Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Standard Examiner article (July 3) Howard family- There is no struggle to forgive

Howard family- There is no struggle to forgive

By Di Lewis

Standard-Examiner staffdlewis@standard.net

HUNTSVILLE — Friends, church members and residents have rallied around the Howard family as they mourn the loss of three family members.
Despite having been in the area for only a year, the Howards have been touched by the response they've received following the death of Janine Howard, 39, and two of her children, Mathew, 11, and Esther, 8.
The response from the community in Huntsville has been amazing, said Ashley Stolworthy, family spokeswoman.
Janine Howard and Mathew were killed June 28 in a car accident on U.S. Highway 89 while on their way to visit family. Esther died the next day from injuries received in the crash.
A funeral is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Middleton Ward Chapel in Huntsville at 277 South 7400 East in Huntsville.
An informal gathering also is planned for Friday. However, the time and location as yet are not finalized.
Quinn Howard, brother to Ben Howard, 40, the father of the family, said his sister-in-law, niece and nephew were happy people and part of a loving family.
"Esther is just the cutest little girl. We sometimes called her Baby Bear," Quinn Howard said. "She was full of hugs and smiles. She just had no comprehension of bad in the world — she thought everything was good."
In a statement June 29, read by Ben's sister, Nellene Howard, the family announced Esther had died but was being kept on life support to "give the gift of life" through organ donation. She was taken off life support on June 30. The family has no ill will toward the 25-year-old Ogden man driving the truck that hit Janine Howard's car.
"There's no struggle (to forgive)," Quinn Howard said. "From what we understand, this individual wasn't under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He seems to be a good kid. It's just an accident. That's the way the whole family's looked at it, and there's zero animosity."
Spending time together was a priority for the family, Quinn Howard said. Janine and Ben Howard enjoyed family vacations and would also plan such activities as camping trips to have individual time with each child.
Trying to deal with the loss of his wife and two children is a "day-to-day struggle" for Ben Howard, his brother said.
"Sometimes it's great and he has good perspective and other times, the reality of what's ahead and the challenges facing him overwhelm him," Quinn Howard said.
Janine Howard homeschooled her children for the first few years of school "to bring them up the way she wanted to," Quinn Howard said. She loved crafts and was a talented seamstress, he said. She and Ben Howard were married for about 15 years.
Mathew Howard was getting involved in soccer and was "growing up fast," Quinn Howard said.
Rachel Howard, 13, is in fair condition at Primary Children's Hospital and Sunday took her first steps after the accident.
Caleb Howard, 7, remains in intensive care in critical condition at Primary Children's Hospital. Rachel Howard's LDS Church Young Women's group visited her in the hospital Sunday. Also on Sunday, about 50 members of the church showed up at the Howards' home to help around the house. They also tied ribbons to the trees at their home.
"Ben was really touched," Stolworthy said. "That meant a lot to him."
Ben Howard is self-employed and the family is not covered by medical insurance. Those who want to make a donation to help with medical costs can donate to the Howard Family Relief Fund by contacting Washington Mutual Bank.
For updates on the family, visit www.benhowardfamily.blogspot.com.


Anonymous said...

Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Britt Weaver & family (CHOICES)

Anonymous said...


I watched you and Janine at Choices, both when you were sitting in the seats, and later. Your love for one another and others was an inspiration to all, as was your devoted care of all of your children.

We have been remembering all of you in our prayers, and will continue to pray that God will strengthen you as you face a future different from the one you expected.

Just remember that the Lord was not caught by surprise and He still has a plan for your lives, and will make provision for you as you go forward. I wish you were not so far away as I would like to pay my respects in person, but know that our family is with you in spirit. May the God of all peace pour out his great comfort upon you.

In His grip,

Teresa Richmond

Barbara said...

We only know the Howard Family through Ben's parents who were serving as Senior Missionaries in the Santo Domingo West Mission office in the Dominican Republic. We know what wonderful people Ben, Janine, and children would be because Ben's parents are such terrific giving and loving people. We also know how much Hermana and Hermano Howard love their family. All the senior missionaries here are praying for all of the members of the Howard family. Hermana Fallick

Anonymous said...

