Monday, August 03, 2009
An Hour for Mourning: Maggie Lee Henson, 1996-2009
Maggie Lee Henson, 1996 - 2009
I wanted to take an off-topic moment to convey here my sorrowful condolences to my brother John and his family: My niece Maggie Lee Henson was pronounced dead last night at 6:30 p.m., three weeks after a terrible bus accident that also claimed the life of another boy from their church, First Baptist in Shereveport, LA (where John is an assistant pastor). Maggie was 12 years old, just about to enter the 7th grade, and was a beautiful, happy, vivacious child before Fate cruelly snatched her away.
I also wanted to thank the many readers and friends who've expressed sympathy and asked for updates on Maggie's condition. To be honest, I've been a bit of an emotional wreck over this episode so if you're one of the folks to whom I didn't respond promptly, please accept my apology.
The end of Maggie's short, beloved life came after a church bus flipped and landed on top of her in an accident three weeks ago on I-20 in Mississippi. An Alabama National Guard unit happened to be following along behind the bus when it blew a tire and rolled three times, throwing many of the kids including her out of the vehicle. Maggie and another child were trapped under the bus and soldiers literally had to lift the massive vehicle off of her, after which she was airlifted to Jackson where she's been since then. Yesterday, after three agonizing weeks, the doctors finally peeled back the last of the drugs keeping her in a medically induced coma (one of which, my brother astonishedly noted, is actually used in the lethal injection cocktail) and determined that there was there was no independent brain function.
The Apostle Paul admonished us to "pray without ceasing," but I don't think I ever really understood what that meant before this happened. I wept after hearing this news as I have over and over these last three weeks, but that's nothing compared to the agony endured by my poor brother, his wife Jinny, and their son Jack (who will enter the 5th grade in a couple of weeks). I cannot imagine what they've gone through, or what they will go through. Though it's a cliche' to say so, it's just not natural. Parents aren't meant to bury their children; it's supposed to work the other way around.
Posted by Gritsforbreakfast at 8:11 AM