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Yesterday’s passing

Noah’s best friend’s father passed away yesterday. Apparently the car accident had placed him in a coma and they were giving him 72 hours before making the decision to pull the plug and he decided to go on his own.

The newspaper and news stations never gave any mention of the accident. The only details are rumors. The father and his son were on the way to the grandparents to pick up the little sister. He was on a 5 lane road (2 northboard, 1 turn lane, 2 southbound) that most West Knoxvillians regularly drive for one reason or another. The speed limit on that road is 35 mph (56 km/h)[if I recall correctly] but frequently cars are in excess of 50 mph (80 km/h). The rumor is that some teens in an SUV were driving too fast in Friday’s torrential rains and hit him head-on on the driver’s side of the vehicle. One doctor said he had never seen such severe brain injury. The child was thrown from the back seat to the front seat to be saved by the airbag. Were it not for the airbag he would be dead too.

The child called yesterday and cried for Noah to come visit with him. He said “I don’t care about toys. I just want to talk to you.” Noah bravely and calmly went to visit. Pretty heroic actions on the part of 2 eight year olds. I had the pleasure of being with one of the neighbors and was able to watch from afar as the boys greeted each other in the street. The neighbor on her own accord commented on their bravery. Everyone recognizes that these children are being forced by circumstances to “act like men.”

The feelings here are somber. Each of the children is in deep throught. Tommy relinquished himself to his tent for awhile after given the news. Noah had tears, pulled himself together then made that difficult phone call. (I still ponder whether or not Noah fully understands the family structure. There is a piece of me that wonders if Noah thinks “dads” are replaceable.) Sarah always internalizes and rarely lets things out. Cathy is quite upset. I am scared that I won’t be able to pull things together for my family before it is too late.

I did not know David that well although I believe the two families, ours and theirs, were just starting to become closer. When the leaves drop in the autumn I can see their house from my dining room window. However, it has made me put serious thought into how severely insane it is to be having lived one fifth of my life (the past 7 years) without insurance. To have 4 children and a wife and not have life insurance and health insurance is ludicrous. Daily I have stress pains in my chest and sides and hold such tension in my chest that I often wonder if I’m not experiencing small heart attacks. The thought of leaving my family in such chaos, financial turmoil and completely without means terrifies me. The knowledge that if something happened to me my health care could conceivably be inadequate because of my financial status pisses me off. The rich always get better care. I was reading in the paper that some companies are now hiring without giving health benefits. The industry will have to change soon but I doubt it will happen without the US sinking into a health care dark ages.

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