Monday, November 7, 2011
Close To Home
A phone call from my friend alerted me to a car accident on a major street near our home.
"Has Nicole come home from school yet?" she asked.
The accident had occurred just down the street from the high school just a few minutes after school had let out for the day.
An hour or so later, we found out that the accident had indeed been a high school student. A Senior girl, and it had been fatal. It happened to be Nicole's friend from cheer her Sophomore year.
She was devastated.
This hit close to home. She was the same age as my daughter. I couldn't help but put myself into her mother's place.
We had just sent off the money for our high school graduation announcements. So had this mother. We had been applying for colleges. So had they. We had been dreaming of the future and what our child will become. So had this family.
A few weeks later, as Isaac was searching frantically for a lost shoe, he heard sirens behind our house. Isaac looked out the window in his bedroom.
"Mom! Come see! There's been an accident behind our house!" he yelled.
We watched out his window as emergency workers frantically raced around in what appeared to be organized chaos.
I could see mothers in pajamas standing around, looking helplessly on. As daylight started to shine light on the scene before us, I could tell it had been a pedestrian/vehicle accident. They were frantically working on someone on the ground. My heart sunk.
It was the hour when the middle schoolers are off to school. The road behind our house is quite busy at that hour and it had been so dark. I prayed it wasn't a student.
Isaac rushed off to school just as they were putting the victim in the ambulance. It didn't take off. Not a good sign.
Life flight came soon after, landing directly behind our house. They turned off the engine. Things started to slow down. Emergency workers seemed exhausted and their heads hung down. I knew they had lost the fight they were desperately trying to win.
A few hours later, I found out it had indeed been a child on his way to middle school. He was in 7th grade, just like Isaac. In fact, Isaac had had two classes with him, sitting behind him in one.
Again, too close to home.
I thought of this mother- who had just sent her child off to school on what appeared to be a normal day- and now was facing her worst nightmare.
I spent the day crying as I looked out at the scene behind my house. Police tape, fire trucks, flashing lights, news reporters.
We now have a pink memorial on the street we travel on daily reminding us of the young life lost there. Behind our house, a blue memorial.
These constant reminders have helped me to treasure each day with my children. I let them know, just a little more often, how much I love them. I hug them a little tighter. I find more joy in the simple daily events- family dinner, helping with homework, tucking children in.
My heart aches for the families who lost their precious children. And like so many others who have been affected by these tragedies, I will never forget.