One Dumb Decision

My heart has been heavy since I heard about the car accident early Saturday morning. 

Even as I read the tweet informing that the intersection was closed due to a collision, I knew it was serious. And, as I do whenever I see or hear of a major traffic accident, I sent a little prayer out that everyone involved was okay.

My prayer went unanswered. I came to learn as the weekend went on that one young man had died, a life cut too short too soon by a drunk driver.

And I’m sad. Sad that a man my husband’s age – with his best years before him – was killed so senselessly. Sad that his family and loved ones will have to carry on without him. Sad that so many lives have been changed forever because of one dumb kid making one dumb decision.

The more I learn of the accident, the more I can’t help but think of my uncle Dana and my auntie Lila. On Christmas eve the year I turned 13, a policeman came to our door to tell us that a drunk driver had blown a stop sign and t-boned my uncle’s car. My uncle was killed instantly, and my aunt was thrown from the car. She died later in the hospital.

The death of a family member always leaves a mark, but these deaths left two: the initial trauma of the accident, and the trauma for years after of caring for my aunt and uncle’s two orphaned children.

My cousins came to live with us after the funeral. For several years, until they moved back to Ontario to live with my other uncle and be closer to their grandparents, they served as a daily reminder of the consequences of one dumb decision.

I didn’t know the young man who died Saturday morning, but I know he was loved. I know he brought value to this world, and I know his is a loss that will be felt for years and years to come.

My heart goes out to the people who knew and loved him – the people who are unfairly suffering the consequences of one dumb decision.

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