Thursday, January 12, 2012

A long winded reply to tragic event

This is the reply I wanted to leave at a blog about a tragic accident. However, my talent to type lots has taken over and I thought it would be more appropriate here to leave a note of this length.

The original posting can be found here (


My mother was a fire fighter for 25 years. She retired on December 31, 2011. On the 27th, the station she worked at had a big party for her and the air ambulance gave her a little flight in their Bell 222. We had a great time.

About 15 years ago, we were out trying to get Christmas dinner for the two of us. It seemed that every time we tried to get to a store, there would be a call for her station. She was a paid call fire fighter at the time. The last call of the day found us on the freeway, heading the opposite way we had been trying to go hoping things would settle down.

She got a call for a vehicle accident, back the other way. I turned us around at the next exit and headed for the location of the crash. It was only a few miles from our house, as we live right next to a major freeway.

Because we were already moving, we got there just after the ambulance, but before the fire engine. Being a warm body, I was pressed into helping bring the gurney from the ambulance to where the car came to rest, about 200 feet from the road. The little Hyundai had landed on it's roof, with the driver, having been ejected, under the trunk of the car.

Mom had to go with the ambulance to the hospital. I had to drive the husband. I could already tell she had died. It was hard to not speed down the freeway and try to keep up with the ambulance. He prayed for his wife, begging God to save her. I kept quiet and drove.

She died on the way to a family dinner. They had driven over 250 miles and only had about 10 more to go when they got in an argument.

Christmas has gone from being my favorite time of year, decorating the house with my houses and lights to being a month I endure and hope will end quickly. Halloween is becoming my favorite time of year.

I think of that day often. I try my hardest to drive carefully, keeping my passengers and other drivers safe so we all get home at the end of the day. I don't use a cell phone while driving. I leave the radio on one of a few channels. I use my blinkers. I stop at signs for the full three seconds. I'm hardly a perfect driver, still a work in progress.

It's an event that will live with me forever.

Hug your family. Often. Think positive thoughts for both families. Think of the good her organs will do for other people. It's a tragic event all around. All my best to you and your family and the families involved.

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