Tragic accident should serve as wake up call to us all

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 15, 2008

Wednesday at the regular weekly meeting at the St. John Correctional Center, I started it by holding up the L’Observateur that came out earlier that day.  The headlines read: Boat Wreck Kills Five.  There were pictures of the victims – Chance Millet, Josh McNulty, Stanley Borne Jr., Ken Horzelski and Patrick McTopy Jr.  A sixth young man, Brandon Charles Prudhomme, is hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

One young man in the group seemed a little angry that God would allow something like that to happen.  He then added, “They didn’t deserve to die.”  I responded with, “Jesus didn’t deserve to die, either.”  

I wasn’t making light of the fact that in an instant, five young lives came to an end and family lives changed, never to be the same.  Relatives, friends, and a community were shocked and thinking only of the grieving families.  I knew all but one of the families involved.

I attended each wake as a sign of my support to the loved ones left behind, wishing I could say something that would ease the pain, knowing nothing would.  Do I understand why it happened?  No.  Do we have to accept what happened?  We have no choice.

The Bible says that it is appointed for each of us to be born and also a time for us to die.  Life is but a vapor – here one minute and gone the next.  

To the immediate families of Chance, Josh, Stanley, Ken and Patrick: I realize that no words, no matter how deeply felt, will help much right now.  Be assured that my wife and I grieve with you and pray that God will give you a peace that only He can give.

To the Prudhomme family: We pray that Brandon will continue to improve and fully recover.

To all the people who have supported the families: I encourage you to continue with your prayers.  The grieving period is when we are needed the most.

To all of us: Maybe it’s a wake-up call for us to take a personal inventory of ourselves and remember that each day is a gift from God, allowing us to correct our faults and giving us an opportunity to show more love for the people around us.

If you have any question, or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call (985) 652-8477, or e-mail: