Sunday, April 30, 2006

Death And Remembrance

"The dead cannot cry out for justice; it is a duty of the living to do so for them." ~ Lois McMaster Bujold

It was a difficult week last week here at my house. Starting on Monday, my car, which I depend on for my livlihood, began running so badly that I feared it might not make it to my daily stop in Lititz, Pennsylvania. It was a fouled spark plug wire. That is not a problem one wants when the gas prices are up to nearly three dollars a gallon.

Tuesday morning, as I watched the mechanic down the road do a simple tune up, I happened to notice my right front tire was badly worn on the outside edge of the tread. It wasn't that old a tire. Signs that the front end was out of alignment. (That explained the violent shaking when my car reached certain speeds)

I couldn't afford to get that problem taken care of immediately, but I did have to take the car to get a new tire, which I did, immediately after the tune up.

Friday morning, I arrived at my office to find the owner of the company and a man I didn't know in the office. My dispatcher, Sharon, was not there. She always had my paperwork filled out and my proof bags ready to go, in order, but this day, I had to do that myself. It caused a delay getting started.

But the really bad part was yet to come. It was at this point that I was told that they were closing this office down, and from now on I would have to do my pick ups and drop offs at a storage facility.

On top of that, I learned Sharon had been laid off. I will miss her and her husband, who also worked with us. They were both fine Christians. Both were veterans. Both were Republican Conservatives. Jerry, my dispatchers husband, is a minister and the administrator of a private school for veterans children in Scotland, Pennsylvania. They are part of a growing population of Black Conservatives, one of the rapidly growing groups that the Democrats are most afraid of.

The change will actually make things a little bit better for me, overall, but usually I dislike change in my routine. Even if it's for the better in some ways.

However, probably as a direct result of this change, one of the other drivers missed his connection, and at the end of the day, when I picked up the proofs for delivery to Lititz, I not only had to pick up mine, but another drivers, as well. I barely had room, stashing my trunk full and stuffing the entire back seat, also.

So, loaded down this way, I began my 100 mile trip to Lititz.

Just as I approached Harrisburg, I heard a familiar sound. The left rear tire had gone flat. I had to completely empty the trunk of approximately 21 bags of bank proofs to get to the spare, but I changed the flat while Semi trailer trucks sped by mere feet from where I was squatting.

I was late to my stop.

Further delays happened later the same evening as I got to within a mile of my home. I came upon a blockade of U.S. Highway 40, forcing me to take a detour home. There had been an accident on the highway, and traffic was being routed around it.

I made it home without further incident.

The next day, Saturday morning, I went to Sears and got both a new tire and an alignment. Later, my son, who had spent the night with a friend, came home and informed me of the unfortunate details of the accident. It had been a three car collision, resulting in two fatalities.

Including the death of one of his best friends and classmates, William Daniel Bynaker, 16. My son, John, knew him as Danny. Once again, in the space of a few months, my son lost another friend through tragedy.

It would seem that this friend of my son's life was somehow destined to end prematurely. His was one of the names on another students hit list a few months ago. A student that had brought a loaded gun and extra ammo to school one day. And a list of students he intended to kill.

Somehow, the events of the previous week become insignificant. My son is handling this well, although he is unusually bad tempered. It is the way he deals with pain. I understand.

Last night, I went to see the new film, United 93. It was a very powerful film. It captured the confusion and terror of that fateful day. After it was over, and the patrons filed out, there was none of the usual discussion of what we had just seen. Nothing but silence. Except for the sound of people choking back tears.

I highly recommend seeing the film. Not for entertainment, but to remind us of the reason we are currently engaged in this struggle against Global terror. I think sometimes we get complacent and we tend to forget in the course of our day to day lives. This film should serve as a stark reminder of what it takes to preserve freedom.

This struggle must continue. We must see it through to conclusion, no matter what it takes. We cannot fail. The lives of every man, woman, and child in America, and indeed, the free world, depend on eradicating terrorism permanently.


The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Mark, you have a very engaging style of writing.

A fine, candid, intimate, somber post.

Pamela Reece said...

Mark, I am sorry for the crummy day you had and I am more than sorry for the loss of your sons friend. Your son and you are so very lucky to have one another to help and comfort each other.

My thoughts and prayers remain with you yours.

Sending smiles your way!

tugboatcapn said...

Mark, I am very sorry for your son's loss.

I have lost a few close friends along the way myself. I feel his pain.

And I feel your pain as well, on the Car problems. I have had to do my share of Mechanic work myself this week. (I do all of my own work...)

As usual, this was a very good post. Posts like this one are the reason that you are one of my Blogging Heros.

These posts allow us to see each other as human beings, instead of Idealogical Allies, or Adversaries as the case may be.

They allow us to see each other as Human Beings, rather than faceless words on the internet, to be re-enforced or shot down.

We all have car trouble. We all lose people who are important to us, or to our loved ones.

I haven't yet seen the United 93 Movie, but I plan to, and soon.

Have a good week, Mark.

I'll see you around...

Goat said...

Prayers, my friend for you and your son. A girl I had a major crush on went missing for four months till she was found over a hill in a solo car accident, drunk. I can empathize with your son on many levels from my own past. I was Reborn a short time afterward. If your son wishes to contact me he can, I have been there, his state of mind, on more than one occasion.
Loss is tough and makes us strong, You know Christ is there to help. You are being called to step to the plate, your turn at bat and the pitcher has a mean curve, change up and fastball. Your son is on second, time for a sacrafice. Good luck and remember Who is your strength.

Scottsdale Girl said...

I can't even watch the previews or read you talk about the movie without tearing up....but I AM going to see it.

Mary said...

Hi Mark,

I'm catching up on your posts.

I'm so sorry for your son's loss.

I saw United 93 on Saturday.

Life is so fragile and we are so vulnerable.

My prayers are with you, your son, and Danny's family.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for your memorial on danny in your article. he was my best friend, and I love him to death. I hope that your son found away to cope with the loss of such a great person, because that is what Danny was. He was my smile everyday, the sun during the rain, he was there for me in every situation and I miss him so much every day. he called me his butterfly, and it is hard to know that he is gone, even though it has been over six months. But I thank you, it is really nice to know that someone else cared about Danny like I did.