Tag Archives: bittersweet memories

In Memory of loved ones who died in Wars in this country, including over 3.5 million in “Car Safety Wars”

This Memorial Day, I want us to remember the countless loved ones from this country who have died in wars — including the Car Safety Wars.

Review of Car Safety Wars: One Hundred Years of Technology, Politics, and Death

From that review: “Lemov reports that more than 3.5 million Americans have been killed and more than 300 million injured in motor vehicle accidents.” “More than all the combat deaths suffered in all our wars” (President Lyndon Johnson).

Remembering AnnaLeah & Mary Karth and their grandpa, James Waldron, a Navy Seabee in WWII, at Highland View Cemetery

AnnaLeah, Colorful & Insightful Word-Weaver

My daughter-in-law posted the question on Facebook today, “What books do you think all kids should read?” That made me think, of course, about the Book Reading Lists which AnnaLeah had created. Incomplete and unfinished.

She had a 600-book collection herself  — mostly used — and would have acquired more, I’m sure. She loved to give books as gifts to her niece and nephew and read to them often.

Here are some of her lists:

The Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, where we were living when the crash occurred, donated a book in the girls’ names. AnnaLeah , a booklover, would have appreciated that gesture.

And here is AnnaLeah’s Statement of Faith, which she wrote when she was 12:

Happy Birthday, AnnaLeah!

 

AnnaLeah, my birthday girl. . . Forever 17. . . we miss you.

Here I go again having to pick some memories of AnnaLeah to share on her birthday. She would have been 22 today. How can that be? What would she have done today? How might she have changed?

For one thing, she probably wouldn’t want the spotlight to be shining on her. But she isn’t here to protest and remembering her — preserving the memory of her life and self — is all I can do for her now.

AnnaLeah Karth, May 15, 1995 – May 4, 2013

Some things I want you to know about AnnaLeah. . .

  • My Favorite Memories of AnnaLeah (well, some of them)
  • Time & A Grief Observed: Reflections from CS Lewis & AnnaLeah KarthToday is the day that AnnaLeah was born 20 years ago. Though she only lived 17 years (almost 18), she filled her time with imaginative & colorful activities and endeavors. Time well-spent.
    annaleahcollage2AnnaLeah had a personal collection of over 600 books–most of which she had read. And she loved to create and share imaginative worlds with words. A wordsmith. . . Here is a poem she wrote when she was 12:

    AnnaLeah time poem 2007

  • AnnaLeah’s Very-Thorough 30-Category Booklist
  • Grace Girls Appreciated AnnaLeah For over three years, AnnaLeah took care of the babies and preschoolers of moms who attended a morning Bible Study group called Grace Girls. She had a gift with young children. She enjoyed them and they loved her. The moms appreciated AnnaLeah and let her know so. Photos show a Christmas card she received from them, as well as a farewell card to her when we were moving away from Midland, along with lots of photos of AnnaLeah with little ones.
  • Remembering AnnaLeah Two Years After the Crash :Two years ago, May 4, 2013, AnnaLeah went on her last journey on this earth. Little did she know it at the time.She had worked so hard before we set out for Texas to go to her sister Rebekah’s wedding and college graduations of four older siblings. We were going to be moving into a new home on the Fourth of July. So, she had packed up most of her possessions in preparation for sharing a bedroom with her older sister, Susanna. She had sewn a lovely dress for her niece’s birthday. I was so proud of her.

    Then, it all came to an end.

    AnnaLeah and Susanna May 2011 Levi's graduation 001

    I wanted to share this memorial photo slideshow which her older brother Isaac and sister Susanna put together two weeks later to share at the girls’ funeral. We remember AnnaLeah and the day she was born, May 15, 1995; she would have turned 20 today. Forever 17.

  • I love the glimpse which this video gives of AnnaLeah and the delight she had in giving books to her niece. . .

This “short film” was a little play which AnnaLeah wrote, starring herself and her sister Mary.  Makes me laugh and smile and feel like they’re still here. . .

