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Velocity. Serendipity. Proximity.  Eternity.

It's never what you plan for...

Three people.

One automobile.

One bright Easter Day in New York...

All came crashing horribly together at 2 pm, Eastern Daylight Time... in the Bronx... leaving one of those people, a toddler, dead in the arms of the second person, his Mother; at the hand of the third.


Put the variables on a sheet of paper.  The people, the hour, the minivan-traveling at 60 feet per second, the bullet-traveling at 3,000 feet per second.  You could combine those variables a thousand thousands of times and NEVER get them to add up to yesterdays devastating result.  NEVER!!!!  NEVER.  Never.


Well, maybe once.

Serendipity sounds like such a fairycakes-and-tea word, but it's not.  It's cruel.  Oh, it's cruel.  Right-click on the word in Word, and you get synonyms that fill the news accounts of David Pacheco's Easter Sunday:  Providence.  Fate.  Destiny.  Coincidence. 

Young, precious two year-old David Pacheco, enjoying Easter with his Mom and sisters, was on his way to an Easter celebration.  He said he wanted ice cream.  He never had a chance.  Chance.  That's another word for serendipity.  Another brutal word. 

366478-317431-thumbnail.jpgYou never see it coming, do you?  It's never what you plan for.  David was strapped into his car seat, in a vehicle equipped with the greatest array of safety equipment The Experts recommend: antilock brakes, airbags front and side, traction control.  Yet who could have imagined the horrible sequence of events already under way--the timing of a party, the flow of traffic, the turning of traffic lights, the building of an argument, the pulling of a trigger, the passing of a car--that would end with a bullet piercing a car door and shattering a family?  Without mercy.  At.  That.  One.  Moment.  The whole idea behind placing your child into a car seat is that they're supposed to come out in the same condition as when you bucked them in.  It's in all the brochures.  It's the way things are supposed to happen. 


Tear off a new worksheet.

Five people.

One automobile.

One bright Easter Day in New York.

For this family, sweeping blithely within twenty minutes and two miles of the killing fields that claimed David, the odds played out differently.  They made it through their drive down the Henry Hudson Parkway to The Battery to spend Easter with an old green French woman who hangs out in New York Harbor carrying a torch .  They dressed.  They drove.  They celebrated Easter in New York.  But they made it home.  Safely.


Forevermore, I will wonder why one family is so swiftly and indiscriminantly consigned to face the rest of their days on Earth without their beloved child while another family with a variance of two miles and twenty minutes can have the calculation come out differently.

One child meets a bullet.  Three other children--my children--end up having ice cream. 

And I, among others, am shaken to the core.

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Reader Comments (2)

This was beautifully written.

April 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
Said it better than I ever could.. Well done, my friend.
April 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTheGirlWho

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