Tuesday, August 7, 2012


This afternoon I got the sad news that my sister-in-law's teenage cousin passed away early this morning in a car accident. She was sixteen. Her twin sister was not in the car. Every day when I drive on the highways around Chicago I see the signs listing the number of traffic deaths so far this year on Illinois highways. Suddenly, those 500+ deaths are a lot more personal. I did not know this young girl very well. We met a few times two years ago during the wedding festivities when my brother and her cousin got married. We were both bridesmaids (along with six other girls). But I know that my sister-in-law was very close to her cousins. I also know that this is not the first time a child died too soon in my sister-in-law's family. Her own brother died about fifteen years ago from a heart condition when he was twelve years old. Parents should not have to bury their children. Grandparents should not have to bury their grandchildren, let alone two of their grandchildren. All I can do right now is to send my prayers and hug my own daughters a little tighter. Tonight I let Maggie stay up a little past her bedtime just to spend a few more minutes with her. As parents, we do all we can to protect our children. We teach them how to recognize and avoid danger from an early age. And yet still, accidents happen. Kids drive to fast. Cars flip over. Families are shattered beyond recognition in the blink of an eye. So hug your babies while you have them. Call your griend that you haven't talked to for a while. Never miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them.

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