Memorial Day, I Will Never Forget
I didn't know if I should write this,
This is for a woman I never even met or knew anything about.
I wasn't going to stop. I've gone past the sight over 100 times on my way to and from work.
I almost always look away and cry just a little. It should of been me
It's funny how people you don't even know can affect you so dramatically and you could be around the people you love and you just can't get it.
Everyone has problems right? Some problems are worse than others. If you wee to take a room full of people and ask them to write down their most horrific problem you woul most truly find that there isn't one worse than the other, they are just different and effect different people different ways. I can say this out of viewing my own problems and others problems my whole life and if I was to think about it all I would be so overwhelmed.
Like the mother that lost her baby girl from the careless act of a baby sitter not watching close enough, or the painful memories of the abuse child that didn't do anything to deserve the cigarette burns on them or the brokn arm that their psychotic parent gave them, or the child that was kidnapped right from their yard or bed ad is being prostituted-to human trafficking..
I try not to think of these things, but the news is full of tales and that is what I happened to be thinking about that day.I was on my way home from work listening to the news of course.
I was driving home from work. it had been a hectic day, it was a holiday and we were slammed at the deli. The regular drama that goes on there day after day leaves me as soon as I hit my car and turn it on. On this day however I was preoccupied with my thoughts of the news. All the stories I hear about children especially. it is heart breaking , that is why I never became a cop, I'd end up shooting someone. I was on 527 going toward Lakehurst. I saw three cars parked on the side of the road. I slowed to a stop and asked if anyone was hurt. There was this guy who addressed me. he was in his late forties, receding hairline, dressed in khaki shorts sand a light blue polo shirt. He said, "we don't need help, but if you have a box that could help."
I said "what do you need a box for?" He looked at my face and pointed to the ground , and in front of him there was this 2' snapping turtle with jagged shell and his head was sticking out and he looked pissed. He was hissing . I never seen a turtle so big so of course I was taken aback.
I said "What happened?
"Well somebody hit him by accident but he is still feisty and i really think he could make it if we just get him back to the woods." His back leg was bleeding a little, I think the shell took most of the hit protecting him. I felt bad for him, he had all these people milling around him and he probably just wanted to get back to his mate and lick his wounds, so to speak, I felt I had to help.Of course I had the bright idea of using my rake in the trunk that i use for pooper scooper. i pulled over and gave the guy he rake and said "You do it":
So the man put the rake up to the turtle and the trick worked. Turtle latched on, the guy was able to drag the turtle to the edge of the hill, but instead of steadily bringing him down hill he mistakenly and awkwardly tried to get him off the rake and the turtle rolled down the hill.
The man was beaming with pride. He was standing there like some champion hunter who just bagged a 12 horned deer with his hands on his hips and his eyes were twinkling. It was really a funny site. To watch all those people breath a sigh of relief that it was over. I knew it was time for me to go. I got my rake, put it away and got in my car, it was time to get home.
I wasn't really paying attention to where I was going. Did you ever drive from one place to another and don't really remember the trip? All the thoughts and problems that I carred with me that day, are just about to get worse.
I didn't hear screeching tires , it was like slow motion, but i remember hearing that loud resounding BANG! Some young dumb dude was driving drunk and he lost control around that fateful corner. He hit Colleen and her daughter. if i remember correctly there was a guy driving and he saw the guy loose control so he pulled over and then Colleen got it, and then I got there then a bunch of people were showing up. I remember running to Colleens car and seeing her daughter with her arm stuck in an upward position. I tried to see Colleen but the car was crushed in killing her instantly. The only thing I saw was a part of her leg. people began to gather and no body was going to the car. i went to the other car, but what was i supposed to do. keep the person calm, don't move him, talk to him.. were the thoughts going through my head. Windows are all shattered. Is he alive? I was walking toward the car , afraid of what I would find. i approached from passengers side. please be alive. he was alive.
He was trying to get out. and I said " calm down , help is coming, its OK, whats your name.
i was just trying to keep him talking until help arrived. He turned to me and looked at me
but his head rolled in a sickening way and he was so bloody. "JP4" This was his name.
i told him to stay put, help is on the way.
At that time a planed clothed cop pulled up and started right away with phone calls and emergency procedures. I could not believe how efficient and awesome he was that day.
I see him all the time because our kids go to the same school, but this gave me a new outlook on him. He deserves a raise...
I left there that day with being ultimately shaken. I called a friend to calm down as headed up the road. This will affect the way I think about life.
The stroke that had six years ago should of done that. but i think instead of being affected drastically it just makes you handle things differently.
Almost two months have gone by. i pass that memorial every day, never stopped until the other day. I saw a black truck by the road and someone watering colleens flowers.
I stopped to apologize to him. Here is a loving husband who tried to live his life in a way to help his family. He loves his family. His wife was taken in this manner. i spoke with him a while even though I was on my way to work and the question he posed was this, instead of asking why did God take his wife, he told me that friends are telling him that he should feel ill toward the person that killed his wife. He posed it as a question. I looked at him and wasn't sure what to say, but I did say that he was a young kid who made a major mistake which he has to carry the rest of his life. The doctors had to amputate his leg and he was in his early 20's from the looks of him. All, I know is if Jim feels bitter towards him, he is only going to carry it as a burden the rest of his life,.. i can see his heart , he doesn't have it in him.
I only spoke to him for twenty minutes, but in that time, I know he has a big heart and hope God heals it, and pulls some kind of blessing out of this whole thing.
When I look at this problem the question poses, what is worse, kidnapped, torture, homeless, no utility, no parents, no job, bills, war,,,etc.
to me now, there is not one worse than the other. my point being, it is the way we handle things after they happen.
keep strong those of you who are reading my stuff. don't let life bring you down, because one thing after the other happens. It is true, it will make you or break you.
God Bless Colleen's family
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