A family I have known all my life-I went to school and church with them, my kids went to school and church with them, my son's best friend is part of this family-was hit by tragedy last week. On an early summer Wednesday evening two of the boys, 16 and 14, cousins and best friends set out in an ATV, This family is a farm family and ATV's and horses are a routine part of their day. The sixteen year old was driving. They hit some loose dirt and the ATV rolled and the 14 year old who was not wearing a seatbelt was thrown from the vehicle and the vehicle rolled over him. After many frantic phone calls the 16 year old finally got hold of his uncle, my son's best friend, and he and the 16 year old's father rushed to the scene of the accident to find the boy cradling his 14 year old cousin who was dead.
This tragedy is multiplied so many times. Two childhoods lost, that of both the child who died and the child who survived. Great grandparents who lost a great grandchild and who have another great-grandchild severely affected, who are grieving not only for those children but for their children and grandchildren. And on down the line. Grandparents, parents, siblings.
Life is too short not to grab on and hold on to every moment we have with both hands. Too short not to wrap ourselves as tight as we can around every moment with the ones we love. No matter what we tell ourselves, we can't do this if alcohol is stealing parts of our lives from us, if alcohol is stealing parts of us from others.
We have now, who are we in this moment? Are we who we want to be right now if in another minute life forces us to become someone else? Our life will change, that goes without saying. How many moments of perfect serenity will we sacrifice if we don't grab what we can right now?