AnnaLeah Builds Her Hobbit Orphanage
AnnaLeah and Levi joined other youth from Grace Lutheran in Midland, Texas, in a servant event. Under the direction of DCE Eaton they thought that they were going to build a storage shed at Camp Lone Star in 2010. AnnaLeah knew that it was really an orphanage for hobbits! See them hard at work in this fast-action short video…

How a Truck Crash Changed the Month of May; or What Happens When Nobody Takes Responsibility?

 

A running list of links to recent, significant posts on annaleahmary.com

It is encouraging that a lot of positive things are happening in recent months, especially related to underride protection. In order to keep that information readily accessible but not keep it at the top of the site as sticky posts, I am going to keep a running list of links to recent, significant posts:

  1. RAMCUP Capitol Hill Briefing, June 15, 9-noon: Be Part of the Solution to STOP Truck Underride Tragedies2 Moms are returning to DC with a week full of meetings on The Hill — including meetings with 13 House Transportation Committee Member Offices. Then, on Thursday, June 15, Lois Durso and I will be hosting a Capitol Hill Briefing on the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 (RAMCUP) from 9 a.m. to noon. Our goal is to get Congress on board with the importance of this doable plan to end preventable truck underride tragedies.

    How You Can Help: We will be providing refreshments to those attending the Briefing and would appreciate donations (not tax deductible) to help us cover the costs. If you can help in this way, please email me at marianne@annaleahmary.com or PM me.

    We will be grateful for any amount. This problem is not going away. . . I just heard about another underride crash in Tennessee this week (http://tinyurl.com/y8m57t9f).

  2. Has FMCSA Done Due Diligence To Appropriately Address Trucking Minimum Liability Insurance Question?After a truck crash killed our daughters, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13) on May 4, 2013, we discovered that there were many problems with truck safety, including inadequate trucking liability insurance. In 1980, Congress set the level of liability insurance for trucking companies at a MINIMUM of $750,000. If that were adjusted for inflation, it would be $2,225,643 in 2017. Yet, DOT has not once raised that level in 37 years — thereby jeopardizing the safety of the traveling public.

    In fact, on June 5, 2017, the FMCSA withdrew the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on the Appropriateness of the Current Financial Responsibility and Security Requirements for Motor Carriers, Brokers, and Freight Forwarders, which was intended to raise that minimum. The history of that rulemaking is summarized below. . .

    Sign a Petition Asking for Immediate Action: Protect Vulnerable Travelers: Demand Immediate Increase in Trucking Liability Insurance

