Gut Rumbles

February 28, 2005

a moving post

I read this and I thought about all the kids I grew up with who are dead now. I could name 40 easily right now--- thanks to car wrecks, motorcycle accidents, drownings, hypothermia and oddball diseases. I went to a bunch of those funerals and I saw a bunch of grieving parents.

That's a terrible scene.

I've blogged before about a big, loud-mouthed shift mechanic that I worked with for years named Red Miller who happened upon a car wreck on his way home from work and found his 17 year-old son dead behind the wheel of the car. I can't imagine what he must have felt at the time.

Even worse, I once turned down a car ride with some friends after a high school football game in 1967. Five of 'em went off in a brand new GTO in search of adventure. They found it by slamming into a big oak tree on "Dead Man's Curve" on Laroache Avenue. One died and the other four were all fucked-up from the wreck.

Donnie Griffin was in the car, and the police identified him as the dead person in the rear passenger seat. They picked up his father at about 2:00 AM to go to the morgue and identify the body. His dad stood there while they pulled the corpse out of its mailbox-like storage and they pulled back the sheet covering his destroyed body. The head was almost gone, but one thing was obvious: That wasn't Donnie. Donnie wasn't that big.

Donnie was in the emergency room being treated for several broken bones and internal injuries at the time. The boy on the slab was Tommy Spellman.

Can you imagine what went through Donnie's father's mind that night? Holy Bejus!!! Have the cops rouse you at 2:00 AM to go identify your son's dead body, steel yourself for that task and then discover that it's NOT your son? If that's not the stuff of nightmares for years to come, I don't know what is.

But it was worse for the Spellman's once the cops roused them from their beds.

No parent expects to bury a child, at least not anymore. Early death may have been common when my grandmother was young, but we don't have that crap happening anymore, except by accident. Kim had a close call and another set of parents were not so lucky. Yeah, God works in mysterious ways, or else he just doesn't care.

If you haven't hugged your child today, DO IT!!!


Dear Rob - I wrote to V-man after reading about his daughter's accident and yesterday after reading about the death of her friend. Both of you are right ... parents should not bury their children. I know as I've done it. Ten years ago I lost my son, age 27, to a virulent form of colon cancer. All these years later ... it still hurts.

I wish you the best, Terry

Posted by: Terry Reynolds on February 28, 2005 04:03 PM
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