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It could have been any of our children

January 17, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

"I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses." - Isiah 63:7

The lives of six teenagers and their families changed forever Sunday morning.

Six students at Indian Creek High School will live life differently now, as will their families.

They all have a new normal and those new normals are drastically different.

Plain and simple, they need prayers.

Constant prayers.

There are a few phone calls parents never want to get and this one is right there - a car accident.

Teenagers, please understand, all of our questions about where you are going and who's going and when you'll be back are not just so we can know every detail of our lives.

As much as we really want to know every detail of your lives, we worry about you.

We understand that being extremely careful and mindful of everything else also means accidents can happen.

We want that phone call if you will be five minutes late.

We want you to understand that life can change at any moment.

And, unfortunately, it did here.

We want you to understand as much as we trust you, there are also others who do not always pay attention to what's going on. We worry about them, too.

There will also be new normals for the friends of the students.

There will also be new normals for Indian Creek coaches, and other coaches throughout the valley.

Something like this affects a lot of people and word travels fast - especially with our world of Twitter, Facebook and texts.

Monday night a candlelight vigil was held at Belleview Park and hundreds of people came - young and old.

I was impressed.

A whole bunch of heart was displayed.

Heart and prayer.

I hope those teenagers in attendance understand that this could have been any one of them.

Any one of them.

There were lettermen's jackets from various schools.

Parents were there with their teenage children and with the ones just learning how to walk.

Band members were there.

Fathers, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers, friends, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers were there.

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." - Philippians 4:13

I hope all in attendance, all reading this and all in the electronic media world fully understand that those students could have been my children or your children.

This is not exclusively an Indian Creek thing.

This is not a rivalry thing.

This is an "us" thing.

This is a community thing.

This is a prayer thing.

This is a "what can I do for you" thing.

This is when we hold these students and their families up to God and ask him for patience, kindness, grace and healing, with healing being different for each student.

"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." - Matthew 19:26

We praise God through the good and bad, as hard as that seems in times like this.

Why did this happen? We will never know.

I do know, though, that life goes on and we all need to help each other, with God's help, to get through times like this.

School will be in session, homework and tests will be given and athletics will continue.

Still, we must never forget that day - when we heard about it and how we felt about it.

We must also pray for the first-responders and what they did to help the situation, in addition to the doctors and nurses who dealt with and are dealing with the situation in their varying degrees.

A lot of people get involved when something like this happens.

I know I talked to our Jefferson County Christian School girls basketball team Monday morning about the accident, it's far-reaching effects and how lives are changed.

I know my life has changed and I was not involved in any way with the accident.

As Jim Huggins said, "It's a long road back, let's make sure we travel it with them."

"This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord." - Psalm 102:18

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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