Monday, July 9, 2007

Standard Examiner Editorial (July 6)

We picked up the paper the other day and two stories popped out at us.

The first, by Standard-Examiner reporter Di Lewis, was about the aftermath of the tragic June 28 auto accident on U.S. 89 in Davis County. Three members of the Howard family — mother Janine, 39, and children Matthew, 11, and Esther, 8 — were killed when a truck driven by a distracted 25-year-old swerved into their lane and hit them head-on. Two other Howard children — Rachel, 13, and Caleb, 7 — remain hospitalized; Caleb, at this writing, is in intensive care.

Quinn Howard, brother of husband and father Ben Howard, made this remarkable statement about the driver whose truck killed and/or injured his sister-in-law and nieces and nephews: "There's no struggle (to forgive)," he 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."

That capacity to forgive, we think, is truly amazing. It reminds us of other recent examples by those who would have every reason to be bitter and vengeful — the Amish family of five children killed in a school shooting in Pennsylvania last fall who turned their hearts toward the surviving family members of the killer; and Salt Lake City father Christopher Williams, who forgave and urged others to pray for the drunken teenage driver whose vehicle struck the Williams' automobile and killed his pregnant wife, Michelle, and two children, Ben and Anna.

The other news story we mentioned earlier, we think, also falls into the same general category of selfless devotion to principle: Jazz star Derek Fisher is walking away from a guaranteed $21 million over three years to make sure his 1-year-old daughter, Tatum, receives the best medical treatment available — with her mother and father present. Fisher's daughter suffers from retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer.

She is being treated in New York, and Fisher says it wouldn't be fair to his wife or his children — or himself — if he were to stay on Utah's roster.

"Right now, basketball is not a priority," Fisher explained at a Monday news conference. He will, of course, see if an East Coast team would like to hire him, but that's all up in the air. For now, as Standard-Examiner reporter Jim Burton wrote, the focus is the 44 months of monitoring and treatment Tatum Fisher needs to preserve her health.

We're sorry to see a man and a player like Fisher leave Utah, but wish him and his family nothing but the best as they do the right thing.

The same goes for the Howard family, as they grieve the shocking loss of their family members. We mourn with them, and thank them for showing the rest of us the way to behave when confronted with such terrible circumstances. Their act of forgiveness will not soon be forgotten.


Anonymous said...

You are truly and inspiration in the face of this adversity. Both of your families acts of love and forgiveness is remarkable and I wish you all peace at this time.

Blessings to you all!

Take care,
Andria (Goodrich) Ramirez

Anonymous said...

Ben, Rachel, Caleb and Families,

I am amazed at your faith and compassion at this time. I do not think I would have the will or faith to act as you are at this time. I pray night and day for your family to draw on Heavenly Father's love and strength and it shows that you are through your actions and mercy for everyone around you. May you continue to draw from Our Father's strength to get you through this. Your faith is remarkable and should be an example to us all.

Karen (Wallace) Ramsbacher

Julie said...

Richard and I are just heartbroken by this tragedy. Our love, and prayer of peace are with you.

Douglas Lai said...

So sorry about your loss. Our daughter has just gone through a liver transplant. We are trying to find people to join a support group. Was reading about Melissa Moss and her son, was seeing if you have a way to contact them. our website is