You are heading north on US Rt 2A through the Haynesville Maine woods made famous by Dick Curliss.
The patched eye country singer from Fort Fairfield Maine. With the song about there being a tombstone every mile through that lonely stretch of Maine deer, wildlife infested woods.
You are tired, driving a log truck and come up on a wreck.
An accident where you know the old man in the convertible Volkswagen Beetle has to be dead. Without a pulse. And after confirmation of that fact as the first on the scene of the Maine highway accident, your attention turns to the other half of the wreck equation. The truck driver that hit the Bug driver head on is hard to understand. But alive, bleeding, badly hurt. And mumbling about biting off the end of his tongue in the two vehicle collision in Maine town of just over 100 full time residents.
You bee line for higher elevation. Shout, call in for help from the next hill on your truck radio. Go back and wait for first responders to arrive. As you look around. The scene hits you, affects you. Does not get forgotten. But later in life you witness another horrible accident. A small grading bulldozer that is leveling gravel inside a B Road in Houlton Maine barn.
On the McGillicuddy farm where the small berm going into the barn ground leveling cants the back of the bulldozer up sharply. Just as the front blade end of the machine drops, dips suddenly. The bulldozer lacks a cage, headache bar or protective canopy top. The young operator is found dying as the same person witnessing the Haynesville accident is first on the scene, the gory event. With a helpless nothing he can do. That will never leave him and stay vivid in his mind for years to come.
As if that was not enough black clouds of misery to drift over a person’s life, the same man is the first to discover his father in law in the basement of his house. Dead. A self inflicted gun shot with the son in law’s rifle. Why? The suicide of someone you know closely and having the heart wrenching task of letting the rest of the family know what you found after work today. And wondering how to soften the blow when there is nothing good to report. And suddenly lost for an appetite for supper you had when you tooled into the yard, hopped out of the pickup at the end of a hard work day.
You are suppose to count your blessings.
Keep your eye on your own paper and work hard for the greater good. To raise a family, support yourself with an honest living. But the events that happen with casual speed, right on time to some people make you wonder how come them? Or to brace yourself that the pendulum will swing in your direction. That it could happen to you. Bad things to good people that can question folks with little, tittering, fleeting faith. That are fair weather Christians. That yank back the wheel and abandon their faith when challenged, needed most.
The same gentlemen that is sensitive, kind, sociable but who’s presence in a room is reserved, laid back. Anything but a grand stander or show off, cocky. Has been struggling with cancer. In his late 50’s and with pain that you know is present but not discussed, shared in any way to burden another. To elicit pity or empathy for him because he is not one to need that kind of spotlight attention. Even if deserved or warranted.
The same fellow with a daughter that is thirty. But not on good terms. Because he has been shut off, cut out. And I have to wonder would she if asked about her Dad say he is dead to her? Parental alienation takes its damaging toll. Not just on the kids but the parents, family, everyone. Divorce can be bad business. Because there is a fine line between love and hate.
Like the Vietnam helicopter soldier who usually rides shot gun, occupies the seat next to the pilot who one day is asked by a new in the field recruit.
If he can ride up front today. And does, gets to. Only to be shot in a multiple rounds, a hail storm of ordinance on the first and last ride he will ever take in a camo painted war whirly bird. Why him, why not me something lived with by the veteran soldier who gave up his seat for the one day only fatal ride for the new in the field ground pounder.
It is good to be happy, joyful from within for all your blessings. But the sobering episodes that can and do happen to other people shock you to cling tighter to all the good in your life. Because for some, tragedy, pain, suffering follows them more than others. So how is your life going, anything to be grateful, at peace about?
Maine, spend some time with her four season beauty.