Before that day, she had been making plans to attend graduate school and get her Masters of Fine Arts degree. She was an artist, a painter who worked in oils on large canvases. She had recently sold several paintings at prices that validated the talent she had in her chosen field.
She was also a poet and had recently joined a poetry group, where, as the youngest member, she actively sought critical input to help her improve this side of her artistic ability. In a poem she wrote to the family as a Christmas present in 1999, she said "I'm making my way in a world you can't protect me from." She meant a world where she would make her own mistakes and enjoy her own triumphs, not a world that included instantaneous death.
As her mother I now live with "what if" and "if only." For instance, if only there had been a bike lane on Oak Street. What if the traffic lanes were tightened and the space left over used to expand the shoulder and make more room for bicycles. I don't know that actions like those would have saved her life. I do know that these do not exist today. I know that my daughter's potential will never be realized. I know that my agony is forever.