I was so sad to open an email this morning from pro-life activist Randall Terry:

Dear Friend.

Yesterday morning, at approximately 7 am eastern (11/30/2011), my 31 year old son, Jamiel Terry [pictured right], was killed in a head on collision. The three passengers in the other car were injured in varying degrees, but the police told me they will all be ok.

We are all in a state of shock, and unthinkable grief. I loved him dearly; we all did.

I beg you for your prayers for our family, and I beg you to pray for the mercy of God, and the eternal rest of Jamiel’s soul.

He will be sorely missed. I still cannot believe this is happening.

God have mercy; Christ have mercy.

Randall Terry

This is such a tragedy.

As a parent, a foremost concern I had was whether the two parted company in this world on good terms.  You don’t have to google long to find junk about them, which every family has. The difference was this family was well-known. The falling out between Randall and Jamiel seven years ago was quite public. Had they made peace since that time?

I called Randall to express my condolences and to ask. I’m not sure why I needed to know. Perhaps it’s a mom thing. Anguish in a situation like this is bad enough without having it compounded by regret.

Randall was grief-stricken, as I cannot even imagine. But he told me yes, they had made peace. “We spoke regularly,” Randall told me. “We’d even made plans for a speaking tour.”

That was a comfort to know.

Reading words Jamiel wrote tells me he was a sweet, insightful guy. Randall bragged that he was “brilliant.” The Washington Post described Jamiel as “handsome and articulate, with the preternatural ease in the spotlight found in celebrity children.”

Despite their differences, Jamiel loved his dad, writing, “My father is probably one of the most engaging men I have ever met. He is witty, intelligent, and funny. I remember watching him and Patricia Ireland, former president of the National Organization for Women, in a heated debate on CNN. He’s so charming, you could tell that even the icy Ms. Ireland melted.”

And, “One thing about my father: We kids could certainly tell him what we thought, and we usually wouldn’t get in trouble,” a great parental attribute.

Please join me in praying for the Terry family at this tragic time.

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