Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tragedy strikes in small-town Montrose a few blocks from home

My family's thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hayden Solien. We often take it for granted that small town life is safe and quiet and slow-paced, and the tragedy that occurred to end 7-year old Hayden's life on Friday has shaken our community to the core. While waiting on the sidewalk for his bus to pick him up for school, Hayden was hit by an out-of-control car that had just ran the only stoplight in town. Both the boy and the driver of the vehicle were killed. Below is a link to the full article of what happened.

As parents of two boys, my husband and I had a very hard time with this news. We deliberated about whether or not to discuss what had happened with our 2- and 4-year old children. Would they understand what had happened? Could they generalize about the danger of cars and street safety enough to apply it to their own sheltered lives? I didn't think it was appropriate. But after driving by the accident scene this morning, where a touching memorial of teddy bears and flowers and a cross had already begun to form, I changed my mind.

So we stopped by the store and picked out a soft little teddy, all the while I was trying not to get teary-eyed thinking of my own boys, and how precious they are to me. And the deep sympathy I feel for Hayden's family and teachers and friends as they try to cope with his loss. 

As we drove home, we talked about the little boy and how he did everything he was supposed to do, waiting safely on the sidewalk, and how the car was out of control and the driver wasn't able to stop. We talked about how you can never be too careful around streets and cars, even if you are on the sidewalk or in the grass. And sometimes accidents happen anyway, even if everyone is being as careful as they should be. 

The boys watched from Red's Cafe parking lot as I crossed the street and added our teddy to the memorial. We sent a prayer up to heaven for its newest little angel, that he find peace and happiness in his new home.