Live, Learn and Don’t Forget

March 14, 2008
By Beth Stout, St. Joseph, MO

The sirens are a blazing noise to my ears. I cant believe its true. This is really happening in my town. To my friend. To my sisters boyfriend. How could this really be going on? I never thought losing someone could really be as bad I believed. He was a couple years older then me. Two grades ahead. I knew him because of my older sister. They were dating. He was like a brother to me.

Ed Meeks was killed by a drunk driver. Horrifying to even think about. If you would have met him, you would of known that it wasn’t meant for him to die. Sweet, funny, outgoing and loveable. That’s how I would describe him. He was always up to beat, telling jokes and making people laugh. It was his passion. But that passion lives on no more. All because of that one late night when a man decides to get intoxicated and get behind the wheel.

Serenity, my sister wasn’t the only one of my sibling who knew Ed. My older brother, Lance was also close to him. And he just happened to see Ed the night he got hit. A terrifying site to be seen. I don’t think you could imagine worse. Seeing you friend lying on the ground. Dyeing.

That night, the night Ed died was unlike no other. My mom picked me up from school. And when we got home my brother and sister were there. Along with Ed. I knew he was there before I even got out of the car. He would always get off on his stop and then ride down to our house right after he got home. So his bike was always lying in our green grass.

I always have flash backs of those days. Coming home and seeing that bike lying there. I would walk in the house and see him. Watching TV on the couch with my sister. Mom knew she could always trust ED. He always did what he was told and respected my sister.

The day was normal, coming home and seeing the bike. Nothing was different. The day played to be just like any other ordinary day. I remember my mom cooking dinner and saying she didn’t have enough for 6 people. She asked Ed to go home and that Lance could come over after. That was suppose to be the plan. The plan that would work. Nothing was suppose to go wrong.

During dinner the phone rings. Its Ed. Lance talks to him and says he’ll be on his way. It was about 6. He gives the phone to my sister. They play the little I love you game. You know the one where they go back and fourth saying “I love you more” Looking back I thought it was gross. But now after what happened, I think its sweet. When they get off the phone my mom, sister and I go back to eating. And Lance heads out the door to walk to Ed’s house.

Ed didn’t have to walk that far. Lance had to walk up a huge hill. But it didn’t matter. It was simple walk because he’s done it before. They decided to meet at the corner of a neighborhood pull in. All Ed had to was cross the street. He did with no problem. Looking both ways like he should have. No cars coming. It was safe. And he was safe when he made it across.

When Ed was waiting for my brother up the street he was standing on the side, no where near close enough to the street to get hit. But it really doesn’t matter where your standing if you get hit by a drunk driver. They see three streets and don’t know right from wrong. With out seeing it coming Ed gets hit. The van sends him flying over a sign. He lands and the car just keeps going. Passing my brother along the way. He was lucky to have not gotten hit also.

When my brother got to where Ed was, one of our neighbors had already called 911. He was behind the van when it had hit Ed. My brother used to phone to call us. I answer and all I hear is “ED HAS BEEN HIT BY A CAR” the phone is screaming the words into my ear. I tell my sister and she grabs the phone. We all think it’s a joke. Until. We hear the sirens. We rush out and up to the site. The ambulance is pulling away. Ed’s on his way to the hospital.

At the scene you could see Ed’s shirt lying on the side of the road. Next to it his bike and one shoe. Just one shoe. It flew off when he got hit. You could also see the blood running down the street. When we got there Serenity ran out of the car and fell to the ground. Sobbing has began. I cant blame her. I had to cry also.

At the hospital Ed’s mom was by his side. She was working in the hospital that night. So when she found out that the next ambulance coming in was her son she rushed to him. We were there for a couple of hours. Until a nurse said we should go home. Since we had no choice we did.

Later that night we got the news. Ed was in critical condition. He was on life support. His brain was dead. His mother decided to take him off. If he stayed on, he would be a vegetable and not know what was even going on in his life. All we could do was cry. It was unbelievable. Feelings at the moment were unmanageable. Everyone was sad that he was gone. And mad that the man who did it ran.

At the funeral Ed was in a body suit. He had to have a plastic body made for him because she was hurt so badly. He didn’t look him self lying there. Kids from school where walking out of classes to go to his funeral. No one cared what any teacher would have thought. So many people showed up that they had to show the ceremony in different rooms on a TV. When it was over we drove to the mausoleum where Ed was going to be put. Inside the casket was a note written by my sister. Also a flashlight because he was scared of the dark.

After that day it took many more to get use to the fact that Ed no longer was with us. Every time we drove in the car and the song Photograph came on we all started to cry. It was Ed’s favorite and he also changed the words around to make the song dedicated to my sister. It’s a memory she’ll cherish forever. She also has a box under her bed with clothes in it. They are the clothes she worn the night Ed died. She’s never opened. Well at least I’ve never seen her open it.

The guy who happened to hit Ed turned him self in. He just happened to live in our neighborhood. Also you would think he has learned his lesson before. Because this wasn’t the first time he’s been involved with a hit and run. He just happened to be on probation when he hit Ed. The man is serving jail time for what he has done. And frankly I hope he stays in there.

Through this whole experience I’ve learned that anything can happen at any moment. If its mean to happen it will. Or even if it’s an accident awaiting to happen. It will happen. Also I learned to live learn and not forget. You wouldn’t want to do what the man did to Ed. Remember what they teach you in school about drinking while driving. Because even if you think you’re a little buzzed. You could be more then you think. Never take the keys even after one drink.

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