06/18/05 — Tragic losses remind us of things that really matter

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Tragic losses remind us of things that really matter

Sometimes what strikes you most about tragedies you see in the newspaper is how much time we really waste in our lives.

And this week’s reports of the tragic deaths of a person who had yet to live her full life and another who made a difference in so many others really should have touched home for all of us.

Summer Worrell had no idea that she would only live 16 years. She had recently gotten her license and probably had a whole lot of plans for the rest of her high school career, college and beyond.

And in a moment, all of that faded away when the Eastern Wayne student lost her life in a traffic accident.

Donna Peacock had lived a pretty good life already. She had raised two daughters and worked in a field she loved.

The Southern Wayne teacher taught autistic children. Most of the parents, colleagues and students who knew her said she was an angel of sorts who changed lives.

Yet, she, too, only lived a bit of the life she should have lived. She was 52 when she died after an accident while on a cruise ship.

The stories surrounding these deaths are part of why they made the newspaper. There are hundreds of people who die too young every day whose stories go untold.

But what should make us all stop to think about them is how they lived the lives they had, and what lessons their experiences can teach us.

The death of a 16-year-old is always tragic. There is so much unfulfilled potential. Summer’s death should remind us all how little time we really might have with the people we love. You don’t know when your last words with your mother, father, sister, brother or other loved one will be. Make sure you make every one count.

Mrs. Peacock was someone who dedicated her life to making a difference for others. Her legacy will forever be in the futures of the children she taught, the daughters she raised and the friends whose lives she touched. She must have known that it would be in those intersections with others that true wealth can be found.

Her life can remind us about what really matters.

There are many who are mourning both Summer and Mrs. Peacock. They were lucky enough to know them personally and to really understand just how special they were.

The rest of us can only offer our sympathy.

Published in Editorials on June 18, 2005 10:29 PM