Frantic for Only a Few Seconds After an Auto Accident

Written by Braiden on June 23, 2010


A friend of mine who lives in New York City was kind enough to forward a link to a New York Times article entitled, Mandela Attends Relative’s Funeral, on the horrific death of 91-year-old Nelson Mandela’s 13-year-old great-granddaughter.

The accident was especially tragic because a close family friend, who had allegedly been drinking while driving and was just 23 years old, caused it.

Barry Bearak’s article is stark and detailed, somber and perfect in tone. But it’s the last few paragraphs that caught my friend’s attention and caused her to send it to me:

The funeral service followed an earlier private burial and it lasted for several hours. Mr. Mandela left early. Several speakers described Zenani and expressed their deep grief. A message from the girl’s bereft mother, Zoleka Mandela-Seakamela, was read aloud.

“I should have let you sleep longer when you told me you were tired,” the message said, according to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “I should have let you wear all the makeup in the world.

“I should have given you more money, more hugs, more kisses, and I should have whispered more in your ear ‘I love you.’

“If I did all this would you come back to me, even if it was only for a few seconds? I want to hold you in my arms one last time.”

What would you do or say to a loved one if you had only a few seconds left?

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