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Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Fucking newspaper clipping

Yesterday I shared my memory of my brother’s death.

I never thought about writing about what actually happened to Johnny that day. But for the people who don’t know the story, I figured it wouldn’t be fair to leave you hanging.

I have this bin in the garage that is filled with old photos and scrapbooks that I keep digging through to help me remember the stories I post. I month or so ago I found the newspaper clipping from Johnny’s death.

I read it part way through and stopped. Then I took a picture of it with my phone and sent it to my nephew, Johnny’s son. That’s another part of the story I didn’t get to tell yet. When Johnny died, LeeAnn was pregnant with their son. Jacob never got to meet his father.

Jacob and I traded messages and I was happy to hear how good life is for him. I gave him something of his father’s years ago, and we will always be connected because of that. I put the newspaper clipping back in with the other memories and didn’t think more of it.

Until today.

When thinking about how to tell this part of the story, I thought about my memories of that day. Looking through my photos in my phone, I found the picture I took of the newspaper clipping. This time I read the entire thing.

And started crying.

I never fully grasped what happened that day. We all talked about it and shared our feelings about it, and somehow I changed the story slightly. I always thought my brother put his hand on that door to save the man who was inside. That’s the picture I have in my head when I think of that day.

But that’s not what happened. At least according to the reporter. He didn’t need to touch that door. No one was inside for him to save. So why did he walk back to the truck and touch that door?

I want to go back in time so I can stand there and scream at him to STOP. Just stop. Please Johnny don’t go back to that truck.

But I can’t do that so I’m left with questions. What was he thinking? Did he think he needed to get something from the truck? He was smart, so why didn’t he know the truck was electrified?

Why, why, why??

These are questions that I will never get the answer to. Now the picture I have in my head is of him walking back to that truck.

So we are left hanging.

10 Comments

  1. Perhaps with adrenaline rushing through him, he wasn’t thinking things through. Even the smartest of people, can have temporary distractions that can be life altering or in your dear brother’s case, life ending. Maybe he went to retrieve something to help his coworker, radio someone, or perhaps he was going to follow behind the ambulance to the hospital? Did anyone ever reach out to Ted Freeman or Ron Fox? Did Dupont live? Someone obviously witness what happened so perhaps if you can’t let it go you could try to look them up (and I would be one who would probably still want answers, even though it has been so many years.) A tragedy like that is probably still fresh in their minds.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2017-08-25 at 12:15

      I have thought of that Mary, about the adrenaline rush. I don’t think any of us reached out to the other people. I know Mr. Dupont lived, but I’m sure he is long gone now. Funny though, that was my first thought when I read the newspaper clipping yesterday.

      • Linda Sayers Penna

        2017-08-25 at 12:26

        If you find out further information through the findings of Ted Freeman or Ron Fox I would love to hear their side of this also. It would be so nice to find out what exactly happened that day. I didn’t realize it involved a Coworker. I always thought it was someone he saw wreck and he went out to help them get out of that truck. This has really got me wondering what all really took place that day now.

        • Loretta Sayers
          Loretta Sayers

          2017-08-25 at 12:28

          The newspaper has it right. He was working and it was just a freak accident. We will probably never know any more than that…

          • Linda Sayers Penna

            2017-08-25 at 12:42

            I know what you mean about never really knowing. But it would be nice just to hear from someone who was actually there.

  2. Linda Sayers Penna

    2017-08-25 at 12:18

    That’s how I remember hearing about him also. Now I to sit hear wondering why. Why Uncle John did you go back to that truck???

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2017-08-25 at 12:19

      You heard the story that he was opening the truck door to help the driver?

      • Linda Sayers Penna

        2017-08-25 at 12:37

        Yes, but like I said I thought it was a accident he saw and he ran over to help someone get out of that truck. This is really a shock to me to find out it is actually wrote in the paper as a totally different story. Mama even says the same thing we remember . I didn’t tell her what I remember I asked her what she remembers. I would really like to know more on Johnny.

  3. So, my friend, you never learned why your conversation with him was so short on the phone with you the day he returned your call after your birthday trip??

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2017-08-25 at 13:16

      No, Sarah I didn’t. It’s all so strange to think about sometimes. Like why did I have that bad feeling? Why the short call? Too many why’s…

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