December 14

I just realized today when watching the news that the Sandy Hook school shootings were on December 14. This could not be more strange for me. Counting this event, it has unfortunately been a “day of death”.  Before this latest event, I had known two people who had died on the same day of the year, both in car accidents.

The first was in the early 1990s. I don’t remember the exact year, but the victim was my then-husband’s cousin. She and her son were on their way to work and daycare, when a man on his way home from the night shift fell asleep and crossed the center line on a road that was an elevated bridge. The mom had nowhere to go, and she was killed in the crash. I do not remember if the man was killed or not.

Second, a co-worker’s husband was headed to another town when he was crushed in an accident when he stopped at a stop sign and  truck hauling a small backhoe did not. The backhoe fell over on his truck and he was killed. The backhoe truck driver had been in accidents previously, and my friend was able to recover damages for her 18 month old son.

Neither the cousin’s child nor the little boy in the second accident will ever know a parent who was lost.

I was so distraught over these two accidents that I once put off a minor surgery to avoid having it done on that day. I know that sounds silly, but when you have something happen on a day like that, yo start to feel like it is an unlucky day.

When the Sandy Hook event occurred, I think I was so upset that I didn’t even notice the date. What a horrible thing. I lived in Jonesboro, Arkansas on March 24, 1998 when two boy shot an killed innocent children and teacher. I personally knew one of the girls who died, as I had just taken a new job after working with her father for 3 years at a fairly small company.  I immediately thought of the emotions we went through with all of the media publicity in a town not used to that.  I thought about a little girl with long brown hair and a beautiful smile who will never be 12 years old. Time stopped for her that spring day, just like it did for the children and adults in Sandy Hook.

Time stopped on December 14 for two people I knew as well, both over 20 years ago. December 14seems like a bad day to me.

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