Thursday, March 16, 2006


My journal is two years old tomorrow, Friday March 17th,  Woo-hoo. No celebrating though. I don't go out on National Lampoon's Biggest Holiday. The IQ of the population drops too low for me. And most bars aren't serving my drink of choice -- Peach Snapple. Plus there's another reason for staying indoors.

I worked with a very talented marketing woman named Donna who also played second base on the same all star softball team with me. She was a dynamic, take charge, I don't care if you call me a bitch type person. She was also at the center of a huge scandal involving a young woman who left the guy she had just married to move in with her. That was back before you could be a lesbian proudly in public.

Our clients all loved her creative thinking. She had a lot to do with shifting the focus in cereals from nothing but taste and crunch to the healthy benefits of fiber. Americans eat more All Bran and poop way more often thanks to her.

But she had a fatal flaw. No matter how much we nagged her, she wouldn't wear a seatbelt. 

Every time we drove to a client meeting in Michigan from Chicago, she absolutely refused to buckle up. When we got into a car with her, there was usually a discussion and she would always laugh it off. Time after time we told her her she was making a mistake. But she was who she was, which included being pigheaded, and she wouldn't put her seat belt on.

One St. Patrick's Day night she was a passenger in a friend's car, driving on Lake Shore Drive. Out of nowhere some drunk crossed the median at 55 mph and hit them head on. Naturally, she wasn't wearing her seat belt. The impact not only caused her to go through her own windshield, but propelled her through the windshield of the other car.  After almost a week in the hospital with not much hope of living her life as anything more than a vegetable, she died. 

Her friend, on the other hand, walked away from the crash, unscathed. Thanks to her seatbelt.

So I celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a hot corned beef sandwich on rye for lunch. No excessive beer drinking or random coupling with people wearing those little green hats. Or with little green people either.


meforevermore said...

Wow... Thanks for writing that. It's a good entry to remind people both of the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt and drinking. Refreshing read. Thank you.

I'm sorry you had to lose such a spitfire of a person. People like that are so rare...


ber144 said...

Just remember: pop tarts

suzypwr said...

Happy Anniversary! I have a friend who doesn't wear seatbelts, either. I tell him he will wear one in my car because I couldn't bear the responsibility of him dying and me living if I am driving. The first time, he thought about it, argued a bit, and then buckled up. I have to remind him every time, but he doesn't argue with me any more. I am now doubly glad I took the time to have that discussion with him.
I am sorry for your loss.


jevanslink said...

Isn't there a law in Illinois that requires both the driver and front seat passenger to wear their belts?  Aren't you in Illinois like me?  Cuff him.  Mrs. L

mombzbe said...

Happy Birthday to your j, Mrs L.  Hope the tantrums and cries of "it's mine, it's mine, it's mine" don't wear you down. Take deep breaths. :p

Losing someone dear is never easy.  The knowledge that the outcome of the accident could've been different based on something like a seat belt makes it harder. :(

ally123130585918 said...

Mrs L such a sad way to learn that lesson ~ and with no second chance ~ Wearing seatbelts for all occupants is law in England and you get a hefty fine is caught without them on ~ Ally

bgilmore725 said...

I have the same sad feeling around June 28th every's awkward when others are celebrating, and your own thoughts are deep and heavy with the memory of a sudden loss. I can never celebrate July 4th without remembering the night in El Paso, Tx watching the beautiful fireworks from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army hospital on the side of a mountain, while I waited there for my parents to recover from their injuries. I was alone with them. No one else was there to bear the burden, now a memory that only I remember. Even my parents have forgotten. Seat belts, or the lack of wearing them, may have played a part in the loss of my sister and niece, but so was driving while too tired. The shock of such a loss takes a long time to wear off, but for me it's been almost nine years. Now I can remember without sobbing. Sometimes I do get lost in thought during the last week of June and the first week of July. I am sorry for your loss. In time, the heart does heal. Bea

swibirun said...

Americans eat more All Bran and poop way more often thanks to her.

Oh my......what a legacy to leave behind!

The seatbelt issue is just plain sad.