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by Abigail Van Buren

Colleagues Suspect Forgetful Co Worker Is Battling Dementia

DEAR ABBY: My husband runs an auto body shop and has always warned me to be extra careful in parking lots -- "People don't pay attention. They drive too fast. Everyone's always in a hurry," etc. Well, tomorrow I am going to the memorial service for a dear friend, "Mara." She was only 46.

While Mara was putting her granddaughter into a stroller, they were hit. A woman driving too fast hit a car backing out of a parking space, careened off that car and ran over Mara. Mara was pinned underneath the car until the fire department arrived and lifted it off her. Mara's daughter saw it all. The 3-year-old is still in the hospital, but will survive.

I realize my friend died over a parking spot. I hope people reading this will see that we all need to slow down and pay attention. A car can be as lethal as a gun. I didn't "get it" before, but now I do. Because of the reckless actions of a complete stranger, you can kiss your husband goodbye, go shopping and never return! I hope this nightmare can help others. -- MISSING THE SISTER OF MY HEART

DEAR MISSING: Please know how sorry I am about the tragic death of your friend. I cannot stress enough how important it is to remain fully present while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Our streets and highways are filled with distractions, as are our cars -- billboards, cell phones, stereo buttons, the GPS, etc. I am sure the woman who struck Mara and her grandchild will never get over the fact that she took one life and could have taken another.

Readers, I hope you will review this woman's letter and remember it the next time you're "in a hurry." It could save a life.