Lance Scranton: Embrace hope this Christmas | CraigDailyPress.com

Lance Scranton: Embrace hope this Christmas

Lance Scranton

Lance Scranton

It's Christmas, but it's going to be difficult to celebrate.

It's a time when we all take some time to think back over the past year and make some decisions about how we want 2015 to look. But when tragedy sucks the wind out of our sails, asking the really tough questions seems wholly appropriate.

When I heard the news that one of our local high school students had been killed in a highway accident, it was one of those times when I scream, "Why?"

Really, I did.

Tory Tovar had a discreet smile that disguised a life of searching left mostly clouded by circumstances he couldn't control. A speech he gave in Senior English this fall revealed the obstacles he was facing and how he was willing to try his best to make the best out of a really difficult childhood.

With transparency and candor, Tory made it clear to his classmates that life really can "suck" and people really can let you down, yet he remained hopeful.

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In his final semester at Moffat County High School, he seemed to be turning a corner that revealed an attitude that was both admirable and attractive. His treatment of teachers and counselors was tempered with the knowledge that we genuinely were doing our best to help him sort through issues and problems.

He accepted the help he needed to graduate, thanked us for understanding and was proud that he would finally receive his diploma. He was hopeful that life was beginning to take shape around choices he had some control over.

Too often, we immortalize those who have left us too soon, but Tory was very honest about his failings and the challenges he faced going forward. I only knew Tory as a student, a young man trying to figure out life, not perfect but honest about who he was, where he came from and how it affected him.

But Tory embraced hope; the one thing that would help him move out of the shadows of the past and make his future a bit more clear.

Maybe the really tough questions do have an answer; when things don't go our way, when tragedy invades our lives, when our efforts don't make things better, when life just doesn't make sense.