I was on my way home from working the graveyard shift at my job at Lockheed when I encountered traffic. Very unusual for early Sunday morning, I mused to myself. Usually there was very little traffic on the roads during this time. From the looks of things, it appeared that we wouldn't be moving for quite a while.
I turned on my police scanner on the front dash, to see if I could get any inside information about what was causing the gridlock. Apparently, there was a five-car pile-up ahead of us; it was a bad accident. The police reported that there were several fatalities as well as casualties; it would probably be several hours before all of this mess was cleared from the accident scene.
I uttered a quick prayer to Heaven for the people involved; I then did a U-turn and drove in the opposite direction on the grassy knoll that separated the north and south bound roads, and looked for a different route for the trip back home.
I arrived home nearly forty five minutes later. I unlocked the front door, took off my Brogans, and quietly crept upstairs to the bedroom, where my wife, Amelia, still lay, sleeping peacefully. I shed my work clothes, shoes, and undershirt, and put on a clean pair of boxers, washed my face and brushed my teeth, and then carefully climbed into bed, where I gently kissed Amelia on the ear. Amelia stirred and sighed, but she didn't awaken, much to my relief.
I tried to go to sleep, but my mind was too full of the horror-filled images I'd seen as I passed the accident scene: bodies covered in white, blood-stained sheets, lying in the middle of the road, cops, paramedics, and firemen crawling all over the scene like roaches, people weeping, other people standing there in utter shock and/or disbelief.
Again, I whispered quick, desperate prayers to Heaven for the accident victims (and their families), as well as a prayer of thanksgiving, for allowing me to get home safely, thanks to God's protection over me as I drove.
The next day, Amelia showed me the article splashed on the front page of the newspaper. Some cars had apparently lost control on the ice; this was what caused the accident in the first place. A total of five people were killed and six were injured, three critically. Included in the death toll list was a seven month old baby.
The baby that had been killed was the son of our senior pastor at church.
The baby was with his grandmother when the accident occurred. They were on their way to Oklahoma to visit friends of the family.
When I saw Pastor Goodkind's son's name listed among the dead, all I could do was cry. It was the worst time of my life; my heart broke for Pastor Goodkind and his wife and their surviving children.
Miraculously, the grandmother survived, but not without a heavy cost: she was critically injured. She probably now lay in a hospital intensive care unit, fighting for her very life, and oblivious to what had happened to her (or her youngest grandchild). She was probably in a comatose state (or purposely knocked out) and hooked up to tubes/monitors.
All I could do then was sob as Amelia held me in her arms.
~To be continued.~