Posted on 06. Jun, 2012 by Brian Knox
In what is becoming an all-too-familiar news item for our county, another local teen died Tuesday. This time, it wasn’t a car accident but a drowning. Saul Rodriguez, 16, of Bridgeport died at a local hospital, the victim of an apparent drowning. He had been swimming at Lake Bridgeport when he went missing. He was located, and medics performed CPR and took him to the Bridgeport hospital, but he was pronounced dead at the facility.
It hasn’t even been two weeks since Aisha Bryant, 16, of Alvord was killed in a car accident on U.S. 81/287 a few miles north of Decatur. Both Bryant and Rodriguez would have been seniors in high school next year.
And a Paradise teen was killed last week in Fort Worth. Jonathan Sosa, 17, was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a rollover accident.
This isn’t the first time teens with nearly their whole lives ahead of them have been taken too soon. Almost no community is immune to such tragedy, but that doesn’t make the pain hurt any less when it does happen.
I graduated with a class of 33. We received our diplomas on a Friday night and enjoyed a few “post-graduation” parties together as a class. Then we went our separate ways, not knowing when we’d see each other again.
As it turned out, our class gathered exactly one week later.
For the funeral of a classmate.
A young man we had gone to school with since kindergarten spent Memorial Day (three days after graduation) at the lake with his family. He was swimming, but something went wrong. We’re still not sure exactly what happened. We just received the horrible news: “Adam drowned.”
Within a day or two, I received a call from Adam’s family, asking if I could join a few of my other classmates as a pallbearer. And so the following Friday, I joined five fellow classmates as we carried Adam’s casket to his final resting place. The celebratory atmosphere from just a week earlier had been replaced with tears and heavy hearts.
It served as a wake-up call to all of us, just as the recent Wise County tragedies have no doubt had a similar effect on the local communities. We learned that there is no guarantee of a tomorrow. It reminded us to live in the moment, and don’t let things go unsaid that needed to be said, because you never know if you’ll ever get the chance.
Reporter Erika Pedroza wrote a column in today’s paper about how tragedies in small towns have a way of bringing communities together to help each other heal. We saw it happen in our community, and it is certainly true in these parts as well.
So live each day to the fullest, because you never know what the future holds.