I originally posted this tribute back in November when I heard the news that Sam Carey had passed away. Tonight his Central High School number 52 jersey will be retired in a halftime ceremony of the Central-Memorial game being played at SNHU. So, even though you may have seen this, read this, or shared this just a couple of months ago, I decided to re-post this tribute. For one reason, we only get one life here on earth and what we do with the one chance we get often times is better defined when we are gone. Obviously Sam left a mark on many. Read today’s Union Leader article (attached below) if you haven’t already. Sam was a big guy. His passing left a big void. Big shoes to fill. Remembering him and these things is one way to heal and to pick up where he left off. So, here’s to Sam and the Carey family. I hope the event tonight is a blessing of immeasurable proportion to the entire family.
I sit here with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes, wondering why this bothers me so much tonight. A little more than 24 hours ago, a long time friend of mine let several of her friends know that she had just lost her younger brother Sam. This young man, whom I never knew personally, died as the result of a car accident in New Hampshire yesterday. My friend Tina let me know the news just moments after I had said a prayer for her brother, their family, and all their loved ones. I had just heard he was in the accident, and by the time my prayers were completed he was gone. My heart sank for all of those he left behind.
I read the articles today. I watched the video clips and tributes today. I can’t imagine the feeling the family has endured over the last 24 hours or so. Then I started thinking about my last 24 hours or so. I started thinking about the afternoon into the evening yesterday. It’s hard to comprehend sometimes how much is happening in every second of every day. The gorgeous sky I looked at yesterday afternoon brought a smile to my face and inspiring descriptions to my lips. At that same time, God, the Creator of the beautiful sky, was sharing a part of His plan for this young man, and his family. Maybe that sky was in place as to welcome one of His home. The words I heard today, and the words I read today certainly were a tribute to this man’s life. And just maybe the sky last night, that seemed to stretch as if the horizon wasn’t big enough to contain it, was laid out that way to welcome Sam home.
I have often though that God has a unique way of allowing certain things to happen, or at least to be noticeable to us, at the right time so we can create our own way of coping with events bigger than us. For example, I remember when my grandfather died. He was a great man of God, a preacher, teacher, reciter of the scriptures, he had a Christian book store, he had preached on the radio, and lived his life for God. I remember the morning of his service, the day he was to be buried, a light, pure, white snow fell, just enough to cover everything in a beautiful untouched blanket of white. I remember saying to my parents that God had given the ground a purifying coat of clean for my grandfather’s body to be put to rest one final time. I don’t know what the sky looked like yesterday where Tina was but I know I won’t soon forget that my attention was so-called to the heavens yesterday. During a time when one was fighting for his life. One who was so close to a friend of mine who was some 1500 miles away from the sky I watched in awe.
There’s a plan for all of this. God’s plan. Two words that make many want to turn and run the other way, God’s plan, because it usually means something that us imperfect humans don’t understand, or don’t want to deal with. Whatever the reaction is, it doesn’t change the plan. When I was younger I fought the plan, I am sure I did. I also didn’t always understand how or why things so terrible could happen to people as part of God’s plan. I am certainly not going to pretend to know or understand all these things now either. I do know that almost always, we are a part of a plan that is much bigger than it appears on the surface.
Just look at yesterday. There’s an accident on the highway in NH. Tina’s in Florida. Their family was at various locations. Former coaches, friends, former teachers, and others were carrying on in their daily lives. Then with one bit of news, somehow hundreds, maybe thousands, of people are linked together by one story. The words that describe the man. The thoughts that pierce reality. The news that shatters tranquility here on earth for many is the same news that confirms Sam’s arrival into eternal happiness. The effects that ripple through the conscious thoughts of all who knew him or his family. The outpouring of kindness, support, love, and concern. The mental images of a young son with no dad, and a fiance who was waiting for her man. It’s all part of the plan. God’s plan.
Time will tell how the plan unfolds. Even though it’s God’s plan, we are to be present and participating in His plan. I am in no way trying to down play any of this; this is a serious matter. There’s a message in most everything and I am willing to bet there’s even more of a wonderful message here as well. Think of the things you have heard, the things you have read, the things you have seen yourself, the life you may have been a part of first hand, all those things are a message of Sam’s life. Often times through the most unthinkable loss or sacrifice comes the greatest gift or the most amazing victory.
Please don’t think that this is over when the news stops running or the stories stop circulating. You and I may be a part of the plan. Anyone of us could be instrumental. Our words, our actions, just might be the right thing at the right time for the one who needs that spoken word or the example they were looking for. Really it’s always supposed to be that way. We are human, and our best moments aren’t all of our moments. Yet the more we think our moments are our best, the more they will be. And the moment we decide that we need to be our best might just be the moment that God’s plan includes us to be the message for someone needing to see that something that helps them cope and overcome.
My thoughts and prayers are with Sam and Tina’s family, friends, and loved ones. It’s a tough time for them all. As beautiful as New Hampshire is, Sam’s in a place of beauty right now that none of us can comprehend. Have faith, know and trust that it’s God’s plan.