  3. Hard-to-watch Video Footage of IIHS Side Underride Crash Testing, Watch the video footage of this historic IIHS side underride crash testing at 35 mph on March 30 and 31, 2017 — with and without a side guard. It speaks for itself. . .
  4. SEEING IS BELIEVING: Unique Opportunity To Fund A Crash Test In Our Nation’s Capital We are making progress on getting a bill introduced in Congress which would mandate Comprehensive Underride Protection on all large trucks. But we don’t want to take a chance that it would somehow get waylaid, defeated, or put on the back burner.We need to convince every man and woman in the U.S. Congress to vote for the timely passing of the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017. And we think that we have the perfect plan to accomplish that lofty goal:We are making plans for a Capitol Grounds Underride Crash Test Media Event; SEEING IS BELIEVING!
  5. IIHS Proves That Side Underride Crashes Are Deadly But Preventable: Seeing Is Believing, On March 30, Jerry and I witnessed a crash test at 35 mph of a car into the side of a trailer  — with an AngelWing side guard installed — at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia. The guard was successful in stopping the car from riding under the trailer, i.e., passenger occupants would have survived.The next day, another car was crashed at 35 mph into the side of a trailer — with a side skirt but no side guard. The car went under the trailer. Occupants would not have survived. . .
  6. Sign our Side Guard Petition here to let our government & trucking industry leaders know that you want them to act NOW to SAVE LIVES by putting side guards on large trucks.
  7. How You Can Help Us Get Comprehensive Underride Protection On Trucks, I know that I can’t be the only person in this country (or the planet for that matter) who would like to see trucks made safer to drive around. So, for anyone else who would like to help get comprehensive underride protection on trucks in the U.S., here are some ideas. . .
  8. SAVE THE DATE for the Second Underride Roundtable: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at IIHS SAVE THE DATE for the Second Underride Roundtable: Tuesday, August 29, 2017: We will continue to discuss how to bring about the BEST POSSIBLE UNDERRIDE PROTECTION. IIHS will once again co-host this event, with the Truck Safety Coalition and AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety, at their Vehicle Research Center. . .
  9. Question for the ATA: Is it necessary to choose EITHER crash avoidance OR occupant protection — not BOTH?, After the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released their news about side underride crash testing, I began searching online for media reports on the results of their dynamic crash testing of a collision into the side of a trailer with and without a guard.Among other things, I found —  in at least one article — explanations from the IIHS and a reaction from the American Trucking Associations (ATA). . .
  10. 2 Moms, Sick & Tired of Waiting, Draft Truck Underride Legislation, So, what did you do today? If someone were to ask me that question, I would have to admit that I spent hours emailing legislators in Washington, D.C. — asking them to sponsor and support the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017, otherwise known as RAM CUP Act of 2017.My partner in the process was Lois Durso, a mom who lost her 26 year-old daughter, Roya Sadigh, 12 years ago to a side underride crash. Still to this day, side guards are not required on the sides of large trucks — even though there were 1,534 reported side underride deaths from 1994-2014 in the U.S. . .
  11. Why COMPREHENSIVE Underride Protection Legislation?, Why, you might ask, would we write a piece of legislation calling for a comprehensive underride protection rule? Why not have separate bills for side underride and rear underride and front underride and Single Unit Trucks (SUTs), et cetera?I am convinced of the importance of this strategy and want to share some of my thoughts here about the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act. RAM CUP: A DIFFERENT STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE UNDERRIDE PROTECTION. . .
  12. Side Underride Problem & Solutions Featured on The Today Show, Ronan Farrow investigated the side underride problem and here is his report on The Today Show, February 7, 2017. . .
  13. How can we possibly justify allowing Death by Underride to continue when solutions exist to prevent it?, As I allow myself to remember the joy and laughter and love and creativity and grumpiness and irritability and silliness of my daughters, AnnaLeah and Mary, I also remember why I am working tirelessly to bring an end to Death by Underride — which snatched AnnaLeah from this earthly life on May 4, 2013, and Mary on May 8, 2013. I was in that horrific truck crash four years ago today. I survived but they did not because of Death by Underride. . .
  14. Mandates take burden off manufacturers. Crash tests in labs better than crash tests occurring in real world., Lou Lombardo has written a thought-provoking opinion piece, Creating a Demand for Crash Testing (CTTI, September 2011). It holds great value in confirming the need for comprehensive underride protection legislation to be introduced and passed in a timely manner. . .
  15. They fought the good fight, they finished the race. . .
  16. Every Day’s A Holiday With Mary; Joyful Memories of Mary
  17. Amazing Grace Goodbye, AnnaLeah & Mary, With Love From Grandpa
  18. Truck Industry Leaders: “Clarity is probably the biggest need we have so we can plan accordingly.”
  19. AnnaLeah Karth. May 15, 1995 – May 4, 2013. Death by Underride.
  20. Car Dragged By Semi Due To Defective Truck Design
  21. If people die from riding under Single Unit Trucks, why aren’t they required to have underride protection?
  22. When Will We Tackle Underride? – The Hidden Dangers in Trucks (Trucks.com, August 10, 2016)When people learned of the recent fatal crash in Florida of a Tesla Model S running in its Autopilot mode, many started questioning the safety of autonomous driving features in the newest cars.While this is a legitimate topic of debate, for now autonomous driving presents little threat to those on the road. It comes on just a handful of expensive luxury models, and there’s only a small chance that the car driving next to you will have a robot at the controls.However, the tragic Tesla crash does highlight a real and present highway danger — cars sliding underneath large trucks when vehicles collide. Regardless of who was at fault in the Tesla crash, the driver might have lived if the truck had been required to have side guards that would have prevented the electric sports sedan from wedging underneath the trailer.I know just how dangerous collisions like this can be. My youngest daughters, AnnaLeah and Mary, died in 2013 in a truck rear underride crash.

