Folks, I need to tell anyone and everyone who is reading this that I debated for quite a while before posting it. Those of you who follow me regularly hopefully know that I mean no disrespect at all to anyone. Those who read this for the first time, let me assure you of the same.
It could also very well be that this post is being written too soon. But, the way I blog, when a post hits me, I get it down or I forget it. So here we go, and my apologies so anyone who may take offense.
This post came to be due to two tragedies, one small and one big in the Seattle area in the last week.
The first occurs almost a week ago. I was over at Tim’s desk raiding the skittles jar when I saw this outside the window.
It turns out, a news helicopter, KOMO 4, crashed after attempting to take off from its pad. Worse, it hit a car on impact. Ssadly, both the occupants of the chopper died immediately. The driver of the car sustained serious burns over 25% of his body, it was a close thing for him. I can only imagine how hard it was for the KOMO news team to report on one of their own.
That was the SMALL tragedy. How can that be small you ask? Well, after all the rain we’ve had, on Saturday, about 25 miles north of us, was a mudslide. For pictures check out #530slide on Twitter, but this one came from the Seattle Times.
This wasn’t any ordinary slide. That side of the mountain you see here gave way, hit the Stillaguamish river below it, went across the river (blocking it completely I might add) up on the other shore taking out a number of houses and burying them and the road in mud 40 feet deep.
As I post this the official numbers are 14 deceased and over 100 missing. These folks did NOT live on top or right below a hill, they were almost a mile away in a safe area. And with no warning, a huge geologic event occurred. I plan to do a post on more details later when we learn more.
However, these two events, back to back to each other, have served to reinforce what I have said for years: It doesn’t matter how careful you are, when its time, it is time.
For both the people near the river and the guy in the car, the day was normal. NONE of them did anything wrong. Suddenly the fates reached out, and there wasn’t a thing any of them could do.
Why is this important? Because I hear it all the time when I ride my bike. Now my mom gets a pass, moms are supposed to worry, its in the mom bylaws. But normal people, time and again I hear “Aren’t you worried you’ll get hit riding on the road?” “Doesn’t traffic scare you?”
Why should it? I am careful, and respectful to cars. Just as I am when I drive. But I’ve been hit three or four times when I’ve driven. And on any given day, in the car, someone on the road dies. It can happen at any time.
When I climbed moutons, bungee jumped, and sky dived, people asked me if I had a death wish. And as a matter of fact, it’s the exact opposite. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to get the most out of life. I want to see stuff and do things others only dream of. I don’t want to be bored to tears if my life ever flashes before my eyes.
I could hunker down at home, have groceries delivered, and never leave the house. I could travel to and from work wrapped in bubble wrap, and never touch anything bad for me. And after a day or two, I’d be sticking a knitting needle in my eye. There needs to be fun and excitement in life, otherwise it’s not living. I know one person who won’t even use her cruise control as it mean she is “not in control.” It makes me sad to hear things like that.
I am not saying being dumb, or wild or take stupid risks. I am just saying, you never know what will be your demise, and trying to avoid all danger means you never lived at all. Life is meant to be experienced.
I am not the praying kind, never seemed to make sense to me. But my heart does go out to all the families and others directly affected by both these tragedies.
For me though, it just reinforces who I am, what I do, and what I will continue to do. My poor grandkids will be stuck with one helluva lot of stories, but that’s how it should be!
Thanks for understanding.