I was shocked to learn yesterday that our substitute mailman, Scott Rice, died while swimming on Sunday at a family outing for Father's Day. He drowned while racing a friend to shore from a boat, but it took almost 5 hours for his body to be found, even though everyone on shore saw him go under. The cause of death is unknown, but a heart attack is suspected. Scott was only 44, with a wife and 3 children.
What makes this death even more of a tragedy - Scott had been a substitute mailman for over 10 years, waiting patiently for a permanent position to open. In the meantime, he had supported his struggling family with additional jobs, whatever he could find. On Friday, our mailman Ivan announced he would be retiring and his last day would be July 31. Even though everyone will miss Ivan, we were all happy for Scott; finally he would get this full-time position that he needed and wanted so badly.
I am sure their Father's Day outing on Sunday was a celebration of sorts, that he would finally be getting this job after 10 years. How tragic this turn of events - I still can't imagine the depths of grief this family is enduring. His children will have this tragic day indelibly etched on their minds forever, and will celebrate the loss of their father every future Father's Day.
A fund has been set up to help the children - The Rice Children's Education Fund. If you are interested in contributing to this fund, you can send a donation to the following; checks should be made payable to the Rice Children's Education Fund:
6 N. Main St.
Caldwell, KS 67022
I am still unsure of the services or memorial and when it will be held. If I find out more, I will be sure to update my blog with the information.
I know there are tragedies everyday in this country and around the world. This one just hit close to home and my heart, and to a family that had their hopes lifted so high on Friday, only to have those hopes and dreams dashed to the very depths of grief on Sunday.
I am sure that any donation or card that is sent to this family will be very appreciated. They will be in my prayers, as I hope you will include them in yours also.