As an auctioneer, I call all sorts of auctions & raise money for all kinds of different causes. One thing I've learned in my walk with God is that EVERYTHING has a purpose &, if we make the right choices, we will SHARE in that purpose & SHARE it with others...many times, unintentionally.
I met Tanner's Mom Stacy last year when she called me & asked me to be the auctioneer for last year's benefit. I didn't know Tanner or his Mom & I really didn't know what had happened. When I had a chance to ask Stacy I did &, as a Mom, my heart twisted up & I naturally started wondering if my babies were OKAY, right where they were.
One thing I am CERTAIN none of us will be able to comprehend is TRAGEDY. Why? WHY? Why do sweet young babies have to battle through cancer? Why can the mass disappear & then come back? Why is one kid in a car accident & lives & WHY does another die? Why was she in the house when it exploded because of a gas leak? Why did that horse spook & cause my baby to get hurt so bad? What happened on that tractor...helicopter...motorcyle? We may never know...surely not in this life...
One thing I can tell you about Tanner (even though I never had the pleasure of meeting him) is that HIS LIGHT SHINED SO BRIGHTLY in his time here on Earth. I am almost certain that is what adds to Stacy's light. I had a lady that lost her husband in tragedy tell me: "If it wasn't for this business, I would go in my bedroom, cover my head with a sheet, & just stay there." So what makes a MOM move forward? What makes living OK, when your baby isn't?
Stacy has never told me her answer, BUT I think it would have a little something to do with this. Even though Tanner isn't PHYSICALLY here anymore...all the love & memories & hugs & kisses & smells & hunting stories & fishing stories & football stories.....THEY DON'T GO AWAY. They don't LEAVE this world. KNOW...that God could take them away, if he wanted. Tanner's light SHINES ON through us. We all NEED each other. We help others....strangers...and we don't even know it. WE ALL want to TRANSCEND. We are in the trenches right now & sometimes it is gut-wrenching, but we have to CONTINUE to shine light in the darkness. God-willing we will all be where Tanner is one day, but that sure doesn't make the pain go away.
I read something in a book yesterday that said: "If you don't exercise your muscles, they weaken and atrophy. In the same way, if you don't utilize the abilities and skills God has given you, you will lose them." - Pastor Rick Warren
How does this apply? Tanner's family & friends have the abilities & skills to continue LETTING his light shine. They had a choice...to keep it for themselves OR to share it with others. When you bless people, you will also be blessed...& sometimes those blessings help to COPE with the pain. I PRAY that you are able to come out to this event to WITNESS the STRENGTH, SUPPORT, TENACITY, & LOVE of this group of people.
The money that is raised at this event has provided scholarships to help other young people move towards their goals & dreams. It has also been put right back into the community for NUMEROUS causes & has helped other families of tragedies. Stacy's dream would be able to provide a full-ride to a student one day, be able to work together with other families of tragedy, & continue to contribute to the success of other local causes.
Like I said...Tanner's light is a BRIGHT one. It was AWESOME to see so many young people come out...& not just show up, BUT BID & contribute to the cause. You really don't see that much & just goes to show how his light is still shining in them.
We truly have NO IDEA what the next moment holds, so LOVE your people & love them deep. FORGIVE quickly & do your best. BE READY & EAGER to help the next person, because you might just be in their shoes tomorrow.
BUCK UP BABY! Come out & help Tanner's light SHINE ON!! God Bless!
Heather Schoenst Kaspar