Why Her? And Why Not Me?
I have no idea the right words to say in this blog post, and I am treading very thin waters addressing this topic. I may fall short, but I will do my best.
About a week before the tragedy that claimed Cayla’s life along with two others, I was in a freak accident. I was driving from Charlottetown to Souris – something I’ve done dozens of times – and for some reason, I missed the turn-off and ended up in Orwell Corner before realizing my mistake. I cut cross-country to Vernon River. I initially had enough gas to get home, but because of missing the turn, the gaslight came on right before the Pool’s corner roundabout. I thought I could make it home, but to be on the safe side, I detoured into Montague for gas.
That detour likely saved my life.
As I pulled into the Irving, my brakes gave out and I was unable to stop and lost control of the vehicle. I had no idea where and how the truck would eventually land, so I made a split-second decision to jump out of the moving truck. My injuries were rather insignificant since I was going at such a slow speed, just pulling into a gas station. The truck began sparking and fire fighters came very quickly (thank you) and it was extinguished in a minute or two. I took an ambulance to the hospital to be assessed and was able to walk out afterwards on my own two feet.
If I hadn’t missed the turnoff for Souris, I would have had plenty of gas for the trip and I would not have needed to detour for gas. Had I not done so, and the brakes failed while driving on the highway, my outcome would have been vastly different and likely very, very bad - the paramedics agreed.
I survived a freak accident that had every possibility to end poorly if I was driving faster than the estimated 15km/hr I was going when this happened, and that only occurred because I missed my turn-off for some odd reason as I have never missed the turn before…ever.
And a week later, Cayla and her two friends were killed.
Why not me?
I don’t know. I have zero explanation for why I survived and she didn’t. Her life was claimed far too early and I’m comfortably on my couch typing this. It doesn’t make sense. It will never make sense. I want her here. I want to hear her laugh again. And yet…we are all here mourning the loss of three young lives. I wish I had answers, but I do not and I never will; why my life was spared and her’s was not.
The past couple week’s have given me a fresh perspective on life and how precious it is.
Here’s a few thoughts:
1. Every breath is a privilege. Don’t take it for-granted. Use it. You have no idea when you won’t have another breath to take so treasure what you have in this moment.
2. Put your hand on your heart. Feel that? It’s called purpose.
3. If it won’t matter in five years time, forget it. Drop it. Wasting our precious time on earth bickering and arguing over insignificant matters is not respecting the life we have been given.
4. It’s okay if your heart hurts. Let it hurt. Feel the feelings. Cry.
5. Make amends.
6. What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? Live that life now.
7. Pursue that side-hustle or dream and turn it into a goal to achieve.
8. Have some fun! Life isn’t all about grinding away.
9. Be unapologetically yourself. Always. Anyone who doesn’t accept who you are authentically doesn’t need to take up space in your head and heart. Ignore the haters and leave space for those who love and cherish you.
10. Live the life you love. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Leave your mark on this earth in whatever way that looks like for you.
I don’t care what your brain is saying to play tricks on you, but I promise this: you matter, you are worthy, you are loved, and we need you here.
Cayla -- I love you and since I'm still here I promise to make it count.
With tender love,