Zuzu’s petals

He was on his way to school. Well, where else was a 16 year old going at 7:19 in the morning, about a block from the high school? A car emerged from a side street and tagged him. That impact would probably have been exciting, or worth a whole lot of mileage if it had ended there. Bragging rights, if nothing else. Unfortunately, that first impact forced him to lose control of his car, which spun into the path of another car, on the same four lane, 40 mph street, but going the opposite direction. Hardly a blow of mercy, but certainly the death blow. He lingered on life support for less than 24 hours.

Who knows what would have prevented his death at that moment? Giving him all the benefit of the doubt, maybe the driver of the car that first hit his was distracted by, by what? Cell phone? In this day and age, very likely; but at this point, entirely unknown. Maybe the driver of the third car was distracted. Anyway, the young man was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Inches and seconds.

His father had died of cancer a few years ago, and now his mother has three kids to bring up. Solo. Enough tears in her life to fill an ocean, and then some.

We never know, do we? Like a thief in the night, true. But, “forward-looking information is subject to risk and uncertainty,” notwithstanding, what have we lost by losing him? At the very least, his life. But, few of us manage to live an actuarial-normal life w/o impacting others, or even participating the creation of others. So, as we, his survivors, move forward, and his immediate family comes to grips with the emptiness his death has given them, could we all, please, just make a conscious, deliberate effort to get our priorities in order? Please.

James Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life” received the gift of seeing what the tiny, little world of Bedford Falls would not become if he had never lived. Since Teagan McGinnis has not been given that gift, rather he has given it to us, could we please take it to heart?


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