I pulled up the obituary today because I remember it was a Thursday but I forgot if it was the 14th or the 12th. It’s been about 2 and a half years now. So much time, and yet not much at all. It was the 12th. Oh yeah, right. The day before Friday the 13th. Not significant, it’s just how I remember it. Then I pulled up the news article and see the pictures of the officers standing in front of the smashed up Pontiac, taken long after the ambulance and responders had pulled him out and taken his body away. Those pictures and everything taken before I knew what had happened. It wouldn’t be until a little after 9 that night that I’d get the call.
Thursday, March 12th, 2015. I’ve sat down to write about it many times over the past 2 and a half years… and I’ve realized that there’s just quite a bit about that day that I’m not ready to share for all to read. It’s not really yours to know, and I hope that makes sense. Some things that happened that day, and a great many things leading up to it were absolute miracles. Things that were meant to encourage me, give me hope, and provide a great deal of peace.
I will say that God asked us to be obedient in the months leading up to March 12th and even though we dragged our feet and gave up faith many times, the Lord continued to lead us and give us hope and faith. In the midst of my hurried life and trying to keep everything going, he gifted me one last call with my brother within the hour that he passed. That would’ve never happened on a regular day. I thank you God for that conversation, everything that was said, and the gift that it was.
I’ve sat down to write this and started sharing about our journey leading up to it. I’d start sharing about my grief and how God tenderly sought me out through those painful months after. Those thoughts and stories are for another time. Today I just want to say;
I heard afterwards that the ambulance that responded had been driving down the road just a little ways in front of my brother. They heard them hit the telephone pole and turned around before there was even a call. He had a passenger in the car too that walked away from the accident, thank God. I pray for him because I cannot even begin to imagine the desperation and panic to be in an accident and not able to do a single thing to help the person next to you. To see someone you love die and be absolutely helpless.
Thank you for responding to my brother’s car accident. For whatever reasons you’ve chosen to be a police officer, a firefighter, or EMS of some sort and I thank you for being courageous, bold, and maybe even a little crazy enough to endure it all. You’ve put yourself out there to experience so much. I am grateful there’s folks like you that answer those calls. I couldn’t be there for my brother in that moment. I truly wish I could’ve been. I’m just so glad he wasn’t alone. That his passenger didn’t have to be alone panicked and scared for more than seconds before another face showed up to provide even a sliver of help and hope. You pulled my brother’s body out from that car. Maybe you talked to him while his heart was still beating its’ last, even though you knew he was already gone. You pulled apart pieces of the vehicle to get him out. You were the last ones to touch his body while he was still warm. And all of the folks at the hospital too. An officer had to wait at the neighbors house until my parents got home from dinner. Thank you for what you did. You knew the job of the messenger and what happens when you deliver news like that. I’m thankful for you also. Maybe you missed a family dinner or special event to finish the call. You did a great service to my family. In the midst of our greatest pain and devastation there were responders doing their part.
Even now, with tears, I will never be able to thank you enough for doing something that I couldn’t in that moment. I will be forever grateful for all that you’ve done for my brother, and for me and my family.