Monday, March 25, 2013

Life Can Change in an Instant

Another heavy post today. I think I need another edition of Smiling is My Favorite after this post.
My heart has been heavy this weekend. It is heavy for a woman I didn't know, but was very similar to myself.

On Friday morning there was a 3 car accident on the highway I take every single morning. A west bound truck crossed over several lanes of traffic and crashed into two cars traveling east. One of those cars carried a teacher to work. She grew up in the small community she now lived in, and would drive the 30 minutes or so to  the larger city to teach high school English. They used the jaws of life to free her from the wreckage, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. That morning was her last day of work before spring break. It was also her last day of work before she went on maternity leave. She was 8+ months pregnant.

I haven't been able to get her out of my head since I heard the news.  I am hurting for her husband. Obviously. He lost his wife and his baby girl that he never got to meet. I am hurting for her students as well. She was well loved in the school (one of her students even asked her to be the godmother of her baby). Lord knows our students need good, strong adults in their lives. I am hurting for the other teachers in her building. The phrase "it takes a village" really does apply to schools, especially the low income schools that we both teach in.

The similarities between her and I are pretty obvious. We both live in this small community, and drive the same roads. We teach in low income schools, she is at one of the high schools in town, and I am at one of the middle schools. We both are in our early 30's. I can think of so many mornings when I have left and was grumpy with my husband for something dumb. Selfishly, I can't help but think, what if I were to leave in a bad mood and then something like that were to happen to me? What would the people most important to me remember?

I want my students to know that they can be anything they want to. I love my job and the main reason is them. My students are such a big part of my life and I worry and think about them after they leave my school.
I want my friends and family to know how much I value our time together. I hate how easy it is to not get together.
I want my husband to know how important he is to me. How much he means to me and how I know my life is more complete with him in it.

Has anything hit you? What do you want people to remember about you?


Jen said...

:( This just breaks my heart.

Kristin said...

This post makes me ache for that poor woman's family.

My mom sent me a text message today telling me a woman from my hometown died of cancer (pretty suddenly) today. I went to school with her kids, she was the florist for our wedding, lived down the street from my parents, etc.

It just made me stop in the middle of my school day, and now I can't get it out of my head.

I'm totally guilty of the "grumpy" thing. :(

Erika said...

Oh my goodness. So sad and scary. How heartbreaking for her husband...I can't imagine. :( They will be in my prayers.

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

So sad. Something like that definitely shakes you up, and the silver lining is that we usually start paying more attention to the things that matter to us.

Angi said...

That is so sad. I've been thinking about this same thing lately - I had a coworker pass away from pancreatic cancer last week. A month and a half ago, she was fine - went to the doctor for a stomachache, was diagnosed, and passed away less than 2 months later. It really makes you appreciate the life you have and makes you stop and think about the people who mean the most to you.

Becky Dougherty said...

That is truly sad. It certainly reminds us that life is short, and we should live every moment like it is our last.