Saturday, September 13, 2008

from happy tears to sad ones

my heart has been slowly cracking since the moment i heard the news about yesterday's horrific metrolink crash.

i used to take the metrolink. that was my route. and sometimes, when i would leave work a little early on a friday, it was also my train. it has since become my sister's train. that actual one. thankfully, for whatever reason yesterday morning, she decided to drive to work instead of take it.

but now she's left feeling vulnerable, and worried for the familiar faces she's used to seeing almost daily. she's freaking out because she would have been on that train. would she be alive right now? how hurt would she be? are her friends okay? will she recognize any of the ones who didn't make it? will i?

you see, the trains in so cal are a little different than say the subway in new york. it's a bunch of commuters going to work, but we pretty much sit in the same exact train car every single day. and usually, in the same area. the trains have an upstairs and a downstairs. and honestly, you either sit in one or the other, all the time. i sat downstairs in the "first car" on the way to work, which became the "last car" on the way home from work. after the accident in 2005, we all abandoned the "first car" and sat in the next one. because our car took the brunt of the impact when it crashed into a parked car on the tracks and 11 people were killed. we all decided it probably wasn't the safest car to be in on the way to work. it was the train that left right before ours that got in the accident.

so right now i'm just hurting so badly for everyone. so hurt for what's to come. when that final number of fatalities is released. and then the names. and then the faces that go with the names. because even though you might not "know" some of the people on the train, you know their faces. you see them daily. you recognize them. and you sit there thinking about how easily it could have been you... or someone you love.. or someone you know. and then you cross your fingers and hold your breath because one those equations could still hold true.

my condolences to everyone who lost someone yesterday. i hurt with you. i grieve with you. i cry for you.


Alison said...

A very dear friend of my husband's family was on the train and did not survive the crash. It's just another reminder to take each day as the blessing it is and tell your loved ones how very much they mean to you. I'm so glad your sister is safe.

Jill said...

Sometimes we never know why we chose to do something on a certain day different from our routine.

I have a dear friend in New York that worked in Tower 1 of the World trade center on the 10th floor. She walked out her door on that morning and decided she would stop and get a Starbucks on her way to work. The line was endless but she decided to stay anyway and get her coffee. She was 5 minutes away when the first plane hit the first tower. She ran towards the building only to be stopped by a firefighter. If she would have been on time to work she would not be here.

Something told her to stay in that line and get her coffee and not just skip it. We never know what that is but I was beside myself that she was in the building working. She was in such shock it took her 3 hours to call me and tell me she was OK.

She has survivors guilt to this day. She wonders what stopped her from being there and all the friends and co-workser she lost.

Alison is right. Never leave the house without telling someone how much you care for them or let them leave without that because you just never know if that will be the last time you see them. Even if your angry or upset.

Your sister may never know why she took her car that day but everyone is glad she did.

MelissaMM said...

Madison's softball coach lost a family friend on that train. He was 18 and on his way to visit his fiance in Simi Valley. He had just sent her a text saying he was 10 minutes away. She waited and waited. They found his body Saturday afternoon. So sad :(

When I heard about the accident I did think of how you used to take that route and wondered about Laura in Travel. I'm confident she takes a later train but still.

Anyway, it's just such a tragic situation. Simply tragic. Especially when you hear the lastest reports about the engineer.

judy in ky said...

I can relate to what you are saying. For ten years I took a commuter train from the suburbs into Center City Philadelphia. As you say, the same people sit in the same places day after day, and you get to know those familiar faces. It almost becomes like a second "family". If, one day, one of the faces is missing, you wonder if they are okay. I don't take the train anymore, but I do miss that camaraderie.

jennster said...

melissa- was it jacob? i read that story about him and his gf. i looked up his myspace last night. so sad. i know for a fact that laura is ok. i called my train friends immediately and they were all accounted for and told me that bob (one of the conducter's) was alive, but they thought he broke his leg(s). someone i knew in high school lost his dad.

carrie said...

I thought of you immediately when I saw that on CNN. Each day is so precious, like you said, it doesn't matter who or where you are, it all can be gone in an instant.

Anissa Mayhew said...

I'm so thankful for you that it was that day a guiding hand got your sister to drive to work.

Many prayers for the families of the victims.