One of my favorite bands is Depeche Mode. (The other favorite is Muse.) There is a DM song about death and living your life to its fullest called "Fly on the Windscreen," which is English for windshield.
So far today, I've been reminded of this song twice. And I've only been awake a couple of hours.
Last night as I was pumping gasoline into my car, I had a huge smile on my face. There was a cool breeze and a handful of rain clouds above. It was heavenly for Texas in August, since we've had 60 days so far over 100 degrees this summer. I was ecstatic that the temperature was in the 80s last night. And then this morning I woke to rain. A solid 10 minutes of it. I was thrilled.
I continued to smile as I left my house to drive to work. At the end of my street, I stopped at the stop sign to turn left. A jeep pulled up on my right, stopped, then scooted up to see around my car and then turned right. There was traffic coming from the right, so I took a second to plug in my cell phone, knowing I couldn't turn left for at least 20 seconds. Then I heard a noise, and looked up to see the SUV I'd seen coming from the right flip over and settle upside down on the other side of the road. The jeep that had just been beside me had hit it, but I hadn't seen the actual impact, only the result - which I presume had something to do with slick streets. Being about 8am on a work day, people immediately started pulling over and going to the upside down SUV to see how they could help. I called 911, and they had already been told about the accident. Feeling like a chump, but having nothing helpful to offer and having seen nothing to tell officials, I drove away. I thought the best thing I could do would be to get out of the way for the emergency crews on their way, since it's only a two lane road. (About a minute later, I saw the fire truck go down the road.) I'm still not sure that I did the right thing, and I was pretty shaken up by the whole thing.
An hour later, I'm sitting at my desk, drinking my coffee, and a company-wide email comes in. One of my co-workers, someone I don't really know but have met in passing, passed away last night during labor. She gave birth to a healthy daughter, but she did not survive childbirth. I haven't heard of anyone dying in childbirth ... well, ever, aside from the 1800s or 3rd world countries or some sort of extreme situation. I don't know the full story. I don't know that I want to, since childbirth terrifies me anyway.
It's 10am. It rained in Texas. A baby girl has entered this world. And both of those things have come with unexpected, dire consequences.