*While reading this back, I realized just how depressing this entry is, but it was something I needed to get off my chest. Sorry in advance!*
Have you ever heard some news that just made you stop and think? Maybe it didn’t even directly affect you, but it stuck with you all the same. This has happened twice for me. I’m not talking about news that makes you sad for a little while, and then you go on with your day. I’m talking about news you just can’t get out of your head. News that makes you stop everything you’re doing, cry, and think about your own life. I think 9/11 was that moment for a lot of Americans. Personally, I was too young when it happened to remember everything about that day, much less understand the significance of it.
For me, the first time was the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. I remember hearing about it, and it just broke me. Maybe it was because it was an Elementary school where it happened, and I couldn’t stand the thought kids being afraid when they should have been learning their ABC’s and playing on the playground. Maybe it was because it made me question humanity, and how someone could get to a point where they would do something like that. Maybe I was just going through a lot at the time, and it was just too much.
In the end, I don’t really know why it affected me like it did. I didn’t know anyone personally involved in the situation. I didn’t live close to the area. I just remember sitting down at my kitchen table and crying while my parents watched what was going on on the news.
The second time happened exactly a week ago. My mom called me and told me that there had been a wreck near my apartment at college, and wanted to know if I was okay. I told her that I was. Then, throughout the day, I started hearing about how five girls who were students at the same University as me, aged 19-21 had been involved in a car accident. Four of them had passed away shortly after the crash occurred, and the other is still in critical condition.
I didn’t know any of the girls personally since the university I attend has more than 25,000 students, but, like the elementary shooting, it just stuck with me. These girls were my age. They walked the same campus I did. One of my professors even shared with us that she had taught one of the girls in the same class I was in during a previous semester.
Sometimes it’s scary to think about just how short life is. How your life can change in only in instant, but I think it’s also good to think about it now and then. To be reminded just how precious life is and remember that each and every day is a gift.
So today, take some time out of your busy schedule to stop and be thankful for your life. Hug someone you love, sit outside and enjoy the day, or just take some time for yourself. I promise you won’t regret it. 🙂
To the families and friends personally affected by this tragedy, my thoughts and prayers are with you.