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A Perfectly Broken Rock

  • Distracted Driving: A Broken Rock

    “What could really happen if I text or make a call while driving? It’s just a quick call or text I can do both and drive safely. I’m a good driver.” That is what most drivers think till something happens: Distracted Driving. I would like to introduce you to Shelley Forney. She’s a Mother with a story she’s willing to share.

    “My name is Shelley and I am sharing with you just what happened to my daughter Erica due to one of those quick cell phone calls. Our lives changed forever in 2008, when our 9 year old Erica was struck and killed just 15 pedals on her bike from our front door. The driver was distracted by a phone call. Erica died on Thanksgiving Day from severe brain damage. This crash was 100% preventable, if only the driver knew what she was doing was dangerous even more, deadly. I wanted to share with you a piece I wrote called A Perfectly Broken Rock. It is one of many I have written, expressing how our hearts can be so broken after a loss and it’s ok to be broken. Writing how you feel throughout a life change can be healing while coping with the change a loss can bring.”

    Heart Shaped Rock Broken rock in the shape of a heart found by Shelley.

    The Perfectly Broken Rock

    The memory trees were barren. The bows that I had been hanging for years had blown some time ago and I didn’t have any to replace them. A friend recently found some bows that I had made in her basement. Since she had helped me switch out the bows with holiday ones, they had gotten misplaced. Now returning them to me to hang up on our memory trees. The area by these trees is where my daughter landed, after being struck by a distracted driver on a cell phone, just around the corner from our home in 2008. Today I walked with my youngest daughter Valerie of 9 to hang them up. I was careful while wrapping ribbon up and down and around the flowery bows with sunflowers tucked inside. Erica had loved sunflowers and owls, so of course that is what I added to them. My little one returned to the house, while I walked slowly back to my home. Along the way, I had noticed a rock that seemed to come from nowhere. As we had walked down the side walk, I didn’t recall it, but there it was now. I had past it and then turned around to see if what I saw laying in the grass was what I thought I saw. I leaned down to pick up a perfectly broken rock. Why was this broken rock worth turning around for? I will explain this odd story to you. Since the death of my sweet adoring Erica in 2008, I have been finding heart shaped items all over. While on vacation with my family, I found 9 heart shaped rocks. All colors, shapes… I felt that this was a sign and a gift from her. It was a reminder that she will always be with us. Just a few hours ago, I had given a talk about distracted driving to employees for the city I live in. It is difficult to do this, as every time I give these talks, I also share our story of loss. As my heart was reminded again that she is no longer with us. Erica proved to me that she isn’t gone she is with us. She gave me a gift today it was a “perfectly broken rock in the shape of a heart.” It wasn’t a perfect shape, but there were parts that were smooth and polished and the other areas that were jagged and broken. I saw the rock with a shape I could relate too. I sat on my porch feeling all the edges with my hand. This is how I see my heart; sometimes polished and smooth, yet very broken and jagged. I am grateful I found this perfectly broken rock. It’s just like me.

    Erica’s mom is now an Independent Safety Speaker sharing her story and more on the topic of distracted driving. Did you know that one out of every 4 car crashes that will happen today will be due to a driver on a cell phone call or texting while driving?

    If you would like to talk to Shelley about a possible presentation for your company/group, she can be reached at (970) 691-5997 or by email at shelleyfor@msn.com. She also can be found on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/shelley-forney/4b/62b/229kedIn

    We share in Shelley’s loss, and want to encourage all who are reading this to pass it along. It can happen to you or to someone you love, there are no “do overs.” If you’ve ever had to say good bye to a loved one, especially a child, you can understand the pain it causes and the memories that will recur forever.

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