Last night, Lauren, my daughter called me crying. She had just found out that an old friend from High School’s little brother had been killed in an accident, the night before. He was 16.
When Lauren was friends with Jen, in 9th and 10th grade, they were inseperable, and, as parents do, her mom and I became friendly too. Jen and her sister, Danielle, were always such good girls. Ritchie, their little brother, was a bit outside the box. At 10, he was wearing a Mohawk. He marched to the beat of his own drummer. And his mom would just laugh, and say…”That’s Ritchie”….
As sad and tragic as it was, however, I cannot say I was shocked at the news Lauren was telling me on the phone. Ritchie died instantly. He was on a bike, and the driver of a Jeep Cherokee had killed him. It was 5:00 in the morning.
We cannot figure out what Ritchie was doing at 5am on Griffin Road, but while our first instinct is that Ritchie was once again bucking the system, perhaps he was delivering newspapers, or trying to get to school early for extra credit. The fact is, we don’t know, and might never know. Honestly, Ritchie was one of the sweetest kids you ever wanted to know..
Either way, Ritchie is gone. In an instant, a precious child’s life is gone, and a Mother and Father, and 2 sisters are left to wonder why. It seems so unfair. There are no answers. Except one. And it’s a story we hear all the time, but I wonder, how many of us live this lesson?
Live each day as if there were no tomorrow. Do any of us know if we will really make it to work or home? Are there any guarantees? Children die at any age, and so do grownups. We have no crystal balls, and no way of knowing. So, why do we live lives of unhappiness, malcontent, and general blahness? Why do we not smell every rose, wish on every star, kiss everyone we love, twice just in case, appreciate what we have, go for what we want, change careers as many times as necessary to find happiness, and reach back in our past to find people we once loved but lost our way from?
Why do we take our children, our parents, our siblings for granted? How would we act if we knew today was our last day on earth with that person? Why don’t we act that way every day?
I am reminded, and I hope you are, too. I hope my children remember this, my ex husband, my parents, and my sisters remember, too. I hope every friend on my Facebook accounts remembers, and I hope everyone goes home, and kisses someone they love very much. I hope we appreciate everything and everyone we have, and that we consciously thank God for giving those people and things to us.
I am thanking God right now. And praying that Ritchie’s memory be for a blessing to all of us.
May he rest in peace..