Saturday, October 10, 2009

How to Save a Life

They say that all you need is love, but it's not true.  

You need Kleenex too.  Lots and lots of Kleenex! Because it really is a wonderful, yet terrible, horrible, no good, very bad life. 

Especially when your high school has the best marching band in the state.  

A band so good that it plays in the Macy's Day Parade and at presidential inaugurations. 

A band so good that it participates in university competitions in other states and wins first place. 
But then on the way home from the competition one of the bus drivers passes out. 

So one of the band directors stands up, leaps forward and grabs the wheel in an effort to protect the kids she loves so much--the kids she is so proud of, who have worked so hard to win first place.  

She saves them all.  

What a wonderful life!  

Because of her they will all wake up tomorrow and the next day and the next.  

They will continue to win competitions and march in parades.  

They will get married and have children who will win competitions and march in parades.

But first they will need lots and lots of kleenex.  

Because their band director will no longer be there to teach them.  

She made a choice.  To try.  To reach out.  And save her students. 

She took a risk.  And it paid off.  

But not for her.

What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad life. 

Remember a few weeks ago when I accidentally saw the prophet at a funeral?  He said something I'll never forget.  

He said, "It's better to save a life than to raise the dead."  

How well he knows.

And then he said, "You don't have to do great things to save a life. Small things can be great things." 

Small things . . . like standing up. And reaching out. And taking your turn at the wheel.  

Air hugs to Heather Christensen for taking her turn. 

And air hugs to my thirteen-year-old niece, who was in Heather Christensen's band class and her musical theater group and who is learning the hard way tonight that it takes lots and lots of Kleenex to get through this thing called life.


Kristina P. said...

Is this the band in the Idaho bus crash?

My first thought when I read the story was that I hoped that none of my blog friend's families were hurt or injured in the accident.

April said...

So sorry for your niece. Sometimes the lessons we have to learn are so hard....especially when we are really young when the lesson comes to us.

April said...

BTW...that teacher is a real life HERO!

Paily said...

Two of my dear friends arrived at the accident right after it happened. It truly is tragic. What an amazing woman to give her life for all of those kids. As a former band kid myself my heart goes out to everyone affected by this.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Yes, it was that accident, Kristina P. I am so sad for all those effected. YES, April, she is a hero.

My sister said she exchanged several emails with her on Friday. That seems surreal. She said she is the sweetest, kindest, bested teacher.

I guess I should have written "was" but I"m not going to correct that.

Paily, that would be so sad to witness something like that. I've seen an accident that still haunts me.

Gloria (The Mamafamilias) said...

How tragic. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to all involved. What a brave, loving teacher.

I am LoW said...

Oh wow. Amazing.

Jami said...

What an amazingly brave and wonderful choice she made. There are so many hard things to experience in life. I'm so glad she saved all those people so they can experience them. I'm so sorry they have to experience them.

Annette Lyon said...

My 12-yr-old had her as a teacher last year too. Since a huge portion of our ward is involved in the band, I knew it would be a huge topic at church, so I made sure to tell her myself when she woke up.

I thought she took it pretty well but found her a few minutes later in the living room with red, puffy eyes. It's tough all around. I don't know yet if any of the kids in our ward were injured--I just know that one for sure was in the other bus.

My heart aches for everyone involved.

Kritta22 said...

What a superhero! There are some wings floating around today! hugs!

Lisa said...

Your post today touched my heart, Crash. Bittersweet.

Monica said...

My friends son was on the bus behind the one that crashed. He's a drummer in the marching band. There's a lot of kleenex being used today.

Air hugs and big kisses to your niece, that's a hard lesson to learn.

Melanie J said...

This is so sad, but how amazing that the last thing that woman did in her life is to teach those kids a lesson that they will never forget and that will change them for the better.

T said...

"hero" just doesn't seem to cover it - love the tribute! Following this story in the news just hasn't given us a clear enough view.

Dolly said...

Wow. Just wow.

SO said...

Kleenex and hugs. Two very important things we need to get through life. A boy in our ward is in that band although we live in the next town over. Thankfully he was safe. He bore a very powerful testimony today.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I like staying naive... where my life is good and nobody goes anywhere and everything is always happy and we laugh in the face of danger and passing out bus drivers because everything always turns out okay.

But life's isn't like that... and life is a bunch of Kleenex's sometimes and you learn lessons and grow from them and you realize that normal people are actually super hero's but they aren't invincible. Life is fragile.


Rachel Sue said...

I heard about this, this morning. So sad. And really, what an amazing woman.

Jared said...

I actually heard about while listending to KSL on the internet. Such a sad story and sure makes you think twice about ever letting you kid go on a field trip. Sheesh, something else to lay awake worrying about. What a wonderful lady. What lucky families to have her willing to sacrifice to save thier children. Teachers like that don't grow on trees.

IWA (e - va) said...

aww so sad...What an amazing teacher!

I like that quote... and guess what? The prophet is coming again next month... so excited!

Mariko said...

I'm confused.

She was fired for saving the bus? Or killed? Both seem bad.

I guess I need to google this story. I feel like a dummy for not understanding.

Barbaloot said...

Oh wow-what a tragic story! And what an amzing woman to save those children. I hope they all will remember her and the sacrifice she made.

The Garden of Egan said...

Air hugs to all! It has been a very sad time indeed. It was good to know a little of the personal touch of this very sad story.