Editorial: Lets Cherish Our Young, Keep Them Safe

Cherish those you have in your life. You never know when they won’t be around anymore.
12 Oct 2019 15:47
Editorial: Lets Cherish Our Young, Keep Them Safe
Peter and Ian Mataika with their Mum Asena Tutu holding a picture of her daughter Makereta Mataika. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Four young Fijians tragically lost their lives this week.

Three died on our roads. The other drowned.

Their deaths occurred all in less than 48 hours.

The stories we covered and reported about the lives of these children are heartbreaking.

Some of them were old enough to have dreams and aspirations. Just like any other child.

But sadly, all they’ve left behind are memories of their short-lived lives.

It’s often been said that no parent should ever bury their child.

It’s a gut wrenching experience.

Asenaca Tutu lost her daughter Makereta Mataika after the school bus she was travelling in crashed at Lakena hill in Nausori on Wednesday afternoon.

Like other parents and guardians who lost their child this week, Miss Tutu is devastated.

She partly blames herself for the decision taken by Makereta to catch the school bus home on that fateful day.

For several days now, sleep has escaped this grieving mother.

She recalled that she had an argument with her eldest daughter Makereta that Wednesday morning. It was about a class party Ms Tutu only found out about that morning. (Something most parents are familiar with).

She blasted Makereta for her last-minute request.

Ms Tutu works as a security officer at the Nausori Hospital.

She told her three children (Makereta and two younger brothers) to meet her at the hospital after school to travel to Suva.

Staff at the hospital called Ms Tutu later that afternoon to tell her that Makereta had been involved in an accident.

“When I reached the hospital and saw my daughter lying motionless. I could not help myself. Right now, I feel like joining my daughter, I feel like dying,” she said.

Ms Tutu’s reaction is no different from other parents and guardians who’ve lost their child this week.

Hearts broken by the loss of a child will always have a void.

There will certainly be more questions than answers.

Year four student, Steven Clarence Naibuka, was the second victim who lost his life in the Lakena hill crash.

Yesterday along the Kings Highway near Tobu Village in Ra, one-year-old Vilimoni Tuiravotu became another road statistic.

He was travelling in a rental vehicle. The accident happened at 11am yesterday.

Hours later, after 3pm, a Class two student of Draiba Primary School, Marika Bolavucu Junior drowned while playing with his friends near the Nasese foreshore.

If there is a lesson in these four tragedies for us the living – it’s to cherish our loved ones. Hug your children tighter when they depart for school every day. Pray over them.

Cherish those you have in your life.

You never know when they won’t be around anymore.

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