Tuesday, January 10, 2006

More tragedy

2006 isn't starting out to be a very good year. I really wish I could find something funny to write about.

Last night I got news of one more thing that is shaking apart the tenuous foundation of what little faith I have left.

After getting to work last night and checking out my vehicle I started my first patrol. I noticed right away that everyone was at the firehouse... My pager didn't go off, so I kind of figured there wasn't a call... And no one told me of any parties.

I made my first checks and made a loop back to see what was going on. I walked in and everyone was there, but everyone was in a very somber mood. It didn't take me long to find out what had everyone down.

Around 7:30 last night, our Assistant Chief's 14 year old step daughter was walking home with two friends along Rt. 20 and was struck and killed by a car. The driver never slowed or stopped. As of this morning the Mercer County Sheriff's office still has yet to make an arrest.

What made it all the more horrifying was that both the parents of the girl are paramedics with the Princeton Rescue Squad along with being volunteers here in Athens.

Can you imagine being a paramedic and finding it was your child at the scene? That must have been horrible and I'm not sure how I would have handled it.

In the past twenty three or so years I've seen and had to deal with some really hard things. Back in the 80's I held my best friend in my arms on the deck of a Blackhawk helicopter, heard him breathe his last words to me while he slowly bled to death, pleading with me to take the pain away and I couldn't do a thing for him... I was the one who gave his 19 year old wife the neatly folded American flag at the funeral two days before she gave birth to a little girl...

In 92' I helped the undertaker put my father, the man who was never supposed to die and leave me, into a body bag and carried him to the hearse...

Picked up body parts of a woman who was pushed in front of a subway car at rush hour...

I've seen countless other little tragedies, shootings, stabbings, rapes, suicides, drug OD's. Every day for ten years.
My mother, the kindest, sweetest woman you'd ever meet... Taken by breast cancer seven weeks after she was diagnosed...

I've seen some really good people taken for no reason... Some innocent... Like the children. Kids still tear me up the worst because they still have yet to make an impact on the world. Their life is torn away from them without one lousy chance to make the world a better place.

But how in the world could you handle getting to the scene and finding your own child laying there bleeding? I'll probably never become a father... Closest I ever came was last year... But after all I've seen and done, I couldn't handle that. No ma'am.

Some of the folks I grew up with, my family, would say it's all in God's plans. I don't believe it for one minute anymore. If there really is a God... An "All loving, all caring God" What great scheme, what fantastic plan of his would include the taking of an innocent 14 year old when there's so much bad still going on? People like that taken in such a horrid way when people like Bin Laden and Kin Il Sung still sucking air? If there really is a God like that, he's got one hell of a lot of explaining to do.

I'm not buying into it anymore. Not one small iota.

I have no faith in any of it anymore. It's all more bullshit that we as a species have made up just to make us feel more important than everyone. Because without that little bit of faith in God & heaven, we're all no better than animals.

Good people get shit on, the bad and evil continue and thrive. The book of Job was recommended to me a few weeks ago, and I appreciate the suggestion. I've read it before though, and all I've got to say on that subject is even Job only had to deal with the bullshit for a finite period of time.

There is no heaven, no hell...

But I still believe in ghosts. I'm firm in that belief. I see them daily, when I lay down to sleep... And now I've just added one more to the legions marching through my memories.
Update: Finally made the news. Go here for story:
Also, if you'd like to leave Jimmy & Helen Poff a message of condolence, please go here:
And click on the link "In Loving Memory of Ashley"

Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

15 comments:

berly02 said...

2006 has sucked so far.
And I am amazed you are still sane after reading some of the things you have gone through.

Sherri said...

I can definitely say, there is nothing more terrible in the world then knowing harm has come to your child.

I really really feel for those parents.

Courtney said...

That's horrible. It seems like bad things happen in groups, ya know? Like a test or something...
Will definitely keep you guys in my prayers...

Pedro the Ignorant said...

"In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watch'd
And heard thee mumble tales of iron wars:....
Thy spirit within thee has been so at war,
And thus has bestirr'd thee in thy sleep,
That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow...
And in thy face strange motions have appear'd,
Such as we see when men restrain their breath..."

Henry IV, Part I, Lady Percy to Hotspur.

Old Billy Shakespeare knew all about this, Tom.
I know your pain, brother.
Stay strong.

Kat_womanx2 said...

How sad...I thought my "drowning baby" call last year was my worst nightmare come to life...its hard to work on children and babies. But I have to agree..responding to a call that involved the death of my 13 yr old daughter would have me sucking on the barrel of a shotgun by the end of the shift.

Okie said...

Damn. My heart goes out to her family. There are so many questions we'll never know the answers to.

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Heb 11:something

Cheryl said...

Wow. That poor family. I see why you said you're having problems with forgiveness lately. I don't believe that bad things are a part of God's plan, I can see why that would bother you.

JenJen said...

Jesus, hon. You could use a hug.

What a heartbreaking post. :-(

cmk said...

My fraternal grandmother lost a son to menengitis when he was young. She was a very good, Christian, God-fearing woman. She said, "No parent should have to bury a child. That isn't the way it's supposed to be." Even she struggled with the death-of-a-child question.

Even the words "I'm so sorry" sound like a mere platitude. I pray the very existent God (existent to me, anyway) wraps His arms around that family and gives them peace.

Lisa said...

I can't imagine how difficult that would be -- to come across your child who's been in the accident. It makes me queasy just thinking about it.

I don't know what to tell you faithwise...I still don't know what I believe. I want to believe in something -- I hate the think that if something were to happen to my little boy I'd never see him again. But I have a hard time believing there really is something out there. But who knows...

rat said...

my condolences

ahamilton said...

Wow, you have lived through a lifetime of heartache and pain. My condolences to all!

Ranger Tom said...

Thanks all for the hugs & condolences... Send them out to the parents too. They need them also.

And Pedro, thanks for the Shakespear... Haven't read Henry IV in a long while... Funny how things never change though.

Lora said...

Very sad post,Tom...my heart goes out to the family of that young girl...and to you. I am sorry you have experienced so many painful and horrific things. I understand that no one can make sense of it all and there are no easy answers. I do agree with Okie and Cheryl, though. Faith is just that...trusting and believing, even though we can't see it now. I can't imagine life in this world without faith in God. And I, too, don't believe these things are part of His plan...because of the sinful nature of mankind we suffer and sorrow...we see the need for a Savior. That is where God's plan kicks in:

"For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Don't lose hope, heart, or faith, Tom. The enemy of your soul is prowling about like a hungry lion waiting to devour you...he will only win if you let him. Remember that he was defeated at the Cross.

I am holding you up in prayer, as well as this young girl's family, to the God of all comfort.

Becky said...

I don't even pretend to have all the answers, Tom, but I do know that we can't pin the bad choices of people (the driver) on God. You said it yourself, if we don't cling to something we're no better than the animals. I know this isn't the way you meant it, but you need to listen to what you said. Even if it doesn't always make sense, you need to believe. Besides, if you try it my way and I'm wrong... you lose nothing. But if I'm right and you try it your way, you've got a lot more to lose than you think. Just something to think about.

Becky