Rosemead Kiwanis Club

   "Serving the Community Since 1945"

   

   FAX OF

      LIFE

 

 

The Fax of Life

A weekly inspiration, courtesy of the Kiwanis Club of Scott's Valley

July 6, 1997                                                                                 Vol. 2,   No. 34

 

[ Editor's note: Sometimes the "Facts" of life are not the ones we choose. We share the grief of our friends in the San Lorenzo Valley Kiwanis Club as they face the tragic loss of young people in their community, including members of their Key Club. The sentiments of this poem apply not just to parents, but to everyone who touches the life of a young person.

 

                                                                          --- Peggie Lopez ]

 

                                               To All Parents

 

          “I’ll lend you for a time a child of mine,” He said,

          “For you to love the while he lives, and mourn for when he's dead.

          It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three,

          But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?

 

          “He’ll bring his charms to gladden you, and shall his stay be brief,

          You’ll have his winsome memories as solace for your grief,

          I cannot promise he will stay, since all from Earth return,

          But there are lessons, taught down there, I want this child to learn.

 

          “I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true,

          And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes, I have selected you.

          Now will you give him all your love nor think the labor vain,

          Nor hate me when I come to call to take him back again?”

 

          I fancied that I heard them say, “Dear Lord, Thy will be done!

          For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.

          We’ll shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may,

          And for the happiness we’ve known forever grateful stay;

          But shall the angels call for him much sooner than we’ve planned,

          We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.”

 

                                                       ---- Adapted from Edgar Guest

 

[Editor’s note to explain the note at the top of this Fax: This Fax of Life commemorated two tragedies, unconnected but closely related in time.

 

The first was the death of former San Lorenzo Valley High School Key Club member Andrea Mercedes Born. On July 4, 1997, "Annie" (to those who knew her) was shot several times at point-blank range, her body dumped and set afire in a field outside of Fresno, CA.

 

A student body leader and actress in community theater, her death at age 20 traumatized the community. She was attending Fresno State University on a scholarship at the time of her death.

 

Her murder remained a “cold case” until 2001 when the CA State Department of Justice became involved.  Their efforts led to the arrest and subsequent guilty plea to 2nd degree murder by her ex-boyfriend, nine years her senior. He proved to have had numerous prior felony convictions, although she may not have known this. The motive was apparently rejection - if he couldn't have her then neither would anyone else. He is now serving a fifteen year to life sentence in a California prison.

 

Andrea's tragic murder followed closely on the heels of a tragic auto accident involving four students from San Lorenzo High Valley school. Writes Peggie Lopez in December, 2010, "The students had been drinking. (Editorial comment - if the "don't drink and drive message didn't get through to these kids, where have we failed?) Two of the students were killed. One was a star football player and the Key Club Treasurer. The driver was convicted criminally and is STILL in Soledad Prison."

 

                                                                           ---- Art Landing]

 

 

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. All of its Clubs are independently-run community service groups.