Strange? It may seem strange that my mother and I would have conversations about death from the time I was only six or seven. I say conversations, but mostly it was my mother talking and my listening. And my remembering even to this day.
She had two favorite sayings. “You don’t die ’til your time comes,” and “If you were born to be shot, you won’t die hanging.” To illustrate these philosophies, she told me two stories more than once.
A combat soldier who had been on the front lines in WWII, survived and came home to meet his death in his own house. He was going down the stairs to the basement to get wood for his wood stove, fell, and broke his neck.
A young sailor survived the terrible Coconut Grove fire but was very badly burned over much of his body. Thanks to penicillin, skin grafts and nearly a year in the hospital he was finally able to go back to Missouri with his wife, a nurse he had met in the hospital. A dozen or so years later, the Jeep he was driving on his farm overturned and caught fire, and he died in the fire. In the last few years when I was reading a book about Coconut Grove, this tragic story was documented.
Is it any wonder then that a recent news report caught my attention? “Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Killed in Dubai Car Crash” If you watched any of the footage of the Marathon Bombing, you might recall the scene of a man in a large cowboy hat who ran to a young girl (McGrath) lying in the street, made a tourniquet to stanch the flow of blood from severe shrapnel wounds and then, running, found a firefighter who carried her to medical help. At the time of the fatal car crash, McGrath, 23, was on vacation in Dubai with her college roommate. She had been scheduled to graduate from Northeastern this spring.
Dorothy C. Judd. (C)
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