|The Adams Memorial, by Augustus Saint-Gaudens|
So much of life is mere luck. We work hard, and do our best, and are careful as we go about our business. We urge our children to be cautious too, then send them out into the world with nothing more protective than a flimsy veil of good wishes and sincere prayers. When the truth is, it's all out of our hands. Sometimes life comes down to how the dice tumble, to where you are sitting when the shadow falls.
A classmate of our older son's was killed last week in Denmark, someone he knew, in his circle of close friends freshman year, someone my wife and I had met at school, a dynamic 21-year-old young woman. Through no fault of her own -- the small boat she was riding in on in Copenhagen harbor was hit by a jet ski, killing her and another student from Massachusetts. A senseless, tragic accident.
I was talking to a friend at work about it, about the complex feelings of muted sorrow, general unease, and inexpressible sympathy for her parents, of not being able to imagine what it must be like for them, of not even being sure whether it is something others should presume to think about. She shared this poem with me, and I am sharing it with you.