From my journal
Today I had some errands to do. I rarely go shopping; I usually order everything online. However, I had promised Chris that I would send him some incense and an incense holder. Alexis had told me about a small shop in Everett, not far from her house.
It was a sunny day, and it seemed like a good day to go get Chris’ incense. Something also told me to take my camera and go take a picture of the Unity Church that we had attended on Sunday for my photo journal.
It was shortly after 2pm when I headed to Everett. I took my time, driving leisurely, singing along to a music tape. I pulled up in front of the church and took two pictures of it.
I then slowly pulled back into traffic as the car in front of my suddenly stopped in the middle of the street. I looked around, wondering why. Just then, I saw a truck pulling out of a parking lot and saw in horror that a bicycle was underneath the truck. I heard a scream, and saw the women in the car in front of me jump out of their car. I pulled on my brake and ran from my car as well.
The woman from the car in front of me had to pound on the truck driver’s window to get him to stop. I ran around in front of the truck and saw a little boy lying on the grass. I yelled at the people gathering, “has anyone called 911?”
“No, do you have a cell phone?”
“Yes,” and I ran back to my car. I went back to where the little boy was and learned that someone in the nearby building had already called the police and ambulance. We all did what we could to calm the little guy down, and try to get him to stay quiet until the paramedics arrived.
We all stayed to give the police our statements. I felt sorry for the man who hit this boy. He really didn’t do anything wrong. It seemed more like miscommunication. He thought the boy would stop, and the boy thought the man was stopping for him to by on the sidewalk.
Remarkably, the boy is fine, just a few cuts, scraps and bruises. It didn’t appear that he had any broken bones or other injuries. He certainly had angels watching over him.
Driving home, I watched other drivers and these thoughts came to me.
Everyone is in such a hurry, at the expense of other drivers and pedestrians.
Speeding, running red lights, tailgating, talking on cell phones while they drive. Why? Is life so busy that they are willing to take risks by doing these things?
Since Courtney’s death, we have learned that nothing, NOTHING, is as important as someone’s life.
If your life is so busy that you feel you must;
*drive faster than the traffic and conditions allow
*that running that yellow or red light will save you minutes (it doesn’t)
*that you must tailgate and/or constantly change lanes
*that you have to take care of business on your cell phone while driving;
then I think your priorities are out of order. Perhaps it’s time to evaluate your lifestyle and decide if it’s all worth it. Maybe it’s time to cut back on some of your “obligations”.
In the end it won’t matter how much money you make, how many promotions you get, what grades you or your children get, how many sales you make, how big of a house you live in, how much you accomplish each day, how many things you cross off of your to-do list.
Please, don’t take your life or anyone else’s for granted.
Use your cell phones for emergencies, not to conduct business while you drive.
Don’t speed or tailgate.
Stop at yellow lights, or at least the red ones.
Insist that your children wear helmets while riding their bikes.
I wrote this little poem not long after Chris started driving:
You are herein mortal
Haste not about the road
Drive like you want to live.”
Don’t take your life or someone else’s for granted.
I know the man in the truck is going to have a hard time forgiving himself. I hope some good comes out of this accident for him, the little boy, and all of us who were there.
Slow down. Your driving, and your life.
Life is the journey, not the destination. Not the accomplishments.
Don’t let yourself be in such a hurry that it becomes a tragedy.
Feb 6, 2001