That's the only way to put it, I've been crying off and on for hours now. This morning a truly sweet and shy and gentle little girl lost her life in a car accident. In truth, she was all grown up, but I still remember her from way back when she and MP2 were in kindergarten. Her parents' first-born, she was driving not half a mile from her house when she struck a tree on a path she has probably traveled hundreds of times by now. We have known this family from our first year here. Our kids were in class together from kindergarten through senior year. We have worked with her parents as room parents and band parents and on school fundraisers for a dozen years. We run into each other only a few times a year now, but we always ask after each others' kids and laugh at how much work and effort and love goes into having children who grow up to be decent human beings. Their pain will be unbearable. As will be that of this girl's younger siblings. I know this because I watched my parents struggle with the grief of losing two sons, and I have lived with the pain of losing two brothers--one of my younger ones to leukemia when he was just 22, and my oldest brother to AIDS when he was in his late 30s. I was sandwiched in between these two like stair-steps, and it is hard, sometimes, to know how life can just go on. Hug your loved ones tight. Life is fragile and fleeting. Rest in peace, J.