Ben, I am Gloria Van Zandt, one of your students. When you prayed with and for me you asked that strength be given to me to face my coming struggles with cancer. I am a survivor and I am now saying the same prayer for you. You will have to pull in all your lessons and remember the words you preached to me. It worked for me and it WILL for you and be sure of one thing "Love lasts longer than death".

Emily said...

Dear Ben and Family,

My only connection to your family is through Nellene, as we were roommates in Hawaii. She is amazing and I am certain that she is a tremendous support to you and your family at this time.

I just wanted to offer my support and let you know that my heart goes out to your family at this time. It is such a blessing to know that families are eternal, although knowledge of that truth still does not always take away the natural emotions that comes as part of the grief process.

Please know that I will be praying for you and your family to endure this trial. The Lord will be with you and your family whenever you need Him, whether it's through the Spirit, or through the inspired promptings of friends and family.

Nellene (or anyone else in the family who would like to talk), please feel free to contact me through my blog, and I will do whatever I can to be there for you and support you. I'm working as a psychologist, so maybe I can at least be another resource for you to talk to, if nothing else. Please take care and know that others are thinking of you and praying for you.

With love,
Emily Heaton

rula said...

Dear Ben...i apologize for taking so long to contact you...but i am not a computer whiz..and i have had a bit of a struggle and trying to figure out what to say .... I was there.... i was driving north behind the truck....it seemed like people were getting impatient because of the big gravel trucks slowing the flow...and then boom ..like an explosion...i emediately pulled to the middle and the fire was ragging..i screamed we can't just let it happen..everyone.please stop and lets throw sand..and as we scooped what we could from the shoulder of the road it seemed forever not knowing what might happen next...but the faces of those children is what helped you to keep giong and then two wonderful men came and put the rest out with fire extinguishers....and then we bagan to see what we saw...it was if your sweet wife had lunged across and tried to protect them all...i'll never forget her..she had such peace it seemed..as she seemed like she was sheilding your son behind her....then it was vital to see what could be done to help the ones that seemed to have some movement....the one in the center and the little boy at the back right.....with loving care and careful haste we all seemed to get the two in the back out...and at least get them on the ground...until e.m.t came..one lady who was a e.mt not on calll assesed how careful to pull him out and once he was out she yelled we need a blanket...towel something..and before anyone could run to ther cars to retreve something she took her hands and pulled her own t-shirt over her head and wrapped it around his...your daughter in the front seemed to be coming to so a young girl and myself turned her legs out..got her to put her weight on us and pulled her out to the ground and just as she was really coming to and frustrated the emt put her right on a board and wrapped her to stablize her...I don't know if anyone from the accident has been in touch with you or anyone....but there were so many miracles at that span of time I saw...just as you stated in your talk....my reason to contact you was to let you know of the peace on her face...and his...there was no suffering at all...I knew they were together....my saddness was that when we pulled your little girl from the back seat...her head wound seemed so scary.....and thus.........but her spirit and part of her lives on....for what you did with her organs..amazing...Ben...i have thot of you so often...i have prayed for you so often...because at that split second my life changed with what i saw.....i had to stay at the scene for about 11/2 hr becacause of lifeflight and in fact that is my car on ksl.com in the middle by the fire truck...i had to fill out a statement....and i got in my car and took my baby granddaughter and just sobbed in her arms......my life consists of anything i can find out why.....???on july 4th my husband and i had to go visit a loved one at ogden regional...and that morning the name of the young man was released...by the way..as wassesed him and his vehicle..it was overwhelming to see how he ended up..and it was very difficult to get to him..because of the way he endded up in his upsidedown truck...so the emt.went right ot him and kept saying to the police...do not let anyone near here....at the time i thot that was strang...anyway...we were in the hallway at the hospital and a dear friend came to visit our 98yr old grandma...and she made the comment her friends son was in a terrible accident and he was in the next room...and it was...david leavitt...and as i would try to get a glimpse or learn what they had told my friend of what had happened...and as i watched his mother and father in vigulance stay right with him...i was overwhelmed with the power of love and forgiveness....and how we are all connected...like a wheel...i am so touched by your forgiving heart..and how you are teaching others that very principle...forgive me if this made it more difficult...i just felt the need to let you know of her beauty and grace..even then...God Bless to all of you...rulahunter@gmail.com