Stop. Slow Down. Stop.
This morning, Halloween morning, a mother wakes possibly looking at the costumes her children were excited to wear, has ingredients sitting on her counter for the class party treats she may have helped to plan. She might not watch for the bus, maybe she’ll be sedated, but she’ll hear it. She’ll know when it arrives. Or if it passes her house because it no longer needs to stop for her children.
This morning. Halloween morning, just another Wednesday for some of us, a mother wonders how to move on. A father catches tears with his thumb and first finger wiping his eyes clear of the canceled plans of the day. He won’t need to worry about that project due at work. Somehow all the stress that led him here, to this Halloween day, will end because just as easily as he may have hoped before, someone else will come in and pick up the pieces in his career so he won’t need to fill his mind with his job.
This morning, Halloween morning, classrooms will miss three beautiful young children. The air will lack their laughter. The streets, filled with monsters, goblins, and princesses, won’t be the same without them.
“Trick or Treat,” one may have said.
“Smell my feet,” the other may have replied, probably his twin brother.
“I can’t wait for tonight. Mommy, have you finished my costume yet?” the boys’ older sister may have asked before walking out the door to meet their Tuesday bus.
I cannot imagine what today looks like in this new world. A world without a family. But I will ask that everyone today, tomorrow, and every day after, pause, slow down, and remember. Tonight as your goblins walk streets trying to scare, giggle, and gather candy so heavy they cannot carry home, pay attention. If you’re in your car, look for them. And when you see a bus or a school zone or a neighborhood speed limit sign, pay attention.
Three young lives are gone today because in one of the safest places in their minds, the simple walk to the school bus, they were bowled over by a woman driving a truck. I can’t imagine being this mother, this father, this teacher, this bus driver. I don’t want to go there in my mind. But I can take this time to ask everyone to come together and think of them all in the course of your busy day ahead – and pause when you are in the car. They will be in my thoughts for a long time.
Put the phone down.
Deal with your baby crying.
Stop for school buses.
Lives are on the line.