Thanksgiving is over and we’re in that big push to Christmas with a short stop at Hanukkah and everyone’s either decorating, shopping, wrapping, baking like crazy or shaking their heads thinking “look at all those nuts put themselves through all of that work!”
I’m trying to remain neutral on the mad dash business. Over the years I’ve come to realize that some people really do enjoy that hustle and bustle. I’m of the school of thought that says the Christmas holiday is to be carefully prepared for and enjoyed as a Christian celebration with the baby Jesus at the center of it all. But I have a little of all that on my mind, some minimal shopping and some teacher gifts, etc. and of course wanting to get the house cleaned and decorated so I can enjoy being home with the kids for a nice long break. The other thing that’s on my mind is returning to work and with that thoughts of finishing the de-cluttering I’d set out to do in earnest when I stopped working back in February as well as enjoying a few last days of bumming around.
So that’s a fair amount going on, right? Well the thing that’s been foremost on my mind since yesterday is the news of the horrible tragedy that took place right in my own neighborhood over the Thanksgiving holiday. A woman, who happened to be an elementary school principal and what happens to be the school where a few of Kate’s soccer friends attend, was out of a walk and stepped out into the street to cross but never made it. A car came around the bend, probably with the driver a little blinded by the strong afternoon sun and hit her as she attempted to cross. She died right there on Wednesday afternoon.
I go up and down this same street several times each day. It is my main route into and out of my immediate neighborhood and I had no idea this had happened until yesterday when another mom from my kids’ school mentioned it to me when I was over there picking them up. I thought of that poor woman out walking for exercise and being run down, I thought of her devastated family getting the news on the day before Thanksgiving, I thought of the poor young guy who was driving the car, he’s 18 years old and will never be the same again. If I think about the accident each time I drive up and down that street imagine what he thinks about being on that road. I also think about the kids at the school where the lady was principal. Once your kids are in a school for a few years you can’t help but get familiar with the principal. My own daughter’s friends lost their principal last week, it’s just hard to believe somehow.
There’s more–I’ve been thinking about the times I’ve driven out on my way to a meeting or an interview preoccupied with getting my GPS settled onto where I’m going or my seat belt buckled or the temp or the radio adjusted. These are the times when all is well when there’s nothing in the road that you’re not expecting. I also think about my own walks around the neighborhood with earbuds in my ears and my 80’s jam blasting away; and all of the others in our neighborhood who walk for daily exercise or to exercise the dog.
Finally, I think about my children who have an underground tunnel from our side of the street to the other side, where their school is located and they do use it. But what about our side streets? What about the few times a neighbor mentioned they saw one of my kids crossing the tree without looking.
Life is so fragile and precious – that’s what I’ve been thinking about….