I can still see her face. It haunts me at night sometimes when my mind wanders and I can’t quite go to sleep. I remember how I wiped the blood from her face and she groaned in pain. She was so small. She was so young. She still had so much life left to live, but whether she did or not, perhaps I’ll never really know. If she did survive all that she had to undergo, her life would never be the same.

“You never know when your time will come”

That phrase has never meant more to me than after the day I saw her.

I only saw her, sat with her, for a few minutes, minutes which mean little to nothing when compared to the vastness of time, but mean everything when compared to endless hours of joy and happiness that she will probably never know again.

Her grandmother walked beside her as she hopped and skipped down the street. That playfulness of spirit can only exist in little children. So full of hope. So full of dreams and possibilities. I often wonder exactly what game she was playing, and what pictures filled her endless imagination. I could see them both from across the street amidst the laughing and talking with my friends. We couldn’t have known–neither could they–that the second I glanced down and the second her grandmother didn’t see, there was something speeding around the corner of the street.

A noise.

A crash.

A scream.

And that was it.

She would never be the same.

We went over to help, but what do you do, and what can you say?

I remember perfectly the pain etched upon her grandmother’s face. The horror. The scar inside her that might never heal. She clutched the little girl to her chest and wailed, and frantically tried to comfort the shattered frame in her arms.

We tried to help. We placed her down upon someone’s backpack to keep her neck and head upright. Her eyes rolled back into her broken head and all I could do was wipe the blood off her face. Oh, God, I remember it all so perfectly.

How do you look all the terrible things on this earth and still have tears to cry? How do you live each day knowing that any moment could change your world forever? Any day could be your last, or the last of someone you love. Oh, God, help me to live a life prepared for whatever will happen in each day. May I live a life broken for the things that break your heart and a fire that burns with a love for all the souls you’ve made.

My friends and I were across the street from where it happened and yet I can still feel the shock of grief and the cries of help lifted to heaven for a little girl who changed my perspective of life forever.

Does she still live? I’m not sure.

If she is, does she still have dreams, can she still imagine? I don’t know.

My heart weeps for her, though I never even knew her name.