Tag: Dancing with Death…

Indifference kills…

A day or two ago, I started seeing links to a very provocative video that was released detailing a situation whereby a child was not only hit twice by traffic, but that for some time a large number of people ignored the poor child that was struck and moved on about their day. I have two links for this on CBS News and The Sydney Morning Herald (there are more but these two paint a good enough picture). I haven’t been so outraged in a long time. And hopefully this will shed some light for all those friends of mine on why they couldn’t understand why I have to help…

indifference hit and runYears ago, when I was 19, we were leaving Ellum going northbound on 75 and were exiting to hit Cafe Brazil I think…our exit was slowed to a stop, but the highway was full speed.

I was looking out at the cars passing by so fast. Then it happened…I watched a biker get rear-ended and hit again twice by cars that did not stop afterwards, the bike with no driver spun into the middle of the highway, further causing another biker and a couple other cars to crash.

My friends in the car were jamming out pretty loud so when they heard me scream “NO!” they didn’t realize what it was I had seen right away. It wasn’t just that all those people were in trouble. I wasn’t just fear that gripped me. I was soooo angry. Because even after all that…the cars weren’t stopping.

I couldn’t stand it, and jumped out of the car I was in and ran onto the highway to get people…anyone to stop and help. The people in the cars that had crashed were fine, and even their cars were relatively okay…but the bikers, no one would come near them.

The second biker was closest and was in full riding gear, he was able to tell me his name, where he was and which day it was. A doctor stopped his car to block the lane properly and help with him as I then ran to the second biker.

The second biker was barely breathing and he couldn’t talk. His eyes were alert and frantically trying to communicate…it was pure fear…and though and I could tell he was trying to move – he didn’t have the strength to even move a finger. I was afraid to even hold his hand his body was in such bad shape and…slightly twisted.

It took the police 5 minutes to get there because of the traffic jam, and it took the ambulances almost 10. It was Friday night around 12am on northbound 75. I don’t remember much after that, I was horrified. At some point I guess I’d given my contact information to the police and that doctor that helped out there, because the next day he called me and thanked me for the effort. Unfortunately, he also informed me that one of the motorcyclists had passed away at the site of the accident, and the other had passed away overnight in the hospital.

That wasn’t my first tangle with Death. But that was when it became clear to me that I’ll never be able to even feign indifference in these situations. I would never be that guy that just kept driving on.

A year or two later on vacation in New Mexico, while I was blissfully asleep in the passenger seat. The driver of the car I was in fell asleep from exhaustion and drove us off the side of a mountain at 60mph. Your best imagination could not describe what happened to us in that fall. The only thing that didn’t happen was the car didn’t explode…

…It took the busload of people behind us over 30 minutes to get to us from the road. It took over an hour for an ambulance to get there, and almost two hours to get us back to the hospital. The truck had bounced and rolled over 100 yards down. Days later, we were shown pictures of what had happened and what happened to the truck, and pictures of where it had happened. If that bus hadn’t stopped and those people on it not come, the sun and environment would have finished the job for both of us.

It wasn’t just seeing a wreck now that influenced me. As far as I was concerned, I felt, and still feel to this day, that I have a moral obligation to help in any way I can. I don’t expect the same from everyone, but from experience, I sure as hell hope that when something like that happens to me, someone will be around that feels the same way I do.

And for anyone that feels they can’t be bothered to stop and help, I hope there was a lesson in this somewhere.

My .02 for the evening. Hope everyone has a great night.

-Tony



Sometimes death likes to dance…

So as it happens, I suppose for a while there I got a respite. But Ol’ Grim…he’s never far away…

The problem with loving so many people is the pain felt in losing them. You might hear about my numerous encounters with Ol’ Grim (click here for the renditions, aka Dancing with Death). Unfortunately, as with everyone, if you live long enough and meet enough people, you inevitably get to meet him. Ol’ Grim came to visit tonight, but he didn’t stop for conversation, he just left me a note.

“The docs are giving me 2 years.”

Trust me, even if you hate my guts and wouldn’t waste the dung off your heel on my grave and you’re reading this solely so that you can justify hating reading this even more, you don’t want to ever hear this…

For me it wasn’t the first time. As I mentioned above, the awesome part in meeting so many people is in enjoying having them around and knowing that you’re looking forward to spending more quality time with them at some point in the future.

“The docs are giving me 2 years.”

Don’t get me wrong, my candor might be light, but if you know me, this is like pressing the BAD button for me. I don’t expect it’s much different for anyone else, but since this is my little patch of the internet, I am going to ignore anyone is actually reading this and just vent a bit. I’ve seen more friends pass than most soldiers have to see in battle. I’ve held the hand of the dying so many times it’s become a damn blur. Up until now, I’ve learned that this part of the experience is the same, but it’s also taught me that how people deal with it progressively is an entirely different matter.

I’ve learned how to keep from freaking out. I’ve learned that acceptance is everything and it takes fucking time, but it NEVER (and believe it or not I feel very lucky for this) diminishes the pain.

Today, I am going to spend the day with an old friend, and ignore the hell out of everyone else. Because for once I get to have fun and make the best of it before that day comes instead of regretting the days I missed.

Ciao.

-T



It was just an email…

So a couple nights ago I got this email telling me I should invite another friend into their little commercial community.

We all get these, it’s how online businesses make their money, draw in more people.

The problem is the person they were telling me to invite was that of an incredibly dear girlfriend who past away a couple years back. Without going into a lot of detail, I simply wasn’t emotionally prepared for her death, it left a ton of unresolved things lurking around in my head. So yeah…just an email, right?

It was just a damn email…but it was also a tiny spark that fired me up.

She and I had been at odds for some time, no specifics, suffice to say that the last time we talked, it wasn’t friendly or anything remotely like what our friends would have expected. We were arguing and worse, I was the one that brought it all on. There were a lot of reasons we had to start building a life together as a couple, but I am notorious for finding dealbreakers when I should know better and work though it. This time I held true to my habits and had made it clear we were never going down that road. The result was nothing short of multiple situations where we’d both intended to totally make amends but instead resulted in some colossal arguments.

The last argument was the worst of them all. She was really harsh, and understandably so, she was hurt and she was convinced I was being a complete idiot. Not that I wasn’t but I am stupid and stubborn once I’ve made my decision to stand my ground. So I took it. I let the barrage happen and let things get so escalated that we’d hang up. All this with the expectations that after we cooled off for a while we’d both be drawn to mending it up and making amends.

So we stopped speaking for some months…and then it happened. I was looking around for her and couldn’t find her. Of course I just assumed she was still POed at me so I let things go a little more. Two months after it had actually happened, I found out she’d taken her own life.

So yeah…that stupid little damn email brought all that angst & despair right back up for me to figure out how to deal with again. The difference is that now I have got to deal with this and put it behind me. I stowed away a lot of this because I was in no shape to deal with it back then, now, I have a life to live and this will not turn me into a wreck again.

I wrote this blog post not for the readers, but for myself this time. It’s been a while since I put a little of my heart on my sleeve in my writing and now’s a good time to get back into that habit. Aly, you were my most trusted companion in so many ideas and beliefs for what seems like a gazillion years. You helped me pull out of no few relationships without losing it. And that one rare time you wanted more from me, I was a dumbass, and thats on me. You own a piece of me, and I know you’re in a much much better place.

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PS – I really need to thank Andie for listening to me vent about this when it happened. You have no idea how appreciative I am on this. Thanks love!