Friday, June 29th I received a call indicating that one of our leaders at American Heritage Girls was killed in a car accident. Amanda Rouse was one of our Tenderheart badge trackers and one of those moms who was ready and willing to help whenever she was needed. In addition to serving as badge tracker, she was also working as our PR person - spreading the news of AHG to whoever would listen. We also were blessed to have Amanda working on a fall fundraiser. SIGH...Amanda was a jewel to our program.
Amanda was a jewel to her 7 year old daughter as well.
Amanda would have been just as precious to her unborn daughter Sophie - just 4 weeks till Sophie's delivery. However, sweet Sophie did not survive either.
Of course I know that people die. It is the circle of life. THIS however is not something that you expect. A momma leaving her daughter, her husband and losing her baby at just 34 years old is not what we expect. It makes you begin to question your own mortality - honestly, I've never done that. I've never pictured leaving my family and certainly not leaving my husband a widower. I'm sure Amanda never did either.
A couple things I want to leave with you...
1) Don't take anyone for granted. If someone is making an impact in your life, in the lives of your children, in the life of a ministry...tell them. Tell them you are happy to see their smile each week at church. There were a lot of people who were touched by Amanda. On Thursday, the day of her visitation, 1,000 people walked through the funeral home. She was important, but did she know that?
2) Take as many opportunities to have your picture taken with you children as you can. So often the moms are the ones taking the photos and we are not in them. Amanda left behind a 7 year old daughter. How many memories do you have from when you were 7? I have very few. Her sweet daughter will probably have very few, if any, memories of her mom. At AHG camp, just 5 weeks before the car accident, two of our Pioneer girls wanted to take pictures of all of the moms and their daughters together. I'm so glad they recognized this need. Since they were being so thoughtful, we have this picture of Amanda and her daughter.
To honor Ms. Amanda some of the girls from our troop were able to do a flag ceremony of sorts for her. They posted the United States flag and the AHG flag on either end of her casket. It was sweet that they were willing to do it for her and her daughter. At the end of the funeral (which was so packed the could not fit everyone in the room), as we walked by her casket the last time, we saw her daughter sitting in the front row crying. It warmed my heart when Sweet Baby walked over and hugged her.
So, remember to tell people that they matter. We take things for granted so easily. Remember to tell that special person that they are important and there would be a hole in your life if they were gone.