Monday, July 25, 2005

Claire's Downstate Graduation Party

Mary went to her parents last Wednesday to prepare for this graduation party for Claire, and she did a great job organizing everything. All I had to do was pull the beverages together for the day, which was easy. We had 70 people all told -- her Mulholland family, my McComb clan, and many neighbors too. It was sunny and warm, and we had a 20X30 tent setup which really helped. I think it meant a lot to Claire to have so many wellwishers to send her off to college. It meant a lot to me to see Claire thrive on the well deserved attention and love from her family.
I left Sunday with the girls to drop Kelly off in Big Rapids for a week of band camp. On the way on M46, we came upon a bad accident, sort of a 2/3 head on. There were several cars already there but only 2 people out of their cars to help, so I got out to do what I could. All 3 of us felt completely helpless but were able to get one woman out of her car and into a restful position on the ground. The other 3 people were hopelessly pinned, one unconcious, both drivers delierious with head injuries. The driver I helped was periodically trying to set up because there was no car left to lean against on his left side, so that was the only thing I could do to help him -- let him lean against me. After 10 mins the EMT's and State Police arrived, and after another 5 minutes I was no longer needed. The emergency personnel were amazing in those 1st minutes on the scene.
I was really shaky for the rest of the trip up north, I was thankful that Claire was there to help with the driving. I was still really upset this morning, and called the State Police post near the accident to learn that both drivers had died. I wasn't surprised, but it drove the whole thing further home for me. Mary is around this sort of thing in her profession daily, but I'm really not wired for this. I'm stunned at how profoundly the lives of those 4 people changed in that instant.

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