Tuesday, February 23, 2010

To Drive, To Remember, To Hug

When I was in high school, I hung out with the Parker twins. I daresay it's the only time, ever, that I have successfully and confidently been able to distinguish identical twins.

Among the twins, were some other gems...

Tonya...you totally saved our bacon on that trip! There's something so my childhood about getting stranded in a snowstorm over Spring Break.

So back to the Parker twins, they epitomized bohemian cool by shopping at thrift stores for quirky original finds, and it seemed they took cues from their mythical, cooler, older sister Michele. I never really knew Michele, only caught glimpses of her looking gloriously grown-up on her way out the door.

Then she died.

She was hit by a car, and while I didn't talk too much about it with her twin sisters (what words does a budding teenager have in this situation?), I got this much from her death: the seatbelt she was wearing cost her her life. She was sideswiped by a car and would have survived if she hadn't worn her seat belt!

{Stacie and Stephanie...I don't know if you read the blog. I hope this doesn't seem irreverent. I'm really really really sorry you lost your sister while she was in her prime.}

Me and my seatbelt have had a sporadic relationship ever since. With all the stats and figures and research about how seatbelts save lives, I always would remember the cooler older sister that they hurt instead of helped, and would refuse to click.

I think now, twenty-plus years later, that I am finally starting to trust the figures. I think that I am finally starting to trust that maybe Michelle was meant to go, beautiful, bohemian, and young, seatbelt or not. Maybe, I would be safer if I came to the other side of wearing a seatbelt.

This video helped convince me.

By the way, I have always buckled my kids in case you were wondering.


Kelly Bryson said...

I am really angry about that video because I was totally unprepared to cry. What a strong message.

I think most of us have known someone who died before 'their time'. I have all these ideas about when things should happen, when babies should be born, when we should get married, when people shouldn't get sick. Even though I know that eternity is right there waiting for all of us, it is still hard to understand in my heart at times.

LGH said...

Beautifully put, dear Amber. And, I love this video.

Stephanie said...


I am often reminded of the fragility of our mortal bodies. Trevin is a full time firefighter/paramedic, we see and hear about the statistics and can't help but think we are not in charge of time. We can make the most of the time we are given and I am most pleased with Michele's time. She was the perfect example of how to live a full life. My kids hear stories about Aunt Michele all the time. It's good to have our memories. Speaking of which, we should make some of our own before we're too old to remember each other. I sure love good friends. We had a great high school career.

P.S. Do you breed your chickens? I couldn't stand our rooster crowing at 4 in the morning so I let my son shoot it with his BBgun and we ate it for dinner. Tastes like chicken!

Mrs. Olsen said...

Steph, I misspelled Michele's name! I'll fix that really quick. I agree, we are in need of some new memories. I swear I NEVER do fun stuff anymore dangit!

P.S. We don't breed our chickens cause we shot our rooster too. They are downright annoying!

paula said...

I'll second the idea of getting together and doing something fun again. I miss all you girls! I was just looking at the pic of you and Stacie strangling me while on my back at the waterfall the other day and thinking to myself, "we sure did have a lot of GOOD CLEAN fun didn't we?"
.....although I swear that is Stephanie on your back, not Stacie.

paula said...

You're right....it's Stacie

Wade and Marilyn said...

I believe part of not putting on your seat belt is your wanting to be such a free spirit. I'm glad you buckle up all the time--and buckle the kids, too.

Stacie said...

Hey I just always forget to wear my belt, but my kids remind me because I make them wear theirs! I am the one on Ambers' back! I remember the shirt!(It was Michele's ironically!) I think a Madison girls retreat is in order! Let's get together!