Five Months: Advocacy

41 - pic for Five Months

When someone you love dies, you are left floundering around in so many ways. How do I live now? How do I function now? For me, even as I struggle with my faith and my anger and disappointment, I still believe that God’s going to bring – or perhaps wring – good out of this catastrophe, to whatever degree is possible.

The bike rodeo is going forward. We are so moved by this – and a little panicky. What will they need from us? Are we prepared for this?? The more we think on it, the more right it is. Mark made a mistake; the driver made a mistake. Maybe talking about it…maybe reminding kids that Mark was just like them (he went to the same schools, swam on the same swim team, was a Boy Scout, did Tae Kwon Do…) so that they know “this can happen to anyone!”…will help save another child’s life one day. Spare another mom, dad and sister this incredibly awful pain.

Recently, members of our civic association voted on whether to proceed with the possibility of adding speed tables to one of the busier/cut-through streets in our neighborhood. Steve went to the meeting. I wasn’t going to go (translation: I was in my yoga pants, contacts out/glasses on, and the bra was off), but when he got home after an hour and a half – tired, hungry, and reporting there was still debate going on – I threw on a heavy sweatshirt to hide my “unbound” state and hopped in the car.

I really really love my neighbors. And I have always been able to see both sides of an argument. I knew this was a contentious matter and honestly, I don’t know whether there is a single right solution. None of us should speed, especially in neighborhoods. Bikers need to obey the rules of the road and not blow through stop signs. But we ALL go too fast, and we are painfully aware that it doesn’t take much to ruin a body.

So I stood up and I told our story. So many people there knew Mark, know our family. But a man I didn’t know stood up after I spoke and said, “Well – how many kids have been hit by cars in THIS neighborhood?” As though my kid getting hit by a car “somewhere else” makes it somehow different?!?

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