Driving home Monday night from Great America, I passed an electronic sign that informed drivers of the number of traffic fatalities so far this year in Illinois. The number was 455, and as I was striving to drive safely but get home quickly, it was a sobering reminder that 455 people left their homes one day not expecting that they wouldn't see the next. They probably thought a fatal car accident could never happen to them, even though some of them likely weren't at fault for their own demise. Just that quickly, it was over.
Little did I know that my reminder had already affected us in a tragic way Monday.
Today, we learned that the father of one of Ben's good friends was killed in a car accident in Washington state early Monday morning. I'm good friends with the mom, who was active at school, but I didn't know the dad well, other than he was always friendly and greeted everyone with a smile. The family had just moved to Washington a few weeks ago to start a new chapter in their lives. Just like that, the chapter came to an abrupt halt. We haven't told Ben yet -- he sobbed when he was saying goodbye to his friend last month.
This terrible news left me unfocused for much of the day. We were already tired from the last week, and Chicago was so ungodly humid today to begin with. The boys didn't want to do much, Lori was in Milwaukee for work, and I had to get it together just to get to Starbucks to do some writing. We have two whole days left on our trip, and they will be good. I'm not that worried that today was non-eventful.