Every Day’s A Holiday With Mary; Joyful Memories of Mary

It would be hard to think of anything but joy when I remember Mary.

AnnaLeah stages a photoshoot: What a pair! AnnaLeah directed a photoshoot of Mary “reading” a book.

Gremlins in the Basement: A short film about a little girl who has lost something and the gremlins that don’t want to give it back. Ever wonder what happens to those things that you just can’t find? Maybe the gremlins know. Starring Mary Lydia Karth

Amazing Grace Goodbye, AnnaLeah & Mary, With Love From Grandpa

AnnaLeah and Mary heard their Grandpa Waldron sing “Amazing Grace” many times throughout their lives. They sang along countless time themselves as he played one of the many dulcimers he had made.

And they knew their heavenly Father’s amazing grace. That thought holds comfort in this time of remembrance. But it broke my heart that I could not tell them goodbye.

Mary and AnnaLeah traveled to see their grandpa buried close by where we would bury them not quite two years later. And there we sang “Amazing Grace” once more, as we bade our fare thee well.

Until we meet again.  Fly away to Jesus!

(As we approached the anniversary of Mary’s passing early on May 8, 2013, I put together this video of AnnaLeah & Mary with the sweet music of their grandpa singing Amazing Grace, with his dulcimer.)

I will turn their mourning into joy.

Then the virgin shall rejoice in the dance,
And the young men and the old, together;
For I will turn their mourning into joy,
And will comfort them, and give them joy for their sorrow.
Jeremiah 31:13
Mary in Lake Michigan
 
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me–
To bring good news to the affliccted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives,
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
Isaiah 61:1-3
 
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the lord;
Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago.
Was it not Thou who cut Rahab in pieces,
Who pierced the dragon?
Was it not Thou who dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
Who made the depths of the sea a pathway
For the redeemed to cross over?
So the ransomed of the LORD will return,
And come with joyful shouting to Zion;
And everlasting joy will be on their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Isaiah 51:9-11

Because in our great sorrow we also have great hope for the everlasting joy yet to come, so then we carry on with boldness and strength to tackle the great challenges which lay before us.

A Walk Through the Woods; A photo story from Mary’s camera. It is well with my soul.

Tonight, I needed to remind myself of the smiles and joyful attitude of Mary and AnnaLeah. The photos and music says it all.

A Walk Through the Woods; A photo story from Mary’s camera. It is well with my soul.

Photography by Mary Lydia Karth (with a few by her mom as well)

http://www.hymnary.org/text/when_peace_like_a_river_attendeth_my_way

When the grief is too heavy too bear, the memories and music lift my soul.

Merry Memories of Christmas Past Bring Comfort & Joy

Mary happily sung and danced her heart out, while AnnaLeah was content to be helpful in the background. Both full of life and laughter in their own ways. Both knew who was the best present of all.

a-christmas-carol-photo-001a-christmas-carol-photo-006a-christmas-carol-photo-005

Mary (dressed in a white pinafore with a blue scarf wrapped around her head and her long, long hair) was one of the chorus youth in Midland Community Theatre’s 2009 production of A Christmas Carol:

Mary as an angel singing Away in a Manger:

Mary (as an angel again) singing and signing Away in a Manger in a Christmas program the year before:

Mary, quite a few years, earlier singing, Jesus is the Heart of Christmas:

Mary singing and dancing in I Saw Three Ships Go Sailing By:

Mary singing and dancing in God Rest, Ye Merry Gentlemen:

And more tidings of comfort & joy:

Treasured Christmas Memories of AnnaLeah & Mary

For myself, and anyone else who cares to get a glimpse of Christmas with Mary & AnnaLeah, here are links to memories which I posted at this time in 2014 (Thanksgiving through New Year’s):