Today, a young woman called the house. She had been a witness, she said, and she had talked to my dad while waiting for the emergency team. She wanted to know if she could stop by, and talk to us for a bit.
It turns out this young woman was on the scene scant moments after the accident happened. She crawled in through the passenger side window and sat there with my dad over the next hour, talking to him and comforting him, waiting first for the emergency team to arrive, and then waiting while they worked on extracting him from the vehicle so they could airlift him to the hospital.
We are truly and eternally grateful to this woman.
Not everyone would have stopped at an accident scene. Of those who would, not all would have climbed in through a window to comfort someone. And she didn't just stop at this unusual act of kindness, but she stayed with him until he was taken to the hospital.
And even that, was not enough for this extraordinary woman.
When she found out the following day that this man she had sat with had not survived, she was devastated. And she determined that she would find this man's family.
She did find us, and she was kind enough to share with us the details of the hour she spent with my dad. She was able to answer a great many of our questions, and as difficult as it was for us to hear her recount her story, she most certainly provided us with a tremendous peace of mind. It clearly was not an easy task for her to relate this tragic event, but she felt it was something she had to do. And we're so very glad that she did.
Before this.... I'd like to think that if I'd come upon an accident, I would have acted as nobly as this woman did. But I'm fairly certain that I would have balked at the mere thought of the difficult task of tracking down the family and talking to them about the tragic event.
Now, I'll have to reconsider.
The kindness this woman exhibited is absolutely indescribable. We tried to express our thanks, but we feel like our efforts were woefully inadequate. This woman will forever be in our thoughts and prayers. She didn't bring my dad back.... No one can do that. The pain of losing him is beyond belief, and nearly unbearable. But, somehow, we feel just a little bit better after having heard her story.
And now, I need a cup of tea.