Monday, January 30, 2012
This is a post I've been struggling with for days. I wasn't sure if I should write it, and if I wrote it, whether I should publish it. I'm still not sure, and I really don't know where to begin. I try to keep the tone of this blog tongue-in-cheek and light. This isn't either. I probably wouldn't even mention it here, except there is a lesson, or perhaps a warning to be heeded.
Last week we suddenly stopped posting. Wednesday morning a friend and coworker was involved in a horrific freak accident at work. She survived the trip to Shock Trauma but passed away a couple hours later.
I work at a printing company. The equipment in the shop is notoriously dangerous and unforgiving, and no matter how careful, how much training, or how seriously we take that training, accidents happen. Anyone who works in printing knows people who have crushed their hand in a printing press, lost fingers, smashed feet or toes, or have had a variety of other injuries. Most of the time it involves someone taking short cuts to save time, or who has removed safeties.
Back near the loading dock we have a baler. It compacts waste paper, straps it, then the paper is recycled. A was walking past the baler while it was compressing. We don't know why, but the latch of the door failed, shearing the bolts, and the door flew open throwing A 12-15 feet, slamming her head first into the concrete floor. The door then busted a hole in the cinder block wall larger than my fist, and created cracks several feet long in the wall. I won't go into her injuries, but even one of the EMTs was shaken. It was if she had been hit by a truck.
Several people witnessed it, and even more heard it. I'm proud to say I work with some very courageous people. They kept their heads, and they did all the right things. They administered as much first aid as they could, brought her back to consciousness, and comforted her while awaiting the ambulance. Everyone salutes them for their compassion and cool headedness while under tremendous pressure.
We, of course, are still in shock. A did nothing wrong except be at the wrong place at the wrong time. It could have been anyone, or a few seconds earlier or later, no one at all. One day she was a beloved coworker, always with a smile, and then she's gone. No one deserves to die that way. We can only imagine how her family must feel.
Perhaps its cliche, but its so true. We don't know when our time will come, nor do we know when its our loved ones turn. We trust all of us will get through the day safe and sound. Living our day to day lives, we forget how fragile and lambent our lives truly are. Losing sight of that, stupid things annoy us, we get caught up in petty stuff, we don't say the things we should. If there is anything to be learned, its this. Please don't put off telling people how much they mean to you, make that phone call you never seem to have the time for. Make things right with the people you love. Tell them you love them. Put forth a little extra effort. You'll never regret it! One day you'll look back with satisfaction that you took the time.
God bless us all. Lord knows we need it. God bless A and her family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope its a comfort to you to know how much she was loved, and how much she is missed.
Posted by Oui Oui at 12:01 AM