Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hold your children close

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Today Dylan was bitten twice in the back by a little girl who kept trying to hug him at the park. He screamed out in pain and I quickly scooped him in my arms.

"I want to protect you, always." I whisper, my mind drifting from that moment with my crying toddler to thoughts of Angela.

Angela is Brandon's mom. Brandon was killed in a car accident on Friday night. He was fifteen.

I can't stop thinking about her.

Brandon was a great kid, the class clown. He was very close to my brother--his uncle--and the two of them are always making funny faces in photos. Brandon was a passenger in the topless Mustang which flew 25ft off an embankment, 15ft in the air into the second story of an office building, and landed wheels up. Witnesses say the car looked like tinfoil. The driver and other passenger in the car survived with head injuries. Brandon died instantly.

Angela has been a beacon of hope for the community this week. Her Facebook page is filled with requests for Brandon's fellow classmates: smile, it's what he would've wanted. On the night that her son was involved in a fatal car crash she left a candle burning and her entire bedroom caught fire. Her epiphany? It had to catch fire so that she would be forced to get out of bed.

Angela's son will be adorned in a pink tie tomorrow and placed at the front of a room where hundreds of loved ones, family, and friends will pay their respects. And she will be forced to go on living without him.

I've learned this from her: we cannot protect our children from harm. We can only hug them and do our best. They will know that they are loved.

Please keep Angela and Brandon's family in your thoughts.