Recently, a girl from Meade County died in a car wreck. She was 27, a young mother of a little boy.
I recently got to know her, though I don’t claim to know her well.
Not like her many, many friends. Not like my new sister-in-law. You see,
this girl, Sarah Hottell, and I were both bridesmaids in my husband’s
brother’s wedding in December.
I missed most of the other bridesmaid-related activities that would
have allowed me to meet all of these ladies and know them a little
better before the wedding. But still, they all were incredibly nice and
welcoming to me, especially considering they had been friends with each
other for years.
Whenever Sarah spoke with me, it always was with an overabundance of
friendliness. My husband was friends with her brother, so we had that
link in common. And we were both mothers, both went to the same high
school, though at different times.
The thing is, as I’ve said, I didn’t know her well. But it’s hard
not to be touched in such a situation. It’s hard not to wish there was
something you could do, even though most of her family and friends were
strangers to me. And I don’t want to attach myself to someone else’s
grief because it isn’t my story. It isn’t my pain.
But people I care about are hurting. A little boy is left without his mother. And it’s hard to ignore that.
Three years ago, my closest friend from high school lost her
brother’s wife, Carissa Foushee, her niece, Adie, and her nephew, Rance,
in a car wreck.
This one hit a little closer to home. Once again, I didn’t know them
all that well. But I considered my friend and her parents as a second
family. I’m not sure, but I might have spent more time at her house in
my later high school years than I did in my own.
It shook me. And part of it was for selfish reasons, I admit. Yes, I
felt for the family, so, so much. And I wanted so badly to take away
their pain, for it not to have happened at all. But I couldn’t stop
putting myself in their situation. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I
would deal if something like this happened to me. I couldn’t imagine.
I still can’t imagine.
It affected everything I did, everything I said for months. It
affected how I mothered my son. They are all such good, kind people. And
when some form of tragedy happens to good, kind people, we want to know
And I was a relatively new mom at the time. My little boy was just a
year and a half old. And what I’ve discovered with being a mother is I
feel everything so much more than I used to. I cry watching commercials
or movies that never bothered me before. I can’t read news stories about
children being hurt because it’s something I can’t understand, and
something I can’t stop thinking about.
I’ve heard it said your child is like your heart walking outside of
your body and that is exactly how I feel. So when I hear of tragedies
happening to people I have ties with, I don’t know how to react.
I have no answers for why these things happen. And I have no comforting words to offer those who have lost people they love.
But I am always thinking about them. And I am always hoping their pain eases some.
*This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on January 23, 2013.