The news this week has been sad and worse. News came to us of a terrible traffic accident in which one of our students died. Another student has died a few days later from injuries in the same accident.
I didn't know either of these students, but I'm stunned and saddened. I can't imagine how the world has changed for their parents.
I don't think much about how fragile humans are usually. I think parents think about their kids being fragile; certainly, most parents are protective. Sometimes I get frustrated by how protective people seem about their kids, how they hover and try to intervene in every aspect of their kids lives. I wonder at kids not being allowed to ride bikes by themselves or go to the park or whatever at an age when I was exploring my world with a fair sense of freedom.
But today I've been thinking about how those students' parents must have tried to protect them, and worried when they couldn't protect them, from the time they were born until the day they died.
I forget sometimes how hard it must be for parents to try so hard to keep their kids safe for so long, and then step back and watch them go off to college, make decisions that seem iffy and dangerous.
Reading about these students, and the others who survived in the same car crash, they sound like people who made good decisions, were doing well, would have been a source of great pride to family and friends.
But, purely by chance, a tire came off a truck going the opposite direction at precisely the moment it could hit the students' van, and all the protectiveness of their parents, all their good decisions and hard work are stopped short.