Maya's story came to me when I was particularly vulnerable.
My Dad told me her story when we were visiting family in Chicago this summer. First of all, every time we go back to Chicago, I long to move back. You can read about this annual/biannual phenomenon here.
If we were to ever move back, and my husband and I have talked about this ad nauseum, we'd move downtown---to Lincoln Park, Lakeview, or somewhere close-by. It was in Lincoln Park where Maya died.
Also, my Dad told me this story about Maya the night before he planned to take my children to the Lincoln Park Zoo without me. I was attending a baby shower for a cousin the next day and while I was gone, he thought he'd take the kids to the zoo. It was after a day at Lincoln Park Zoo that Maya died. In Lincoln Park. On her way back to her mommy's car from the zoo.
The story is horrible. Maya, her mother and brother, were crossing the street right by the zoo. A man in a Lexus sped through a stop sign and hit Maya and her family. Maya's mother and brother were big enough that they were thrown over the roof of the car. Maya was not so lucky. She was dragged underneath the car. The driver dragged her for about a block before he sped away.
Even though the hospital (the hospital where I was born incidentally) was only a few blocks away and she was brought there within minutes, Maya died anyway. Her injuries were severe.
Maya was four years old.
My Dad, of course, ever the dramatist, told the story well. Too well. He also made a minor mistake. He said that Maya was seven. My daughter O, the one he planned to take to the same zoo the next day, was seven.
Oh, the impact of this story!
Please visit her family's website. And think about her whenever you make a FULL and COMPLETE stop at a stop sign.