Don't blink. (For all that is holy, do not blink...)

It’s easy to be complacent.

We get stuck in our routines, our world of familiarity and we get comfortable.  And then, well, you know what happens.


Our world gets rocked.

I thought of my brother yesterday when I was running errands and had the sudden urge to talk to him.  I called, but he didn’t pick up. We speak when we can- probably not as often as we should.  He lives an hour away from me, and works several hours from his home.  His job working on the natural gas wells (in this booming and controversial industry) keeps him from home for weeks at a time.  We all know it’s difficult to reach him and will often wait for him to reach out to us.

He returned my call later in the morning, and I was happy to see his name on my phone.   We exchanged some quick pleasantries, and then he rocked my world.  “I’m home because there was an accident at work last night.  A bad one.”

I pulled my car into a parking lot, found a spot and waited for more.  “Oh my God, what happened?”

“We were working on one of the pads, and there was an explosion; a big one.  I was probably the closest one to the blast, but thank God it went the other direction.  I’m okay.  I was blown back and I’m sore and everything, but really I’m okay.  A couple other guys are in the hospital – but no one was killed.”

Killed?  KILLED????  “Oh my God.  OH MY GOD!!”

“We did what we needed to do, filled out all the proper paperwork and statements, and they sent us all home for a couple days.  The other guys are in the hospital- but they’re going to be okay.  But you know what?  It DOES happen in the blink of an eye. It was SO quick.  There’s no time to think or react.  It really shook me up.  You know it takes a LOT to rattle me.  This really, really rattled me. It showed me how quickly it can be over. We heard a pop, someone said, 'What was that?' and BOOM!' There was no time to react- NO TIME!”  

We spent the next several minutes going back and forth about the fragility of life, talked about when “it’s your time” and then just reminded each other about the love we share. Before we ended he said, "Sometimes it's easy to be complacent about things, you know?  This reminded all of us about how dangerous this job really is." 

“Now listen,” I replied, “Don’t you go and get yourself killed!  Be careful every single minute! If you die, I promise I will hunt you down wherever you are and kill you AGAIN!”

He laughed out loud, “Gee, sis, that’s the nicest thing you’ve said to me in a long time.” 

I spent the rest of the day feeling surprisingly nauseous, stunned and incredibly, incredibly blessed.


Sarah said...

Yep. It's all so fragile. Every so often we are reminded. Glad he's OK.

Kristi said...

So glad he and his co-workers are going to be OK. Such a chilling reminder! I talk to my brother's about once a week as we live in separate parts of the country, but I think I'll call them both again today to tell them I love them! XOXO

Japolina said...

Omg. I'm so glad that he's okay. Xo

Anonymous said...

Um...were you driving when you answered your phone? Please tell me you have bluetooth or that you were not driving. Seems ironic that you tell your brother to be careful and then you answered your phone while driving (that's if you did). Please be careful Vodka! I am glad to hear your brother is okay and no one was killed in the accident but please take your own advise.

Vodka Mom said...

Yes, Bluetooth!!!

Gigi said...

When we lived in Texas we were smack dab in the middle of the oil & gas industry and those explosions - while not frequent - were terrifying. So glad your brother is okay.

Sharon K said...

Oh Vodka, My 23 year old son is also working in that industry and I worry about him often ( what parent does not worry about their child ? ). How can your little brother be old enough for a job? Last I remember he was around 9 or 10. The years do fly. So glad he is OK!

Dawna (Stitches from the Tub) said...

Definitely don't blink. We almost lost my brother a week after his 48th birthday last year due to a stroke. It truly puts what is important front & center in your life. No matter how behind I am, I will put him first if he needs anything. So glad your brother is safe.