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A HEARTFELT MESSAGE TO MY FRIENDS IN AKRON, INDIANA

Editor’s Note: On October 30, 2018, twin boys and their older sister were killed by a vehicle as they were getting on their school bus. A fourth child was airlifted to the hospital with serious injuries. The children were on their way to their school, Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation. 

Yalden first spoke at Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation in 2015, and continues to keep in touch with community members.

Tippecanoe School Corporation and Akron, Indiana – I wanted to reach out to you and say I’m sorry. I wish during these times that there were words that we could share with you and take all the pain away.

It’s not fair. Life doesn’t make sense.  

There’s wrong, there’s right and there are accidents. There’s also love forgiveness and acceptance – but we’re not there yet. It’s too soon. 

How is your heart? 

My friends, it’s OK to feel. I want you all to understand that. Like I said, there is nothing I can say and nothing you can say. The only thing we can do is just be – and breathe through this right now. Every minute, every hour, every day – it’s going to take its toll. And we are going to breathe through this. 

But we are going to get over the mountain – this Mount Everest, so to speak. There are going to be obstacles and terrain like you have never seen. 

I had a friend and fellow speaker who passed away many years ago His name was Art Berg. He had a saying that is very fitting right now: “While the difficult takes time, the impossible just takes a little bit longer.” 

That’s what we’re looking at right now.  

The impossible. How do you comprehend this? How do you not be angry with the 24-year-old lady who was driving the pickup truck and caused the deaths of three beautiful, innocent children and put one boy in the hospital in critical condition? 

Anger is part of the process.  

I was listening to one of your pastors speak on Halloween night, the day after the accident. He said we don’t live in a perfect world. God has given us an imperfect world. And if it was a perfect world, there wouldn’t be loss – there wouldn’t be divorce – there wouldn’t be rain. There wouldn’t be clouds.  

We couldn’t have a perfect world. If it was perfect, there would be no appreciation. There would be no tears – no need for hope. If we lived in a perfect world, I don’t know if we would even have love.  

It’s not a perfect world, but that’s what makes us feel – so it makes us love. It’s what makes us want to pay it forward. And that’s my message with you today. 

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up and I didn’t want to speak – but it’s what I do. 

 I arrived early at Bucks County Technical High School in Pennsylvania. As I got there I wanted to do my morning routine. I wanted to sit in gratitude. I wanted to meditate. I wanted to breathe, and I wanted to visualize the success of my day.  

Before that, I went into a gas station called WaWa. As I was standing in line, there were two people behind me. They had coffee, and I told the lady at the counter that I wanted to pay for his coffee – and, matter of fact, I wanted to pay for the lady behind him. 

The guy looked at me and he said thank you. I said, “Yeah, that’s my pleasure. Just pay it forward today.” 

The lady behind him just started to cry. She said, “You don’t know what this means to me right now.” 

No, I didn’t, but I paid for their coffee.  

As the lady walked away, she gave me a hug from behind. It was a tight hug.  She said thank you, and again, I said, “My pleasure.” I got into the car and sat there and thought, “Wow. You just you just never know what some people are going through.” 

And while the Tippy Valley community is just mourning this loss and we’re praying for mom and dad and the extended family,  I saw the uncle share his sentiments and love for his niece and nephews – a bearded man – looks like a tough man – and I just watched him cry. And I just wanted to give him a hug.  

I want to give each and every one of you a hug.  

You don’t know what people are going through. 

Who in your circle needs a hug? Who in your circle just needs you to be present in that space, and for you to just say, “How is your heart – can I give you a hug?” 

That’s it. Maybe those can be our words today as we look to pay it forward wherever we can. Be present in the space you are in with the people who need you.  

People all over the world right now are with you. Their hearts are with you all. My friends, I love you and I am praying for you. Remember the message today.