As moms we make choices every day for our children. We decide to drive hours to the beach or we take a bad way that has traffic and sit for three hours. Whatever the price we adults pay for those choices, it's often our children -- the ones who had no say in the first place -- who have to pay, too.
Usually these decisions are mere annoyances that result in over-tired children who scream and cry the whole way home. But one mom in California paid far too high a price for a bad split-second decision.
Susan Dibene was walking with her 2-year-old daughter when she made the last-second decision to cross the train tracks even after the warning bars had descended and the lights were flashing. The stroller became stuck and Dibene just managed to push her daughter free, but couldn't free herself.
She died when the train hit her.
There are so many sad parts to this story, but the true heartbreak is that Dibene died saving her child. We all know some parents who would have run to save themselves or others who would have been too paralyzed with fear to do anything.
Dibene probably knew she had made a bad decision. But maybe it was past dinnertime. Maybe her toddler was fussy. Maybe she needed a diaper change. There are 10,000 reasons why any of us might have made a similar last-minute bad decision.
It's the reason I've blown through stop signs and red lights. It may have been an oversight, not something I did on purpose, but ultimately the reason is that I was concerned about my children and wanted to get them home as soon as possible.
Even as we recognize that this woman made a less than perfect decision, we must also acknowledge that many of us would have done the same, but few of us would have had the courage she showed at the end.
We all say we would die for our kids. And we all probably believe it. Dibene proved it's true and while I am sure she would love to see her daughter grow up, I am also sure that if she had it to do over again knowing it was either herself or her baby, she would have made the same decision.
Her daughter is very lucky to have a mom like that and maybe someday she will recognize exactly how much her mother truly loved her. My heart goes out to the family.
Do you think this mom is a hero?
Image via s.carlson/Flickr