Everyday I take the same route to school. I hop in the car, turn on the radio or a CD (Celine, usually, my guilty pleasure!) and head out. It takes me anywhere between 20 minutes to a half an hour to get there, depending on traffic. I’ll be the first to admit I might rush that daily commute (My first and only time being pulled over was for speeding on the way home from school) or I’ll drive a little close to the occasional bumper..
There is something unique about my twice-daily drive along this route, and that is Sherry Lynn Taylor. I don’t know who she is (and if someone does, please share her story with me!) but I see her everyday. About 3/4 of the way to school, or 1/4 of the way home, there is a white cross on the side of the road. It’s plain, but surrounded by bright green-leafed trees with the beautiful blue river as its backdrop. I wonder about her everyday, and if I realize once I’ve gotten to my destination that I didn’t take a second to gaze at the cross on my way by, I just don’t feel right.
You see, one winter day in December 2009, I was driving (this same route) to an exam. I almost got in an accident with my car, rounding the top of a hill (at the posted speed limit of 70) to find a car stopped completely, waiting to turn left. I slammed on the breaks and my car did everything but stop. It fishtailed into oncoming traffic and then the other way towards the ditch, and continued while I frantically tried everything my Dad and driver’s course had tried to teach me. I finally came to a stop facing the left lane, purpendicular to the stopped car. I couldn’t even breathe. Looking out my left driver’s window, I saw another Nursing student who had been following behind me, on the way to the same exam. Her eyes were huge, and I’m sure mine were too! I’m so glad she was paying attention and stopped when she saw me lose control. As far as I could tell, the car waiting to turn left never saw a thing, and once it was gone I straightened out and headed to my exam (albeit a tad shakey!).
That was the first time I noticed Sherry Lynn Taylor.
I assume that she may have gotten in a car accident. Maybe it was winter, or maybe someone was drinking, or texting, or talking, or whatever. Her family probably put the cross there, because (again assuming) she probably died at the scene. I don’t really know what happened and I probably never will, but that day her cross said to me, “Be careful!”. These days people are doing all sorts of distracting things behind the wheel and there is no need of it. If you want to LIVE you need to be careful! Find your Sherry, your person or your passion and stay alive for it! Remind yourself when you’re rushing off to work or to school that getting that good parking spot or answering text messages should not cost you your life. Slow down, not just when you’re driving, but slow down. Life is gone too fast.