An Open Letter to My Sons Following This Horrific Accident
From a mom who passes this building every morning.
Dear Christopher and Benjamin,
I love you with everything I have and everything I am. Being your mom is the best title and job I ever had.
When you were little boys it was all about Hot Wheels and Match Box cars.
Then you moved on to bumper cars at Jenkinson's, slot racing those little electric cars at Collingwood Auction, and Go-Karts in Seaside. You'd do just about anything to get behind a steering wheel.
Then came all the video games where you get to drive high-end, fast cars on race courses (where, if you crash, you get to...well...continue.)
And then there were all the auto shows in NYC where you got to sit behind the wheel of the dreamiest, most rare and expensive race cars that you'd hardly ever be able to even see in real life.
We once even got you each a ride from a NASCAR driver around a track and, Christopher, your dad even sent you for a lesson so that you could drive your own race car at Pocono Speedway.
We've had trips to New Egypt Speedway, Wall Speedway, and the craziest demolition derbies at Buck MotorSport in Lancaster County.
Now, Christopher, you are an adult, and have a nice start to your career driving (and -- hopefully soon --selling) cars at Circle Auto Group. And you are a great driver!
Benjamin, you, too, are a great driver now that you have your permit and are on the road behind the wheel.
But as we mourn the tragic loss of two beloved young men who were driving too fast in a sport car, lost control, became air-born, and crashed into the second story of a brick building in Toms River, my heart immediately breaks for the families and friends who are in agony over the loss of these two boys.
I know you both have friends that love to race. I know it is such a temptation to want to joyride and drag race -- a temptation you will face your entire life. And I know (and this is what scares me the most) that sometimes you are the passenger in a car with one of your friends that may be speeding and you may not have any way to stop them other than to open your mouth and yell STOP SPEEDING (which is probably very, very uncool to actually do) but... THIS IS YOUR ONLY LIFE ON EARTH and all I want is for you to stay SAFE.
Don't let your ego get the best of you because you are in a car with great acceleration and another car stops at the same light as you and tempts you into a race. It's not worth it. You don't need to prove your value by how fast your car can go or how great your skills are. Let them go. Let them 'win.' You don't need to stroke your self-confidence that way. Ultimately, you will be the winner when you get to live a long, healthy life.
Even if you consider yourself an expert behind the wheel, you can't account for a deer that could run out in front of your car or another car whose driver loses control and cuts you off.
Heck, even the Parkway and Turnpike are full of drivers who are just 'following the flow of traffic' and then look down at their speedometers only to realize they are going 100 mph.
Please remember, boys, how loved, cherished and VALUABLE you are. Don't just think about yourself when you are behind the wheel. Remember the rest of us who just want you alive and safe and healthy.
To all the other parents out there with sons AND daughters, my thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. Let the young men who just died in this tragedy leave us with a lesson that may save many other lives. (And please, Dear God, let them not have suffered.)
Christopher and Benjamin, I love you. And I know that I am probably the last person whose opinion you want. I'm sure you find this blog totally embarrassing and are rolling your eyes at this very moment. But I would never forgive myself if I didn't tell you how I feel. Hey -- consider yourself lucky to be this loved!
Always and Forever,