Wednesday, February 16, 2011

the firemen's tree.


There was a woman's body, lying lifeless in the grass.... The paramedics doing all they could to attempt to save her.... but it was too late.

She was greatly involved in Taylor's school for many years. Her, now middle and high school aged, children once attended Taylor's school, where she volunteered a great deal, was PTA president, and started SO many programs and such for the community.

She was on a walk with her son that morning, and had just gotten hold of a loose dog that had been dodging in and out of cars on busy Moulton. She was kneeling with the dog on the corner, when an SUV had run a red light, striking another SUV that was slammed into Mara, throwing her into the wall at the corner. She died instantly. Her son was not harmed, though the poor boy witnessed the entire thing, including the death of his mother.... The drivers and passengers had only minor injuries.

Pat was there when the husband arrived at the horrific scene.... the husband dropped to his knees, yelling over and over, "noooo! nooooo! noooo!" hugging her, just in hysterics....

I wasn't even there, yet it tore my heart out.... it turned my stomach in knots.... how AWFUL for this entire family to have such a tragic and sudden loss.... and yet things like this happen. every. single. day.... families are TORN apart from losses like these!!! How devastating it must be!!!!

Valentine's Day was her favorite holiday, and so they had all kinds of beautiful decorations and balloons and flowers out there for her, as well as tons of candles. The first time I'd visited the site was during daylight.... Mom took a beautiful candle down there and lit it for her....

Yesterday, while dropping the kids off at mom's and poppa's before work, I was stuck at the red light waiting to turn.... As we were waiting to turn, a pick up truck pulled up with a large tree hanging out the back.... a firetruck pulled up behind him.... they both parked.
(Firefighters from OCFA Station #39)

The firemen clearly knew to meet this man here to help unload the tree from this gentleman's truck. The firemen got off of their truck and stood at the site, staring at the candles for a few brief moments.... almost as if they were mourning the community's loss....
One of the firemen grabbed his gloves and wasted no time.... It was clear, they were going to leave this tree for sweet Mara....
The pictures are not the greatest, as I was just thankful to have had my camera in my purse, and to capture that emotional moment.... my eyes filled with tears for the kind gesture those gentlemen took time in their day to do.....

Just a few moments later, heading back down the same way I drove in, there was the tree....

from the fire department.... who likely arrived on the scene to try to save her life....
It was so bright, but overcast, so these pictures didn't turn out very well.... but the tree is beautiful!
After work that night, I went by mom's and poppa's for a little visit, as I sometimes do.... On my way home, I drove that route again.... and all of the candles were lit, again.... It had started to sprinkle outside.... There were no other cars on the once busy street.... The slight wind was gently blowing the red, heart shaped balloons back and forth.... The silver plates with red hearts that were hanging from the trees were spinning in circles.... The smell of the rain had been taken over by the scents of the glowing candles.... The tree that the firemen had placed there earlier stood tall.... and still.... and strong.... again, my emotions took over me, and in the silence of the night, it was a moment I cried for thanks that I was alive.... and for thanks that I have my family....


Today, was her funeral. They held the reception after the funeral at Taylor's school and asked for a little bit of help from everyone with the setup and desserts. I didn't know that the hand held, bite sized desserts represented anything, but they did. She is Jewish and I guess that is Jewish tradition and is to represent a sweet life for the family that was left behind.



And while dropping off the sweets at the school, we came across such a beeeeautiful rainbow!


I'm certain Mara was shining down on them....


9 comments:

Bossy Betty said...

Incredible. I cried just reading this post. All of it--the death, the generosity of others, the rituals, all of it is sad and beautiful and makes life all the more precious.

Ani Meador said...

I saw the story in the OCR but didn't realize it was so "close to home" for you guys. I'm sorry to hear that. My heart hurts for the family. I bet your "sweets" brought them what little bit of comfort they could possibly feel right now though. Wonderful post!

Pat Tillett said...

Whew! This can happen to any of us at any time... We need to try and enjoy every minute we have here!

TS Hendrik said...

That is such a tragic story. But all the candles, visitors, and the reception speak well of her; of a life well loved.

I admit that I've sort of become jaded over the years towards seeing the crosses on the sides of roads, but each one represents a life lost.

Marlene said...

So sad. I saw some of the FB postings your mom had up on this, and followed the story. Brings tears to my eyes.

Ashley King said...

@BB, it's so true! life is soooo incredibly precious! sooo thankful for my days!!!

@ani, it was SO close to home. a few minutes of a walk down the hill to the corner from my mom's. =( soooo sad! thank you.

@poppa, have you read my blog lately? lol. i know i preach it alllll the time. i'm trying, i'm tryin! love you guys to bits and pieces!!!

@TS, it's SO easy to get used to the crosses in TN. i know everytime i'd visit my dad out there, i'd see them. and the fake flowers they have there.... it's hard to tell if it's a new cross or not.... a lot of times, with the crosses and fake flowers, i know for me at least, that i assume it's been there for a while. =( It still tore someone's family apart at some point in time. allllways breaks my heart.... someone was waiting for that person at some point.... someone was waiting for their arrival, or counted on another kiss or phone call. =(

@Marlene. It was/is SO sad!!! i thought this was a bit of a happy part to the story. was so thankful to have captured that moment. I might email that department and let them know how wonderful i think they are for doing that. =) that's GOT to affect them, witnessing such trauma on a day to day basis, you know? You'd normally think "firefighters" fight fires.... but what about them being the first ones on the scene 99.9% of the time?? ugh! can't even imagine!!!

buymebarbies said...

Thank you Ashley for sharing this tragedy in a way for us to feel it. It has really affected a lot of people and it was so very heartwarming to see the turnout for her candlelight vigil, over 300 people!! It affected me terribly, also. You just never know what could happen at any time. I love you, Jason, Taylor and Lewie to bits and pieces too!! ♥

Andrea said...

Such a tragedy! I am so sorry for the family and the community...she must have been such a special person. How fortunate it must have been to have known her and to realize that such people still exist...as is evident by the outpouring of kind gestures in her memory. And how nice to see that people still care and show compassion and honor as the firemen and the community have. After the tragic loss of my sister, I was amazed and so thankful for those who stood by my brother-in-law & nieces showing them so much support, love, and kindness.
Again, I am so sorry for this family and will keep them in thoughts and prayers.

Ms. Anthropy said...

How awful!

Hey, I've missed you!!! Hugs to you, Jason, Taylor & Lewie!