Deb Nelson: A lesson from Lizzie | SummitDaily.com
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Deb Nelson: A lesson from Lizzie

Deb Nelson
Silverthorne

Along with many others, I’m struggling with the tragic death of Elizabeth Murphy. I had the pleasure of being Lizzie’s mentor in the SHS Pre-Collegiate Development Program. What a motivated, smart and enthusiastic girl! Lizzie was destined for great things, so it’s especially hard to grasp such a life cut short.

In getting to know Lizzie, one thing was extremely important to her. She wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. In a questionnaire, Lizzie mentioned that she wanted a career in business, but her last words were poignant. “Finally, I really just want to help others achieve their dreams and goals and help them succeed. I’ve always felt that after I take care of myself, I should go and help others because, hopefully, they will go and help more, and the world WILL be a better place.”

Lizzie’s death epitomizes the tragedy that can so often happen in our formative years. She was responsible in many ways, but must have felt invincible in others. It’s our life experiences that make us realize that something unexpected can happen at any moment (such as a deer darting in front of you), turning our perceived control into chaos. Lizzie had the unfortunate luck of swerving to hit a deer at a time she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. How many youth and adults have been on our cellphone, checked our email, and even texted on the road? We’re playing with fire, and Lizzie’s untimely death should be a wake up call to us all.

It was important for Lizzie to make a difference in other’s lives. By getting her fellow students to be more aware of the many hazards of driving … to buckle up, go the speed limit, avoid drinking, and to put the cellphones down, she will!


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