However, when nap time arrived and I sat down to write, I pulled up Facebook out of habit and was confronted with a headline that read "Child Killed in a Bus Stop Accident this Morning". I clicked into the story that briefly told of a seven year old child in a town not so far away that had been struck by a passing vehicle as he set out to board his school bus. My mind instantly flashed back to the morning before when I had yelled out my basement window, "get off the road, you are going to get hit by a car" to my 5 and 7 year old who were waiting for the bus to pick them up. This could have been them.
I tuned into the livestreamed press conference in which more details were shared about the accident. A little boy waiting for the bus with his siblings at 7 o'clock in the morning was hit by a minivan as he crossed the street to board the bus. There were many questions posed to the state troopers and school administrators who were conducting the press conference as to whether the bus had come to a stop, whether he had crossed before his siblings or after, whether there were pending charges on the part of the minivan driver, where exactly did the accident take place, should he have even needed to cross the road, etc... And I understand that all these questions need to be asked and the news stories need to be written, but all I could think was "what does is matter?"
This little boy died, and no amount of questions, or even answers, can change that.
My heart instantly broke for his mother and father. How had their morning gone? Did Anthony wake up on his own, or did his mom gently pull his sleepy body still warm from slumber into her own and wake him with kisses on his forehead and a whispered "good morning"?
Did he tell his dad a funny joke he had heard the day before and gush about the exciting thing he was going to do at school that day?
Did he sit down with his breakfast and play legos like my little guy does?
Did he kiss and hug his mom and dad and say "I love you" over his shoulder as he headed out to the driveway?
Then my heart began breaking for his siblings.
As they stood at the end of the driveway, what did they talk about?
Did they lovingly tease each other as they waited?
Were they witness to the accident or were their backs turned? Oh Lord, please say their backs were turned.
That poor school bus driver, did he see the vehicle approaching? There were 12 kids on the bus... my heart is now in pieces, floating in the puddle of my tears thinking of them and what they experienced.
And the driver of the minivan... their sobriety will be in question, the level of their attentiveness will be challenged... fingers may point and blame may be cast, but nothing will bring this little boy back. I can't imagine what a walk in this person's shoes would feel like on this cold fall day.
His teacher at school is probably trying to stay strong for the other kiddos when each glimpse of his empty desk threatens to turn her into a sobbing heap on the floor.
His classmates and friends may not fully grasp the gravity of today's events until they get home and question their parents.
Those parents then grieve their child's loss as they explain in as delicate of terms as they can what has happened.
I could continue for hours down this train of thought and grieve for each person who will be affected by today's events.
Death is ruthless.
Its reach is broad and its effects are widespread.
The entire town will mourn the passing of this little boy. An hour an a half away, I am mourning with them.