It was the nightly news and she wore a large summer hat and a smile on her face while she sat in a golf cart and talked to the cameras, but there was pain too, we all know that, because her husband was murdered last summer.
And while the wheels of justice turn slowly to bring her husband’s accused murderers to trial, Sharlene Bosma, on last night’s local news, showed that, no, she is not alone, that her husband Tim isn’t the only man – not the only son, the only father (the only mother or daughter or wife for that matter) — to be taken from this world and from loved ones in such a surreal and horrific fashion.
There are others and they are suffering and they need to talk and gather even on a Hamilton golf course in the sunshine to heal and show there is courage to be shared.
It was good for my children to watch, to ask questions, to know that bad things happen, but there are courageous ways to respond to things so hard, even as hard as this week’s murder of the three brave RCMP officers who sacrificed their lives in Moncton, leaving behind more loved ones and more questions, not the least of which is simply why?
Why this? Why to me? Why now? A father of a toddler? With another child on the way?
The children also had questions about this story — “So how exactly did they sacrifice their lives?” — and we, Mom and Dad, gave some answers, imperfect as they always are in moments like this.
Then to Normandy for the 70th anniversary of what was courage and sacrifice on a scale as large as any, when more than 100,000 men crossed an ocean only to, for some, meet death before even getting two steps off the boat.
Finally, to bring it all home, back to Hamilton, a story on the Lancaster bomber. More sacrifice.
And there we laid in front of a TV in the comfort of a local hotel, an overnight treat wrapped into a speaking engagement that My Bride had, part of McMcaster University’s Bethune lecture series.
Then we said our nightly prayers and we prayed especially for Liz, our oldest, as this very day, June 6, was her 11th birthday. We prayed in thanks for her life and all she means to us, before we prayed for what we had just seen.
And the lights went out to what was a strange feeling. Joy for this day of life in our own family … and yet.
Because this is the nature of it, of life. There is so much wrapped into the stories of common people to our right and to our left and right in front of us.
Most of us will never know if we will be called to face some sort of sudden or magnificent loss on the level of the nightly news, or if we might have to make some sort of great sacrifice to protect the life of someone we may not even know. Many of of us find taking the garbage out every week can be sacrifice enough, thank you very much.
But maybe what makes us most uncomfortable about sacrifice is not that we ourselves may be called to it in some unknown time or place, but that when another human being does lay down his, or her, life for us, we are faced with the sudden realization that our own life is no longer our own.
We know it’s been bought and with a great price. We know that there is something larger and more meaningful than our own interests on any given day. We know that we’re somehow accountable to live in a new way, a way that is more like him.
This is the power of sacrifice.