Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fourth of July...Don't let this be your last celebration...

When I first graduated from UNT, I worked at my hometown newspaper as an intern for the summer. I was thrilled to be writing everyday about anything and everything. However, I dreaded the weekends because, as the lowest man on the totem pole, I had the police beat. That was the summer I really learned the power of prayer. I would hit the ground each Friday praying and praying that nothing bad would happen on my watch because I really didn't know how I would handle it, much less report on it. For the most part, it was a very quiet summer.

As I have aged, my scope has widened. Now with each holiday that comes, I pray and pray and pray that the news will not have a tragedy to report each holiday weekend. Fourth of July is a big one for me. It seems to never fail that a life is tragically lost on Lake Lewisville, yet people continue to flock to the water as if a siren calls them to it.

I was thinking this morning, that I have spent the better part of a couple of decades praying for tragedies to take a holiday like the rest of us...like there is some gang of trouble makers going out to wreck havoc for their you-know-whats and giggles.

We are the havoc! Our choices are no one's but our own. If you choose to drink and drive, you choose to take your own life and/or the lives of others. If you choose to let your cellular device distract you from driving your automobile safely, you choose to take your own life and/or the lives of others. Every time you choose to make an unwise decision, you choose to risk this being your last celebration. Sometimes, you are making a choice for someone else.

Because he chose to let distractions take his attention from the road, a 51-year-old tractor trailer driver from Oklahoma stole our beloved Gayla from us. Our hearts will always be broken because this is a tragedy that could have been prevented. Accident or not, that man chose to be distracted. He will forever have to live with his choice and so will we.

Make wise choices everyday. Live to celebrate all life has to give. Be well and be safe, friends. Happy 4th of July.

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