*WARNING: the following post could cause crying, tightening of the chest and uncontrollable urges to go hug like there's no tomorrow your kids, your significant other and, quite possibly, your dog. or cat. i'm easy.*
the letter started out easily enough.
"dear mom & dad, every 15 minutes, someone dies as a result of an alcohol-related accident."
then it turned. badly.
"today, i died."
the letter is a part of this program. a woman i work with has two boys in high school and one of them was 'chosen' to be killed in a crash and had to write this letter.
the program selects some kids to be 'killed'. some were driving the car drunk that killed their friends. the 'killed' ones wore black all day and could not speak to any of their friends during the day.
then, right before lunch (ed. note: never EVER plan any gut-wrenching assembly right before lunch. it's just wrong.), the school had an assembly where they read obituaries on each of the 'dead' kids.
and the moms cried.
hell, i cried, just thinking about the pain that parents DO feel when their kids, their friends, their loved ones are killed as a result of drunk/buzzed/no-really-i'm-OK-to-drive driving.
every 15 minutes.
i'm lucky. no one i knew or cared about was ever hurt or killed in a drunk driving accident, or as a result of one. well...wait. that's not exactly true.
my mom & i were.
i had turned 20, we were on our way home, less than 1/2 a mile from our home in fact, and making a left turn on to our street.
the only thing i remember is my mom saying 'oh shiiii...' the next thing we were spinning like a completely psycho Tea Cup from Disneyland.
when i realized what had happened, there was a huge face at my window, banging on the glass, asking me if i was OK.
and all i could think was 'lady, i'd be a lot better if you'd stop yelling and banging. you're making my headache worse.'
we were lucky. no. blessed. the Hand of God was truly on us that day, because the idiot that hit us was doing at least 60MPH coming down the hill as he hit us. he t-boned us just past the right passenger door.
a few inches more and my mom might not have been here. the cops said that i definitely would not be here, because the force of the impact would have probably flung me out of the car.
oh, and did i mention we didn't wear seatbelts? didn't have to then. we did after that.
nothing serious in the way of after-effects. broken nose (me), bruised ribs (both), a huge dent in my mother's leg where she was jammed into the steering wheel.
who cares about a dent or bruising. we're both still alive.
so, while the idea of 'every 15 minutes' seems shocking at first, and the realization of every parents nightmare, i agree with their philosophy: if it saves just one life, it was so worth it.
go now. hug someone (or several someones) you love. because today is short and tomorrow's never EVER a guarantee.
and you never know what the next 15 minutes may bring.