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sympathy sucks

Want to hear something sad?

Probably not but I have to tell you because since I heard it at 5:00 this morning, I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.

A couple of days ago two teenage kids were killed when they were hit by a drunk driver going 100 miles an hour down a road where that in itself is highly illegal (three times illegal actually). The man was arrested and goes to court today at 1:15. But that’s not the sad part. I forgot about that almost as soon as I heard it.

I didn’t think of it again until Dave said “I used to coach that kid in basketball, I can’t believe he’s 18 already.”

Well, was 18.

And that was sad, too, but still, just news about someone Dave used to know when he was more of a kid.

Like when you hear about someone you knew as a child dying at the age of 55. It’s not as sad because you didn’t know that 55-year-old person. You knew the 10-year-old they’ll forever be… that one didn’t die.

Dave always comes to bed late. Around 5:30 a.m. when he works and around 3 or 4 when he doesn’t. He didn’t work last night but came shuffling down the hall at 5:30 anyways. Instead of the usual grunt goodnight and mild tossing and turning before drifting into oblivion, he lay still for a few moments before opening his mouth.

“I went to Corey’s crash site tonight to pay my respects.”


“His mom was there all by herself. She recognized me. She said, ‘Hey didn’t you used to coach Corey in basketball?'”

Corey’s mom was at his crash site shrine at 3:00 in the morning last night, all by herself in the freezing cold and the pouring rain, “because I couldn’t sleep,” she said. “I wanted to make sure the candles stayed lit,” as she bent to relight the votives and tealights her dead son’s friends and loved ones had placed in his honor on the street corner where he died.

I can’t get that image out of my head. THAT, I can’t stop thinking about. The image of a mourning mother in the middle of the night remembering her son ¬†while so many, like me, went to sleep and forgot, brings me to tears.


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November 22, 2011 · 1:33 pm