Sunday, November 14, 2010

In a blink of an eye, everything had changed for her..

A Dubuque man was killed when the dump truck he was driving overturned north of Graf on Wednesday night.

Timothy Eubanks, 43, of Dubuque, was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

According to the Dubuque County Sheriff's Department, at about 7:30 p.m., Eubanks failed to negotiate the turn from Potter Hill Road onto Graf Road, rolling the dump truck onto its side. He was thrown from the vehicle during the accident. The dump truck is owned by Ehrlich Excavating.

The investigation continues.

Yesterday's plan and weather were about the same as the day before. Weather was drizzling, temps in the 40s and the plan was to ride a Metric Century in the gravel.

I had about 20 miles left to go and rode past the sight again that was where a traffic fatality occurred last week.

There was a lady standing at the sight, looking into the ditch. Another lady was back about 50 feet and talking to someone on the cell phone pacing back and forth.

I ride by this spot all the time and have wondered what happened here last Wednesday night to cause such a devastating accident. I thought maybe these two were locals and could shed some light on this.

I rolled over to the lady staring into the ditch.

I said, "Hi."

There was no response, there was a feeling of awkwardness now.

I didn't know what to say, or didn't know if I should just leave.

So, small talk rolled out of my mouth next. "I wonder if the truck lost it's brakes?"

She shrugged her shoulders and said, "I don't know" and looked at me for the first time.

It was the saddest look I have ever seen on anyone. I knew it then, I knew it, I knew what was next.

She looked at me and said, "Tim was my husband"

I said, "oh my, I am so sorry, I can't imagine what you are going through."

Next, words just rolled out of her, she didn't know what happened, Tim drove thousands and thousands of miles and was always a safe driver. He had called her just before and told her he was on his last load, she had supper waiting for them. This was the first time she has been here, her kids didn't want her here.

She wanted someone to talk to, I would listen, my heart felt so heavy for her. She told me where they lived, where they worked, she asked me where was this Potter Road and Graf Road intersection?

I told her, "Right here, right where we are standing."

Several personal items from the truck were in the deepest part of the ditch, she said Tim always kept a messy truck, and smiled when she said it like it was an on going joke she had with him, she wanted to find his glasses, she pointed to a Fruit Pie laying in the ditch, said Tim loved his Fruit Pies, and she always packed an extra one for him.

She started to shiver, it was cold, damp, and now very heavy out. The lady that was on the cell phone came over and called her by name and asked her to come back to the car and get warmed up.

I looked at her and said I am going to go now, I reached out and hugged her, she said thank you and started to cry. She said she was doing better today.

I said to her, "You will get better little by little, piece by piece, day by day." I thought to myself I know this, the passing of my mama this year has taught me this.

They both went back to the car, and I went pedaling down the road. I felt so heavy laden for her. Soon I noticed my hands and feet felt like they were frozen. They were fine before. It was as if the blood had drained from my extremities.

I ignored the way my hands and feet felt, and pedaled the last 20 miles like a robot, numb, pedals going round and round.

I'll ride this way again today. I hope the best for her, and time would begin the healing process.

For me it made me think quite a bit about what really is important, and how much time is lost forever to what isn't

Thanks for stopping.



tainterturtles said...

Oh Dave, sometimes God just puts us in a certain place for a certain purpose. I think you know what I mean. Thank you for taking the time to speak with her....she will always remember that moment.

dawn marie giegerich said...

I agree with ttt. You were an angel in her life today.

Harry Legge's Cycling Blog said...

Listening and a hug...therapy for the soul, man.
Good job.
You lightened her load, by taking some of it on yourself.
You are a compassionate human being.

Dan O said...

Wow - heavy post today.

Too bad for the family involved. You seemed to help in some way - nice.

Bill G said...

You are 1 awesome guy Dave!

Steph said...

Great post! She wont forget you being there.