Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Reflection - On the Loss of a Child

Just four months ago I wrote about an eight-year-old boy, Tumaini, who was hit and killed by a car and how his death pulled the community together.

This week, shortly after noon on Wednesday, in front of dozens of shoppers, witnesses say a driver struck and killed eight-year-old Richard Alexander Colon, after hitting him twice and then the driver tried to take off.

On the first day of every month, Antonio Colon took his two grandsons on a "field trip". The outing was not extravagant, just lunch at McDonald's where the family could enjoy each others company. Richard was holding his grandfather's hand when, for unknown reasons, the motorist accelerated in reverse, and the out of control car hit the young boy.

A witness stated "There was a lot of blood, a lot of blood.'

The family said that he looked forward to was the monthly get-together with his grandfather. They called it their field trip. The grandfather had gone over to Tops with Richie to pick up a few things and then get his brother Victor, and they were going to go to McDonald's for lunch. It was their time for bonding.

A memorial outside the store, overflowing with flowers has attracted a steady flow of neighborhood residents who came to the scene to pay their respects.

In the supermarket, which is just one block from my home, workers were accepting donations to assist the Colon family with funeral expenses, as were workers at the M&T Bank branch there. Teachers at Frank A. Sedita Academy also were taking up a collection to help the family.

I drove past the funeral home when the wake was being held. There were hundreds of people in the parking lot and I felt glad to know that Buffalo is the kind of city where people come together in times of tragedy. Everyone wants to help in some kind of way.

In addition to his father and 12-year-old brother Victor II, Richard is survived by his mother, Yeli Colon, and another brother, Jose Cruz Jackson, 18


There's nothing quite so agonizing as the death of a child. It is ironic that every day of the week, many of us walk out our door and never look back, figuring everything is forever, including our children. Often we are too busy to realize that the most precious things we have also can be the most fleeting.

I have had the experience of losing more than one child and was often filled with questions.

I can tell you that the memories never go away but somehow the pain does reduce itself to a dull ache in the deepest corners of the heart. They are still there in our memories, imprinted alive and fresh with us forever. Their memories are as fresh as the dew, as warm as the first ray of sunlight and as calm as the peacefulness of a cold winter night.

Bible quotes have always been a source of strength and guiding light for me. In times of despair and sorrow, we can turn towards it for peace, wisdom, endurance and courage to face the truth. I personally have found the following passages from the Bible to be of some comfort.


"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." ~ John 14:1-4

Jesus said "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them." ~ Mark 10:13-16

Ecclesiastes 3:2, a time to be born and a time to die.

Matthew 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."


I pray for Richard’s family, and I give a prayer of gratitude for my own life and my family for all of the gifts that we are given unconditionally by a power higher than us.

I also pray for the driver of the car and his family that they will somehow find peace of mind. He states that he experienced a medical problem at the time of the accident.

I share this with you as a reminder that most of us really have very little to complain about and we sometimes forget to take note of the goodness in our lives. The next time that you are feeling low in spirits try counting your blessings.


1 comment:

Ashanta said...

Thank you, Aunt Lesley.