There was another tragic accident to hit our town this weekend. It was the first weekend of Spring Break and five high school students died in a single car crash outside of town. You can read the article here. I think the saddest part of the whole thing is what one student said at the end of the article. She said “We’ve been through it, so we know how to help each other through it." (regarding wishing school was in session.)
I wrote this post two years ago about more local deaths, I know a lot more have happened between now and then. In fact, last year in late spring/early summer two boys were killed by a third downtown in a shooting. I think earlier in the year there was a car crash, if not then the year before a few youngsters died in a crash. The teens in this town have been to too many funerals, they know too much loss. The parents in this town have seen too many youngsters die, either their own, friend's children, or their children's friends. It's heartbreaking.
I don't know any of the family's, I might know the teens. They probably have come into my work. I try to connect to everyone who walks through the door, but if you do it more than once in a while I form a better connection. The best I can do at the moment is to play with my children (R's reading and told me "leave me 'lone!" and H is sleeping at the moment). To teach them to wear their seat belts, no exceptions! When they are older, make sure they learn to drive well, don't let them have passengers or be a passenger with a car that has more than one or two people. I'd rather fork over gas money for my child to drive by themselves than for them to get into a car with a rowdy group!
I know I can't protect my girls from everything, there's a lot of bad luck, decisions, people, etc out there but I can teach them to be responsible. I can love them. And I can keep the lines of communication open. My heart breaks for those family's, for the youth of our town, for those young lives lost and unable to live up to the potential they had. I do strongly believe that people are called Home when it is their time but it's so hard to believe that all five of those youngsters were done doing their life's purpose.
Go hug those who you can, tell the people you love that they mean something to you, and...I don't know, do whatever it is you can to help protect our youth! Every time something like this happens I am blown away!