of yours extra hugs today! I'll do the same to mine!

Nancy said...

What a terrible tragedy! My sympathies to Haley and her family and to you as well

LuckyRedHen said...

Suuuck :(

Kiera said...

How awful. Im so very sad for her and everyone who loved them.

Jessica said...

I am sick about this! I had no idea. Dave was such a special person to me growing up as the dad of my best friend.

turleybenson said...

I don't know them but I'm sick about this too :(