I am in a group online of homeschoolers. It is a fairly active group which I like. A few days ago a woman came on asking for a prayer request for her brother. It seems he was hanging Christmas lights outside and fell off the ladder injuring his head in the process. He fell in the best circumstances. His wife was not working that day even though she normally did, she was even in the room right next to where he was working outside so she heard the ladder fall. Early test results were not good though and last night he died. He left behind his wife, and a 19 year old son who is beyond devastated. Now instead of planning the festive time of Christmas, they are planning a funeral.

I wrote to this sister and told her that in death, her brother taught us all something. We all hear stories of this happening but we never hear first hand accounts of it happening. In that way, it touches us more and will likely “stick with us” more. I know I will think twice before I tell Tony to put up lights. It isn’t worth it. It is just decoration.

I remember other things being like this for me. Things that prior to hearing about a first person account of, I didn’t think twice of and now, will never forget.

When I was in the second grade I went to a school that had only one entrance in a rural area. The entrance had big deep ditches on either side. I would say these ditches were at least 3 feet deep. One day as I rode the bus in we saw a blue Volkswagen Beetle in the ditch. It was hard to miss as it was just in front of the school. As I went into school I quickly found out it was my teacher. She had been turning into the school and couldn’t see in front of the car in front of her very well. When she turned left, there was another car coming in the opposite direction and hit her car, sending her in the ditch. She wasn’t wearing her seat belt but thankfully survived. She was gone for 3 months while she recovered. When she got back she told us what had happened. She talked about how her head hit the windshield and how she was still getting glass out of her head 3 months later… at least that is how I remember her telling the story.

From that moment on, I ALWAYS wore my seat belt. Before that day, it seemed optional, but after it was never an “option”.

Years later I heard of another story. It was about how a aircraft mechanic was doing his job and decided to chew some gum. Well he chocked on that gum and the lack of oxygen to his brain because of the bubble gum made him just above a vegetative state. Thinking about it I could see how that could happen.

To this day, I never chew gum and I don’t allow my children to either.

One choice, as small as it may seem and it can change everything. None of these people knew what was going to happen to them with a simple choice they made that day, however those who heard the story of what happened, see it as a warning of what not to do.