Thursday, April 2, 2009

Photostory Friday: Randomness

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Randomness. 

Or, I can't think of anything to write, so  I'm winging it. 

Do you ever think about how random our lives are, and how significant that can be? One choice, one event changes everything. 

In Wyoming, along the old Pioneer trail, there is a point called the Parting of the Ways (I wish I had a picture of it, it would make a great Photostory). This is the point where the trails West diverge -- you can still see it to this day. The trail branches, with one path heading slightly north, the other slightly south. For miles and miles they run in sight of each other, but their eventual destinations are hundreds of miles apart -- one ends in Oregon, the other in California. 

I often think about one particular random (and tragic) event, that literally changed the course of my life. In 1975, when I was about two and a half, my brother Scott, who was almost eight, was being chased by some older boys while riding his bike, and was struck and killed by a car. A tragedy, no doubt. But...

My parents received a death benefit of $8,000, which amount gave them the opportunity to buy a house in Sandy, Utah. At the time they had no real prospects - or plans -- to buy a house anywhere. Moving to Sandy, I met Aaron, my best friend of now thirty three years. Eventually, Aaron introduced me to my wife. 

My wife, my kids, my home, my life all moved in one direction by a seemingly random event.  

Randomness or fate?

So in the spirit of randomness, I selected, at random, a picture from my files to tell you about. 



And boy did I luck out -- the pictures to either side of this are a half dead flower and a rather unflattering self portrait. 

This is a Healing Field. 

Healing Fields take place all over the country now, but this was the first. They were begun by a flag company here in Salt Lake City, as a tribute to the fallen heroes and victims of September 11, 2001. There is a field full of flags -- one for each person who lost their life on that terrible day. It is an awesome and overwhelming experience to stand quietly, in the midst of nearly three thousand American Flags. 

It makes you think about the randomness of life, actually.

How quickly life can change. 

How far reaching and profound one event can be.

32 comments:

Cecily R said...

I love LOVE the pic...but I gotta admit, I sort of feel cheated out of the story part...:)

Tabitha in Bliss said...

I would love to visit that field. I pray everyone is feeling fine in your home. :)

sunshinesls said...

I too am in awe of the way life can be changed in a second by events....

Mom24 said...

My first boyfriend and I had been broken up for a couple of months when my brother was killed. I was 15, I wanted to get away for a bit, I called my boyfriend. We got back together...pure sympathy at first, I'm sure. Still, we've been married 25 years now. Random event that killed my brother, but I've always wondered about that call to my boyfriend...randomness or fate?

Izzy 'N Emmy said...

A beautiful tale of how your life all fell into place. And as far as I can tell, everything and everyone is right where they should be.

Love the photo too. I've never actually seen one of these fields but your picture dis wonderful.

Sneaky Momma said...

My husband just posted about how we might have never met if he hadn't have changed career paths to become a teacher.
I tend to lean toward the fate side of things. :)
I love the picture of the healing field. Breathtaking.
I also like your header photo. Yum!

scrappysue said...

definitely fate, which to me, is an entire series of coincidences happening in a predestined order

Kellan said...

So strange that my post today would be titled "Everything Happens For A Reason" and then your post so closely associated along this same theme. Life is a series of random choices and I believe everything happens for a reason. Loved the flag photo - gave me chills.

See you next week *wink*.

Kellan

Cheryl Lage said...

How far reaching and profound a single post can be. Wow. Glad to have found your blog. Will absolutely be back.

Thanks for coming by mine (and for 'fessing up to remembering Mummenschanz! ;)

Cecily R said...

Okay. I feel better...in fact I feel A LOT better. The story part of your post was certainly worth the wait.

The way I see it, if life wasn't random there would be no art. And with no art there would be no stories to tell. And with no stories to tell there would be no life.

Woah. I need to get more sleep... the obnoxious side of me is taking over again.

Sharon said...

It is amazing where life can lead us. I love the picture!

Shannon Strong said...

