The Fourth of July brings to mind pool parties and cookouts with hotdogs and hamburgers, potato chips, icy cold watermelons, homemade ice cream churned by hand, red checkered tablecloths on picnic tables, and children and dogs running around upsetting the cokes in plastic cups. Our families and friends gather around: pesty flies, croaking frogs, fluttering butterflies, and sweet flowers alike buzz the latest gossip, monopolize the conversation, argue over politics, or break out in spurts of laughter. Some people drink. Maybe a little beer or wine to break the ice and relax. But some people don’t know when they’ve had enough. If you do drink, please be sure you don’t drive. I say this, not to preach or put a damper on your life, but in the hopes that you will continue to have a life. After a few drinks you may think you are in control, but you aren’t. Make sure the fireworks you see are the beautiful ones bursting into the air to celebrate our country’s birth of freedom, and not the squealing siren of a fire truck or an ambulance rushing to rescue you or someone else from a wreck you caused, followed by a police/sheriff car putting you in jail. Your freedom would be gone, along with your peace of mind. PLEASE think–don’t drive and drink.
Here is a poem I wrote, Different Roads, that was published in the July 2010 issue of The Shine Journal. I dedicated it to my beautiful, talented friend Marcia that I met in college. We had so much in common–her hair and skin coloring was close to mine, she was majoring in piano and voice like me, and she had a steady boyfriend. After we graduated we stayed in touch by writing letters, (before email, yes) and she visited me a few times. She was the maid of honor at my wedding and sang a song that I wrote for my wedding. Marcia had only been married for one year when her life was taken. She and her husband Ronnie were on their way to church that Saturday to practice a song they were going to sing the next day in church. A drunk driver ran a stop sign, and Marcia was killed instantly.
I also dedicated this poem to two little cousins, a brother and sister in grade school, just beginning their lives. They were with their parents that fated Sunday, also on their way to church, only a few miles from home. A young boy had been fishing and drinking and ran into them, instantly killing the children. So many lives are destroyed in instances such as these. The drunk driver goes to prison, if he lives, the families and communities are devastated, and the victims are robbed of their very lives. PLEASE don’t drink and drive. Enjoy the barbeques and pool parties and fireworks!
Stay safe and Be safe! Party hearty, but get a designated driver, keep the party in the yard, or stay where you are.
Read about a story in the Examiner about a 26 yr. old woman who drove while intoxicated.