I tend to pay attention to the news stories about pedestrians and cyclists getting killed by cars. I do this because I am a bicycle commuter and a frequent walker. Quite frankly, cars scare the shit out of me.
While cycling home yesterday and encountering yet another close call with a car situation, I thought of a news story of a young girl who was killed in a crosswalk in Shoreline several years ago. And then I thought to myself, oh my God, my grandmother died in a crosswalk. My grandmother was killed by a car while crossing the street in a crosswalk. The only grandmother I ever had.
I’m not writing this to elicit sympathy from my readers. This happened in the early 90’s and I’m over it. In fact, what was disturbing to me about my memory yesterday was the fact that I don’t believe I was ever traumatized by this fact of my life. The event happened. My grief passed, so much so that when I think of pedestrian safety I think of news stories before I think of my own family’s experience. It’s very odd to feel this way. Reflecting on it makes me think I am a very cold person.
There was something of a trial. The driver was old and the sun was in his eyes. Of course, I always think that if you can’t see you shouldn’t be moving forward. I don’t think anything happened to him. The sad thing about pedestrian, cyclist, motorist and motorcycle deaths is that if the perpetrator wasn’t drunk then s/he usually just gets a slap on the wrist. Of course the fact that it’s not a DUI certainly doesn’t change the fact that your loved one died.