Like smoke before wind

It had been dark for several hours before I first noticed anything unusual.  Our home is a block off 15th Avenue, a busy four-lane arterial.  The non-stop traffic for the last couple hours on our usually quiet neighborhood street meant only one thing; 15th had been closed by the police.

I walked to the corner and there saw the residue of the traffic accident.  Three cars, the middle car cut beyond recognition to extract the driver and passenger.  The severity of damage indicated speed of the kind one would only expect on the interstate.  I looked upon the wreckage, stunned.  Even with steel door beams, multiple air bags and front and rear crumple zones designed to absorb the energy of a collision while preserving the passenger area, could anyone in an impact that severe escape serious injury?

Most of the emergency vehicles were long since gone, the flashing lights on the remaining police and accident investigation vehicles on their lowest setting, while the survey crew documented the scene.  A few hours before, had I been where I now stood, the street before me would have been chaos.  The middle car was shoved under the truck in front of it.  It was on fire.  The driver of the truck had his fire extinguisher aimed at the burning car.  A guy from the sandwich shop ran to perform CPR on one of the drivers.  Fire trucks, aid cars, sirens, lights. 

But the street before me now was silent.

Today, five days after, the news came quietly:

Sub Pop exec dies in wake of 15th Ave. crash”

October 25th, 2010 by Geeky Swedes

The horrible car accident at
15th Ave NW and NW 75th St. Thursday night has become a fatality. We have confirmed that Andy Kotowicz, one of the drivers involved in the crash, passed away early Sunday morning. Police say a Ford Fusion rear-ended the Subaru and pushed it underneath a truck. Kotowicz had to be extricated by firefighters. His four-year-old daughter, who was in the back seat, was rescued by a Good Samaritan. According to Susan Gregg-Hanson at Harborview Medical Center, she was treated and released the day after the crash.

Kyla Fairchild of No Depression was a friend of Andy’s. “He was a super guy,” she tells us. She says he was working at his dream job. Andy had been the Vice President of Sales and Director of Marketing at Sub Pop, where he worked for the last decade. Fairchild tells us that he recently moved back to Ballard with his wife and daughter.

“Andy was one of those people who oozed wisdom, warmth and kindness. He had a twinkle in his eye, a great sense of humor and every time we talked he had a fantastic new band to turn me on to.” Fairchild writes in a tribute to her friend. “He loved music as much or more than anyone I’ve met in (or out) of the music industry over the years. This is a reminder how quickly life can change and how important it is to tell the people around you how much they mean to you as often as you can. You never know when it will be the last time.”

It bears repeating: This is a reminder how quickly life can change and how important it is to tell the people around you how much they mean to you as often as you can. You never know when it will be the last time.

If you care, tell them.  Leave them with no doubt that they are important to you.  Do not save it for a special moment, a future date.  Not just your husband or wife, not only your children, but those with whom you share this life, those who you enjoy being with, those who have influenced you, those who you would emulate, who have shown you kindness, who cause you to brighten when they appear, whose company you keep, whose presence makes your day a bit more pleasant, who bring flavor to life, those you know you can call upon when you need someone.

Don’t tell yourself there will be plenty of time later. 

Let no one you care for get away without knowing it.

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10 Responses to Like smoke before wind

  1. Jim, I am thrilled that you sent your link to me and honored that you thought to. Thank you dear friend… and in the spirit that says it all… Namaste’.
    Love, C

  2. Wow!
    This is so powerful.
    I don’t even know what to say.
    I appreciate, too, Cheryl Hugs C” <3

    I am the type of person that loves, and cares more then I even need to. I find that I get abused for being so liberal with it, more times then not. I endure a lot of pain for being truthful, and honest as well, even though thats who I really am.

    This piece has helped me to see no matter what, that even if people act like they are not feeling you, they really are. You can make an impact in the lives of others, just being a strong loving person whether they let you know or not. I must keep being who I am. I must not change me for anyone, because there is a reason for me being on this earth. If being loving and caring is what I have to offer people , even if one person is impacted. if one person ecknowledge that I made them feel like they were loved, I would be so please to die with that. I must stay true to being me.

    Love is not easy for all, and maybe, even down right intimidaing for others to give, or except, but people do absorb your love in sercret. People may never share the love they feel, even never validate it's presence. To me it is very inportant to stay true to for myself. Loving hard is not a diease, it a gift! No love will really ever go to waste.

    I can invision myself, walking to a park, where my whole family is gethered together having fun. We laugh, talk, pray, sing, and I just blurt out loud, I really love all ya'll, so much! Everyone pause for a second, sits quietly staring with know feelings expressed, even in light of what they just heard. No Resopnse at all! After a few minutes passed, they turn to one another and proceeded in what they were doing. They acted like they never heard a word I said. I am left hanging with my emotions on the ground, feeling ashamed that I took that risk to say, I love you openly like that.

    But later at the end of the day, a stranger walks up to me and say, Hi!
    You don't know me, but I heard what you said, back there to your family. I saw how you were dismissed. I just wanted you to know, your words weren't wasted. My heart begin to beat fast, listening to him. I lost my mother last year and it's still pretty fresh with me. I've been feeling like, I would never be loved again the way she loved me. My family is just like yours, do not respect me, nor do they cherrish me. When you said that to your faimly, I knew how you felt, and the cost you paid. You reminded me that, thats the way momma was too, freely loving everyone at her own expense. often I stepped up to defend her honor and got a taste of what she had to endure. I absorbed your love as, if from. In memory of my dead momma, you opened my eyes to see that her spirit lives in me.

    You have given me hope again. Majority of people may not feel lead to love you back, but all it takes is for one person to over hear you spreading love, and claim it for themselves. As much love as you have for your family, when they dissed you, someones else over heard you and took claim of your flowing love. You took a risk saying that to your famliy, and I admire you. Don't ever change. You have restore the memory of my momma in to my life. How you showed, love for your family was brave. Believe me, someone is nearby, and close enough to catch your love to claim it for themselves. Love will never be spill on hollowed grounds. Love almost always have a desteny to travel on.

    The girl and the fellow became best friends for two years. One day she got a call saying her friend died in his sleep. She went to the hispital crying and sad. She ask the nurse if she could see her friend. When she saw him, she smiled, held her hands to her heart, because her friend had a big smile on his face. It was, as if he dies happy, unike he was, when she first saw him missing his mother. Then she said to her self, my love was never waisted.

  3. Joy Eballar says:

    So sad. This happened here in Seattle, where I live and work and I didn’t even know about it. That is sad too. I am sharing this story with the people I care about in all walks of life. Thank you so much.

  4. pearl llee says:

    this really hits home someone I really cared for pasted away about one year ago and this just reminds me that the people in your life will not be here forever we must all tell them how much they mean to us because we just never know when they will not be there anymore thanks for sharing this I hope enough people read this and truly understand the meaning of having people in their lives and how blessed they are to have them

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