I have a lot on my mind today. Saturday night there was a horrific car accident across the street from my home. I live in a quiet neighborhood. Kids on bikes. Neighbors walking dogs. It's a nice place to live.
Long story short to start, 2 dads went to go get pizza for their little family party and died when their car crashed into my neighbors tree.
I was putting my children to bed and it was HOT. The airconditioners were on in the windows. As I was kissing my little one good night, I heard the rev of an engine, rolled my eyes and hoped the kids outside weren't going to keep it up for too long. My husband and I turned off their light and walked down the hall and sat down with cold beers in hand. Just as we started watching TV my phone rang. My neighbor. I laughed - we had seen each other 3 times already today and I wondered what she had forgotten to tell me now.
Christine was hysterical on the other end of the phone yelling, "WHY AREN'T YOU OUTSIDE??" I jumped out of my chair and went to the front door and saw chaos as there were children crying, a woman trying not to collapse and another neighbor that volunteers with the fire department trying to get control of the situation and all the on lookers. This was 3 minutes ago. There were atleast 5 cop cars out there already.
I threw the phone on the couch and ran across to my neighbor and she was shaking violently. She was the only one that saw the crash. Everyone heard it. She saw it.
As I ran across to her I glanced at the car and I regret it. I felt the passenger looking through me. His eyes were open and they were black. He had a shaved head. His head was resting on the dashboard, his tattooed arms were just hanging there. All of this in 1 nano second.
Christine was just out of her mind. She thought it was a couple of teenagers in a hot rod car speeding down our street. She was sitting on her stoop painting her toenails when she looked up to see the noise and she said it was like an action movie. She said that they made no attempt to steer the car away. Her mind was racing with all of the "what if's". Meanwhile her 10 year old and 5 year old boys were worried about her and trying to look outside. I went in with them knowing that the EMT's and fire department were about to pry open the car. No one should look at that.
I always thought that being a fire fighter (volunteer or paid), an EMT, nurses and doctors was such a noble thing. When I think about what I saw, just for that very second, I don't know that I could see that daily. These professionals that save our lives everyday deserve to honored every day. Just as important as the soldiers that protect our lives every day, it's the docs, nurses, and emergency services that are there no matter what. There was no hesitation. These firefighters were using every ounce they had to crowbar the doors open, pull the windows out and get those men out. I felt like they were gone in a flash.
The scene stayed until after midnight. I tried to close my eyes several times but I kept seeing his eyes. The car is vividly pictured in my head.
Sunday was almost as bad. Mourners were coming through as early as 6AM. Neighbors all walking down the street. Teenagers holding hands and saying prayers for the friend's dad. People pulling over in their cars and pausing, just for a moment, to have a thought. Families supporting each other as they were sobbing, walking down the street from the passenger's house. News 12 was out there for over an hour.
Myself and Christine tried to help Marie clean up her yard. There were shards of glass still in her driveway. Her car was covered in gasoline. The town still hasn't come by to clean up the mess of oil and gasoline in the street. It's in a large pile of kitty litter/oil absorbing materials, glass, and pieces of the car, next to the tree in the street.
I imagine that it will be quite some time for the memory of mine to fade. I will be reminded for a while to come with the tribute staring at my home. My heart aches for the wives, children and families of both these men.