a second ago, the world was different
Today is the first day I have truly grieved for the victims of the Newtown massacre. On Friday I watched the world go by on Twitter in stunned silence at the horror of it all, but today I felt the sadness and the sobriety and the sinking in of it. I think perhaps some things are so dark, so evil, that we don’t want to enter into the state of mind required to process something so tragic and senseless. Sometimes it’s not until equilibrium is restored to our shaken worlds that we can understand that we now live in a new reality. And we mourn for what has been lost.
For me, it was something else that hit too close to home that triggered the grieving process. Today I received word that my cousin, age 7, was in a car accident along with his 6-year-old brother and my uncle. They were having a typical morning, in the car on the way to school. They live outside the city and were traveling on a rural highway. A school bus stopped in front of them and put on its flashing lights to pick up students. They stopped behind the school bus, as you do, but in those few seconds, a distracted driver rear-ended them at full speed.
My 7-year-old cousin is in a coma tonight at the hospital. He is just what you would expect a precocious 7-year-old to be. He is the grandson my mom hasn’t had, and the bundle of hope and pride that all children are. He has his whole life ahead of him, and we are hopeful and expectant that he will get to live it. But it only took a second to put that in jeopardy. And tonight, with the events of the past week compounded, I am sleepless with the burden that life is so. painfully. short.
At the risk of being sentimental, redundant, or preachy, I’m going to say this:
Hug the ones you love.
Think twice before you pick up your cell phone in the car. Or type in directions to your GPS. Or take that conference call on the road. There is nothing that is important enough to put someone’s life in jeopardy.
The world can change in an instant.