Its simple, life is just finally working out. Lilly turns 8 in two days. The radio starts to play my favorite song and for a little while everything seems alright. The air had the perfect amount of heat to it, that temperature that puts you to sleep if you sit in it long enough. These moments of peace are rare now days. I like to soak them up while they last. We only have about two hours left until we get to the cabin, Lilly begged me to stay up in the mountains for her birthday and I just couldn’t resist. A long awaited weekend with no stress, just joy, I need it as much as Lilly wants it. As we settle into the mountains, the radio starts to lose its signal, so I turn it off and spare us from the dreaded static. Silence, the calm before the storm. The stillness in the car was eerie, Lilly was asleep and there were very few cars on the road. Something felt off. Then it happened, mom texted me. I picked up the phone to read the text, and not even 3 seconds passed before it happened. I started to drift off the road a little and I didn’t see the deer standing on the side. It however, saw my car coming and tried to jump but it was too late. The deer slammed into the windshield causing it to shatter. I lost control of the car and we spun off the road. I forgot how many times we rolled down the hill before we reached the bottom, all I can remember is Lilly screaming, and then no screaming at all. When the car finally stopped I looked back to check on Lilly but it was too late, the door collapsed on top of her. The feeling of fear and sadness consumed me, my stomach started to churn. It took a while for it to finally settle in, she was gone. All because I had to look at my phone, this wasn’t the deer’s fault, it wasn’t my mom’s fault, it was mine. The paramedics picked us up and took us to the emergency room when I finally got the chance to see my phone, I read the text and it said “Tell Lilly happy birthday for me”. I’ll never be able to now, Lilly will never be 8, she will never see the cabin. All I can think about is her last words, “Hey mom? how much further is the cabin?” Too far.
A story about the life changing consequences of texting while driving.