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In An Instant - September 11, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Those looking for weight loss encouragement or musings on that, keep looking. This blog is not going to address that. It's about something else entirely.

I have been thinking of how things can change, so capriciously, in an instant. About a week or so ago, I learned the fate, quite by accident, of someone I went to junior high school with. I found a page on Facebook, dedicated to her memory and was puzzled about that, wondering what illness befell her, dying so young. She would only be at the most a year older than I, and curiosity impelled me forward to investigate. Sadly, if you know how to search the net, much is pretty easily revealed.

She died as a result of a horrific car accident, literally in her own driveway, as a result of a has-been actress making the decision to drive drunk. Oddly, I had heard about this actress' vehicular manslaughter the summer before, but I never knew it involved someone I went to school with. The actress had already been involved in an earlier accident with another vehicle, and when that victim started to call the police, the actress took off, and ultimately crashed into my classmate's car. Tailing the actress' car to make certain the police would catch her, the first victim actually saw the ensuing drama of the second accident. My classmate died at the scene moments after the crash, and her husband, the driver, had to be helicoptered to the nearby medical center, suffering multiple broken bones and serious injury. Being in a residential neighborhood, it struck me as curious that the force of the collision was so great. Later, the police calculated that the actress was traveling at 52-53 miles an hour when the impact occurred, pummeling into the passenger side of the car. My classmate's husband, as I said, was driving, and he literally had just pulled into the driveway of their NJ summer retreat, when the crash occurred. Two more minutes they would have been in the house, where their two young sons were. Had they stopped somewhere on the way home, just a minute or two of delay, would have avoided the ensuing tragedy altogether.

With all the storms that the east coast has been having lately, and since last winter with several blizzards, many trees have been weakened or uprooted. A friend of mine told me that her husband had stopped off to get a slice of pizza on his way home, a few months ago, and when he finally got home, saw that the tree that stood next to their driveway had been suddenly uprooted and had fallen clear across where his car usually is parked. My friend told me that had he not stopped, most likely he would have been in the driveway as the tree came down. For once, she said, she was happy that his hunger won out. It probably saved his life.

Today being the tenth anniversary of when the world changed for us New Yorkers, and for all Americans as well, we do have to set aside a moment, even if brief, to remember that tragic day. Even ten years later, it still stuns me how 3,000 people could be having their morning coffee at their desk at work in the Twin Towers, going over business e-mails, and beginning to set the day that horrible Tuesday, and moments later be annihilated, with no trace of them at all. And ten years later, we still do not know why they had to die. And how many lives were altered as a result.

It is still painful to see the interviews with some of the survivors, and some of the widows. Even now as they retell their own personal version of that day's events, the memory for them is still searing.

Be mindful, especially today, of all that you have, and all your loved ones that you hold dear. Make sure that they know. It all can change in an instant.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    We must cherish every day and live life to the fullest. This is the time we "present." Enjoy and cherish! Keep up the good work! Thanks for your encouragement! Spark on! emoticon
    2990 days ago
    Thank you for posting your story here, regarding your friend and how precious life is. We do need to be reminded not to take each of our days for granted. The 911 day was felt and watched around the World, and will never be forgotten. emoticon
    3029 days ago

    Also noticed your blog through your comments to ClaireinParis. Your blog does honour to your friend and the 9/11 memory. Life is precious and very inspiring that you intend on changing scenery for yours. Best wishes that it works out very well for you.

    Scootergirl in Oz

    3048 days ago
  • JGAL8123
    I spent a lot of time hugging my family yesterday, grateful to have the opportunity to do so today and each day hereafter.

    So sorry that you've lost a childhood friend to tragic circumstances - I hope the actress in question spends the rest of her days regretting how she managed to permanently change the lives of others as well as her own in that instant.

    Wonderful message on such a special day - thanks for posting
    3051 days ago
    Wonderful blog my friend. Lives can be changed in the blink of an eye...I treasure every day, because we only have now...there is a reason why they call it "the present". The gift of those precious moment with loved ones...Live every day with love, peace and great gusto.
    I lost two friends that day. I will never forget it as long as I the prime of their lives, just doing their jobs and then gone in an instant. I'm so sorry at the tragic loss of your friend. I pray for those that lost their families, friends and loved ones that day.

    Thanks for that great blog...very thought provoking.

    Much Love,

    3052 days ago
    call it what you will, God at work, Karma, Kismet, luck (good or bad), Fate, there is no answer really, just accept each day as it comes
    3052 days ago
    Found your blog because of your comments on ClaireinParis' blog. Very insightful, thought provoking blog. I long ago have stopped trying to figure out why tragedies occur or are near misses. Like you, I just try to make sure my loved ones know they are loved and try to make their lives better, if I can.
    3052 days ago
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