I think my heart literally stopped the other day.
Only for a moment.
But ... yeah ...
Around 3pm Wednesday, I went out to the car for my afternoon 'fresh air break'.
I'm sitting there, listening to my favourite country station, staring out the window, mentally shutting down for a few minutes, when I heard ...
"Hi, I'm calling from XXXX X XXXXX, and I wanted to let you know about an accident ..."
Suddenly my brain snapped to attention, I sat up a little straighter in my seat, that was Alec's school.
Then she continued with, 'A train has hit a car in XXX and ...'
And to be honest with you, that was all I heard.
Kind of like last summer, when Adam came home from a friend's place, with a towel wrapped around his hand, and I didn't hear anything else the dad said after 'impaled'.
The announcer repeated what she'd said.
A train had hit a vehicle.
In my neighbourhood.
On the same tracks we cross multiple times a day.
And here ...
I went back in the building, with the intention of checking in with the kids, and just as I reached my desk, I got a text message from Alec.
"going to be late'
I picked up the phone and called him.
They were still at school. The buses hadn't arrived yet due to the traffic jam caused by the accident.
I can only assume that the passenger train was blocking the crossing further down, and one of the main arteries of the community.
And cross these tracks.
I believe I asked him if anyone he was with, knew who had been hit.
It's a small community. Everyone knows someone who knows everyone.
He said 'No' but that they heard it was a BUS that the train hit.
Wow. A bus.
That definitely wouldn't be good.
When I hung up with Alec, I looked at the clock.
It was after 3pm.
Adam has usually reached the sitter's and called me by then.
I called the sitter's.
I looked at the clock.
He should be there.
That was the point I officially let 'that thought' cross my mind, and stopped breathing ... for just a sec.
I looked at my co-worker sitting across the pod.
I'm guessing I must have been sporting my best 'HOLY SHIT!' expression, because she immediately said, 'Kim, call the school. If it was a bus, they'll know.'
Smart co-workers! Thanks C!
After scrambling for a phone book, I get through to the school and they confirmed it was a car, not a bus that had been hit by the train.
My breathing officially returned to normal.
I was sad to hear that someone had been hit at all, but was relieved it wasn't any of the kids on their way home from school.
By the time I got home, the accident had been cleared, and the details were hitting the news.
A passenger train on it's way to Montreal, hit the back end of the car at one of the private crossings. A 60yr old resident of the area for 20+ years, who crossed those tracks every day.
I didn't understand that. I still don't.
But the possibilities have certainly been running through my head.
And I may never get it.
Other than to feel bad for losing a member of our community, who was a regular fixture at our Community Centre down the street, where the boys and I spend much of our summer.
And I feel bad for the way it happened. So tragic.
Just not the chain of events you expect, for an otherwise normal Wednesday afternoon.
I suspect people will be taking that extra precaution of looking ... and looking again before heading across those tracks, now.
At least for a little while.
Drive safe, People!