Human beings are astoundingly resilient, but the things we fill our world with make us frail.
I’m not one to post news items very much, but something happened Wednesday that moved my wife and me.
It started with my drive into work. I took one of my two routes, and where there are usually a moderate number of cars, I was met by standstill traffic and long lines at intersections. My 25-minute drive to work turned into 48 minutes. Needless to say, I was tardy.
After I’d been at work a while, a co-worker said that he had heard about a fatal wreck that shut down a major highway used by commuters headed to Dallas. I don’t drive into the city, but the route I take could be used as an alternate path for those who do. That explained my long wait.
I was glad I was safe and that my workplace didn’t get up in arms about the occasional late arrival. I also thought of how sad it was that the crash victim would never drive to work or anywhere else again.
At home, Shannon told me that as she and Ben headed across town that afternoon, she saw a horribly smashed and burned lump that resembled a car. Her heart sank because she knew there was no way anyone in that car survived. On the five o’clock news, the reporters said that the driver was 33 — Shannon’s age — and had three children.
The good news is that the children were not in the car at the time. Sadly, they no longer have a mother. She left behind them and a loving, brokenhearted husband who said, “She was simple. She went to work, she worked hard, she came home and she took care of us.”
She was not a celebrity, so her death will not be mourned by millions. She was a working mother on her way to her job, at an intersection I drive through on most of my morning commutes. A sand truck struck her car and dragged it 150 yards, where it burst into flame.
The Dallas Morning News posted a story online the day of the accident.
(link no longer works — sorry) – Read all of this to really get a feel for who she was and how much her family loved her. I almost held it together as I read Amani Carter’s words about his wife. (As a former journalist, this makes me glad I worked for a newspaper and not for television. Worth noting, however, is that TV reporters contributed to this story.)
A local television station showed the car on the tow truck, just as Shannon saw it. (link no longer works — sorry)
The Carters would have celebrated their 15th anniversary in August — the same month Shannon and I will celebrate ours. This story hits home on too many levels. I have no idea whether Cynthia Carter could have done anything to prevent this accident, and I would never deign to suggest it. However, I did implore Shannon to always look to the sides before trusting a greenlight.
Then I hugged her as she cried.
I can’t imagine what Amani Carter must be going through right now. Our hearts go out to him and his family.