No decision

A parent makes a hundred different decisions about their child every day.

You might not even realize you’re making them and most of them aren’t important.

Wake them up? Let them sleep a little longer.

This bowl and cereal? That plate and toast? How much cereal? What kind? Which kind of bread? How toasted? What to spread on it?

Most decisions are not that important.

Most the child never notices.

Some they do. Some they take a stand on even though they are seemingly dumb.

“I don’t want that cup, I like this one.”

“OK,” you think. What’s the big deal. And you either get the cup they want or you dig in and try to make them use the cup you selected.

“I don’t like whole wheat toast.”

“Since when?” you ask.

“Since always,” they say. “I never liked it. It makes me sick.”

Every confrontation can go so many ways.

And does.

But, you remember, most decisions are not that important.

But now some parents are having to decide whether or not to send their kids back to school and there is a chance that their child could get sick and there’s a small chance that their child could die.

But, you say, there’s always that chance. Kids die of the flu every year.

This is different. Whole communities are at risk. This isn’t the flu.

This spring, before all this happened, Maggie and I went to the funeral of a beautiful little girl. Following a service in a packed church and a burial at the same cemetery where Kim and Elena are buried, we headed back to a reception in the church’s school.

So many people felt the loss of this child and gathered to help hold up the family and each other.

And then the pandemic hit.

More than 150 thousand people have died in the US alone.

Many of them have died in hospitals without their family at their side.

We spent three days with Kim in the hospital after her accident. Her family and friends came to say goodbye. They supported us and each other.

But now it’s not safe to let families come in to say goodbye. The COVID patients die surrounded by strangers. Loving strangers. Hard-working strangers Hospital employees who see way too many people die that they just can’t help.

Those hundreds of decisions that we make each day for our children or for each other – most of them aren’t important.

There is no decision that that little girl’s parents could have made that would have saved her life. There’s no decision that Kim and I could have made that would have saved Elena. There’s no decision I could have made for Kim that would have saved her life.

Believe me, if there were, we would have.

And now parents have to decide whether or not to send their child back to school in the fall.

Somehow someone has decided that there is an acceptably small number of kids who will die as a result.

Their parents will have decided to send them back to school. Some won’t really have a choice because of their situation.

And now they live with that hole that their child felt and the pang that maybe they had had a hand on the shovel.

We shouldn’t force parents to make decisions like this.

I can’t imagine how painful it is.

Published in: on July 31, 2020 at 12:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wear a Mask

The man who killed Kim was on the phone while he was driving.

He was talking to someone in Romania. I can’t remember if he was just talking at the moment that he changed lanes and ran his semi into her car or if he was reaching to retrieve his phone.

It doesn’t matter.

The man who killed Kim was on the phone while he was driving.

It feels so avoidable.

There are things you are supposed to do when you are driving for your safety and the safety of those around you.

Fasten your seatbelts.

At one point that was a major issue and seen as an infringement of your freedom.

You also need to have a valid driver’s license. You are supposed to use your signal and check that you have a clear path before switching lanes. You are supposed to have your lights on. You are supposed to maintain proper distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. You shouldn’t be tired or impaired in any way. Your eyes should be on the road and your hands should be on the wheel. Your mirrors should be properly adjusted and your vehicle should be maintained properly. Your tires should be properly inflated and you shouldn’t be on the phone.

You should be driving.

You should be focused on the task at hand. You are piloting a multi-ton vehicle at a high speed with others around you. It takes no time at all to make a mistake that will end a life.

It takes little effort on your part to do the many things it takes to drive safely.

It requires that you understand the risks to yourself and that you care about the risks to others.

The man who killed Kim was on the phone while he was driving.

He ignored the risks to himself and cared little about the risks to others.

In this time of the Corona pandemic don’t be that person.

Don’t be the person who could do the least they could do but didn’t. And for what?

The driver didn’t want to wait to talk to his friend in Romania.

In this time of the Corona pandemic don’t be that person.

Wear  a mask.


Published in: on July 9, 2020 at 11:08 am  Leave a Comment