Monday, October 15, 2012
everything can change.
Two women died in a tragic car accident in the middle of town this morning on a busy street, during prime "get the kids to school time." They were walking across a busy street, not at a crosswalk, with a baby in a stroller. A baby is motherless, other children are motherless as well. Husbands are grieving. The driver of the car that hit them probably wasn't driving fast, wasn't texting, probably wasn't on the phone, and was probably paying attention because it was difficult to see because of the glare from the sun. She was headed east, right into it. Probably never saw the people in the street. Another friend witnessed it...while driving her own child to school. She could have been the driver...so could have several others...
The driver of the car is one of the most wonderful women I know. She goes out of her way to do kind, mindful things for others. She organizes and participates in charity events to help families in need. She always puts others before herself. She's kind, giving, compassionate, honest. She was driving her son to school and then was going to go to work.
My heart is breaking for her. Of course I feel awful for the families of the women who died...don't get me wrong. This was a horrible accident. And my friend, one of the most beautiful people in the world, is devastated for them.
I read the comments that follow the news articles online. I shouldn't. It only makes me angry and sad for the way our society handles tragedy like this. 99% of the people commenting weren't there. They are jumping to conclusions, making statements as though they are fact, when they very well may not be--it'll be a while before we know anything. Making assumptions about the sort of person she is, the sort of person the women who died were. Clearly, they say, one party or the other was drinking! Of course, speed and texting were the cause! It's evident, they state, that negligence on the part of the pedestrians was the problem! How does any of them know what is true? What is not? Yet they spout off maliciously about how the pedestrians got what they deserved and the driver ought to spend a lifetime in jail for purposely running down a family. But not one...not ONE has expressed sympathy for anyone except the sister of one of the women who died--and her sympathy...her statements...were in defense of my friend, a woman she doesn't even know.
Does fault matter right now? Right this moment? Is that really what is the most important thing? Three families are grieving. The loss of their mothers, sisters, aunts...in one manner or another. A little boy was in the car when it struck other human beings...his mother will never, ever be the same and neither will he. The lives of three families are changed forever... Instead of placing blame, as seems to be our first instinct, have some sympathy for all of them... I have to admire the sister for having such a good, open heart, to be able, in the midst of her own grief, to set aside any anger she undoubtedly feels and defend my friend.
Not one of these three women left their homes this morning thinking that in an instant, life as they knew it would be abruptly changed.
It only takes a second for everything to become significantly different.