Wednesday, October 6, 2010

For Carly

I will remember you, Carly. You will not be forgotten. Your (short) life meant something.

On one of the most scenic roads in my relatively small town, your memorial still stands. As I drive past your cross and flowers, I remember how you died. The newspaper article was heartbreaking. Your mother, trying to protect you, would pick you up from school, half a mile away. But you wanted to walk home. You surely knew the way at age 13, just starting to blossom with independence. At last, she relented. It was your very first time walking home. You and your friends were laughing and joking as you crossed at the designated place. The park was behind you, the median with it's canal and trees ahead of you. You were lagging a bit behind, probably laughing, when the van came out of nowhere and mowed you down. 68 in a 35 mph zone. You didn't stand a chance.

Oh how our town grieved. The senseless tragedy, and the horror of having a mother's worst fear confirmed just as she'd started to loosen the reigns just a bit. And we cried for the young driver, with the new license, who promptly went home and shot himself. For years, we had those portable “Your speed is” contraptions set up at your intersection. And then time went by. The road was repaved. Re-striped. Speed limit lowered.  Yet still today, many drive by much too quickly.   


Carly, I remember you, and I slow down and say a prayer and gaze in sorrow at the spot which to this day, 17 years later, tells your story. And I grieve. Your life was short, but it was not wasted. You will remain in our town's hearts, and I hope that others might slow down a bit when they pass by this reminder.

This is round two of Alphabe-Thursday.  I know, I've missed the last two weeks.  But it's good to be back today.  Check out some other great posts featuring the letter C over at Jenny Matlock's "off on my tangent".

23 comments:

Brian Miller said...

dang. sad tale. grisly. imagine that will stick with many in town.

Jo said...

it so senseless that some people still dont get the lesson ... what a tragedy for a small town...

Jingle said...

smart words...

here is mine;
http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/5971/
thanks for the visit.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

How horrible! I can't imagine having this happen.

Judie said...

What a sweet and loving post! You know that people will always remember Carly!

Annesphamily said...

Your tribute was heartbreaking. I appreciate your frankness and thoughtful words. Nothing can bring a precious life back but the memory of this beautiful young girl will forever be in the hearts of the town and the people there. Thank you and come see me soon. Anne

Julienne said...

The letter C is getting sadder by the minute! I am going to go and cook some macarons so I can stop the tears!

Sue said...

This is a story I've heard before, too many times. And I have an intersection in my own town that will always remind me of a group of young girls driving their brand new VW home after an afternoon pizza party.

Now and then, I see that someone has left a bouquet or balloon to remember them.

My name is PJ. said...

Heartbreaking, Tina, and very well written. This is something many of us have experienced in our towns. Two of my brothers were hit by cars; one of them twice. They were lucky and survived. Others in my town did not.


There's a drawing on my Wed post you might enjoy.

J. Kwiatkowski said...

How horrible! It's too sad to bear.

JStar said...

Ok I am crying now...I am overbearing myself with my girls. I insist on driving my girls everywhere and this is only one reason why. At times I try to let go and let them be more independant. But this made me not want to allow them to spread thier wings in fear that my horrors would come true...This is sad...

Terra said...

Oh how sad. A tear jerker, a heartstring puller. So sad, but so glad you shared.

5thsister said...

And now Carly's memory will live on in those of us touched by this heart felt post. God bless Carly and all those touched by this tragedy.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Oh my, prayers for everyone touched by such a tragedy. Beautiful tribute...

Aging Mommy said...

Wonderfully told story Tina. How heartbreaking - a young girl's life cut short and the young man who did it then takes his own life. Danger spots like these need those speed cameras to stop people.

Amanda said...

Oh, Tina, I remember this double tragedy so well. So devastating. A youthful mistake with such horrible consequences. So many hateful words spoken by angry moms in the community.... I've often wondered if the young driver would have taken his life, if the community had been less cruel?

H said...

A parent's worst nightmare! Some drivers do not have the emotional maturity to understand the consequences that can come from their actions!

Cheryl said...

Tough read, Tina. Reality usually is.

Viki said...

This is so sad. Beautiful tribute to Carly.

purejoy said...

what a loving tribute to the letter C. her young, small life mattered. and it still does.

criticalcrass said...

yeah, this was a lovely tribute. so sad.

Pondside said...

How very sad. I lost three friends to a terrible car accident in the last year of high school - so long ago, but many of us still remember.

Jenny said...

Tina. Oh my. What a powerful, poignant and well written reminder of the precious fragility of life.

I am almost stunned by your words here.

Each one crafted the horror and pain of this awful moment for so many.

Thank you for linking.

I am humbled by your writing. You make me strive to do better with this craft.

Thank you.

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