Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Still kind of numb

Friday night at the neighborhood party, hubs and I had a great time with our friends, Dave and Connie, who also happen  to be WE's girlfriend's parents.  Initially, WE had a fit that we were socializing with them, but finally we convinced him that we had lots more interesting things to talk about than him and his girlfriend.  Like I said, we had a really fun time and I'm doubly glad that we stayed out and socialized with them a little later than we usually stay out because on Sunday morning, Dave was killed in a car accident.  He'd been taking the hay off from the field next to our house and was taking a load to their farm when his truck collided with a semi.  I saw the ambulance go by before we left for church and said a little prayer for whoever it was coming for, but didn't realize it was for a friend until we got home from church and Connie came over to tell us what happened.  She needed us to get WE's girlfriend, who was taking a class in Green Bay and hadn't heard the news yet.  Someone needed to get her and her car home, because she was not going to be in any shape to drive.  I was so glad we could do something to help, because nothing makes you feel more helpless than a death.

To let you know what kind of a guy Dave was, here's a story.  We were at their house on Sunday night and they were looking for pictures for the memorial.  Somebody said, here's a 'hands on the van' picture!  Dave was a 30 year old bachelor dairy farmer when he met Connie, who was divorced with 3 little girls - her youngest was only 2.    Dave realized he was no longer a single guy and had a wife and 3 little girls to take care of, so he decided they needed a mini-van.  If you ever want to be rich, don't go into small family dairy farming, the money to up and buy a mini-van just isn't there.  Around that time, a local car dealership had a contest, whoever could keep their hand on a mini-van the longest would get a 2 year free lease on it.  Dave stood there with his hand on the van for 105 hours, then his ankles started swelling and he could no longer waste time touching a van because he was falling behind in his farm work, so he finally gave in.  He'd figured he could have beat the only contestant left besides him, but it just wasn't worth it for only a 2 year lease and would have been a different story if he could have won the stupid thing, besides, there was a farm to take care of and who knows how long the other guy was going to hang on.  Anyway, I thought that was an incredibly sweet story about a man who was willing to stand for 105 hours by a van to try to take care of his brand-new, instant family.  I'm sure he'd tell you today that it was worth every minute. Though they weren't his children by birth, those were his girls, especially WE's girlfriend, who is the youngest of the 3.  My heart just broke in a million pieces when I heard her sobbing in the backseat of my van and say "he was my daddy."  The world lost a great man.

All day Sunday, cars were driving real slow past our house and I was trying to figure out what was going on.  Finally, I realized that it was the neighbors checking Dave's fields to see if he got the hay off before he died or if they family would need some help.  It was already all taken off, Dave died at 8:30 am, when we got home from church before noon, there were about 3 tractors out in the field finishing up the haying.  All neighbors, pitching in to help.  Death doesn't matter in farming, the cows still need to be milked and the hay still needs to be taken up before it rains, and a farming community knows this and pitches in to help their own.  On the way home from church, before we even knew about Dave, WE and I were discussing living in a small town and how everyone knows everyone else's business.  Sometimes, that's not such a bad thing.  As soon as word got out about the troubles, our community was there to help.  Small town life does have its blessings.


Afton said...

Oh DD, I'm so, so sorry. I'm sitting here trying to think of what else I can say and there just isn't anything...so just know I'll be praying for all of you. Sending hugs.

Tanya T said...

I saw that accident report in the Appleton newspaper and when I saw what city he lived in, I had wondered if you knew him. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, my prayers go out to his wife and children! Too many tragic accidents are happening lately.