Turn... The Phone... OFF

September 30, 2016

Have you ever tried multitasking? Either in the work place or at home? Maybe even in the car? Well, next time you think about multitasking in the car, imagine this:

You’re on the expressway. The one that takes you to your appointment. You hear your phone go off. No sound, just a vibrate. It’s loud because it is sitting in the cup holder to your right. You try to keep your eyes on the road while you pick up your phone. You’re holding it upside down so you have to turn it right side up. You look at your phone to read the text from your mother. “Hoping the doctor appointment goes well. See you tomor…” – At this moment, as you’re reading the last word, your car almost hits someone... “MORON!!!” you scream to yourself even though you know it was entirely your fault. You have the phone in your right hand and the steering wheel in your left. Your heart is beating so fast. That could’ve been bad… Well apparently not bad enough. Once your heartbeat comes back to normal, you try to respond to your mother. She is 64 years old and has kidney problems. The doctors think she has the start of kidney failure. But we don’t like to think about that. You’re texting, “Thanks Mom, see you Saturday. I love you!” However, you only get to “Thanks Mo”. That’s when you notice your car is going 85 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. You mindlessly turn your phone’s screen off as your car rear ends the person in front of you. He was on a motorcycle. When you hit him, he flung off his seat, and landed about three and a half yards away from his bike. You wouldn’t know this because you are unconscious at this point. The paramedics are called. As well as the police department, the fire department, and two ambulances. His motorcycle set on fire shortly after the crash. Thank God he wasn’t still on it. Because he would be dead if he was. You and the man you hit are both on gurneys as they lift you into two different ambulances. You and the man you hit are taken to the same hospital. You and the man you hit are both in critical condition. You and the man you hit both aren’t supposed to survive. You and the man you hit both have totaled vehicles. The only difference was that you were texting… and he was paying attention to the road.

That night, your husband, your mother and father, your sister and brother, your nieces and nephews and your two children all hear the news about the crash. They were all in the same house as they were very worried about you and hadn’t heard from you since 3:30 that afternoon. Your whole family, gathered in the living room, frantically pacing around, trying to figure out where you are, hear four loud knocks on the door. They were definitely masculine due to the harder hit with their knuckles. Your mother answers the door. As she opens it, the police officer, standing tall, says “Are you the mother of Susan Smith?” Your mom falls to the floor. Everything is numb. She is crying, screaming. Your father throws the television remote at the wall and hits the floor. He starts screaming for you to come back. Your two children, 7-year-old Matthew and 11-year-old Charlotte, sort of have an idea as to what is happening. They look at their Grandma and run into her arms and start crying as well. They know now that they no longer have a mommy. The police officer lets the family grieve for a few moments and then has to start the paperwork.

The next day, your coworkers are informed of your passing. The cause of the crash has not been released to the public yet, due to the verification processes. Your friends hear about your death and are in complete shock. Your best friend gets a phone call from your husband. He tells her the news. She breaks down in the hallway. Trying to scream, but no sound comes out. Trying to cry but no tears are rolling out of her eyes. How could this happen???

Two weeks pass by. Your friends from high school, who you are still close to, are wondering when they will see you again. They haven’t heard anything for what feels like forever. You used to go out for brunch with them every Sunday. Denny’s was your favorite spot to go.

Three weeks after the crash, it is on the news and everyone hears about it. The motorcyclist is alive. He is still in the local hospital: in better shape than he was. When he gets out, he plans to get a new tattoo with a heartbeat design representing his near death experience. He also plans to buy a new bike, and keep up with his passion for motorcycles.

As for your family, they are planning your funeral and trying to budget because you didn’t have life insurance. They all pitch in for the cost of your funeral: three-thousand six-hundred fifty-two dollars. They never thought this would happen. They never thought you would pass away at 36 years old. Especially in a car accident. When they heard that texting was the cause of the crash, they couldn’t believe it. You never texted while driving. At least when anybody was in the car with you.

One year and seven months later, your mother dies. They say it was old age, but everybody in the family knows it was because of a broken heart. After all, she lost her only child. It’s the worst thing a mother could go through.

Years later, your family celebrates your birthday. It has become tradition. They even light a candle on thanksgiving in memory of you and your mother and your loving personalities. You were their life.

THINK!! Think before you text and drive. Not only does it take your life, but it takes the life out of the people around you as well.  Nobody wants to die. But think about your loved ones. Would they have a life if you were to pass away. Hmm. It wouldn’t be worth it…... would it?

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