It has been 4 weeks this Friday since the plane crash that killed my uncle and cousin. As is always the case, life has gone on. I have been left wondering why this had to happen and yet been blessed to see the good that has and will continue to come from such a tragedy.
The weekend of the accident Matt, Mattie and I had been at our first official Dotson Family Reunion. We left for the festivities after work on Friday. After getting to the canyon we lost phone service and didn't get it back until Sunday afternoon on the drive home. Little did we know that Friday afternoon the plane David Ben and Cecilee boarded hardly left the runway before crashing and burning in Moab. My family tried and tried to call text us, but to no avail.
Sunday afternoon, as we approached Cedar City on our drive home, Matt's phone rang. It was George (Matt's dad). We had spoken to them off and on during the drive and had no reason to be concerned. It wasn't until George said, "Matt, we just heard about the Goddards" that we started to panic and I tried to turn my phone on long enough to retrieve any missed texts or messages. At that moment my mom beeped in on Matt's phone. As Matt handed me the phone I started to cry. I knew something terrible has happened. My mom said, "Amy, there was a horrible plane crash in Moab. David and Cecilee didn't make it honey."
I was devastated. Matt and I stopped at a gas station to buy some gum and snacks for Mattie and I couldn't stop crying. I was consumed with grief. So much so that the woman at the check-out counter wouldn't let me leave until she knew someone else would be driving me. By the time we got to the house I was calm and collected. I had to be strong and helpful for the family, not a blubbering mess.
That afternoon I was able to provide some practical support by helping to clean-out the refrigerator. My cousins and I did it and had a great time. My Uncle David Ben was known for saving EVERYTHING. Not one thing would ever go to waste while on his watch. It was of his most endearing traits! With that in mind, you can imagine what the fridge was like... We ended up making a game out of it and began looking for the oldest food item we could find. So far the winner is some meat found in the freezer dated February 2005! I can't wait hear about the deep freeze!
The rest of the week we spent in Cedar City. I enjoyed being with my cousins and loved watching Zoe (Cecilee's daughter) and Mattie play together. They clung to each other like long lost friends. It was a joy to watch. On the Thursday after the accident the city held a memorial service at SUU. It was beautiful. Many prominent members of the community, college, state and LDS church spoke words of comfort, support and strength. At the front of the room they had blown-up pictures of all the victims lined up. Part way through the service Zoe noticed the pictures and pointed at them saying, "there's mommy! there's papa!" Even from a distance I could see her recognize the photos, it was another tear filled moment for me.
The funeral service was wonderful and the day was filled with family and friends. Many of my family traveled a great distance on short notice to be there. Some came from as far as Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Kansas City and California. It's not often we are all together and it was nice to have so many in one place. We've always been a close-knit family.
Cecilee was cremated and a beautiful urn was donated by her ceramics teacher. It was lined with 24k gold and very unique looking.
David Ben's casket was hand-made and very handsome. He would have loved it!
Here are a few pictures from that week.
Although it was (is) a very difficult time, it was also full of love, comfort and the peace that only God can give.