On March 5, 2018 Ruthie Ann Miles and Lauren Lew were walking with their young children, Abigail and Joshua, when a reckless driver ran a red light in Brooklyn, striking them, and killing their two precious young children, Abigail and Joshua.
Ruthie is a beloved member of the Broadway community.
Lauren and her husband live in Brooklyn, as her husband is completing his residency.
I don't know any of these people personally.
But, the Broadway community is beautiful in the support that it gives it's people. It's arms are wide, it's heart is huge, and the hug it bestows encapsulates us all.
For do you really have to know another human personally to have their pain stop you in your tracks and pierce your heart? I don't think so. Some tragedies are so huge that they touch us all - no matter where or who we are.
Working in the Broadway community, I know many people who know and love Ruthie. I myself have admired her for her work, and not only for the reputation she has as an artist, but as a human - giving, loving, honest, and heartfelt.
I don't know the Lew family personally but, my brother is about to enter his residency - and I know the time, energy, and discipline that requires. And somehow that makes their story pierce my heart even harder.
A year ago, my "older brother", Ricky, was hit and killed by a car.
It's been a little over a year, and that still doesn't seem natural to write.
It still seems like I'm talking about someone else.
It still doesn't seem real.
I think about him every day.
There's something about the suddenness of a car crash that is impossible to shake. One moment, life is perfect, and the next it's the nightmare that you cannot wake up from, broken pieces of a heart that will never quite be the same.
For when the lights die down and the dust settles and the smoke clears - you're still left with this gaping hole in your heart that all the apologies in the world cannot seem to fill.
And you just want to shake your hands at the heavens and scream.
And you just want to tell everyone to stop.
And you just want to push pause for a moment so you can desperately find a way to rewind.
I know. I've been there.
And all I can say is I hope you cry if you need to. I hope you scream if you need to. I hope you weep when you want to. I hope you sit in silence when you require it, and surround yourself with the chatters of others when you need it.
I don't know these families, but, they've made an imprint on my soul.
I don't pretend to know what these mothers are going through - my brain cannot even begin to fathom it.
Words are not enough, and yet, words are all I have - I send them love, I send them light, I send them the strength that they cannot summon themselves.
Love to Ruthie, Lauren, and their families.
Donations to Ruthie's Family can be made here.
Donations to Lauren's Family can be made here.