She was only 13 years old. Riding a bicycle. Struck by a car and killed.
Her name was not revealed. No details on the accident.
It was a short blurb in the newspaper. The kind of “tiny” story that papers typically hide in a side column, tucked away from the major headlines of the day.
I stared at the two-sentence article and after a moment, shed a tear.
I wondered about her family. Her parents, her friends – no doubt in shock, experiencing what was surely the biggest disaster of their lives.
To the average newspaper reader, this was just another person who died.
Many readers will casually glance at the headline: “13 year old cyclist killed by driver” and ignore the story, moving on to the comics, sports pages or something they consider to be of greater relevance.
We all learn about the people who die in major disasters. The recent incident in Orlando has seen millions mourn the victims. CNN and other major networks have provided exhaustive coverage. The names of those who died are revealed. Profiles are done on some of the victims, giving us insight into what could have been.
All of this attention makes sense, given the enormity of what happened.
But it is the unnamed people closer to home: the girl killed by a car; the firefighter who dies battling a home town blaze; and the young man stabbed in a bar fight, all of whom are treated to that tiny sideline story in the local paper, who make me think the most about the fragility of life and its temporary quality.
I become reminded upon seeing these tiny stories that I too, could suddenly disappear into the hereafter.
That I could become another small headline which readers will glance over, barely paying notice.
We all could.
And so, I say to you right now: Appreciate this day.
It may be full of problems. You may find yourself tired and not doing much. You may be sad, mad or confused.
But it’s all we’ve got.
Live for today.
© 2016 Cory Robert Galbraith, All Rights Reserved.
Photo credit: Pascal Maramis from Voorburg, Netherlands