Life Imitates Art



An all too familiar scene greeted me recently. No, I wasn’t visiting a place I’d been to before. That would have been preferable. What I saw and experienced a mere week ago brought home the realization that no matter how hard we try as parents, our children will eventually discover ways to make us crazy.

Imagine this scenario…

An accident…

It can be along a dangerous road or where the driver goes off the side of a ridge…

There may or may not be injuries…

Weather or other factors may be involved…

Now think about this…

The cause of the accident was…

A drunk driver deliberately runs a person off the road, without caring about the consequences. That vehicle tumbles down the side of a ridge, eventually coming to a stop on its side and burns. Both occupants are killed.

Extreme weather conditions lead an inexperienced driver into a position where they fight to control a skid, only to end up in a deep ditch and then bouncing against a culvert. Their vehicle goes airborne and flips, landing on its side. There is no fire, thanks to an anti-tilt system working as advertised. All three occupants are injured but not so badly that they can’t resume their lives. Yet, the vehicle is a total loss.

One of these scenarios is a scene in my novel Softly Say Goodbye, written in 2010. The other was a scene I went to exactly a week ago, where my youngest child was the driver.

Thankfully, scene two applied to my life. My child and his passengers will recover. But seeing that vehicle, the exact same model I used in Softly Say Goodbye gave me a shock I won’t ever forget. The scene I witnessed won’t be in a movie but it was one I already knew… partially.

I endured a deputy’s patronizing, “Don’t worry, Mom, all will be okay.” while knowing that I could never explain to this man why I was so shocked.

Thursday, March 24, 2016 was the day I learned that life truly can imitate art.

Will I hold back in my stories now, avoiding scenes I don’t want to see? Absolutely not. The scene I witnessed in my own life being so similar to the one in Softly Say Goodbye is why I worked so hard to get the exact details right. The reasons behind each scenario are a little different—one being caused by a drunk driver and the other by driver inexperience. Yet, they were also shockingly similar, where families are thrown into a state of shock and wondering if their lives will ever be the same again.


Comments

Jack Strandburg said…
KC - so glad to hear nobody was seriously hurt.
Gaby Pratt said…
What an experience. Glad everybody's OK.