Half a Cup of Blues

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Last Words ...

When I was in my early 20's a friend of mine had a terrible fight with his wife over the phone. She said some incredibly mean things to him in her anger and he started for home to work things out. He never made it. His truck went off the road about a mile from his house and he died from massive head injuries later that evening. Even though they loved each other and had been through some ups and downs she was left with two little boys and the knowledge that she could never take those words back or say she was sorry to him.

That incident made a HUGE impact on me. I don't like fighting to this day. If I can't discuss a problem with someone then I'll walk away and wait until I can. I try to never, ever say words that would leave me in a similar position to the one I described. I try to always leave the people that I care about with positive and loving words since I can't predict when they might be the last ones I'll be allowed to say to them. This is very important to me.

I say all of this because my next-door neighbors, a young couple with a 5-year-old son, had a terrible fight on the phone last night. He pulled up at midnight as she was in her car and preparing to drive away. Their little boy was in the van with his dad. She hit the gas so hard to get around his van that she backed into a steel flatbed trailer and drove it 6 feet backwards into the front of my Ford Explorer. She drove away.

Today she's in the local hospital after an overdose of prescription drugs. I talked to my neighbor and the worry and stress are so visible on his face. I have a broken fog lamp but nothing serious. The steel trailer is dented and his wife's Honda has about $3500 in rear-end damage. Then there are the hospital bills that will begin pouring in. They don't have medical insurance and don't qualify for any assistance since they make decent money between the two of them. Once she's out of the hospital she'll still have to have some counseling to work through what's going on in her life. This is all just "stuff." The important thing is that she'll be okay.

Through the deepest and darkest parts of my depression after Cleve died I knew that death could NOT be a chosen option for me. Not with kids. I couldn't do that. I can't imagine what leads a person to make that choice but I know that it must be a horrible place to be in one's life. I feel so bad for her, for him, and for that adorable little boy who has no idea why his world is so rocky right now.

I told him to just FORGET about my truck. It means nothing compared to what he has going on right now. His focus will be on his family, as it should be. I don't know what the words were that they shared last night as this all happened but, thankfully, they have a chance to make sure that those weren't the LAST words ever to be spoken between them. I hope that they find the words and the love to work through what's going on in their lives.

Today's Plan: Focus on the kind of loving and positive words that last even when they aren't the last ones spoken.

10 Comments:

  • Sometimes it is good to have a reminder of how fleeting and fragile life can be. I say that not because of the loss you suffered. In your 20s you were able to recognize the fragility of life, you remembered it, and last night were reminded of it once again. Your comments to your neighbor ("forget about my truck") will stay with him, I am sure, and he'll never forget that kindness.

    You're a find, Michelle. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

    By Blogger Alison, at 8/18/2005 12:51 PM  

  • Very moving story, Michelle. It really is sad that their problems have now been so compounded. What a mess. Good to hear that there wasn't serious damage to your truck.

    By Blogger jennnn, at 8/18/2005 2:27 PM  

  • Michelle, you are the reason humanity was a good idea.

    I will pray for the three of them, because the wife also needs our prayers and help. Perhaps love and forgiveness will shine and they will think about not acting on emotion next time. In that way, they may still teach the young child the proper way to react in a heated fight with a spouse.

    I am so glad that I got to know you.

    Jas...

    By Blogger Jas..., at 8/18/2005 3:03 PM  

  • You really are a special person Michelle.You give people hope.Even if they don't know it.I can't put it as eloquent as the others,but you have become a true favorite of mine.
    *Big Friendly Hugs* to you and the "Goobz&Yib"

    By Blogger Jay, at 8/18/2005 3:42 PM  

  • Its harsh but you never know what you say might be the last thing you say. So, you just have to try and stay positive and say what you truly believe.

    By Blogger Rude Cactus, at 8/18/2005 4:40 PM  

  • You're behind me right now on the phone and it seems really strange to respond here instead of just telling you what's on my mind. I love you. This entry showcases one of the reasons why! M'wah!

    By Blogger Yibbyl, at 8/18/2005 9:23 PM  

  • I understand, in my own way.

    I lost my mother, and because of a choice I made, I never got to say goodbye to her one last time. And it's something I'll never do again.

    I always say good bye, I always say I love you to those I love, and I never take any chances. Even in our anger, I make sure that when we fight, I always say I love you.

    It takes some people a while to get used to it (I tend to love people who have tempers, hehe) that it's not a salve or an apology, but an awareness.

    I'm glad you have it, and I'm sure, so will they now.

    Thank you for sharing.

    By Anonymous Autumn, at 8/19/2005 2:09 PM  

  • My goodness, this has left me almost speechless and in tears. I must thank you for this because this is important for you to share. :hug:
    Thank you for being you.

    By Anonymous anica, at 8/19/2005 5:08 PM  

  • We just never know, do we? Powerful story Michelle.

    By Blogger Brian, at 8/19/2005 7:36 PM  

  • Perfect example of why you're not just anything... You're an incredible human being and a fabulous example to others. If you were as average as you pronounce yourself, I would be a lot more optimistic for the future of mankind than I sometimes am...

    With very much respect,
    Dave

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/20/2005 7:04 AM  

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