Whenever I think back on my own high school and college years, I am amazed that I survived to become an adult. I hitchhiked alone all over Washington, D.C.; climbed sheer rock faces without a rope or a helmet; and rode in cars driven by friends who were not only drunk but still drinking-- to name just three ways my life could have been cut short. So many second chances came my way.
In the past ten years, as the mother of three adolescents, I have heard too many stories of teenagers who made a single mistake that changed their lives and those of their families forever. Some died, some survived but with life-altering injuries--because of car accidents, falls, alcohol, drugs, or fights. For some, there are no second chances.
My heart aches tonight for two young men and their families: Robert, who ingested methyl alcohol and has lost his sight; and Forrest, about whom I posted on January 23rd after learning of his snowboarding head injury, who has begun to experience tremors, excruciating headaches, and seizures.
So today I wore dolphin earrings, just as I did on January 23rd. Forrest has spent many hours at his mother's dolphin projects and surely knew this dolphin that I met at the Bermuda site while studying the unique ecology of Bermuda's ecosystems.
To me, dolphins embody the wise, playful, gentle traits that charcterize healthy adults. How I hope that Robert and Forrest have a chance to grow into healthy adulthood.