I was gifted this poem when I was 15 and taking Driving Lessons back in the day. It had a profound affect.
TOO MANY OF OUR YOUNG AND LOVED ONES ARE DYING ON OUR ROADS.
Please God I’m Only 17
The day I died was an ordinary school day. How I wish I had taken the bus. But I was too cool for the bus. I remember how I wheedled the car out of my mom, “special favor” I pleaded. “All of the kids drive.”
When the 2:50 bell rang, I threw all my books in the locker. I was free until 8:40 tomorrow morning. I ran to the parking log, excited at the thought of driving a car and being my own boss. Freel!
It doesn’t matter how the accident happened. I was goofing off – going too fast- taking crazy chances. But I was enjoying my freedom and having fun. The last thing I remember was passing an old lady who seemed to be going awfully slow, I heard a deafening crash. I felt a terrible jolt. Glass and steel flew everywhere. My whole body seemed to be turning inside out. I heard myself scream.
Suddenly I was awakened; it was very quiet. A police officer was standing over me. Then I saw a doctor. My body was mangled. I was saturated in blood. Pieces of jagged glass were sticking out all over. Strange that I couldn’t feel anything.
Hey, don’t pull that sheet over my head! I can’t be dead. I’m only 17. I’ve got a date tonight. I’m supposed to grow up and have a wonderful life. I haven’t lived yet. I can’t be dead!
Later I was placed in a drawer. My folks had to identify me. Why did they have to see mee like this? Why did I have to look at Mom’s eyes when she faced the most terrifying ordeal of her life? Dad suddenly looked like he was an old man. He told the man in charge, “Yes , he is my son.”
The funeral was a weird experience. I saw all of my relatives and friends walk toward the casket. They passed by, one by one, and looked at me with the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen. Some of my buddies were crying. A few of the girls touched my hand and sobbed as they walked away.
Please – somebody – wake me up! Get me out of here! I can’t bear to see my mom and dad so broken up. My grandparents are so racked with grief that they can hardly walk. My brothers and sisters are like zombies. They move like robots. In a daze, everybody. No one can believe this. And I can’t believe it either.
Please don’t bury me! I’m not dead! I have a lot of living to do! I want to laugh and run again. I want to sing and dance.
Please don’t put me in the ground. I promise if you give me just one more chance God, I’ll be the most careful driver in the whole world.
All I want is one more chance!
Please, God, I am only 17!
Very, very powerful. I have not read this for quite a while and every time I do, I realize that we have only once chance at this amazing life that God has given us. Some of our mistakes we get a “do over” with, but there are many times that our mistakes are either life changing or life ending.
I strongly encourage all parents of young drivers to give this to them as a gift, yes a gift……it is literally a gift that could save their life and the lives of their friends.
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Ten new community cases of COVID-19 were announced on Tuesday in NSW, taking the Australian state's recent community cases linked to the cluster to 21. The pause came into force from 11:59pm on Tuesday and will be in place for 72 hours initially. This decision will be reviewed on Thursday. COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says this decision follows a public health assessment earlier on Tuesday which found that while the overall risk to public health in New Zealand is currently low, there are still several unknowns. This includes a case that was infectious while in the Sydney community and a primary school age child with no clear link established yet. Anyone who has only been in Norfolk Island and not in NSW is still eligible for quarantine-free travel.
New Zealand health officials are also updating health advice for anyone already in Aotearoa who has recently visited Sydney's Westfield Bondi Junction mall. It follows a new case of COVID-19 reported in Sydney on Tuesday that is connected to the busy mall. Anyone who was at this mall, including the car park, any time between June 12 and June 18 should contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453, get tested, and stay home until they get a negative test result, or remain isolated if told. NSW public health officials are continuing to add new locations of interest, and anyone who has been in Sydney since June 11 should check the NSW Health website. Anyone at locations of interest at the specified times should call Healthline on 0800 358 5453, get tested, and self-isolate until they return a negative result. Anyone who was at a location of interest at the specified times cannot travel to New Zealand within 14 days of the exposure event.