Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Deadly Impact

I saw an accident today.  I saw the police come, the ambulances come, and the fire trucks come.

I watched a mother stand helpless as her daughter was loaded into a Careflight helicopter.  I watched as a volunteer firefighter helped extract his very own son from the wreckage.  Perhaps worst of all, I watched a mother see her daughter extracted from the car, and then get put into a body bag and loaded into a hearse.  She hadn't made it.

Luckily, I was only watching a mock accident happening at the high school.  I was really standing with those moms, though, and for what I saw, there were lots of tears.  I asked Jeanne, the mom whose daughter went into the helicopter, what that was like.  She said, "It's so real.  Because, as we all know, in the blink of an eye, this could really be happening."

I really appreciate that our high school goes through the process of re-enacting this mock accident every couple of years.  We tell our kids when they walk out the door to be careful, don't be stupid, and really hope that they are listening when we tell them that.

I honestly think that the part of the afternoon that impacted everyone the most was when a mom who lost her son at 17, came forward and spoke about the night her son died, the days following, and the guilt of his friend who was driving that night.  Her honestly and real view was difficult to listen to, but at the same time, the reality of her taking something from his loss to help others was refreshing.

They read this today.  I have heard it/read it before.....I actually think I read it in "Dear Abby" long ago.........but it had just as much impact today.

The day I died was an ordinary school day.
How I wish I had taken the bus.
But I was too cool for the bus.
I remember how I wheedled the car out of "MOM."
"Special favor," I pleaded.
"All the kids drive." When the 2:50 bell rang,
I threw all my books in the locker.
I was free until 8:40 tomorrow morning!
I ran to the parking lot,
excited at the thought of driving a car
and being my own boss, FREE!

It doesn't matter how the accident happened.
I was goofing off - going to fast.
Taking crazy chances.
But I was enjoying my freedom and having fun.
The last thing I remember was passing an old lady who
seemed to be going awfully slow.
I heard the deafening crash and felt a terrible jolt. My whole body seemed to be turning inside out.
I heard myself scream.

Suddenly I awakened; it was very quiet.
A police officer was standing over me.
Then I saw a doctor.
My body was mangled.
I was saturated with blood.
Pieces of jagged glass were sticking out all over.
Strange that I couldn't feel anything.
Hey, don't pull that sheet over my head!
I can't be dead.
I'm only 17.
I've got a date tonight.
I'm supposed to grow up and have a wonderful life.
I haven't lived yet. I can't be dead.

Later I as placed in a drawer.
My folks had to identify me.
Why did they have to see me like this?
Why did I have to look at Mom's eyes
when she faced the most terrible
ordeal of her life?
Dad suddenly looked like an old man.
He told the man in charge, "Yes, he is my son."
The funeral was a weird experience.
I saw all my relatives and friends
walk toward the casket.
They passed by, one by one, and looked
at me with the saddest eyes I've ever seen.
Some of my buddies were crying.;
A few of the girls touched my hand and
sobbed as they walked away.
Please - somebody - wake me up!
Get me out of here!
I can't bear to see my mom and dad so broken up.
My grand-parents are so racked with grief
they can hardly walk.
My brothers and sisters are like robots.
In a daze, everybody.
No one can believe this.
And I can't believe it, either.

Please don't bury me!
I'm not dead!
I have a lot of living to do!
I want to laugh and run again.
I want to sing and dance.
Please don't put me in the ground.
I promise if you give me one more chance,
God, I'll be the most careful driver in the whole world.
All I want is one more chance!
Please God I'm only 17!

Author Unknown 

God bless the woman who spoke today, along with her family.  God, please also watch over our kids (and us, too!) -- especially in the coming weeks with prom, graduations, and parties.  Please help our children to make wise decisions and keep themselves (and others) safe.

1 comment:

  1. Pam I thought I saw careflight flying in bremen today its good to know it was a mock run and no one was really hurt. I witness these things a lot working in the ER and its very hard to watch in a real situation. Im very glad that out school does this because it helps the kids see what comes from bad choices. May God bless all the kids during this busy season of parties and dances.