Weekend punctured by tragedy….


My daughter called last night, her usually bouncy voice all quiet and still…too quiet and still.
“Something terrible has happened”, she said. Your mind does instant flashcards of all the terrible things that could indeed have happened. She could have been kicked out of school, she could have had a car accident, she could have been raped, all awful things too terrible to comtemplate that race through your mind before you say out loud, “What’s wrong?”
She told me that two friends of hers at college, that lived on her hall freshman year and were good friends, had been killed in a horrifying accident on the Washington Beltway…..and alcohol was involved. It was on the front page of The Washington Post this morning
I later learned that four young women died last night in that crash….four of them! Two that had just graduated from high school, and the two college girls. Driving along, and evidentally missed their exit, and tried to cut across to make it, right into the path of a tractor trailer. The little convertible Cabriolet didn’t stand a chance and neither did the girls inside, though one of the five miraculously survived, after being cut out of the mangled wreckage.
The parents and grandparents and brothers and sisters of the girls who died, are now living the never ending nightmare we all fear, when our kids are young and driving. I don’t believe I’ve ever read an obit of a young person who died in a car crash, that I didn’t think, there but for the grace of God, go I.
And it could have been any of our kids. We tell them over and over the dangers of drinking and driving, and you hope they listen, and you hope they’re telling the truth when they say they always have a designated driver. My daughter tells me it is often her. But what high school and college age kids do when we’re not around is a mystery really. You have no idea. They have gotten to the age, when you can’t hold their hand when they cross the street anymore, alas.
To those grief stricken parents, I’m so, so sorry you are living this bad dream. I wish I could help you but I know that only time will.
And the Post headline asked a good question….”when is it going to stop?”

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