This past week a coworker of mine was severely injured in a car accident while he and 6 other friends were traveling back from Spring Break. They were trapped in the vehicle with their dead friend while firemen cut them out from the wreckage. These are college kids we are talking about and just starting their lives and now they are dealing with the death of a friend and two in the hospital. My coworker is still there but in recovery. This boy is one of the good ones, always smiling and laughing. His smile is one that makes you want to smile. When I heard, it was one of those moments that I sat back and thought, “Not him, really?” because it’s those good people in this world that keep it turning.
Although the accident happened last Sunday and I had heard of the story in passing, I never took the time to read any articles about it and on Thursday I found out the parties involved and I wondered to myself why I didn’t care about these people before. If Lindsay Lohan goes on some coke binger and then jumps off the Empire State Building, I am there online in like 2 seconds but these people from my community were hurt and killed and I didn’t care or take the time out of my life to find out who they were and what had happened. So at that point, my reflection period had begun.
Yesterday I felt like I had hit rock bottom of my reevaluating my life and why bad things happen to good people when I received more disturbing news. My brother-in-law’s nephew had been killed in Afghanistan on Friday evening by a roadside bomb. My mother told me and she was beside herself because my sister had called her yesterday and she was dumbfounded and had nothing to say that was comforting or anything to say at all really. This boy was 20-years-old and a newlywed. He had his whole life in front of him and then he was blown up. It’s sad, really fucking sad, that we let those young ones over there. It’s like shooting a puppy.
And so yesterday morning, my funk started again where you walk about places with that stupid dazed look on your face like you either just stoned or you are thinking deeply about something but I did come to a conclusion and it always reverts to the simple things in life: the memories, the pictures, the good times. Good people don’t just go quietly into the night, they are remembered long after their time and maybe that’s why they pass on so early so that when things seem so bad you can look at those pictures and pull out those memories and laugh a really good belly laugh and remember the good times and remember how good they were too and the lessons they taught you.
And here is where I show my nerdy side (and we all have them, I don’t care what you say you LEGO lover). There is a quote from Lord of the Ring: Two Towers and at my times of reflection I always looked to it to remind me why we are here and it goes a little something like this:
Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.
So since it is Spring and a time of life, take some time to sit down and think about what you want to be remembered for when your last day comes and take time to read those little stories about those injured or killed in an accident. You don’t want to miss missing on of the good ones in your life.