The day the wheels stopped rolling …
Have you ever gotten used to something, and never truly realized it until it was gone?
My husband leaves empty yellow sweetener packets all over the counter, and in odd places where they drop on the floor.
The house grows so vacantly quiet without my daughters’ chatter when they’re staying somewhere else overnight.
And then there are those other ambient sounds. Maybe you’re conscious of them, and maybe not. Sometime over the last year, I’ve come to recognize this rolling clatter that speeds by the sidewalk between 9:30 p.m. and midnight. Summer nights and weekends, it tended to be later. It took me a while to figure out exactly what the sound belonged to – a skateboarder on the sidewalk headed home.
Partially, it drove my dogs crazy, and partially it represented that youth and freedom of long summer nights.
This week has grown eerily quiet. There’s a void, an absence of sound. At the entrance to our neighborhood, a memorial of lighted candles and flowers rest against a light pole.
It’s never a good sign.
Last Saturday, Sept. 13, the 20-year-old skateboarder was hit and killed by a driver who didn’t stop.
“Was he jaywalking?” some people have asked. Yes.
In fact, it’s the same intersection that I always insist upon walking the extra few minutes to the corner to cross. Over the summer, when we were headed to a concert in the park, hubby made fun of me because of it. I’m even more glad I did.
A newspaper article interviewed a witness who said he’d been hanging at the park and drinking alcohol in the hours before the accident.
Does either of those ultimately matter? I’m not writing to place any blame. Instead, it’s sharing this tenuous connection of our intersecting lives.
I never met him. I did see him on occasion – me coming home from the grocery store with kids strapped into the car, and him on his trusty board. We made eye contact a few times. Unlike his family and friends, he’s not leaving a physical void in my life. But still, I will miss him.
As the nights grow dark, and the weather slides into fall. With Halloween right around the corner. I’ll stay up at night, and listen … to the silence. To the hole carved out of daily life, leaving the sad loss of this young life.
Please send some positive thoughts for his family, and hope for the hit-and-run driver to be caught.