Dec 30, 2010

Precious indeed.

Yesterday my sister and I had a plan.  We were going to spend a half day at each other's house helping with a task the other was dreading.  For her it was cleaning her basement out.  She is a self-proclaimed hoarder in training.  Early intervention was in order.  My task was cleaning out and organizing all my kitchen cupboards.  We promised to get an early start.  I started for her house at about 8:30 in the morning.  Adding a quick stop at Starbucks would put me at her house around 9am.

As I was driving my mind began to wander, as it often does.  I started out thinking about a very good internet friend of mine and how her husband had a very scary health situation this Christmas. He is on the mend and she was so thankful to be having him home from the hospital soon. This lead me to thinking about my Mom and how she has come so close to dying a few times.  Then I began to wonder if coming close to death fosters a new appreciation for life and if it so, how long does it last?

Life is short and at any moment someone we love can be taken from us.  As I passed under the train viaduct I thought, why this bridge could collapse right now and I'd be dead.  As the oncoming traffic hurled towards me I thought 'all it would take is one slip of the steering wheel and poof, you're gone.  Would my loved ones know how much they mean to me?  I resolved to appreciate the day, my life and my loved ones.

Coffee in hand, I drove down Wayne Rd., one block past Frank's Furniture Store and a right on Ash St., parked my car and headed into my sister's house.  She greeted me at the door.  Then all of a sudden the house shook, the lights went out and we heard  a tremendous boom.  We looked at each other in panic and asked each other back and forth a few times... "What the hell was that?"  Logic dictated it wasn't something in her house that had blown up.  After all, we were standing there unharmed.  She checked the basement anyway.

At a loss as to what had just happened we went to the front door to look outside and saw all the neighbors doing the same.  One of them said that a building had exploded on Wayne Road.  In a daze, we walked to Wayne Road, along with everybody else in the neighborhood.  What we saw was unbelievable.  The entire store was flattened by a natural gas explosion.  Glass and debris strewn all over the road and sidewalks as the force of the blast had blown out the windows of all the businesses up and down the street.

I kept saying to people, strangers..... Oh my God, I JUST drove by that store not three minutes before it happened. Though once I learned that three people had been in the building when it exploded I tried to stop saying it.  It seemed trivial in comparison.  The owner of the store was rescued shortly after the explosion but was badly burned.   We learned later that night that the other two employees had died in the explosion.

Those poor people got up yesterday morning and drove to work just like every other workday.  I feel so badly for their families and friends.  I hope that they find comfort from each other.  Life is so very precious.


  1. Wow! I am so glad that you and your sister are OK.
    Thanks for making be realize again just how very precious and fragile life really is.

  2. You are so right! Life is precious and we do take it for granted. There are no guarantees.
    Happy New Year to you and your family. Here's to not taking it for granted...

  3. A good message to ponder for the new year. I'm glad you're okay.

  4. Oh my. That's terrifying. I am glad you are ok - I've missed you around the blogosphere. Have a SAFE and happy New Year.

  5. Thank God the Starbucks clerk didn't keep you waiting 3 more minutes, or that you didn't hit a couple more lights, or etc.... The timing was meant to be for you.
    Life is precious and needs to be enjoyed and appreciated, easy to forget sometimes.
    Let's find a way for the cousins to meet this year. I'm sure we can find a way to enjoy life!

  6. That's horrible, so glad you're okay but tragic for the two workers and their families.
    And what a timely New Year message for us all.

  7. Our family has had too many sudden tragic hits that since I was about 15 when dad was killed I have thought this way...not to say i didn't take risks - but for me it is a nightmare when the girls are out on the highway and they know to ring me the moment they are inside the house after a road trip - same with me...glad you were okay. It is amazing you were thinking along those lines an all the time this tragedy was in motion...I wonder were you the only one thinking that way??

  8. Thank goodness you are OK! Mahalo for the reminder of how precious life is, and to be grateful for my family and friends. Here's to a great New Year to you and your family!

  9. You said it so well. Life is precious and we don't fully understand how quickly it can change.

    Thanks for becoming a follower at my blog. I really appreciate it. I came here to plaster my pretty face on your followers widget but can't find it. (The widget, not my face.)

  10. Wow! That is an incredible story--I can't believe that happened just when you were thinking about the preciousness of life! Talk about the Universe showing you how right you are, and how important it is to appreciate every moment and those we love!! :)

    (P.S. I'm wondering if you were talking about my husband & me at the beginning of this blog post? I thought so, but just checking...I'm touched that you were thinking of us, I really am...and touched that you took the lesson of the preciousness of life from our experience. :) )