My boyfriend and I were riding his motorcycle on a nice sunny day with the dry pavement on the highway in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He had just finished his fourth tour in Afghanistan with, somehow, no injuries.  I had just finished paying my way through my medical school and had just received words that I made a perfect score on my MCAT Exam.  Everything was looking so bright for our future together.  He doesn’t know that I know that he’s going to ask me to marry him.  How do I know this?  Well, his brother, who will probably be his best man, not so subtly inquired about my ring size last week.  

As we’re riding along the highway, with both of wearing mostly all leather and our safety approved helmets, one of this oversized 18 wheelers just barrels right into us.  And then, everything went blank.

I woke up in the hospital later that day with both my arms and legs broken, along with some bruised ribs and some badly damaged vertebrae. 

And, as for my boyfriend, he was killed instantly.  I’m glad that he didn’t feel any pain, but I still wish he could be here and I could nurse him through all of this.  It’s entirely unfair, paradoxical, and somewhat poetically ironic that he survived so much water and moments where people were actually trying to kill him over there without a scratch on him, only to come back and have this happen.  

We would later learn that the driver of the 18-wheeler fell asleep at the wheel because he had been up all right driving to try and make his destination on time.  Now, not only will he not get there on time, we’ll be taking him to court after learning about truck driver negligence.  And, his company will be looked at for unsafe working conditions and expectations of their employees.  

The realist in me says that this will not be the last time that something of this nature unfortunately occurs.  

However, if I were able to have my boyfriend’s death truly mean something in the long term, it would be twofold.  Firstly, since he is no longer able to protect innocent lives as a soldier, his death, and the impending lawsuits against the truck driver’s employers, can both serve as a warning to them, as well as to other similar companies, that overworking employees, not just truck drivers, can cause people to fall asleep at the wheel and leave bystanders hurt or, like me, dead in the process.  Also, my family will need some form of a sizeable cash settlement to help care for me during my recovery, and pay for my physical therapy, as well as any pain and suffering that this will cause them and me. 

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