1LT Todd Weaver lived his life with purpose- he was a natural leader, dependable, and courageous. He completed life on this Earth on September 9th, 2010 with the same amount of purpose that he carried those twenty six years. In his own words Todd says "Never forget that God knew what was best for us before we were even born. Take comfort in that. This happened for a reason. Although you may not believe it now, you will one day". And he was right for I do believe it now. While it is not a destiny that I would have wished for him I understand that great sacrifices like his are strong enough to forever change those who hear his story.
Hearing that story I no longer questioned "Why Todd?" I accepted that God knew what he was doing in choosing him to make that sacrifice. I think more than anything else my hopes are that the men with Todd that morning see how God was implementing his plan for their lives as well. For whatever reason He needed Todd to put it all in motion. I've been confronted more than once by some of Todd's battle buddies from his time in Iraq and Afghanistan where they say "I wish it could have been me, Emma" or "I'd switch places with him if I could". I try to understand survivor guilt as best I can but I find it difficult to put myself in their shoes. I want to embrace them, look straight into their eyes and have them feel the electric jolt of understanding that I've felt. I wish I could say "You didn't die that day for a reason. You haven't lived the life the Lord has planned for you. You haven't earned the right to go home yet. He still needs you." I can only hope each life not lost that day is lived with that same Todd Weaver drive.
It is in these moments that I hope I can continue to actively honor and remember the hero that I love. Until we meet again in Heaven I hope we all stop asking "Why?"....and start asking "How am I going to make the most of the gift of life I have so graciously been given?"