For Anna Stickel, the Fence is Coming
|This caught my eye.|
Just last week I drove up Orems Road--as usual late to get here or there in my much-too-busy life. I have to admit my life has grown into the kind of "stereotypical life" wherein I live in the big city. I hustle and bustle and work long hours, trying to make ends meet, often caught up in all of this or that, sometimes forgetting, or taking for granted I am indeed alive. Forgetting to appreciate that I have this day more often than not.
Something colorful caught my eye as I was speeding by and although I didn't have the time to do so, something --some feeling made me reverse the car. Perhaps it was the large pink cross but out of the corner of my eye, and so when I did return to that spot and look on, I saw the name Anna, for Anna Stickel. I have to say at this very moment I broke down crying, for a young girl I'd never known.
For those of you who don't know, Anna was walking along the tracks taking a shortcut to her high school and was struck and killed by a train at only 14 years old in January 2010. I had just had my birthday two days prior when I turned on the news and learned of it. I was the same age as her mother, Tara.
What ensued after that was a strong fight led by her mother to prevent other kids from suffering this same fate. She wanted to have the county build a bridge so the kids would use the bridge and not walk on the tracks, and Anna's Bridge (footbridge) idea was launched. This became a bit controversial, some taxpayers weren't in support of it like I was. Funny, I can think of so many awful things my tax dollars go to --and here lives would be saved. Others thought a bridge would encourage kids to walk over the tracks, and so those believers were opposed.
I came to the conclusion those in opposition had never walked on a damn railroad track in their life! Perhaps I felt an immediate connection to Anna because I too used to walk on the tracks as a kid, both in Baltimore and in Maine. In fact, I was recently walking on some tracks in Mt Jackson, Virginia just a year ago, collecting used artifacts for an art project and I'm a grown adult! I was thinking the tracks weren't used anymore--but later found out they were. I now recall at least 50 feet of which if I train would have come, I would have had no where to go.
|So much love here.|
I know tracks are for trains, and I know you shouldn't walk on them. However, I also assumed that the crappy old rusty tracks you see in tiny towns or in back areas aren't used much anymore--and if they are, perhaps only used for cargo or slow moving trains. I would assume like many, when a train comes you'd hear or feel it shaking the tracks, or perhaps bells ringing on the crossroad area--but today, those signs and signals would come albeit too late because by then, the stealthy fast light rails or passenger trains would have no mercy.
|Lovely memorial by PM Production taken off THIS myspace.|
So, as I stood there crying not only because of the tragedy, but I realized how much love still exists for her on this world and how much she is missed from family, friends, students, and community residents who knew her, and those like myself who never got the chance.
Through the sadness, there was some joy; for I was so glad to hear and read of how a long awaited fence is coming! Anna's tragedy WILL help another child, but only because of her strong mother's determination and fight. My heart goes out to her mother, for she is a hero in my book. One has to commend her on how she turned what was the worst situation of her life into a quest to help others. ♥