Coming Together

   This week’s story is about a tragic car accident that happened last Monday. Three teenagers in one vehicle collided with a single driver at an intersection on the west side of town. Two of the teenagers were pronounced dead at the scene. My heart breaks for the victims and their families of the horrible accident. My thoughts and prayers go out to them.

   I found out about the accident when I received a text from Cassidy. “We just lost a couple of our good friends today, and wanted to know if you could bring us a pizza. We just want to be together for each other right now” her text said. I told her I would be glad to. I picked up the pizza, and headed over. I thought about how tragic the situation was. I thought about how important it was for Cassidy and her friends to be there for each other.

   On my way over, I was trying to think what to say to them. When I arrived, Cassidy and her friends were waiting in her living room. I knew all of them. They are members of my adoptive granddaughter team. I could tell they had all been crying. “I’m so sorry to hear about your loss” I told them. When I asked who the kids in the accident were, I found out one of the passengers that passed away was a girl that played soccer with Cassidy. She was such a cute kid and a good friend to Cassidy. They told me a little more about the accident and the other kids in the vehicle. I could tell how much they cared for them.

   “I know this has to be very difficult for you guys right now. It’s times like this when you need your friends the most” I told them. I looked at Cassidy and said “When we lost your Grandma, it made me grateful for my family and friends. Just like this helps you guys be grateful you have each other.” Then I told them “I’m so proud of you girls, and the way you are dealing with this. You have chosen to let your friendship help you to handle this tragedy. You will find this will make the bond you have together even stronger” I told them. I looked at them, and they all had tears in their eyes. Cassidy came over a gave me a big hug. Then the rest of the girls came over and we all shared a group hug. Now my eyes started to tear up. I stepped back a little and said, “And nothing says friendship more than sharing a pizza!” The girls laughed a little and I told them to let me know if they needed anything else. “Thank you for everything Grandpa” Cassidy said with heart felt gratitude in her voice. “You really are the World’s Greatest Grandpa” her friend Faith added. That filled me with warmth and love. We shared another group hug, and I left.

   As I drove back home, my mind started to ponder many things. I thought about how there are events in our lives we can’t understand or explain. I realized we can only control the course of action we choose to process these events. I thought about how lucky I am to know these special young ladies. But the thing I knew without a doubt; it was the guidance of my Angel Shannon that inspired me to tell the girls what I did.

   The day after the accident, students from the other schools came over to Skyline High School with signs and painted rocks to show their support. They also wrote words of support and encouragement on the sidewalks. I am so impressed with their actions. They might have fun with school rivalries, but this was a time for everyone to come together. They showed everyone their true character. They are truly the future of our city and our country. I want to thank them for their compassionate example of support and empathy. It reminded me of my Angel Shannon. I will always LOVE AND MISS YOU sweetheart.

   I encourage everyone to let the people in your life know how much they mean to you. Enjoy them while they are here. Life is too short for anything else.