December 22, 2012


It seems I have written a few posts with the same title and it sucks each and every time.  This one hits very close to home.

Today we were returning from the grocery store when we saw a fire truck running lights and sirens into our neighborhood.  We live in a small town, and our neighborhood is smaller still, with most of the families having lived here for 10+ years.  We drove around our block and saw where the fire truck had gone.  A great family's house.  Daughter in the same class as Boom since elementary school, two older brothers that were sports stars, mom active in the community and school, dad an anesthesiologist that has been present at a number of my surgeries.  I always love that he enters the pre-op area and announces "better living through chemistry!" as he explains his part of the procedure.

As we drove by, we saw that there was already an ambulance and police car in the drive where the engine was parking.  We turned around to head home and met the mom driving toward her house - I will never forget the look on her face.

When we got home, I dialed up the online scanner channel for our fire department.  We watched as other police, another ambulance and then our fire chief's vehicle sped by.  Minutes passed and then I heard the chief's voice on the scanner as he and the ambulance headed up the street.  I don't know what some of their EMS-speak meant, but the dispatcher acknowledged that CPR was being performed en route.  I knew it was bad at that point. Very bad.

A million things went through my mind.  I thought maybe the dad had suffered a heart attack.  I thought that maybe someone had fallen or been electrocuted related to Christmas decorating.  I wondered if someone had wrecked the tractor or been trampled by a horse.  With three kids home from college for the holidays, it could have been anything.  I remembered that the youngest, the only girl, and Boom's friend and classmate, had undergone surgery recently, I thought maybe there was some complication.

I prayed.  We watched the emergency vehicles go back up the street one by one.  My mom (who lives closer to them) called to report that when the fire chief arrived, he left his vehicle door open and sprinted into the house.  We waited.  We wondered.  We tried to call a few people.  We prayed more.  We saw a neighbor's cryptic, but scary Facebook post asking why "things like this happen".

Then came word.  It was Boom's friend.  The same girl that was wishing her college team good luck in their bowl game on Facebook just hours earlier had passed out and couldn't be revived.  A blood clot and fatal heart attack.  She was a month away from her 19th birthday and now she is gone.

There is no objective place for me to go right now.  I am broken for this family.  It is a horrible, tragic reminder that we must live every moment of our lives as if they could be our last.  I hugged all my kids.  I spent a great deal of time telling Boom how much I love her and how proud I am of her - that last part being important because I have really been beating her up about her first semester's grades.  I must do better at being a parent and disciplinarian but never forgetting to show my love, appreciation, and pride in my children, my husband, my extended family. 

I'm really mad at God.  I know all the things I am supposed to rely on in times like this, but, crap, why do these things happen to such good people? 


CenTexTim said...

Terrible news ... so sorry.

Way too much holiday-season tragedy this year...

kerrcarto said...

Words cannot express.

InsomniacSeeker said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter's classmate. It is hard to lose a classmate in any circumstance. I lost a classmate soon after high school graduation, and I still wonder what type of man he would have grown up to be. - Tina