One Easter, just before dawn, I was wakened by the persistent rapping of a state police officer at my door. He apologized for the intrusion and then told his tragic news. Some time during the night, Fred, a member of the parish, had run his car off the road, struck a tree, and been killed.
"Apparently he fell asleep," the officer suggested. "He was alone." No liquor was involved. In fact, the car was full of Easter candy and toys.
It wasn't difficult to fill in the story. Unable to find work locally, Fred reluctantly had become a long-haul trucker. Though the pay was good, he hated the days away from home. He pushed to complete each run so he could spend as much time as possible with his wife and children.
Arriving at the truck terminal late that Saturday night, he had put presents for his children in his car and begun the fifty-mile drive home. On this night the fatigue had proved too great. Just ten miles short of his goal, he had fallen asleep. A few hundred feet later, his life ended ...1