Editorial: A reminder that life is precious
In an instant Thursday night, four lives were lost along Northwest Highway in Des Plaines.
In an instant.
As we've so sadly reported, Kevin Crawford of Arlington Heights was turning into the parking lot of Lattof YMCA to take in a daughter's soccer match. Seemingly out of nowhere, another car slammed into his in a horrific crash.
Crawford and the driver of the other car, 21-year-old Piotr Rog of Des Plaines, died at the scene. Crawford's wife Anita and 20-year-old daughter Kirsten died after being taken to nearby hospitals.
In an instant, four lives lost.
In an instant.
Our hearts ache for the family and friends. May they find love and support and comfort.
And oh, how in particular our hearts break for the Crawfords' 10- and 15-year-old children, suddenly at such tender ages without the family they grew up in.
This editorial isn't a lecture on traffic safety, although certainly it would be good if this tragedy could serve as a reminder to exercise caution behind the wheel.
Our message today is something more human: We all would do well to remember that the only breath we're guaranteed is the one we draw this moment.
Death so often strikes in an instant, without warning, without time for preparation.
We record many examples of this, countless accidents, numerous acts of mayhem, an epidemic of drug overdose. They are examples that take place for their victims during otherwise normal days that started out like all the other normal days of their lives. There are countless cases we don't record too. The heart attacks and strokes and health issues that arrive without notice.
There are always human stories behind them, tragedies both for those who pass and for those left behind to cope with inconsolable grief and hardship. Regrettably, there are so many of these human stories that most often, we're not able to tell them.
There is no point in being morose.
But it is good to remind ourselves how precious this gift of life is, to embrace each day and to give thanks for it, to be kind to loved ones and to strangers and for that matter to ourselves.
It is easy, as we go through life, to get caught up in stresses and petulance and resentments when in the end, these things don't add to our time here, but only detract from it.
Yes, life is precious.
Let's live as if we understand that. Let's live our lives with love.