During our travels this weekend, my husband and I barely missed having multiple head-on collisions from impatient people illegally passing in no passing zones. These zones were either at the crest of a hill or around a blind curve. We had to apply hard braking and swerve to save our lives. It was a scary and rough weekend.
As a funeral director in Texas, I have buried many people who were impatient to get somewhere, but instead, ended up on my embalming table. These losses are tragic and horrific. In most cases, they come to me in a bag with dismembered limbs, crushed bones, lost faces, etc. The point is, there is no place nor event that is so important that risking your life becomes a viable alternative. Perhaps even more importantly, there is no event worth risking someone else's life.
My aunt was complaining to me the other day about law officers pulling people over when they speed; she was so indignant over it. After she had exhausted every insult she could invent toward the law officers of our area, I simply pointed out to her that if she and others did not disregard the law, the law officers would have no reason to pull them over. Furthermore, in reality, the law officers were probably saving her life by keeping the highways and byways safer for motorists at large.
I described my last two cases where motorists had passed illegally on FM roads and had not only lost their lives but those of their passengers and those of the innocent persons in the vehicles they hit. By the time she pictured my graphic description as a visual concept in her brain, her attitude changed and she was suddenly more appreciative of what she had previously described as an unfair speed trap.
I have seen my aunt driving around town since our conversation. She no longer speeds nor slings insults at the law enforcement officers pulling over dangerous drivers. She has realized a new appreciation for the work of law enforcement officers and for the safety they provide for her. She hopes to die peacefully sleeping in her comfortable bed rather than hit by an impatient motorist passing a tractor or speeding to get nowhere important.
Since becoming a funeral director, I have developed a unique habit. When I see a person doing something that risks their life or the lives of others, I approach them and introduce myself. I then hand them my business card and ask them to give it to their next of kin, as I am sure they will need my services very soon. Then I immediately turn around and walk away. In some cases, I receive rude comments, but if I save one person’s life, it is well worth any insult they can throw my way.
If you engage in activities that are dangerous, please be mindful that you are risking your life, and possibly the lives of others. One thing is for sure though, once your dead, there are no do-overs. I hope you are not my next business card recipient or the next bag of mangled body parts on my embalming table. Please drive safely.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am the owner and Managing Funeral Director at Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City Texas. I am an author, syndicated columnist, and professional speaker. I write books and weekly bereavement articles related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences toward positive recovery. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.