Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Solemn Day

My heart sank yesterday as the words from my teen children buzzed around in my head.

I have lived in the small town of Cobourg for 19 years with my family. Our three children have lived here since birth. It is a quaint community where not much goes unnoticed by the locals. If truth be told word of mouth supercedes the speed of press release.

Our children attended Terry Fox Public School in their elementary years. Then moved on to high school. During those many years at Terry Fox we have grown to know the faculty quite well and even though our children have moved on we continue to cross paths with their teachers from time-to-time. We have shared some laughs and eventful moments between our children and their teachers. Some pleasant - some not so pleasant but in the end we remained amicable and courteous.

While driving our two oldest children home from St. Mary's Secondary High school on the 14th of January, in a matter-of-fact tone, our son said, "Mrs. Kernaghan died yesterday." Shocked at the news I fired a hundred questions at him.

According to the newspapers Suzanne Kernaghan, a grade two teacher at Terry Fox, collided with a fully loaded tractor-trailer on Hwy 28 near the 5th line. Suzanne and Michelle Broomsfield, a grade 2/3 teacher at Baltimore Public School were killed in a collision. The woman were returning home after attending a one-day professional development course..., on Tuesday at around 6:30pm.

All I could think about were her two young children, Larissa - 12yrs and Ryan - 10 yrs-old and her dear husband, Roger. My youngest daughter was a student of Suzanne's for three years as was my oldest daughter. My heart went out to them. I am a Christian and believe when we pass on we go on to a better place. But nothing can illeviate the pain her family must be experiencing at this tragic time.

I think of the words that John Travolta expressed about the loss of his sixteen year-old son, Jet recently. I paraphrase, "I treasure the short time that we spent with our son."

We have all lost someone special in our hearts and lives. I have lost my dear sister, Mary, two short years ago in her 47th year, of complications that developed during surgery on her broken hip. I had only spoken to her days before her passing..., then she was gone.

I have designed this commerative bookmark in honor of her life and sent it to my mother as a token of love knowing that she would have wanted it more than I. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of her and my departed father, John Gottschalk. Whether in my dreams or thoughts they will always be with me.

My family and I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the Kernaghan and Broomfield family's for their terrible loss.

Michelle Broomfield 1971 - 2009
(Dawn) Suzanne Kernaghan 1969 - 2009
Mary Catherine Gottschalk 1959- 2006
John Francis Gottschalk 1930 - 1985
May God keep you safe!!

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