One of the things I was trying to articulate in a conversation Sunday night was a response to the question. “How could God let an awful thing like this happen?”

I slept on it and came up with this:

I have come to believe that events are not arranged any more than our responses to them are arranged. I believe it is up to us to decide how best to respond, given a turn of events. We can choose to embrace the challenge and grow from it or turn from it and lose that opportunity for growth. Until the next “bad” thing happens, and then we get to choose again.

I believe Mom has long known this and so has been able to embrace pain and suffering with an open heart. In my life, I have been as likely to respond to the bad things in my life with anger, fear, flight and avoidance as I have with love, trust and faith. I’m beginning to see that each new awful thing presents me with another opportunity to choose.

This glimmer of understanding brings me peace and strength and I owe it all to my mother’s good example. She has consistently shown acceptance and serenity in the face of trauma.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.