Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, November 8, 2010 at 2:20 PM


Two weeks ago, a student at Devlin's school was riding her bike with her family. Her father, then her younger sister, then she, in a row. She was struck by a teenager in a white truck, who didn't know the car in front of him had stopped at the little side street to let the family go by, and couldn't wait long enough to find out.

She died instantly. She was 11. She was in sixth grade.

I found out when I rode to the pedestrian crossing behind the school the next afternoon, the girls in the trailer behind me. A parent yelled at me from the safety of their car, through the window, that I should be more careful at the crosswalk. I was in the right, and baffled by the attack. The crossing guard explained that parents were on edge because a girl had died on her bike the night before.

I went from feeling indignant at the driver, to horrified shock, to desperate sadness, back to indignance, to worry for my cycling family, to relief that I had determined not to let him ride alone to school this year, all in about 5 seconds.

I settled on a numb, hollow loss, and have been there ever since.

Today when I picked up my son, the trees in the schoolyard were draped with blue ribbons. Devlin skipped cheerfully out and announced they were "for Alison".

Blue was her favorite color.

Her family doesn't read my blog. I have no idea who they are, have never met them. But I have a little girl who can be completely, thoroughly summoned to life by a mere color, and this afternoon those blue ribbons grabbed me by the hair and shoved my face in the fact that our time together is so precious and so fleeting. We cannot grasp it in our fingers; we try, and it has already gone. We cross each others' lives in ways that we cannot predict and don't understand, often are not even aware of.

Her family doesn't know it, but Alison has made me a better mother today.

Promise me, all my readers, that you will go hug your kids right now. And keep your eyes open for bicycles on the road tonight.

I think I've seen enough ribbons.

Comments (9)

My heart goes out to this family, and to the driver. Before posting this comment I have my little ones a smooch. Thanks for posting such a sweet reminder of the fragility of life, and the need to embrace it.

That makes me so sad...poor, poor family and driver. There aren't enough words to express the grief. I didn't even hear about it till now. I would come over and hug you all if I didn't think I'd give you a bug you definitely don't want. Consider yourselves virtually hugged.

Oh, Rachel. This brings tears to my eyes. The thought of loosing a child. It's unnatural. It breaks my heart every time. Praying for peace and comfort for her family and a relief of your heart as well. Many hugs, my dear dear friend and hugging my children as well. <3

Thanks for the post about my niece Allison. Thanks for linking to my post about her. It's been a hard time for a lot of people, not just us as her family. We've all been touched immensely by people's concern and prayers. I hope that Allison's passing will make us all more caring and loving as people and families. Life is fleeting and fragile. Thank you again for mentioning Allison.

So tragic! My kids have been hugged.

breaks my heart. just read stories, cuddled my girls & sent a prayer up for all those affected by this tragedy.

I heard about that and just feel terrible for the family. Definitely have held my kiddos close!

well- this doesn't really seem appropriate for this post- but I would LOVE to go. I'll get more details later. I have to work tomorrow so I won't get to Internet -if at all- until really late and am going to bed right after this comment. But just wondering if I need to bring stuff- how much stuff- etc. I'll call you on Wednesday/Thursday-ish if that's okay?

Sounds perfect Cammy. I'll talk to you soon!

You are such a tender soul, Rachel. Thank you for posting this and letting us all shed a few tears for this little family and everyone affected by the tragedy. I always take a little piece of solace in stories like this for the important reminder it is to show love and kindness to each other, and not to take each other for granted. Life is so, so precious.