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We’ll follow Father Jonathan Morris’ lead.
BY John Lilly
We’ll follow Father
Jonathan Morris’ lead.
As the Register takes a summer break (we publish again in two weeks
instead of one) we’ll make the Fox News commentator’s powerful words our guest
editorial. The Legionary priest wrote
what follows July 13 on his Fox News blog.
Today I will lay aside,
reluctantly, commenting on Tuesday’s rush-hour massacre of more than 200
civilians in India.
I will delay a worthwhile discussion of the present mayhem in the Middle East. I will let others make sense of Bob Novak’s
revelations about Karl Rove and Ambassador Wilson. I will postpone a
conversation about Russia
and China’s counterproposal
for a resolution against North
Instead I will tell you a true
story of a beautiful couple — college friends of mine — who this week suffered
the greatest trial imaginable, the death of their 5-year-old son, crushed under
the wheels of a car they themselves were driving.
The family’s five other children
witnessed the heartbreaking event.
Under almost any other
circumstance I would keep this private. But that’s not the way the family would
want it. They have lived with and for others, as the overflow crowd at Monday’s
That’s where Joshua’s mother,
Regina Doman [an author and former Register
correspondent], stood in front of the congregation with head held high. It was
the unassuming strength that comes from true humility. She started out like
this, word for word.
“Every parent’s worst nightmare is
to lose a child. When you become a parent, when your child is born, you sit
there with this tiny, vulnerable infant in your hand and the fragility of life
overwhelms you. From that moment on, in every waking moment, you are vulnerable
because you care so deeply, so very much about this little life intrinsically
connected to your own. Every danger or hurt you encounter yourself is magnified
because you see it on some conscious level as a threat to that little being who
smiles up at you.”
That’s how much she loved Joshua.
This is how much she hurts now.
“What happened to Joshua was,
literally, my worst nightmare. The one trial that I prayed that God would spare
me from was hitting someone’s child with my car. God, in his strange and
mysterious mercy, has not chosen to spare me that trial. Pray for me.”
Those were the only words about
her. The rest of the extensive eulogy that followed was about her son. She told
story after story about Joshua’s boyish adventures of swords, battles and being
a warrior, about his delicate spirit, his love for each one of his brothers and
sisters, and even the cute crush he had on the girl next door.
I’ve reflected on the stories Regina told, and in them
I think I’ve found the reason why this suffering mother stands so tall. Her
time and life was all about others. Here are more of her words as she shared
“‘Mom, come and look at my train
track!’ he would yell down the stairs. And I made a personal commitment to
myself that no matter how busy I was, no matter how fantastic the story I was
typing on the computer was, I would always go and look. I am so glad I did.”
the clincher. It seems Joshua was beyond his years in wisdom, and likewise his
mother. She told it like this:
“I remember him asking me about
Jesus’ death: ‘Why did he have to die on the cross? Why did they take his
clothes off? Why did he have blood on him? Did it hurt? Why did the soldiers do
that to him?’ And I would give him the answers over and over again:
“He did it because he loves us. He
did it because he is always with us. He did us to help us because he knew we
would suffer. So that we would know that our God also knows how to suffer. He
is always so close to us, especially when we suffer.”
And then she looked out onto the
“I know Joshua is so close to
Jesus now. And so are all of us, who are suffering without him. Just thinking
about Joshua makes me smile. I am so glad to have known him, so glad and proud
to have been his mom. I will always miss him, and I will never forget him.”
And she concluded:
“I cannot imagine our lives as a
family after this day. But I will go on, and we will go on.”
Regina and Andrew, thank you for showing us this window into your
soul. In life, Joshua was a blessing to you. In his death, he is a blessing to
us, to so many of us. And so are you.