FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN
The Call. Updated.
Today, as I celebrate my birthday, I also grieve
the phone call I will not receive.
“Beware the Ides of March,” as the saying goes.
Although it may be true in my case, nothing could
have been further from the truth for Sara Kaufman,
also born on this date. I met Sara and her family
shortly after graduating college. My brother and I
were sharing a townhouse in North Miami and the
Kaufmans were our neighbors. From the first
day, they opened their hearts to us. Sara was only
eight years old when we moved into the neighborhood.
Sara was always filled with ideas, concepts and
thoughts which spilled out of her so fast, you soon
realized she was thinking faster than anyone could
possibly talk. Sara became involved in
whatever caught her attention, including politics.
Over the years, as she grew up and I grew old(er),
one gift I could always look forward to on our
shared birthday was her bright, cheerful
mile-a-minute phone call. She never forgot
over these many years, and I never took for granted
the joy I felt in these phone calls. Two years
ago, in a senseless automobile accident, we lost
Sara. I am saddened by the loss of a force of
nature who I know was on her way to making a big
difference in many lives as she worked towards
entering public life. I grieve for Sara’s
friends and family members, and I do not know how I
will be able to get through this day without our
traditional birthday phone call filled with the
life, love and Saraisms that tripped off her tongue,
making me smile no matter what else was going on in
I believe that if there is any moral to this
story, it is—pick up the phone. Call someone you
love, even if you haven’t spoken in a while, even if
you are presently battling or nursing old wounds,
and tell them that you love them. Trust me—it
will make their day and just maybe your day, too.
Sara’s death is made more poignant by some of the
disturbing statistics regarding distracted driving
as the person who hit her car was by all accounts
distracted by texting.
- In 2009 the year of Sara’s accident, there
were 30,797 fatal crashes in the United States,
which involved 45,230 drivers. In those crashes
33,808 people died.
- In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in crashes
involving driver distraction (16% of total
- The portion of drivers reportedly distracted
at the time of the fatal crashes increased from
7 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009.
As a family caregiver, I can’t think of a single
phone call or text that is worth adding to these
statistics. Can you?