I don’t know what “AOC” stands for. When I googled the term, I came up with 90 possibilities. For today’s blog, I can safely rule out “Australian Olympic Committee,” “Age of Conan,” and “Air Operator Certificate” to name a few. I am referring to this:
This is a marking that has been on the road about a quarter mile from my home for a month. I assume it means something like “Area of Collision.” On October 9, a 77 year old woman named Elois Cooper and a preteen boy (her grandson, I think) were killed at this spot. Their car was rear-ended as they were waiting on Highway 90 to turn left into Soul’s Port, their church. Because our neighborhood is so close to Soul’s Port, and Highway 90 is the only way into or out of Hawk’s Landing, Wayne and I both had to take circuitous routes home that evening, so that we could be approaching Hawk’s Landing from the east instead of the west (the highway was closed down for several hours while the accident scene was handled). As a result, we talked a lot about what must have happened to close down the road, and very early on we understood there had been at least one fatality.
The “was handled” part of that above paragraph has been niggling at me for the past month. The day after the accident, as I drove past the scene with my children, we discussed the need to say prayers for the woman’s family, and how sad the situation was. It was not the “AOC” that stood out, it was the pile of glass that had materialized on the side of the road:
Not only had it materialized ……. after three and a half weeks it appeared destined to stay. I don’t know who I thought was going to come clean it up. It just seemed like something that would be in the standard post-accident protocol. When I mentioned the remaining pile of glass to Wayne, he said, “well it is safety glass.” I guess his point was that is was not causing any danger to motorists. My reaction to this glass was not about the logistics or the potential danger: it was about the windshield this lady saw her last starlit night through as she prepared to worship. Up until about five days ago, this blog was going to be a rant about why no one cleaned up the glass.
Slowly it dawned on me that if it was bugging me so much, there was someone to clean it up.
So, yesterday as I left for the Cops for Kids 5K, there was a broom, a dustpan, and a plastic bag in the car next to the G2 and running shoes.
The glass is gone.
The song “Shattered Glass” asks:
Are you havin’ trouble focusing throughout the day?
Do you find yourself still callin’ my name?
Cause all we had …. is broken like shattered glass.
Getting rid of the glass won’t take away the pain of this lady’s loved ones and fellow worshippers when they pass the accident scene. It’s just that, if you’re on your way to a place called “Soul’s Port,” and your soul ends up approaching its final port (or “homegoing” as someone said online in response to Mrs. Cooper’s obituary), that final road shouldn’t be paved with shattered glass.
Praying for peace to the family of Mrs. Cooper and the young man.
Lyrics to Shattered Glass by: Lukasz Gottwald, Claude Kelly, and Benjamin Levin. (Full Disclosure: Britney Spears sings the song — not usually my choice but I needed the good lyrics.)
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.