A Tragedy

I'm stunned, shocked, and I don't know how to say this.

My wonderful sister-in-law, Aimee Rhoads, died on Sunday in a terrible boating accident. We were in the Florida Keys, vacationing as a family to celebrate Christmas and to commemorate the passing of my father-in-law who passed away last year on December 19th.

And now, we have to mourn Aimee's death as well.

On Sunday afternoon, Aimee and I went scuba diving together off the coast of Key Largo. My husband and I have been diving for over a year, and Aimee told us how she has always wanted to try it. And so, she signed up for a discovery scuba course and I tagged along with her to keep her company.

After our first dive, we returned to the boat to change our tanks and take a short break. But before we could start our second dive, our boat started filling with water and we capsized quickly thereafter. Six of us managed to get out, but Aimee was trapped inside and the crew was unable to rescue her in time.

Justin's family is reeling. Aimee leaves behind her husband, Pat Rhoads, and her three-year-old daughter, Rowan. We are all currently in Seattle, where Aimee resided, to make funeral arrangements and to grieve together as a family.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season. And please hold your own family close. Love them. Hug them. Spend time with them. Life can be so tragically short and we are heartbroken that we have lost Aimee. She was the best of all of us.


If you are interested, Aimee's husband has started a blog to commemorate her life. You can access it here.