I was concerned last night when I saw on Twitter that our local I-55 off-ramp was closed for two hours due to an accident. Having a ramp shut down for that long never has a good outcome.
Then I saw the news today. It had indeed been a fatal accident. I recognized her name immediately. Alysha. As often happens in small towns, we have connections. We went to high school together. Her sister married a guy that was in my class. I used to work with her grandmother when I was a receptionist at the church. We both made our home here as adults. Our kids are in the same school. She was 39.
She was driving home late last night. She exited the interstate at our hometown like she had probably done a million times – the same exit I take every evening. She came up the ramp and stuck an 18-wheeler that was parked on the shoulder.
Today her family is grieving. My heart breaks for her two sons. On facebook, I saw her obituary, tons of prayers and messages from her friends and a gofundme account. None of it seems real.
Once again, someone was taken too soon. She had so much life left to live. I feel so guilty about all of the grumbling I have done about turning 40. Turning 40 is a privilege that Alysha will never have. It is just another reminder to live every day to the fullest because tomorrow is never promised.
Rest in peace, Alysha.
photo: Sean MacEntee