Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hug 'em tightly.

September 2009 013, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

This bench is in front of the high school where Bun has swim practice. There is a very large grassy area, and yesterday I took a tennis ball and we threw it around to amuse ourselves before heading over to watch big sister swim her last few laps.

To one side, sits this very nice bench, placed in memory of a student, his sister, and (I gather) his father, who were killed by a drunk driver in 1997. I have always thought memorial benches are a nicer way to honor a passed loved one than a fancy grave marker, as they're typically someplace the deceased enjoyed while alive, or at least someplace survivors frequent more often than a cemetery. I wonder if the mother in this family goes and sits there, if the anniversary of these tragic deaths (January 17) is marked with flowers... Were there other children in this family who were 'spared'? Or, was it one of those 'lose your family in a flash' events like in the movie 21 Grams? How did that mom cope, beyond this memorial?

Then I wonder if the students even notice the memorial plaques. 1997 may have been when they were preschoolers--ancient history! Plus, your average high school student suspects they're immortal. Two of my classmates died while I was on high school, but one had cancer, and the other committed suicide. On the whole, we were invincible, or so we felt. Who knows. I am pretty sure other parents who find themselves at this bench, if nothing else, come away wanting to hold on tight to their kids, and never let 'em go.

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