How do you process something like this, anyway?

If you follow me on Twitter, you saw a lot of posts about the F-18 crash in my neighborhood yesterday.

Let me start by saying that the kiddo and I had left our house about a 1/2 hour before. I wasn’t headed anywhere in particular, just getting out of the house with the boy. Mondays are my day off so it’s perfect for a short jaunt. We wound up meeting my husband at Costco and doing a little last-minute shopping before we head to visit family for the holidays.

When we got back into our cars, we heard the news on the radio. My heart froze for a minute. Would we come back to a home? Maybe that sounds a little melodramatic, but that’s what goes through your head at first when you don’t know exactly what happened nor where. We knew it was our neighborhood, which really isn’t that big.

As we heard more, we figured out it was just down the road a bit. Less than a mile. Really not that far at all, considering the size of San Diego.

More details poured in over the afternoon, and I found myself unable to break away from the news. I needed to know more. Was it someone we knew? A classmate of our daughter? Eventually they started giving the house address. A wave of relief swept over me and then I immediately felt bad.

Some man went to work one day, and before lunch his whole world was gone. Wife, two kids, and the grandmother. The entire house. Instantly gone. No warning. No way of preventing. Just gone.

Let me stop here for a moment. I believe that the pilot truly did everything he could to avoid hitting the homes. He was headed for a canyon, trying to make it there. He stayed in the plane until it was seconds from the ground. What more could he have done? I think he’ll be beating himself up enough as it is. I think the calls for the military to leave Miramar are ridiculous. I don’t feel like saying more on that topic right now.

I cannot imagine losing my whole family in one swoop. It makes me sick just thinking about it. How would you go on? My heart goes out to that poor family. It’s awful.

I couldn’t get to sleep last night for quite a while. I couldn’t get my brain to quiet down, to stop thinking about this. You try to protect your family the best you can. But you can’t control everything. I want to, dammit, but you can’t. And that’s what keeps me awake. The things you absolutely can’t plan for.

I have to distract myself, think about other things like fluffy bunnies and kittens. And puppies. Because if I don’t, I’ll think too much about what I would do if I lost my baby. Or my husband. It could easily drive you crazy. If I lost them both at once, I think you’d have to cart me off to the looney bin. Seriously. I don’t think I could handle it.

So I have to force my mind to other things. Think about what I do have, And remember how fleeting life truly is. It makes all the little irritations just drift away. Because in the end? It’s all just small stuff.

I hug my little boy a little closer, remind myself to be kinder to my husband, and enjoy what we do have. And be extremely freaking grateful for it. Extremely.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
7 Responses
  1. jennster (9 comments.) says:

    i was freaking out about that too.. i have friends in san diego, and so of course i was like.. OMG, are they okay?!?! is it near them?!?! so scary and so so tragic. glad you’re alright….. hopefully people will come together and do whatever they can for that poor husband

    jennster’s last blog post..blogland giveaway round up!

  2. melanie (6 comments.) says:

    Wow – that is crazy news. I’m in Canada and haven’t been paying attention to even our local news lately so I didn’t hear about this. I can understand why you can’t get it off your mind though – this past summer we heard awful news about a multiple murder in a neighbourhood near by. I was glued to the news all day. Then it turns out that I knew one of the people killed (she was a tenant in their basement suite – the Father killed the whole family and her). The whole thing was/is just too surreal and I did the same thing: spent the next couple days squeezing my daughter to make me feel better.

    I feel so sad for the family that you mentioned. I don’t know how one gets over something like that.

  3. JMom (2 comments.) says:

    Wow, I can’t believe that was in your neighborhood! I have family and friends in SD too so I was curious when I heard about it. Luckily, they are all away from the accident.

    That is such a tragedy for the family involved. It kind of reminds all of us that nothing is certain and we should live each day to the fullest.

    JMom’s last blog post..The Spaghetti Video

  4. Shawna (2 comments.) says:

    This would be so traumatic with it happening just down the road. I cannot even imagine what the family must be going through.

    I do understand what you are feeling. We had a bizarre tragedy about five years or so ago very close to our home where people died, and we do not live in a busy, highly populated place like San Diego, so it was very rattling, to say the least. It certainly made me think about how fragile and fleeting life is, and how we are not in control at all.

    I pray the peace of God covers you and also all those involved in this terrible accident.

    Shawna’s last blog post..New Email

  5. becky says:

    @jennster – i really hope so. that poor man. and yeah, my parents always check to see if something was near us when they hear san diego in the news.

    @melanie – it’s hard to know what to do. i don’t want to be callous by turning away. but sometimes you have to for your own peace of mind.

    @jmom – absolutely. i’m hugging my family a lot closer this holiday. and glad we’re getting away to see grandparents.

    @shawna – i used to live in a very small town (<400 ppl), and i remember how things close to home rattle you even more because you tend to know your neighbors a lot better then. thank you.

  6. Jennifer (6 comments.) says:

    The first I heard about this, was the man’s response. He was so forgiving to the pilot. My heart just breaks for the man. He’s worked so hard for his life here.
    Must have truly been frightening to have this so close to your home.

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Obama Proofing The White House

  7. becky says:

    @jennifer – that poor man. it’s amazing that he was able to see through the devastation and realize the pilot tried to do what he could to avoid the houses. it was a bit frightening, but i wasn’t home at the time. i think it would have scared me a lot more had i heard it.