Think Before You Act Everyday someone loses a person dear to them. You never know if it will be your last day here in this world. We all just live day to day and don’t realize tomorrow could be our last. It’s even worse when it could have been prevented. Choices we make can impact our lives and individuals around us. People say things happen for a reason, and that God has a plan for all of us. We won’t know the truth until something tragic happens each of us. June 24, 2011 was the day that I lost a close friend forever. I remember that day like it happened yesterday.
You don’t forget days like that when your life changes forever. The night of the accident, a young man decided to leave a bar and drive with his blood alcohol content over three times the legal limit. He ended up driving the wrong way on the highway and collided head-on with another vehicle. Both drivers were pronounced dead on the scene. My friend was a victim of a drunk driver. He graduated from high school two weeks before his death. Not even eighteen years old and still had a life to live. Bryant Hernandez was an individual who left a mark on everyone he came in contact with.
You wouldn’t think a seventeen year old would have a huge impact on people he came across, but he did. Bryant did everything he could to put a smile on your face. He seemed to always know what to say to cheer you up. I met Bryant when I was a senior in high school. Since I had to have an elective I ended up taking a child development class. Walking through the class I noticed that we were all girls except for one. He was sitting at a table alone and looking very uncomfortable. I would feel awkward to taking a child development class with a bunch of girls.
Bryant looked in my direction when I started to approach him. “Do you mind if I sit with you? ” I asked. “Well you are already sitting down so I guess I don’t have much of a choice. ” Bryant said with a smirk on his face. I couldn’t help but laugh. I knew from that moment I was going to like having him in this class. Eventually it turned out to be one of my favorite classes. He was my go to guy for everything. Bryant knew how to make me feel better when things got tough. At the time small things like that weren’t that important.
But now I would give anything to go back and cherish those moments with him. It’s been over a year since the accident and I’ve realized choices you make can have major consequences. When I was a teenager I made stupid decisions like the guy who killed my friend. I didn’t think about anyone else. All I cared about was having fun and living in the moment. I didn’t care when people told me not to drive home drunk. Well living in the moment doesn’t get you anywhere. You may get away with it a couple of times but eventually it will catch up to you.
After his death I thought a lot about my actions. Watching his parents say there last words to him and how tired they looked, I couldn’t imagine what they went through and what they are still currently going through. I imagined how my parents would react. I can’t help but want to cry. It makes me sick to know how selfish I was when I was younger. Bryant’s death was a wakeup call for me and hopefully several others. Driving drunk will never cross my mind again. With everything I do now I take a moment to think about it and to make sure that it is the right decision to make.
I know Bryant is looking down smiling and saying “About time you changed, you hard headed girl! ” My friend may not be here anymore but him passing on made his family and friends realize things you love can easily be taken away from you in a flash. Selfishness is very common and realizing that our actions can affect our own lives and the people we love so dearly. If moments can be prevented then prevent them. Teaching others to think before they act can impact a lot of people from making the wrong decisions. In time everyone with have their own personal reality checks some faster than others.