I certainly can’t and I hope many other people can’t really imagine what Roger and Bonita Bott of central Alberta are dealing with right now as they prepare to bury three of their kids Friday at a funeral service in Red Deer.
Their three daughters, Catie, 13, and twins Dara and Jana, 11 died about a week ago from suffocation after being buried in a truck load of canola at the family farm near the hamlet of Withrow in Clearwater County.
The grieving parents spoke to reporters for the first time yesterday (lots of coverage on line) describing how “cool” and special these girls were, and how much they will be missed. I can only imagine the pain the Botts are feeling. It’s not easy saying goodbye to any family member or anyone who is close to us, let alone a child and in this case three at once.
The Botts are relying on their strong faith in their God to get them through this tragedy and grief. Not to get on my spiritual soapbox, but I believe they are right that God, The Creator, The Higher Power — however it is described — doesn’t make bad things happen. Life happens. Accidents happen. And if we let it, that Higher Power will give us the strength to deal with whatever comes along. It’s really about all we have.
I grew up on a farm and I have been around the agriculture industry a bit over the years and yes it can be a high-risk place. I don’t know if it is any riskier on a farm near Withrow than it is living in Red Deer, Calgary, or Ottawa — all these environments have their risks. Accidents can happen any where.
Despite the overwhelming support of family, friends and complete strangers over the past 10 days, the Bott family will never be the same again. Roger and Bonita Bott still have a young son to be there for, and they still have their lives to live. Time will do what it can, but there will always be some loss in their hearts. There is no “fix” for that.
Lee Hart is a field editor for Grainews in Calgary, Contact him at 403-592-1964 or by email at [email protected]