I don’t know where to start. This may be the most important blog that I have ever written. I need to write this for myself and others. And I am not trying to one-up anybody else’s shitty 2020. But the punches just keep coming. But, as long as we can keep walking away and towards a better year, I guess it will be okay.
Here we go again……different story, new emotions.
This afternoon, I left Shattuck Automotive Supply and headed west. I had to meet a lady so that she could get her package of tamales. I made it 1 block west of main street Shattuck. As I went through the intersection by the tag agency, I saw a blur. Coming at me, on the driver’s side. I could tell it was a 3 wheeler and there was blonde hair. There was an impact.
Oh shit!!! WTH? The ag pickup came to a stop. I jumped out and went around to see the 3 wheeler lodged under the bumper and……
MY GOD!!! There are two bodies lying in the street. I know them both. I have both of them in class. They are both breathing! YES!!!! THANK GOD!!!!
It is amazing how hard it is to dial 911, especially when you know the injured. And as 911 answered, the pickup bluetooth took over my phone, so I reached in and shut the pickup off. I walked back to the kids, then walked to where I could read the street signs to give directions. THEN I got cut-off from 911. F%#K!!! So, I called a local EMT. He answered and said that the ambulance was in route. That’s all I needed to know.
A witnessing neighbor helped me hold both boys still. Then other people showed up. Some helped. Some were telling me that they witnessed everything. “Ma’am, I don’t care that I didn’t do anything wrong. Tell it to the cops. I just want the boys taken care of. Please step away.”
I called the school counselor to contact family members. My school co-workers, the cops, the EMTs, the neighbors, everybody did their parts. Impressive!
One boy was knocked out. As I got off the phone, he came to and rolled over. And that’s when I saw the 10 or 12″ inch long gash on his calf. 3″ wide and all parts visible. The bone was not broken. We could see it. I called his name and he responded. I said his name again and asked if he could hear me. He replied, “Yes sir.” I told him to lay still and let people help him. He again replied, “Yes sir.”
During 3rd hour today, this freshman boy had made a 90 on his cutting torch assignment. On Monday, he was scared to light the torch for his first time. Today, he was making an A. Good kid.
The other boy was moving a lot and starting to get a bit hysterical. The county boys showed up. STUDS! Pud, Shaddon and Pittman bailed out and went to helping. I held this boys shoulders and told him to be calm. I called him by name and he responded. Lot of blood and scrapes but no visible major wounds. But he was getting amped and scared. We held him still until the ambulance got there. The EMTs went to work on the boy with the bad cut. They wanted us to put a neck brace on the other boy. We had to cut his hoodie off. He was growing more hysterical. He would calm down when I called him by name. But he was wound up. I held his head as we rolled him onto the medical board.
As we got him on the board, he got quiet, then went limp and then……..quit…….breathing. I held on and watched him. Is he calming down? Is he breathing? Is this normal? Pud was right there with me, helping, watching. Pud then yelled out, “This one is not breathing!”
And then, a massive inhale and he was moving again. I do not know if my heart or lungs worked during those forever-long seconds. At this point, I don’t care. Looking back, I think that he hyper-ventilated for a bit. He did it again as he was loaded him into the ambulance. Good kid.
Today, during 1st hour, this boy and the other 8th grade boys planted a test plot of wheat, rye and triticale. This boy’s family is in the custom cutting business. He really likes the agronomy stuff as he knows more than most kids about these crops. Did I mention that he is a good kid?
I was going west at 20-25 mph. I wasn’t on the phone. I was just cruising 3 blocks so I could get a lady her tamales. One of the boys had gotten this 3 wheeler the night before. They were hauling ass going north, and the brakes didn’t work on the 3 wheeler. They ran the stop sign and smacked the ag pickup in the driver’s side corner of the front bumper. If they had hit the side of the pickup, we would not have a happy ending. Tammy and I went to the Emergency Room with their families. Both boys were stabilized and were being medi-flighted to OKC for precautionary measures. The driver did not have any broken bones just a horrible bad cut on his leg to deal with. The rider had a swollen knee and hopefully nothing else. The boys got to see each other before they flew them out on separate helicopters. Prayers for both families. So far, all indications look positive.
