Candlelight Reflections

candle flameI attended a funeral last night.  It was a candlelight service held at my college for a girl killed by a drunk driver last weekend.  Although I did not know this girl, she lived in the same dorm that I do and the girls on her dorm floor hosted the service.  I always leave funeral services thinking of myself (not sure if that’s unusual or not) and this one was no different.  I always question if I have lived my life in such a way that, were I the one in the casket, people would be able to sincerely say the same kind words about me that they are saying of the deceased.  Watching a college student die only renewed that vow.  Am I impacting the people in my life?  We’re only one month into the semester.  This girl’s friends and teachers, who were sobbing and sharing fond memories, only had a handful of weeks to get to know this girl.  Yet she still impacted them.  Do I do that?  Do I rub off on people immediately?  There was a professor who shared at last night’s candle light service.  If one of my professors were asked to share their opinion of me, would they say, “She always came to class and turned her assignments in on time” or do I give them more to talk about?  The challenge I am trying to make is to not live the bare minimum.  Don’t just obey the rules.  Be influential! Go the extra mile!  I want my professors to be able to say that I was friendly or joyful or helpful, that I made them laugh or roll their eyes (in a good way.)  Hopefully they can say that I talked with them about issues and left a mark on their lives.  Because if I can impact people as remote from my personal life as my teachers…what will my family, friends and neighbors be able to say?   

The other thing I wanted to discuss about this girl’s accident was her means of death.  I had honestly begun to think that the phase of drunk driving issues was in the past.  So much awareness has been made on the dangers of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated that I had begun to see an obvious decline in the number of accidents.  I know a lot of people who are foolish about their alcohol consumption…but they still make sure to call a friend or a cab when its time to leave the bar!  I thought my generation would be battling other evils.  Apparently that is not so.  Due to one man’s reckless choice, a girl’s life was snuffed out much too soon!  I’m so proud of her for living her life to the fullest while she could! 

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