Wednesday, January 28, 2009

being in that car

As I was going along happily through my morning - I had taken everyone to school, worked out, gotten dressed, and was on the interstate on my way to lunch with Mom and Christine - when I saw at least three fire trucks, a couple of ambulances, and some police cars on a bridge above. Oh, must be a horrible accident, I thought. When I passed under and glanced in the rear view mirror, I saw all the firemen lined up along the bridge railing. Oh, I had forgotten. I realized they were waiting for the funeral procession for a local police officer who died from injuries sustained in a severe car accident. The police had the south bound lane closed to other traffic, and a few people began to pull over on our side to wait as well. When I saw many, many flashing lights coming toward me, I pulled over. I cried as I watched the hearse go by and thought of the officer's family following behind. I happened to be listening to a song that says "strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord." And I prayed for this family to know that strength. He was 21.

I have been in that car just behind the hearse. It's a very difficult ride but an important one, as I found. I needed that ride. I needed to follow behind my dad just one more time. And I can't tell you how meaningful it was to us that people pulled off the road to show respect, or show that they were sorry. We too traveled on the interstate that day, and even several people traveling in the opposite direction pulled over. That is precious to me. Remember this the next time you have to choose whether to pull off or not. As everyone else goes about their normal, busy day, the family in that procession is facing a forever altered life. As others scoot from meeting to meeting, or just have to get down the road to grab themselves a burger, or get the grocery store, or wherever, the people in that procession are numbly following someone they love for the last time. The very last time.

It will mean so much to those who are so sad if you spare a few minutes to be respectful. I guess I just needed to get that off my chest. If you don't get why I feel so strongly about this, no doubt you'll understand should you ever be in that car. Following behind someone you're not sure you can live without.

Now, I am officially off my soapbox.


Amanda G. said...

I agree. I haven't exactly been where you were in that car, but I get frustrated when I see cars keep on going during a funeral.

I have to comment on the song you mentioned. Taylor heard that at Gulfcoast Getaway. He went around singing..."scary noise we will wait upon the lord." We had to laugh, but have now taught him the correct words. He sings it all the time now or at least what sounds like it.