We all see it and we all do it; we complain about trivial matters day in and out. We text our friend to tell them we gained five pounds. We update our Facebook status so everyone knows we have headache. We get annoyed over snow fall in winter, shoveling our driveways, and longer drive times to the grocery store. We whine to anyone who will listen when we didn't get a good night's sleep. We act as though the world is coming to an end if lose our internet connection for even a moment.
There are websites that post 'first world issues' that are truly hilarious to read, but only because we are all guilty of saying the exact same pathetic complaints at some time or another. "I burnt my tongue on my Starbucks white chocolate mocha." "I cannot hear the television over the sound of my maid's vacuuming." "I wanted to have toast this morning but only the end pieces were left."
People are creatures of habit, and it is easy to get caught in our daily routines, with the smallest of deviations causing great inconvenience. Why is it we get upset over inconsequential mishaps, and then bottle up our emotions when something genuinely catastrophic happens? Ashamedly to admit, the other night I got home from work only to find the garage light had been left on, and it actually bothered me. Is that really what our lives have amounted to?
Think about the worst thing that happened to you today. The one thing that made you curse out loud. Something that made you verbally grumble about. Think about what specifically irritated you. In the scheme of life, or even two minutes later, was it really a big deal?
Now, read and consider this story about a beautiful, little girl's life that came to a horrific and sudden end. It is absolutely the most horrible end to a being, not only for this breathtaking ray of sunshine, but for every loved one in her life.
This is Alexa's Story.
"The scene was picture perfect. A small, blond, curly haired girl, hand up to horse’s mouth, offering a delicious horse cookie, just purchased from the local tack shop. Purple basket in hand, filled with other treats, her pink sun dress and her crocs pressed up against her Aunt Daphne, who gently guided Alexa’s hand to ensure she was safe. Grandparents, looking on, with adoration at this precious scene, as they sat in their car next to the corral on this rural road.
The scene was shattered in a matter of seconds, as a burgundy car came careening out of control, slamming into the grandparent’s car, catapulting it 60 metres down the road, and then striking Alexa, Aunt Daphne and the treasured horse. Alexa, blown clear out of her crocs and into the paddock under a tree, was killed instantly, from a lower brain stem injury. Aunt Daphne, left lay a short distance from Alexa, her right side of her body shattered, bones exposed, and fighting for her life. Grandparents, trapped in a vehicle, unable to sort through what had just occurred, had the sense to phone home.
The pool was quiet, our son, Christian was splashing about with Dad on the side watching. The silence was broken with the sound of sirens and emergency vehicles sped down the road that backed onto our property. Through the cedar hedges we could see the fire trucks, knew something serious had happened. Just as we were getting on our bikes to check it out–we got the call. It was our family. Deep in our spirit, deep in our core, we knew it was Alexa.
So when the three of us, yes, God we took Christian, arrived on that tragic scene, we don’t need to tell you what we saw. Seeing your child laying lifeless on a horse paddock, blown right out of her crocs that she was just wearing a few minutes ago, is pretty graphic. Seeing the grandparents, blood streaming down their faces, stuck in their car, was unnerving. Seeing Auntie Daphne loaded onto an air ambulance, while being handed her blood soaked jewelry complete with bits of straw and twigs, almost brought us to our knees.
Seeing the accused, smoking a cigarette, sitting on the curb, was also pretty graphic. Learning from the officials in charge – whilst bedside tending to Alexa’s lifeless shell at the Children’s Hospital in Vancouver – that speed and alcohol were factors in Alexa’s death, now that was down-right brutal…simply brutal.
Knowing that impaired driving is the number one cause of criminal death in this country, knowing that on average 2-3 British Columbians die each week due to impaired driving, and knowing that this is how our four year old princess was killed is almost unforgiveable, and everyone reading these words can only concur. But instead of casting blame - we chose to look for solutions, and have chosen to make our British Columbia - and this country – safer."The next time we gain a few pounds, try avoiding the overstocked pantry. The next time we get a headache we should simply take a tylenol. Rather than complaining about winter's arrival, we should embrace; let's make snow angels in the field, take children tobogganing, and stroll down the streets under the bright Christmas lights. Instead of updating your Facebook to let everyone know you cannot fall asleep, try a mug full of warm milk. If we lose our internet connection, think of it as a blessing in disguise, as we have been given the gift of conversation in person.
The next time we are having a bad day, let us think of Alexa and her family. Let us remember that even our worst day, is better than someone's best.
Christmas is a time for friends, family, decorations, food, caroling, smells, the magic of Santa Claus, lights, baking, and generosity. Enjoy each and every happy moment you may share, but please remember to find a safe and sober ride home.