It is the small things

Thanksgiving morning brought tragic news:  the 18 year old son of a friend was killed the previous evening in a car accident.  Hearing such news envelopes one in a grief that emanates from the deepest recesses of our being. It releases a sob that every parent has within him or her for their children should something befall them.  It is the sob that we have within us for our friends who must bear the burden of grieving for a child lost too soon.

 Meal preparation was with a heavy heart, and the reflection of the close calls that my two young drivers encountered.  I remember being an 18 year old driver -- there is a large divergence between our actual skill and our perception of our skills as a driver at that age.  For many of us we were just plain lucky that the consequence of our actions (too fast, too drunk, too tired, too stupid) did not yield a tragic outcome.

 I don't say that someone was watching out for me, because that then requires the judgment that someone was asleep at the wheel when watching out for another.  Rather, I prefer to think about it in terms of chance.  The odds aren't with us when we are operating under our "too ___" action.  And actions have consequences--sometimes.  When those actions don't have consequences we are lucky.  When those actions invoke consequences, we are not so lucky.

My B/SIL were guests and our friend was mutual.  As we gathered around our table, we were all reminded of the importance of the simple things -- time together, sharing memories, kind words, good food -- and the capriciousness of luck.

Such tragedies also engender action. Had this young man fastened his seat belt, he may have survived.  His mother's grief is channeled into getting the message out of "buckling up".  The young man was also an organ donor.  This great tragedy will help others through his gift of life through the loss of his own.


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