I have continued to be impressed by the grace and indomitable spirit that the Lopez Family has continued to show through this strife. While there are many examples of this, one occurred during a conversation with Manny this evening.
We were talking of a friend of his and his wife that had come to visit with them earlier today. His friend had relayed information regarding Ava to another person who did not know the Lopez’s personally. He almost apologetically asked if that was okay, not knowing whether or not the Lopez family preferred for this to remain more private. Of course Manny’s reply was to spread the word… far and wide, but the message is not exactly what you would expect at first blush. It is deeper and more humanistic than “punishment for the offenders and preservation of life.” While these are certainly important messages to send, there is a deeper hope and desire that comes from Ava’s story…
Most of you probably do not even drink that often or that much. Most of you would probably never drive a vehicle if you were intoxicated or even had only one drink. So you are not where a life would be saved. This story doesn’t prevent you from doing anything that would result in the demise of another human being. This story is merely preaching to the choir… or is it?
Ava’s story has touched all of us. We have been more thoughtful and considerate of others. We have paused to take note of the precious lives that surround us, whether it is with our family, friends, neighbors, or even complete strangers. We have looked at our own children and thought how devastated our own lives would be if such a tragedy befell them and have tried to make them feel more loved as a result. We have come together as communities (including the on-line community) and have said, “we are here for you.” So maybe Ava’s story is saving lives in ways other than the mortality count… and passing her story along makes us all more humane and interconnected. Maybe Ava’s story will serve no purpose other than to make someone’s life better, if even just for a day. But isn’t that a worthwhile thing, too. Manny understands this. This is his hope… that Ava’s story touches the lives of others… and makes them better… however that may be.
Ava… the party waits for you.