Sunday, November 2, 2014

Four local lives lost - please help!

I'm afraid to say that today isn't a good news Cindy's being funny again kind of day. I do have many serious subjects to talk about for a while, and this one is worthy of blog space and sharing, for sure.

Thursday night, my daughter was in the local Halloween parade. She was already in town with the other cheerleaders and my oldest daughter went in to watch. I stayed home from the parade for the first time. It's always so cold and the parade is so long! I was happy to not be begged to go this year.

From my warm and comfy couch, I read with horror on Facebook that there had been a train/vehicle accident right by the parade route and there were fatalities. I must admit, I thought, "Oh no, I bet it's my daughter." She just got her license recently and I honestly did think, like many others that night about their own loved ones, "Was it her?"

I took a deep breath and sent texts to both of my children, in true optimistic humorous fashion:

"I heard there was a train accident. Please confirm your continued existence."

Within the hour, I knew that my babies were alive and well. But one family in our community wasn't so lucky to receive that text or a reassuring call.

A mother from a nearby town on her way to the parade became trapped on the tracks with a freight train bearing down on her and the gates closed around her. She tried to get out, but was unable. It was dark, rainy, and a confusing crossing site.

She has five children. Four were in the vehicle with her. Three children were killed on impact; 18 year old Alyssa, 13 year old Drake, and 10 year old Abbie. Another son, 9 years old, was in the vehicle, but is expected to survive. The mother, Crystal, died the following day. The fifth child and the husband/father were not in the vehicle.

Four lives taken, just like that. I can't imagine the heartbreak the surviving members of this family are experiencing. The challenges they face are insurmountable. A funeral bill should be the last thing on their list of things to figure out how to take care of. It has been rough on the whole community... heartbreaking, even if you had no idea who they were. My oldest daughter knew the oldest girl and several of my daughter's friends were close friends with the girl.

Please give a donation to their GoFundMe campaign to help pay for the massive funeral costs here. Hug your loved ones. Pray for the survivors. And please share the fundraising campaign on your social media sites. I can't stop thinking, that could have been me and my kids. And it could have. I count each day more precious than before.

Sometimes, our fate is beyond our control, but what the community at large does to rally around in a time of need is something that truly renews my faith in mankind. We are a good people and we want to help. For this reason, I remain glad for my continued existence as a human being. Forgo your latte this week and help this family, I beg of you. They are half way to the goal of $30,000 in just two days. EVERY donation counts. Thank you!