There was a car accident last night. 4 high school boys were in the car. Two of them died. This is a small town. It has hit hard. Howard spent the morning at the high school as one of the volunteer grief counselors. Today 2 families are facing the Christmas holidays with their hearts breaking. Their friends are having to come to grips with the painful reality.
Inevitably, memories of the school bus accident while we lived in Oklahoma surfaced. Luckily that time no one died. It was the last day of school before the Christmas holidays. Many families had all of their children on that bus (even smaller town -- elementary through high school students rode the same bus.) Howard was one of the first ones on the scene. The first I heard about it was a frantic phone call from a father who had all 3 of his children on the bus. He hoped that someone had called Howard to alert him, and so he would be able to find out WHERE the accident was, so he could go to his kids. He had been given strange directions (the crash was so many miles east and so many miles west of town instead of north. Can't get there from here. But we didn't know at the time to substitute north for west.) Funny, I think of the accident, and I immediately see Serena's Christmas dress that I was making. I was pressing in the hem when I took the call. I can see the ironing board, the dress, and the feeling of horror. Mentally naming the children that were probably on that bus.
Things like this do happen. But we would all much rather that it didn't happen to anyone, but especially not to those we know. All we can do is be there for those who have been affected. And pray.