This is so beautifully written. I love how the story has a parallel that comes full circle at the end again...it is profound. I love the photo of the field with the flags-it's just beautiful. Great great post Chris.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Very touching and near brought tears to my eyes.

Kelly Deneen said...

I am so sorry that you and your family suffered such a terrible loss. It is amazing to think about how each point in our lives do change our paths though. hmmmm.

I love the picture as well - I would love to see that somewhere.

Bren said...

That is a beautiful shot...and there was a bit of a story in there. I say it was fate disguised as something random! Definitely fate!

Kat said...

I love this post because I don't really believe in random. I think everything happens for a reason.

As I was leaving the parking lot after picking my boys up from school I was getting SO FRUSTRATED that I was stuck behind someone who would NOT pull out of the parking lot even though there were no cars coming. And when they finally did drive out they were going two miles an hour. BAH! We got to the stoplight a block away and the light just turned green. And the car in front of me just sat there! WTH?? I was just about to politely (this is someone from my boys' school afterall, must be polite) when a speeding car went right through it's red light. Had the car in front of me not been such a slow poke I would have been smashed (or maybe the car behind me) by the speeding car.
Yep. Everything happens for a reason!

Pam Emmons said...

You can tell a story, even when aren't trying to.

Kacey R. said...

I thought you didn' have anything to write about? You always have a great post even when you don't think you have anything to say! I love the picture and can only imagine the intensity of standing in that field. The randomness or fate of things is something I ponder quite a bit. It baffles me that one decision - no matter the size - can be life altering.

Michelle said...

Your words gave me the chills. I think about things like this all of the time.

kaye said...

I've seen one of these (in SLC) it's so impressive!

Emily said...

My vote is fate...great psf

Momisodes said...

Good grief, that was winging it?

I have goosebumps just looking at your photo of all the flags. I can only imagine the gravity of it all in person. It is incredible how life can change in a blink of an eye.

Robyn said...

A thought provoking post. I always wonder if somethings happen for a reason.

Alex the Girl said...

Well, all the good comments are taken. I guess this is what happens when a person comes late to post. Although I would have loved seeing a picture of the pioneer trail, this was an inspiring photo, and connects with your post as well.

Mary said...

Beautiful. Thank you.

Homeschool Hiccups said...

It always amazes me how such tragic events can lead to such beautiful things.

Love the photo of you and your son. (first time to your blog)

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

that photo would make an awesome header!

AVT Coach said...

Hey Chris, You are everywhere I am finding out. See you on FB. I loved this post. I think what seems at first randomness later becomes at least connectedness. We just cannot be aware of it in a single experience, we have to look back and see the way things work out. Of course, one way we could identify each experience is by faith. I guess I'm too deep for a PSF but I have been thinking of this very thing recently in my life. Now I do not believe the death of a child is meant to be, but I do believe in the open hearts and the gifts that occur in the midst of it.

Krystyn said...

Life is very random, you are right. And, as I heard my hubby say the other day "The more I believe in God, the less I believe in coincidences!"

Melissa said...

WOW, all parts of this post are incredibly moving!!!
First off, I'm sorry to hear about your brother... very sad!!
AND, that picture....and the meaning behing it are beautiful!!!
Deifinitely thought provoking!!

Straight to Your Hart said...

Randomness with a purpose...love it and the photo!

How is your wife?

Is this field down in Sandy? If not they have one down there..I read a quote the other day....

We are all mortal...Seems so vague yet when I thought about it...like the author also stated...we ARE ALL equal. There is no fairness in death for we all will face it regardless of who, what , where, when and why..

Those flags represent fairness, not victims to eternity...but the Lords will..again we are all on His time...I can only hope my time is fair to the Lord..

Christine said...

So sorry to hear about your brother....I'm sure that was really difficult for your entire family. It is amazing how all of our lives are entwined.....how we are led to what we need and how our lives can be changed in only a matter of moments at times. Sunshine can come from the darkest day.