Look, Dad, I’m Going to College

‘I miss you, dad.’ I mutter to the faded tombstone; my small, sad smile not bothering to meet my somber gaze. I gently set the flowers down, and make a heart out of the small pebbles nearby- as I always have.

August 18th, 2000. The short period of time before all of the leaves haltingly abandon their branches and you find yourself in the setting of an eerie thriller movie. The clamor of a growling, thunderous Harley Davidson turns into a vociferous siren trailing down the busy street. As the multiple News channels go over the afternoon’s traffic reports, they recount the event of a motorcyclist hit by another car, causing said man to crash into the road’s median.

‘It’ll be okay, honey. It will all end up okay.’ My grandmother desperately attempted to comfort and alleviate my mother’s swallowing grief, which soon turned into an overwhelming depression. What was she going to do with herself? Even more, what was she going to do with me: a whiny, demanding two year old?

Before you take your hands off of that wheel to check the notification that popped up on your phone, think of the scenarios; the consequences. Think of the victims. Think of the families. Think of me. Think of what could happen if you were to take someone’s life. Can you really excuse terminating someone’s life with the fact that you were fixing our lipstick? Think of my mom, who lost her husband not even two years after their first child was born. Think of me.

Do your make up at home- or go natural. Wait to eat until you park or get out of the car. Put your phone in the trunk if you so desperately need to. Think before you take your hands off of the wheel. Think of me, my only memories of my father being videos on a DVD and photographs that I’ll never remember being taken. Think of me, bringing flowers to my father’s grave for his birthday, rather than watching him blow out candles and open presents.

I’m sorry if this sounds selfish. I’m sorry if this sounds demanding. But I am demanding. Demanding that you keep your hands on the wheel and pay attention. Demanding that you leave your phone off while driving. Demanding that you leave your make up alone. Maybe then, that death on August 18th, 2000, wouldn’t have happened; and Cory Sloniker’s tombstone wouldn’t yet exist.