Reflections On The Gracie Lee Haught Festival



The picture of children laughing and playing caught my attention and made me wonder why a dominant color picture, that took up a quarter of the front page of the Roundup on Aug. 14, was so special. As I read the caption below and went on to the full page spread of 1B and other photos on on to 9A, I had to agree that it was space well-used for a significant event in Payson.

Several emotions rose up within me as I read on: sadness at the loss of a beautiful child; joy in the sight of children at play; relief for the children and their families who receive medical or other needed help that they could not otherwise afford; and especially gratitude that the Haught family's loss inspires volunteers to make such a festival a win-win situation for so many. Yes, Gracie lives on -- a wish and the hope of all parents who have lost a child.

Gracie Lee Haught Memorial Festival shows us that individual efforts can make a difference in people's lives -- one just needs to do something rather than complain how bad things are in the world or moan and groan that nothing can be done about the suffering that exists around us.

Thanks, little girl, for gracing Payson's children with a touch of heaven's joy. The pictures in the Roundup spoke thousands of words. Gracie's memory is making a difference in all who are touched by it.

"Let the little children come to me, for such is the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 19:14

It reminded me of the little girl with glasses and the denim hat, Ashley Allen, who lost her fight with brain tumors several years ago.

Her mother, Tracy Allen, wondered why God wanted her so much in heaven that Ashley couldn't stay with her family on earth. Or the mother who lost her son, who would be in his 20s, in the Northwest Airlines crash (a recent article in The Arizona Republic).

The children are never gone, but live on in the memories of their families and friends.

Caroline R. Johnson, Payson

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