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Ronda Matson: Blog

For Emmi :)

Posted on January 3, 2013

The new year has started, but not in the best way.  A cold and the flu turned out to be the least of it.  I never knew her, but when 10-year-old Emerson Barbaro died tragically in a sledding accident in Minnesota, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I’ve thought of her and her family ever since that late-night phone call from my daughter, Erin, who was Emmi’s music teacher since Kindergarten.  We humans look for the sense in things, but some things just make no sense.  There was really nothing meaningful I could say to comfort Erin.


Emmi had been raising money for an American Heart Association jump rope event.  Erin told me she had raised $70 before she died. I clicked on the link and saw a beautiful, smiling girl wearing “Emmi 123.”  I wanted to help her.  Turns out, I’m not the only one.  I’ve been back to her page countless times and the dollars keep coming.


Erin sang “How Great Thou Art” at the service yesterday, Carrie Underwood’s version, because Emmi loved it so.  With her heart so heavy, it must have felt like an impossible task.  I look for the sense in something that makes no sense.  I think about the little girl who touched the many hundreds of people sitting in that church.  I imagine my daughter’s glorious voice rising above the sadness and doing the same.  I watch the contributions grow and know that the goodness of Emmi’s life continues to blossom in many ways.  If there is any sense to be made of so great a loss, surely it must be that.