No Words

There are no words for this day.

Today, I had to tell my youngest child that her 12 year old friend and classmate has died.  A child that everyone loved, who was kind, whom everyone in the rough-and-tumble middle school world considered a friend.  That’s a rare thing, but Ashley was a rare child.

It was incredibly hard to tell her.

A year ago, I engulfed myself in prayer each day for GAC, to no avail.  Now, the same thing again, with the same dismal result.  I cannot second-guess God, but I will not pretend to understand.  I don’t understand. 

The blame game has begun, but the only acceptable response is to listen and understand without responding about budget constraints, or quirks of fate, or any of those other things… because when faced with such a monumental loss, none of those things matter at all in perspective.

11 Responses to “No Words”

  1. on 11 Nov 2007 at 11:38 pm No Words

    [...] Read the rest of this great post here [...]

  2. on 12 Nov 2007 at 8:15 am Bos

    No, I don’t understand either.

    I hope you will take the blame game with a grain of salt at this point. Later will be the time to figure out how to deal with this tragedy. Now is the time to grieve, not determine budgets.

  3. on 12 Nov 2007 at 8:36 am Bos

    For clarification’s sake:

    I hope you’ll take people trying to play the blame game w/ a grain of salt. Those sorts of questions can, and will be, dealt w/ soon enough.

  4. on 12 Nov 2007 at 8:54 am shane

    I’m with Bos. Our basic instinct when faced with an unimaginable tragedy is to classify it in terms of something we understand. But that lens often clouds our judgment, and we miss the deeper meaning and the sentiment that affects us all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Paine family, to Ashley’s classmates and teachers, and to Jan Griffiths and her family.

  5. on 12 Nov 2007 at 9:27 am Mrs. Eaves

    I am so sorry that your daughter lost a friend, and that her family lost a daughter and sister. The loss is just unimaginable.

  6. on 12 Nov 2007 at 9:52 pm Mrs. Daco

    This is very sad. I have watched alot of children walking home from school and wondered how long it would be before something would happen. The school I saw the most was Willow Brook. Those small children would walk where there was no sidewalk part of the way. They would have to walk by Jefferson Tavern. It is sad to see this. Im sorry but I will have to disagree “with none of those things matter at all in perspective.” Something has to be done. I for sure dont have the answers but, someone does.
    Netmom keep your head up!

  7. on 13 Nov 2007 at 8:51 am girlfriend

    Just too too sad to comprehend. I can’t imagine the pain everyone associated with this is feeling. Hope your daughter is doing ok.

  8. on 13 Nov 2007 at 11:15 am Busy Mom

    I am so sorry.

  9. on 14 Nov 2007 at 3:30 pm Atomictumor » Maybes

    [...] For me (and others, as Netmom indicated), it hits at an odd time, happening at the same time we were all dealing with BJ and her illness last year. Today, the paper had a story about the girl who seems to have (hopefully) had a successful heart transplant after Ashley’s family was thoughtful enough to donate her organs. [...]


  10. [...] I read Netmom & AT today about about the tragic death of Ashley Paine.  Like everybody, I too feel so much empathy for her family.  Nobody should ever outlive their children… nobody.  Then I read the Oak Ridger and saw the immediate changes her death has brought about already.  It’s so sad that it took a stupid, senseless death like this to bring change, but at least it is coming.  But, I agree with AT, the angry blame game isn’t going to fix anything.  And, even though it seems like the best solution to you right now, you cannot wrap your children in bubblewrap and put them in the top of the closet until they are adults.  Not unless you want to render them incapable of survival in the world without you.  I also read lots of comments on the Oak Ridger story and the upshot is that this terrible tragedy was the expected result of the elimination of bus routes for the 1 mile kids.  I have a couple of problems with that.  First, I rode my bike to school for two years, fifth and sixth grades to be specific, down the side of the busiest five-lane business route in Lakeland, FL (much busier than anything Oak Ridge has to offer), and I knew that I had to be careful.  My parents sent me to a Bike Safety course, I had to learn hand signals, and I was expected to obey all traffic rules.  Not that tough, is it?  Also, living in Florida up until 2004, I saw the advent of mandatory bike helmets for all children under 16.  You know, because heads and pavements aren’t going to get along too well if they meet with no middle man.  Second, just for speculative purposes, what would the reaction be if some 4 time DUI offender ran over a bus, caused it to roll, and the children onboard were killed due to no safety restraints inside the bus?  Who would we blame next?  And lest you think I am imagining a doomsday scenario that could never happen, a 4 time DUI offender with no driver’s license for over ten years just killed a woman in Knox County last week.  The cold hard reality is that sometimes horrible things happen and there really isn’t anybody to take the blame.  In fact, if you read the paper and watch the news you will find that horrible things happen every day and every hour to people who never deserved to have them happen to them.   It just happens.  It’s the inscrutable plan that we aren’t given approval over or input into.  I hurt for her parents, as we all should, but it’s part of the plan that we don’t agree with.  That doesn’t change it.  All we can do is learn, live and learn.  Some lessons just hurt us one hell of alot more than others.  [...]


  11. [...] Everyone around here knows what happened a week and a bit ago.  It was incredibly easy for some to jump on the "blame" bandwagon (including the local newspaper, via a tasteless poll for readers to throw their virtual daggers), but Trina resisted the temptation to say "I told you so."  Even though she had — many times. [...]

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