There is just something about the rumble of the loud engines, a wild crowd and the hot summer night. Maybe I have a little redneck blood in me, I dunno, but my adrenaline gets pumping as the countdown to a round begins. I love me a good demolition derby! I've been looking forward to the 4th of July derby for months!! Eric's hometown puts on a fun show that never disappoints! This year was going to be no exception... my amazing in laws kept Mia so that Eric and I could enjoy the show without trying to wrangle a restless toddler (all hail date night!) The derby carried on for a few hours with nothing too exciting happening and we had to take a break to watch the firework show. Despite my sore backside and tired eyes, I could feel the excitement coming back as the lights turned on and the cars came out for the next round after the fireworks. The engines revved and I just knew it was going to be the best round! Suddenly one of the cars drove up and over the mound of dirt (a barricade of sorts surrounding the arena) and I was on my feet screaming "OH NO!" Why am I screaming? Saying oh no? There's no way I just saw what I think I saw. I turned behind me to look at my sister in law and she was cheering with a big smile on her face. Maybe I didn't see it... Her face changed when she saw mine and the whole stadium went silent. I didn't hear anything, just saw the lights flashing from the firetruck and people pouring into the arena.
A judge was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time and the car struck him as it went over the mound of dirt.
Please get up, please get up and wave at everyone. You have to be alright. Please God, let him be alright! But I knew it wasn't possible. I saw it happen and knew he couldn't be alright. I remember telling my niece and nephews to sit down, I didn't want them to see anything. Please get up... just GET UP! His poor family. The driver, the poor driver! Please get up, for you, for your family, for the driver, for all of us! You have to be alright! They got him in an ambulance and as it rushed off Eric told me we were leaving. Just then we got a few more details of his condition and what little hope I had of a miracle was gone.
On the drive home my body was shaking as I tried to fight back tears. This was my first eye witness to a tragedy and I didn't know how to handle it. Eric asked me if I'd like to talk about it because it was best to get it all out then try to not ever think of it again. Compartmentalize. But I couldn't do it then and I can't do it now (I suspect because of all of my emotions. I will get there.)
I don't blog because I feel the need to write. Writing isn't therapeutic to me but I'm hoping it is this time because for once I don't know how to talk about it. I mean, I can talk about it, but how do I talk about me and how I feel when there are others who are in so much pain and despair over the accident? How do I say how horrific the image is that keeps replaying in my mind when others saw so much more and were in the heart of the action trying to save a life? How do I express my feelings and broken heart when I'm not the one who lost my husband/father/loved one. Not to mention the poor drivers loss... his life is forever changed because of an accident that most certainly was NOT his fault! Oh how I wish I could take away the pain!! And I selfishly don't want to lose the fun of the sport for me or anyone else who was there that night!
I think I feel guilt because I mourn the accident, but just moments later my heart is bursting with love and joy that my family gives me. I know time heals, and I want that so badly! But at the same time I don't want to forget how in those tragic seconds/minutes I could clearly see what was truly important in life; my family. I don't need most of the "things" on my want list. I need to be as Christ-like as possible, try to be my best each day, or at the least a little better than the last, and to cherish my loved ones. I don't know. So many lessons to be learned. So much to remember. So many emotions. It all just hurts right now. I'm praying for the family of the official who passed away, the driver, and the driver's family. It would mean the world if you said a prayer for comfort for them as well!