Thursday, October 27, 2011

hayride

It's close to Halloween, and soon...Thanksgiving.  I am reminded of two years ago at this time when we were living in Manhattan Beach.  I met a man, a father, who told me the saddest story I'd ever heard.  Greg and I were looking at properties for sale in the area. My realtor was going to show me a home that was just down the street. I walked over to the house, but arrived a little early and my realtor wasn't there yet. The owner of the home was just walking out the door. He saw me standing by the sidewalk and came over. Atticus, my youngest, was sleeping in his stroller. He smiled, introduced himself and asked how old my son was. I told him Atticus was two and he had two older brothers. To my surprise, the man put his head down and after a moment he wiped his eyes. He said, "I also have three sons, well, I did have three sons." I felt a little awkward as I said I was sorry and then asked him what happened. His voice became a little strained as he told me that he and his wife and three boys had gone to the country to pick pumpkins and go on a hay ride. He then said, "It was just a horrible accident, no one's fault, just a terrible accident.. he slipped off the hayride and fell under the wheels." When he said this he made a slashing movement with his hand across his neck. "He was three, and our youngest." I put my hand across my mouth before I could stop myself, then I reached out and touched his arm. I felt his pain overwhelm me. You could still feel his loss even though he was in his sixties and his other boys were grown. I had taken my boys on so many hayrides, laughing, taking photos, making memories. Never could I imagine the torture of what this family must have gone through. I think about him whenever we are on a hayride as a family, I grip the boys hands tightly and make sure that they hang on. 

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