I got caught Saturday. During the previews before "Glory Road," Chris glanced over at me and saw big, fat tears falling off my face. He asked, "Hey, Dad, why are you crying?" To Chris, no preview could justify those tears -- unless they were tears of joy for the release of the next Bourne movie or perhaps a discovery that King Kong II was being filmed. I gave him a short, brush-off answer. It wasn't the time or place. But what I wanted to say was: Because we're here. In the dark. In this theater. And you're sitting next to me. All week it's been coming, and now that we've slowed down and you're sitting next to me, the dam burst. Because you could have died a year ago. Because I can still hear your mom sobbing, "O God, please not again." Because you were beaten beyond recognition. Because we heard the Bourlands crying out in the hospital when they were told that Brody had died. Because I can still remember those nights in ICU at Cook's with the Bennetts and the Lemmonses. Because I held my breath for 48 hours, waiting to see if you'd breathe on your own. Because Jon Westin's still on crutches. But also because you're all right. Because you didn't have to stay in that wheelchair or that back brace. Because I saw you play football this fall, and because you're playing point guard now. Because you're an incredible young man who is loved by your peers and by all younger kids. Because we're back to wrestling. Because the five of us got to hike all over the mountains of Colorado this summer. And because I can lose to you every day in P-I-G. Because of how close we feel to the other families impacted by the wreck. Because of our love for Sarah, our beloved youth minister, who on the sixteenth day of her first fulltime ministry had to break the news to me and who has been an amazing help to people--with maturity way beyond her years--the past twelve months. Because of the Highland church (like the hundreds who came to cry, hug, pray, light candles, and remember last night). Because of Scott B.'s pastoral care, as we met with the six of you (Beth, Amara, Chris P., Austin, Jon Westin, and you) on Wednesday nights for several weeks after we were all home from the hospital to help you process the tragedy. Because of our spiritual family all around the world who prayed for you and the others (as still partially recorded on my 1-16-05 blog). Because I can still feel your brother's hug when we met at Cook's after he flew from Houston and I drove from Abilene (since only one parent could fly with you and it would have gotten ugly fast if I'd suggested to your mom that she not get in that plane!). Because I still remember Jenna's tears as she cared tenderly for you--her brother-in-law for only seven months at the time. Because Dr. Jim loaded up and drove to Ft. Worth to watch over the three of you and your families himself (while letting those ER docs do their jobs). Because one of our elders, a physical therapist, came over to hold you steady while you showered and carefully bound back up your wounds. Because another of our elders, a teacher at Lincoln at the time, met you to help you up and down the stairs. Because there's no better sight for me than seeing you and your brother playing together--catch or basketball or Play Station--when he's home. Plus, sometimes grief gets confused. And I still cry about Megan. That would have been the long answer. But no seventh grader wants to hear that with a bag of popcorn and a great sports movie coming on. Thanks so much for your prayers for our church this past year.