I had a post all ready to go for today, and then something happened during class this evening that made me go errrrrt! *Change direction entirely*
Friday evening, Ian and I were enjoying the ridiculous hilarity of Jonah Hill in The Sitter.We kept hearing sirens blare by, but that's nothing unusual in this neck of the woods. My apartment complex is off of a main road, so seeing fire trucks and hearing ambulances wailing is part of my daily life. Admittedly, I've grown accustomed to those sorts of noise bursts and I take the emergency of which they're part for granted. We didn't think much of it, though Ian did comment that there seemed to be an awful lot of sirens this particular night. I didn't think any more about it until today.
I received an email this afternoon alerting me that the (one) main road leading into and out of my apartment complex would be closed for several hours this Saturday due to the accident that had occurred last Saturday (technically Saturday, though I thought of it as the wee hours of Friday evening). The apartment complex staff apologized profusely for the inconvenience, but explained that understandably, they needed to cooperate with police requests. The email ticked me off a bit because I'll need access to and from my apartment, but I wasn't too perturbed. There wasn't anything anyone could do about it, so I would work around whatever reason they were closing the road.
Cue It's a Small World After All. In class this evening, I found out that a young man who had just dropped off a friend at an apartment in my complex was killed by a drunk driver cresting a blind spot on that main road, directly across from my complex. I had heard the sirens, I had read the email, but I didn't make the connection until class. Nearly everyone in my class was affected differently; one of my classmates vicariously knew the young man, one of my classmates was in a bad car accident several months ago and is still putting the pieces of her life back together, one of them recently experienced the very traumatic death of her son's friend, one of them lives half a mile away from me and had also heard the sirens late that night, one was caring for the late young man's girlfriend in her fragile emotional state, and others were relating stories of losses they had experienced or how they would feel if their innocent child were killed suddenly. I immediately felt guilty for having been irritated by that email, and the story hit me literally close to home.
I was profoundly struck by how short life really is (the young man was 26), how small this world really is, how everything happens for a reason, and how everything can change in an instant. I don't think I could have thrown any more cliches in there. Cliche, but so very true. It was amazing to me how every person in that room was able to relate to the death of this young man, and yet not one of us knew him personally. I elected not to publish his name, but my most heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to those who survive him and who have bravely made it through the past 4 days without him.
This tragedy is not the least of which incidents encourage me to live every day as if it were on purpose, and to not take a single moment of my existence for granted. I thank God for each and every day He gives me, whether it's full of enough shit to stink a pig out of the barn, or whether it's beautiful and blessed and smiles all-around, "for life is short but sweet for certain."