When I arrived at work yesterday morning I started hearing rumors that a fellow student affairs staff member had been killed Monday night in a car accident. Reports were hazy, there was no confirmation from our bosses, and no mention in the local news.
The speculation and uncertainty were rough. Since she works in my building, I went to her office to see if she was there. She wasn't.
Her name was Larue. She was in her 50's and had just finished the bachelor's degree she started 12 years ago. She had been taking one or two classes a year for twelve years. She finally finished in December. More importantly, she had just become a grandmother for the first time. Also in December. She was living life out loud and loving every moment.
Monday night she pulled out of the driveway from a hair salon at a green light. An 83 year old man ran the solid red light in his lane in a huge SUV and crashed into her driver's side door. Police say she never really knew what happened and was most likely killed instantly.
I wonder what her last thoughts were.
I want to believe that when my time comes my last thoughts are going to be about the people I love. I want to make an effort to keep those people in the forefront of my mind because you never know when an SUV is going to take you out in the blink of an eye.
Larue could not have done anything differently. She is just gone.
After we got confirmation that it was, indeed, true about Larue I received three messages that illustrate the importance of loving the heck out of the people in our lives. One is a good old standby that makes the rounds in email. One was written by a counseling faculty member here at JMU about what he thinks Valentine's Day should be about. The third was written by Vox's own Tom and I'm sure many of you read it.
I believe in paying attention to the messages that present themselves in our lives so I thought I would share all these messages with you in the hopes that you might also take time to stop and think about life and what is important. Maybe they might touch your heart the way they did mine.