Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – Snow Day

Name: Emma Crumbaugh
From: Springfield, Illinois
Grade: 12th
School: Home School
Votes: 0

Snow
Day

I
and my little Sister were excited, bouncing around the kitchen at 5
am. Mom was trying in vain to calm us down. Grandpa was coming today
and we were determined to pounce on him the instant he got through
the door! We kept pestering Mom, “When is Grandpa going to be here?
Shouldn’t he be here yet?” Patiently, Mom reminded us that in the
cold, snowy conditions, Grandpa would drive slower and be more
careful. However, after a while, Mom and Dad began to worry too. Why
wasn’t Grandpa here? Eventually, as we could sense the tension
building around us, I and my Sister became quieter. Suddenly, a
ringing phone shattered the underlying tension. However, the ensuing
conversation built it to a speedy crescendo. Without explanation, we
found ourselves bundled into jackets, piled in the car, and headed to
town as quickly as possible. When we arrived at a hospital an hour
later, my Sister and I were delighted to see our older cousins and
enjoyed chattering their ears off while Mom and Dad disappeared.
Although the tension was still there, we knew everything was going to
be okay. After all, an impromptu family gathering right before
Christmas was bound to be fun! Besides, Grandpa was here, in the
hospital, getting taken care of by lots of doctors so he could be
better soon… right? As Mom and Dad came back, everyone else
silently left the room. My parents gathered us in their arms and held
us more tightly than ever before. I began squirming. “Mom, what is
going on? Can we go see Grandpa now?” I have never experienced
grief so deep as when I heard that Grandpa was gone and learned
death’s first hard lesson.

Nearly
eight years later I slipped into a seat in a half-empty classroom. I
did not want to be here. I did not want to learn how to drive. I
didn’t want to die like Grandpa did. However, my parents had sent
me here and expected me to learn, so I did. Learning tactics for how
to drive safely, defensively, and alertly, helped me begin overcoming
my fear of the road. Spending fifty hours, and then some, on
highways, backways, and city roads under dedicated instruction from
my parents increased my confidence. Although classroom learning
taught me the rules of driving, the hours I spent behind the wheel
were what made the most difference. Today, I participate in the safe
driving movement by following all state and federal driving laws,
avoiding driving under inclement conditions, using discretion when I
drive under difficult conditions, and encouraging others to do the
same. By doing so, I help reduce the number of vehicle related deaths
each year, so that other families do not have to experience what I
did.


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