My run took me on an unexpected route this morning. Going past the signal tower at the far south-west corner of campus always makes me think of death. Not my own. Just in general. In the fall a student mysteriously fell from the tower. Of course, even if they did find out why he was up there in the middle of the night, the papers failed to report upon it. Through the streets of Champaign, up 6th and in front of Newman. I think of the girl who was hit by a car on Unofficial, the girl who went into a bus’s blind-spot, the the cafeteria worker whose body was found after he’d taken his own life. How is it that in my four years we so easily forget these incidents? We are sad for a while, but soon the corner is no longer adorned with flowers and pictures of their lost friend, but continues to be any other intersection. And what is worse, I am quite positive that such things happen on a regular basis on campus, but many go unheard of.
Moments like these make me want to be anything but a mother. A mother never forgets. I think I grieve for these women more than the victims in each of these situations. We are expected to raise our children and then just let them go. No, she couldn’t have saved him had she been there. She did all she was expected to do by simply raising him. And now he is gone from this world. I will never forget the cry Johnathon’s mom expelled at the memorial mass for her son. The sound reverberated off the walls of the hollow chapel and left a deep sense of agony in my heart.
But life goes on. We continue to live. To run. To study. To work. To raise children–hoping that they, too, will find a great life.