I know its been sporadic lately. Truth be told, of late I've not really felt inspired to post anything...until tonight. I need to write this for posterity. Forgive me in advance for the rambling that will likely follow.
It has been one week since the lives of so many good people were turned upside-down. Last Friday at about 1:45 our newest and most eager employee lost his life in a tragic accident while at work. I'll refer to him as C. Our crew was working planting trees as part of the preservation/replacement program that is required of all commercial projects in this area. It was going to be an easy Friday for everyone.
A front was in the area that day and winds were abnormally high. C was loading a container grown tree into the bucket of our loader to transfer it to the spot where it was to be planted when a strong gust came and toppled an 80' pine. Both our loader operator and C had their backs to the tree. Between the hum of the engine and the high wind, no one heard the tree break. The loader operator caught a blur from the corner of his eye an instant before it struck C and ended his life instantly.
Services were held on Monday. There I learned that C was in the process of reconciling with his family and that his new job was one way that he was turning his life around. It was great to meet his family and friends.
C sucked at backing the trailer into the shop after work. We'd be working in the office and hear the guys come in from the field and sneak peaks out the front window to watch him try to back it in. It was sort of a trial by fire that usually ended in someone going outside and kicking him out of the truck because we all wanted to go home and it was obvious that we'd be there for hours if we waited on him to park the trailer.
Last Wednesday we heard them come in, heard the truck start to back up, we heard one correction and then out of the blue, we heard the sounds of chains being unhooked and the trailer being unhitched. He did it! Like a champ!
I will forever remember his exuberance when he came in and told us that he actually did it. I don't know who was most surprised by the new development in his maturation as a "trucker."
"Did you see it? Did you? I did it!"
C touched our lives briefly, but his eagerness to learn a new trade renewed my faith that there are people out there who are willing to work hard to take their lives in a new direction.
Tomorrow morning we are all headed to his father's home to plant the Live Oak he was loading when the accident happened. I look forward to sharing that time with his family.
C leaves behind a father, a mother, a brother, a sister and a lovely 6 year old daughter. Please remember them in your prayers.