I am writing today with a heavy heart.
I’m sure many of you have followed the story of the missing hikers on Mt. Hood. Whenever a tragedy like this occurs I am always saddened, and wonder why this loss of life had to happen.
This particular incident has hit a little close to home, quite literally. While I do not personally know any of the three who tragically passed this week, I know many people who do. Anthony Vietti was residing in Longview, WA, the city in which I grew up. He attended the same church where many people I’ve known my whole life attend, including my parents. My parents, and several other people I know, participated in youth work with him. While I never had the opportunity to meet him, my heart is broken for the people who are mourning this loss.
As a believer and follower of Christ, we can have peace knowing that our loved one is home with Him. Unfortunately, this doesn’t take away the pain of our loss. And it doesn’t stop us from deeply missing that person, while we wait to meet them once again. There are so many people who are hurting right now. But there are even more people who are praying for all of you, praying that the peace will soon be bigger than the pain.
I had never heard the names of these three people until last Saturday morning. The world quickly discovered that we have all lost three phenomenal people.
About 20-25 people from Anthony’s church gathered on Monday night to pray for him and support one another. Much of this time, I was told, was spent talking about what an amazing and good person Anthony is. During this time of sharing stories and warm memories, the people who were there started asking each other if anyone had ever told him.
Too often we are blessed to have someone touch us deeply, but we don’t take the moment to tell them. So today in honor of the three phenomenal people who were lost, I would like to tell three people in my life how wonderful I think they are.
I am so fortunate that my life is filled with people who amaze me every day. I have three people who subscribe to my blog (therefor subjecting themselves to my nonsense on a near daily basis), and since I know they will be reading this I am going to use this opportunity to say what they mean to me.
Peggy R.- you are a daily example to me of a mother’s heart. No matter the time, the distance, or the situation, you are there for your children in any way they need you. You truly shine with a mother’s love. You are a phenomenal person.
Kelly, my husband- you are an amazing father. I wish the world could watch you when you’re being a dad. That is what I know you were born to do, and if the world had more dads like you it would be a better place. You are a phenomenal person.
Mom- You are a constant source of undying support to me. Whether it’s helping me stay sane as I try to figure out this mom thing, telling me how much you’ve laughed and encouraging me to keep writing, or simply pausing 100 times a day when I call you at work, you always provide me with the support I need. You are a phenomenal person, and I am so sorry for your loss.
Whether you knew the three hikers or not, if you heard anything about them I’m sure you agree that they were amazing people, and the world will be a little darker without them. However, that just means we need to shine brighter. I hope that you will take a moment and do so.
In honor of Anthony Vietti, Katie Nolan, and Luke Gullberg, I would like to challenge you to lift up three phenomenal people in your life.
I mourn the loss of these three for now, and await the day when I can meet them and tell them how they touched me, and people throughout the world.