Friday, September 25, 2009
Obsession and random acts of kindness #Fridayflash
Browsing the Internet for reports of the accident became an obsession for Catherine. Since her granddaughter’s death, she was looking for someone to blame. The driver of the van that hit her son’s SUV had sped off, weaving through cars on the Interstate and successfully avoided detection.
A driver who had seen the accident had pursued the reckless vehicle in an attempt to get the tag number but her efforts were fruitless. This stranger had eventually given up and appeared at the trauma center of the emergency room of the hospital. There was comfort in knowing that someone had tried to catch the child’s killer and that this woman could not just go home without coming to share with the family. Witnessing the accident must have been a terrible experience that she needed to share.
Catherine saw multiple references to newspaper websites in the state and many of them had forums linked to each article. She was looking for anything that might yield some clue. None was to be found. It was surprising to see that so many comments followed each article. Many were simply expressing sympathy. Some were sharing stories of similar accidents that had taken place in the same area on the same Interstate. Others were describing the flowers they had placed at the scene after seeing the report on the news. These were all touching. Catherine knew she would never have gone on the Internet and posted a comment under an article describing a horrendous, fatal accident.
As she read each note, one stood out from all the rest.
“I was in the emergency room when the family of the child arrived. My heart was broken by their grief. I sat and cried while each person handled the news differently and one person tended to the father of the child who had been driving. His injuries were relatively minor but his horror and tears touched my soul as he called out his daughter’s name. And I watched a boy about 2 years old, with superficial cuts on his face and head. He laughed and played with the toys in the corner. I mourned for the dead child and for the one who had survived, equally, knowing that his life had been changed forever.”
Catherine stopped reading after that. The driver was never found, as Catherine knew he wouldn't be.