Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I finally had the quiet time tonight while DH was at church with the youth to go and read the final story on James Kim. I don't think any news story, ever, has affected me so much. Not even 9-11. He was a good man, who made the best decisions he could, given the circumstances. Born a just a year earlier, he strikes me as someone with a personality very much like Vern's. That makes it so much harder. It's so easy to see myself in Kati Kim's place . . . to feel some of her torment. So many of the things in life that take up my time and attention seem so trivial and unimportant right now. To know what it is like to have a husband who takes tender care of you and your children, who puts you first, who cheerfully sacrifices, loves and adores you; and then to imagine losing him. It defies description.

There is lively discussion all over the internet on what James should have done, what he could have done, what the searchers should have done. Hindsight is 20/20. I just can't get out of my head what one guy posted at a talkback forum to one of the news stories. I've been unable to find the comment since; I just remember he said the searchers should set up some huge speakers and "rock that mountain". James walked in a 10-mile circle, only to die within a mile of his car. Even at his furthest point from the car, he was easily within earshot of even a moderately powerful sound setup. If someone had thought to get one of his favorite songs--one with a good, solid beat--and play it at top volume, he would have heard. Played repeatedly with a minute or 90 seconds of silence in between it would have been a beacon for him. He died not knowing that the searchers were even close--and in reality, they just couldn't follow him fast enough.

I know that it's easy to ask why the searchers didn't also fan out and search in the immediate vicinity of the car, knowing that lost and disoriented people walk in circles. Or why nobody managed to try to signal to James with sound. I just pray with all my heart that Kati knows a Latter-day Saint, and that she'll come to the knowledge of the Father's plan for us, and that she can have the peace and assurance that she can have her husband back--in full health and forever, and that her girls will know the love and company of their father.