Before Sunset
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Monday, October 10, 2011
By Lily Red Studio

This last weekend Steve and I went away to Michigan – to catch up with each other and spend sometime enjoying the fall colors.


On Sunday, amidst a day of pumpkin picking and antiquing, our day took an unexpected turn. We stopped off at a local chili-fest and were there for about two minutes when we heard the band that was playing the fest abruptly stop. I heard someone next to me say “omigosh” as the crowd rushed to the intersection right next to the festival tent. We all looked – life suddenly felt like it was in slow motion – at first no one moved – we all just stood there – trying to piece together exactly what we were looking at…


Initially I thought a pedestrian had been hit crossing the street – he was laying about ten feet in front of the car – and he wasn’t moving. About ten feet in front of him was what I thought was a piece of the wreckage – it took a few more seconds to realize that it was another person – a child. I looked back at the car – it’s back windshield was shattered and a motorcycle was wedged underneath the back end.


Suddenly everything sped up – Steve headed to the man laying closest to the car to see if he could help -there were two other physicians there as well – they all took turns checking on both of them. I soon realized that another one of the people that was helping the child was his mother – she had been driving in a car behind the motorcycle – with their two other children.


As I stood there – in shock, helplessly watching, a man was walking in my direction and was leading a little boy away from the scene – as he passed me, I saw the little boy look over his shoulder and then turn to the man with him saying, “but that’s my daddy…” my heart was breaking for him…


A couple minutes later the wife realized she didn’t know where her other two children were and rushed to find them – as she was reunited with them – just feet from where her other child and husband lay, she hugged her other babies – I heard her crying out – “Please God, please…”


The paramedics arrived and started to administer CPR to the father – and Steve headed back to me – looking down and shaking his head.


I felt wrong for observing all of this – I was standing there – helpless – watching a family on the verge of falling apart – a wife losing a husband, a son losing a father…


We left – unsure of what would happen to the son and father… I think we both felt lost and shocked. What do you do with yourself when you know there are two people who just moments ago were enjoying the beautiful day and were now fighting for their lives? To go on with your day as planned just seems wrong.


We decided to go to the beach and watch the sun set. As we sat down we looked down the shore only to see a bride and groom, kissing & embracing – while having their pictures taken. It was a strange thought – to think that we had just witnessed a couple on what could possibly be the worst day of their lives and here was another couple – celebrating the start to their lives together – possibly one of the best days of their lives.


It was such a strange idea – that such sorrow and such joy could take place on the same day at the same time…


Another thought suddenly entered my mind – while on the one hand I am sometimes a witness to tragedy, losing loved ones myself and watching others lose those that they love, on the other, I am also very lucky – working in the wedding industry, I get to witness (and celebrate) with couples on the best day of their lives. How amazing is that?


The Sunset | Sunday, October 9, 2011

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