And since, I was in a school vehicle, insurance required me to take a piss test. The insurance. Not the sheriff department or the highway patrol…but the insurance company. OK, fine. Give me the jug.
It doesn’t matter who was at fault. It doesn’t matter that they were on a 3 wheeler. I was just a driver minding my own business and they were kids just being kids. No one… can ever…. prepare you… for how fast that “in a blink of an eye” actually is. No one can prepare you for the actuality of how hard it is to dial 911, especially when you know the injured. One can never realize how good an ambulance siren sounds, until you are waiting on one.
I write this with great pride as I got to witness our first responders and EMTs in action. They are wicked good! Some of them I grew up with, some I have known most of my life and some might have been former students. No matter, they are good and I am proud to call them my friends. One of them is actually a licensed veterinarian. People, I felt good when he showed up on the scene. If he can take care of animals……..well, we like to take care of animals. And nobody turned smart-ass until we had good word on the boys.
This all sounds hard to hear and it is harder to write; I guess that 2020 is getting better?!?!? WTF? Early on, I had to attend a couple of funerals. Now, I don’t know what to say. It isn’t easy for any of the parents involved. But, when a husband/wife came to check on us……..and we buried their son back in May…DAMN!!! This is better? Yes, it just shows you how strong people are.
You can gladly take the year 2020, your over-inflated athletes/celebrities, your shitty politicians, bass-ackward media, this racist crap, effing riots and shove it all right up …………………
I’m going to be positive.
And here is the rest of the story. When I was helping Duke out of his crash, I looked down and saw a penny with his blood on it. HEADS UP! I picked it up and put it in my pocket. And I did what I do every time I touch a penny.
Later, after I cleaned his pickup out, dodged all of the fishing lures/hooks and the piles of spare change scattered at the wreck scene, that was the only penny that I found with his blood on it. I gave it to Duke and said, “Keep it.”
Tonight, when that 8th grade boy was on that medical board and quit breathing…..and then started again, I noticed a penny, heads up, lying under his left shoulder. I picked it up and put it in my pocket. And I did what I do every time I touch a penny.
I prayed. And I prayed.
I’ve done that for decades. Somewhere, sometime, back about the time Kela was born, circa 1990, I started praying anytime I touched a penny. It doesn’t have to be heads up. Just a penny. I had read an article about how worthless pennies were and somebody had replied (I roughly quote) “as long as a penny had the words “In GOD we trust”, a penny is priceless.” I agreed. Still do. It isn’t the penny. It’s the words, the thoughts, the prayer. The actually taking time to acknowledge GOD and the thought of prayer that matters. It is that simple.
And that ties right back to my true religion. In GOD we trust. Say it again….In GOD we trust.
Now, I can’t wait to give him that penny. It’s just one cent but…..I’m taking a deep breath, wiping a tear and realizing that some things…well, some things
As parents, as teachers, as agriculturists, there is no other way. In GOD we trust. This is the way.
Although, I absolutely love getting texts/messages/ calls regarding these blogs, I don’t need help. I’m good. Just say a prayer for you and yours. We are fine. But, we won’t turn down any prayers sent our way.
I loved it when I was sent the emojiis of “Horseshoes & Shamrocks”. I don’t even know how to send the middle finger emoji and yet some can get creative enough to send horseshoes & shamrocks. Bad ass! I am constantly reminded that I am the weakest link of this crap of which I write. Here’s to wishing nothing but horseshoes and shamrocks to all of you. A not-so-good day today and yet a better day tomorrow. GOD speed! And please, for the love of GOD, remember those damn pennies! A prayer is a prayer is prayer and it’s all good.