Friday, February 12, 2010

Never Take Life For Granted

It has been a year, a WHOLE year that I have actually been able to sit down to think and write about what has been going on in my life. All of a sudden, when life wasn't already busy enough - it got busier. Now I will spend the next few months recounting all of the amazing adventures I have been having in 2009.

I have been truly blessed and I am so grateful for life and everything that I have been able to achieve in it.

But in order to really appreciate life, we must find balance, which for me, is finding time to sit and reflect on the lessons I've learned from the experience I have gained... and write it all down so that I can always look back and remember how lucky I am to be here.

Today I received the tragic news that my cousin Katie died. At the age of 22, in the prime of her life, driving home late from work, she was struck head on by a drunk driver. She died instantly. Her 18 year old passenger lies in critical condition and the 25 year old drunk driver (who entered ongoing traffic to avoid being pulled over by the police) received minor injuries.

Once again I contemplate life and why must it be so unfair sometimes? Katie is the youngest in her family, the only daughter of my Aunt (my Uncle has two daughters from a previous marriage). She was a glorious gift to her family. My Aunt will never see her only daughter get married and the thought just breaks my heart.

Why do some of us live and some of us have to die in order for life lessons to be learned? What is the lesson in this tragedy? Who is it for? How many people have to die from drunk driving accidents before people actually STOP doing it? Why must it hit close to home before it registers? The rules are simple... if you drink, do not drive. You are playing Russian Roulette if you do... and that makes you a calculated murderer.

In this past year I have been hit hard by three separate drunk driving incidents. In my hometown, Hanmer Ontario, three teens were hit by a drunk driver when they were walking home from a night at the movies. Two were killed instantly as the car drove into them like bowling pins. The third was dragged under the car a few hundred feet. The driver slammed his vehicle into the side of a house and tried to run away. He escaped without any injuries. The tragedy shook the small town - even those of us who didn't know the victims.

Then a few months later another cousin of mine lost her boyfriend to a hit and run (suspected drunk driver) when he was walking alone back to their campground. They had just bought a house and were about to move in. He had a lot more life to live. I still can't even fathom the loss she feels and will carry with her forever.

Now Katie is gone. Once again reminded that life is so precious and in an instant it can end. We are all on borrowed time and none of us know when we will be called back to meet our maker.

Everyday I am grateful for my life, especially when tragedy strikes. 25 years ago my life was threatened by cancer and for some reason my life was spared - defied the odds - so that I could help others who are affected and need support from someone who understands exactly what they are going through. Each time another young person passes away with the disease, I thank God and pray that I am doing good work of this gift of life he has given me.

And sometimes when I feel that it's unfair that I could not have children, I have to remind myself that I am here to help hundreds of kids. I will never feel the love that is only shared between a mother and her child, but I will also never have to experience the pain of losing a child either. I'm sure it's a pain I would never want to bear. So Auntie Lise, I am praying for you and sending you all my love right now. You have the strongest heart of anyone I know and somehow I know that it is going to end up even bigger.

Katie is going to look after Grandpa and Nanny, Uncle Ray and Cody. I think they all needed some sunshine. She'll bring lots of it to them.

1 comment:

Monica said...

Sweet Tracy,

I am just getting caught up on here and have just read your news about your cousin Katie. My heart aches for your family's loss, especially in this way. Tragedies like this don't make sense... yet somehow God promises to do something beautiful in the midst of our losses. I pray that would be abundantly true for you and your family.


Love Monica