Thursday, April 18, 2013

No worries

Like you, I worry a bit. Okay, maybe more than a bit. We all do.

We worry about our jobs and money, our personal relationships and whether our kids are healthy and happy.

We worry about big stuff like climate change and politics, we stress over little stuff  like our weight or a new gray hair.

Worry, worry, worry!

We even worry about that.

On  Friday September 12, 2008, 25 people got out of their beds long before dawn, prepared themselves for work, kissed their families good-bye, left the house and died. They were killed in a freak commuter train crash in Southern California. My KNX radio partner, Vickie Moore, and I told their stories with relative dispassion because that was our job but I never got over the soul-jarring realization that you can walk out of your home one morning and never return.

It happens every day all over the world, of course, but we never imagine it happening to us. Among all the trivial stuff we worry about it never occurs to us to be worried about sudden, dumb luck death.

It happened last night in the nearby, very small town of West, Texas, which one resident described on the radio this morning as "a Mayberry kind of place." There was a fertilizer factory in West which employed and supported a good portion of the 2,600 people who live in the town. It caught fire at 7:30 p.m. and 25 minutes later it blew away everything within a five block radius.

Now, almost 18 hours later, they're still looking for bodies, alive and dead. Texas officials tend to play their cards quietly. Ten hours ago they allowed that there may be as many as five to 15 deaths. Most likely there are dozens of others who died with no warning, people who hadn't even been aware of the fire but were close enough to have life literally blown out of them as if they were birthday candles while they finished supper, watched TV with their families and fed their dogs.

When things like this happen and my work day is done I wonder about that. What's it like to die with absolutely no warning? One moment you can be laughing and the next moment you're nothing.

There is no sense to be made of this sort of thing.

But today I'm not worried about anything. Nothing at all.

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