I spent last Friday night in
When I'm home, I keep my scanner tuned into the fire channel out of habit.
It's hard to not be a firefighter there now... and if a call sounds interesting,
I'll slip over and check it out.
About 2:30 Saturday morning, they paged out the department for a motor vehicle
accident with a vehicle on fire. With few other details, I assumed the worst...
That people could be trapped. In an instant, I was in Smallville Fire mode.
I'm willing to bet that I was dressed and out the door in under a minute.
The call wasn't far away and I beat the engine to the scene. The vehicle
was fully involved with fire... and I had a sinking feeling in my stomach.
I kept repeating aloud, "this can't be good." That feeling was only reinforced
as I noticed groups of college-aged kids huddled together either yelling
or sobbing. With that... there was *no way* that what I was going to find
was going to be good.
I was right.
As it turned out, no one was in the burning car. But one of the occupants
had been thrown from it during the accident and had been killed. After I
made my way past the groups -- scanning the faces in each for friends of
my brother -- and past the police cars, the first thing I noticed was the
victim. Death is something I've addressed here before... It's a weird thing
with me. Sometimes it bothers me. Sometimes it doesn't. And sometimes it
bothers me because it doesn't bother me... if *that* makes any sense.
The thing is... this accident wasn't like the others I'd worked as a firefighter
and a photographer. This one had victim that was a college kid. He was just
like tons of people I know. This one was the first that could have been
me... and I can't support people my age dying.
What's weird about that story is that later Saturday,
Guy went into the hospital. He never left. He, too, was a college
kid. He wasn't only *like* people I know... he was people I know.
I wonder what I've done to deserve two reminders of our mortality in a week's
I keep going back to the opening line of the e-mail
and I: "Well guys, Guy did not make it. He died about 1 this morning."
It stuns me every time I read it.
After I wrote Thursday's entry, I pulled out the video from the Christmas
2000 party he was at. I went back and looked through pictures that he's in.
I still can't wrap my brain around the idea of him being dead. What's even
harder to imagine is how hard his family and close friends are taking this.
If I'm this stunned about it all, I can't even begin to imagine how they
feel. I know that my heart aches for them... and I pray that they can somehow
I'm not sure how much writing more on this subject
is helping... but it can't hurt. For a lot of things in my life, the journal
is where I like to turn. There are plenty of things that I can't tell my
close friends because they can't understand because they don't think like
me. Right now, it's 12:52 a.m. on Friday. I'm not talking to friends about
this because it's late and because I'm at work.
I'm at work already because I moved my 24-hour shift up by 12-hours so that
I could get down to
this weekend to check on
I'm writing because I need to sleep so I can make the drive and so I can
serve the public to the best of my ability. I can't sleep if I don't share
some of what's going through my brain. And although there have been distractions
tonight, it all keeps coming back to Guy.
During ER last night, someone suggested that a patient might have an aneurysm.
Just a few minutes ago, a station aired a public service announcement warning
folks to get screened for aortic aneurysms (which happens to be what killed
my grandfather 15 years ago). And then... when there aren't the reminders,
I log into my e-mail and read that line. Yeah, I know... That can't be
I'm just trying to soak it up.
I'm trying to make sense of it.
I'm trying to wrap my brain around it all.
I'm trying to make it real.