While pushing my granddaughter in the stroller, we passed a large boulder with a small plaque carved into its side.
Two names were engraved in gold letters—a young couple sharing the same date of death.
The large boulder faced a small fishing pond—such a peaceful setting.
I read the words beneath the couple's names, "celebrating their love, fish caught, childish laughter, and time shared." I sighed. Who were Scott and Trina?
I found out. They'd been teens when they fell in love. Both hardworking –Trina loved people and had found the perfect career in a convention center—her boyfriend of five years was now an electrician in the naval shipyard. As I read more about them, they loved what they did, and they loved one another.
A couple days after Trina's 23rd birthday, they'd taken their first vacation together. After a full day of exploring the Oregon coast, Trina was behind the wheel and was just turning left off Highway 101. A speeding car, passing a line of cars of which they were in front, hit them broadside—killing the young couple.
I've seen this pond in the spring when young kids have their annual fishing derby. In the August sunlight, a blanket of algae covers the pond and birds chirp in the trees. It's totally serene.
The huge boulder sits as a sentinel to the seasons and memorializes a couple who never had a chance to start a family and bring them to the pond they enjoyed.
Perhaps that's why their families created the memorial. I don't know.
This I do know: There are too many car accidents caused by people passing when they shouldn't. For Trina and Scott, the driver who took their lives was only 20—young like they were. But it's not just young drivers who are negligent. No, any driver can do this.
Sadly, Trina and Scott never got to finish their vacation, or their love story.