I drove down I-71 South this morning on the way to work. A little more than halfway between the Pfeiffer Road exit and the Ronald Reagan entrance ramp, I passed a dark set of skidmarks in the high-speed lane that veered abruptly into the concrete partician separating the southbound and northbound lanes. I paid particular attention, but I’m certain that thousands of cars passed by, unaware of the skidmarks or the sad story behind them.
Last weekend, an 18-year-old girl was killed in that very spot, driving in the early morning hours to destinations unknown. She was a year younger than my youngest daughter, a recent high school graduate who would have begun her freshman year today at the University of Cincinnati. But something happened, and now those plans are not to be. Nor the many plans made by her parents, her twin brother, and her friends and extended family who innocently assumed that life continues on as planned, that tragedy only happens to others.
What happened at that very moment is, as yet, undetermined. But it’s clear that when that young lady left for the evening, she had every intention of coming home.
In every family, there are uncomfortable moments that causes parents to take pause – when children walk out the door for school, work, dates or plans with friends. When they leave the safety of home for the uncertainty of life. But the same can be said for parents, spouses, friends, coworkers. Life happens, and it isn’t always what we expect.
Newsflash for kids…we were your age, too. Our parents worried, told us not to drink and drive, not to speed, not to have too many friends in the car. We rolled our eyes and most of us survived, but not all.
Newsflash for parents…kids don’t have the wisdom of age. They haven’t seen life through our eyes, and maybe that’s best. They will live, learn, and hopefully be there to cause eye rolling in their own children. Some won’t, though. That’s life, and it isn’t always what we expect.
Appreciate each other. Look out for each other. Make plans and enjoy every moment ahead.
August 26, 2015