Automobiles can be terminal. They are speeding metal coffins containing mortal bodies that crumple when hit, collapse when rolled over, compress and crush what is inside them when physics takes charge and momentum meets momentum. Along New Mexico highways there are small Memorials built by roadsides to say good bye to loved ones who have become traffic statistics. The crash sites have been cleaned up, bodies interred, obituaries written, tears drained.  All that is left is small remembrances by friends and family planted at the point where a spirit left this Earth and moved into the next world. These heart felt and simple Memorials are often just simple white crosses with a name and date on them. Some are elaborate with photos, dates of birth and death, artifacts from a person’s life like a high school graduation tassel or a string of prayer beads or a quote from the Bible written in indelible black ink on a cardboard sign. i seldom stop but Memorials add up. I pass one at a time, but they have a cumulative effect, cause me to look at my speed, pay closer attention to the road, drink more coffee to stay awake. The vast expanses of New Mexico reach away from the highways and it is hard to figure how two vehicles collide when there is so much space to avoid it? Still, cars are machines operated by humans and human error is unavoidable.. A roadside Memorial is evidence of great pain and great love. One wishes every death had such a Memorial to go with it.
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