Journal

Her Tuesday Column; Tragedy too close to home

Written by Leslie Means

Written By:  Leslie Means

Be thankful for every moment; it may be your last.

Last Wednesday, between 4:45-6 p.m., I was wrapping up my work day, ready to go home to new challenges. I shut down my computer and ventured outside for the usual routine.

I picked up my girls from day care by 5:25 p.m., then I was on the phone chatting business by 5:30 p.m. By 5:35 p.m. the girls were pitching tantrums.

We finally were in our home for another evening by 5:40 p.m.

My girls were being unusually whiny. Several time-outs followed. For a moment, I had to step outside to get away from it all.

Their tears were still flowing and their tempers still flaring when I got the call.

An old co-worker wanted to know if I had heard any details about the accident in Blue Hill; an accident in my hometown, only a few short miles from my childhood home.

My heart dropped.

Details were sketchy but we knew tragedy had occurred. As the news broke we came together, not at a local gathering, but through the power of social media. Friends and family from my hometown, fellow Nebraskans and even strangers from across the globe were online sharing prayers and holding hands, trying to understand how something so terrible could occur in such a small community.

But we couldn’t make sense of it; too many innocent lives gone. So many lives changed forever.

That night when I finally laid down my head, I couldn’t stop thinking about the accident. Growing up in a small town, you have connections to most everyone in the county. My mind kept racing to those kids on the bus route. It was my bus route so many years ago. I envisioned the area; I pictured the gravel road and the tall crops engulfing that road. I understand how it could happen, but I don’t know why it did.

I don’t know why, between 4:45-6 p.m. while I was dealing with the usual routine, while people were busy planning their evening, or making supper or disciplining rowdy children, four innocent people were taking their final breaths.

I don’t know why.

Instead of trying to make sense of the tragedy, I decided to breathe in life a bit deeper. When I woke on Thursday morning, I was thankful for my cranky kids. I was so grateful to give them another big hug and kiss their sweet bed heads. I couldn’t wait to sip my pumpkin spice coffee, put on my favorite fall boots and start my normal routine.

I was thankful to be alive and have one more day to tell my loved ones how much they mean to me.

My heart goes out to all the families affected by the tragic accident in Blue Hill.  I pray you find peace during these dark days. 

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feature image source

A Blue Hill 9/5/12 Memorial Fund has been set up at the South Central State Bank in Blue Hill NE. The money will be dispersed to the families who lost loved ones and those who where injured on 9/5/12 in the Blue Hill Semi/Bus accident. If you would like to donate money to the fund please send it to:

South Central State Bank
P.O. Box 157
Blue Hill NE 68930

  • Read a touching piece on the two men who pulled children out of the bus, here.
  • Watch a touching tribute video to the families and victims here.

I also wanted to share a few incredible photos taken from the accident site (and memorial service) I’ve found on the web.  I think it’s a tribute to the people of this state – strangers, coming together to pray for all those touched by this tragedy.

I was at my parent’s house yesterday.  A part of me wanted to go visit the crash site and grab my own photo – but I couldn’t do it.

image source (Omaha)

image source (Lincoln)

image source (journal star)

image source (journal star)

image source (journal star)

About the author

Leslie Means

Leslie is the co-founder and owner of Her View From Home.com. She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well.

She is married to a very patient man. Together they have two pretty fantastic little girls ages 8 and 6 and one little dude born March 2017!

When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

2 Comments

  • I’m crying as I write to say thank you for capturing the loss that occurred for families, friends, and communities last week in and around Blue Hill. It is a good reminder to be grateful everyday for the blessings we have been given and for those in our lives who we cherish. Everything can change in a moment of time. Hugs.