Live like there is no tomorrow: journalism student recalls hometown tradgedy
Black clothes. Silent tears. Upsetting music. Broken hearts. It’s every person’s nightmare. It’s the call that changes a life. It’s the world’s worst fear: death. You know why it is the greatest fear? It’s inevitable. There is no way around it. No one can manipulate it. The shocker is death’s timing. Death is a time bomb no one can disarm.
I waited on my biscuits to cook. Friday night is breakfast night in my family, and I was on dinner duty. Time for my evening stroll through Facebook. After a few scrolls, my eyebrows knitted: post after post begged for prayer for our small town. A call interrupted my confusion. On the other line I heard a slur of words spoken through tears.
Marcus died at age 14 by a train accident that night. He was in my class of 46.
Twenty-eight days later, it was like déjà vu: the posts, the phone calls, the shock. The train had claimed its second victim. Her name was Cheyanne. She was the sixth teenager to die within a 10-year span in our small town. She was also in my class.
I remember sitting in the church for the second time in the same month, same pew, same outfit. I remember seeing teachers, parents, friends, even male classmates cry and wondering what we ever did to deserve this. Wondering why we have to suffer this heartbreak at this age.
We all clung to each other, hoping that if we just stuck to one another, we would all be safe and out of harm’s way forever. But that’s the thing. No one and no thing can guarantee you the next day, maybe not even the next hour. It is not written in stone that you will live until 100 with perfect health and no hardships. Your life is written in pencil, for only your decisions can manipulate the words.
Life is chaos. Being young is chaos. Being young and trying to deal with life is chaos times 10. The trick is to look past all this chaos and remember what you have. Remember to love everyone around you because you cannot take life for granted. It is a gift-love it.