You know what’s frustrating? Sailing along on your drive home then suddenly coming to a dead stop.
Why can’t people drive? It’s a five-lane city street with a speed limit of 50 mph. What’s the problem? What’s their deal?
Last night I experienced this. One second, full-speed ahead. The next, crawling and dealing with the jam-up.
Then I saw it: a child had been hit. He was on the ground, a sack of groceries scattered across the sidewalk. An older male was hovering over him, hoping he’d respond; a female was at his left shoulder, rocking back and forth with tears streaming down her face.
A dead stop.
The term has never seemed so staggeringly sobering, so full of sorrow, so heavy.
It was so recent that the traffic hadn’t really even had time to build up yet, nor had a large crowd. But they’d come before too long. They’d come to see if they could help, to see if it was one of their own from the neighborhood, to see if it was a friend, or just simply to see.
I dialed 911 and was told that the incident I reported had also been reported by others, and I was grateful for that. I continued on my drive home and saw the ambulance, a fire truck and a few police cars heading back towards the scene. My heart was heavy for a child I did not know, for a life that was hanging in the balance and for other lives that would no doubt be affected for years to come by what they’d seen.
Today I am thankful for our first responders and for the reminder that nothing is ever so important that we can’t slow down to pay attention. Getting home is on most everyone’s list of priorities at the end of a day, but slowing to ensure others reach their homes is a gift that gives to so many more than just that one person.