Tragedy can strike at any moment. I am not trying to rain on your holiday-season parade; this is merely the reality of the world we live in. The holidays are exceptionally difficult for many people in terms of emotional stress, and when lives are lost, it just makes this time of year more challenging.
I received notice from the husband that a plane went down between St. Mary’s and Mountain Village in Alaska. The husband’s work headquarters is in Mountain Village, and the two ‘towns’ are probably about 17 miles from each other. For those that are not familiar with our Alaska journey, these area’s are very remote, and the primary means of transport is via plane. Not big planes, we are talking 9 seats or less. Air travel out there is pretty equivalent to car travel in areas with road systems. It is a totally different way of life. You may have gotten a peep of what it is like if you ever watched the show, Flying Wild Alaska.
The plane that crashed just a quarter mile from Mountain Village’s runway was a plane that the husband and I have flown in several times. The pilot, a veteran nonetheless, flew us around the Lower Yukon during several of our trips. And since the husband is too a pilot, he has developed a common-interest relationship with several of the guys, which makes it a little more difficult to digest the fact that something can happen, in a split second, even to the most experienced of individuals, that ends lives.
The husband became part of the search and rescue team as out there, we don’t have immediate access to ambulances and fire stations. It is the people in the community that deal with emergencies until the Coast Guard or Trauma Hawk can reach the area. The husband is so good in crisis situations. He tend to somehow cap off the emotion, and do what needs to be done. This is definitely an innate skill, one that I am not sure I have. Being more of an empath, I would have an extremely difficult time focusing after the visual sight of the aftermath. Just like he fired me from grilling when I melted his fancy grate-cleaning brush, he would probably fire me from helping in this situation too. As a counselor, I am in the business of helping others cope after the crisis, but am not quite sure how I would deal right smack in the middle.
The moral of today’s ramblings is that tragedies like this can impact anyone at any time. We take things for granted, even the daily mundane stuff. So today, take time to appreciate what you have, and tell someone how much you care about them. See if it makes a difference in the overall outlook of your day.