and then on September 12th
a little after 4 yesterday, Andy came home and opened the computer. there it was on my twitter feed: a woman had climbed up on the St Johns Bridge and was threatening to jump. it would take first responders almost 6 hours to talk her down. earlier, we had watched a long line of unmarked police cars speed past our house, vaguely wondering what was going on. the police shut down the bridge to all traffic just in time for rush hour, which sent another long line of diverted cars in front of our house. a man driving on the highway under the bridge stopped his car to see what all the commotion was. when he tried to get back on the road, his car crashed into on-coming traffic. that accident closed the highway too.
as soon as Andy read out the situation in twitter speak, i started to pray. first aloud, then more quietly all through the evening. i prayed for the woman, for the workers out talking to her, for her mama, for her community. i prayed for Tonia, thinking that maybe her husband would have a hard time getting home. i prayed for the guy in the car accident. i prayed all evening. and i listened and watched for ambulances.
then after dinner and a sleepy, warm evening it was time to read The Door in the Wall with the children and finally go to bed. after i had been in bed for a stretch, i remembered that i had forgotten. i had forgotten the promised call home to my dad, on his birthday no less. and i hadn’t checked in for an update. the woman–at least as far as i knew–was going to be up on that bridge all night. but there was a measure of peace in that. no matter the outcome, serious healing would still be needed.
before first light this morning, i got up and made zucchini-banana bread–because it’s that time of year. then i opened the computer to see what i could see. the woman on the bridge was safe; the man in the car was in serious condition. and i prayed again for us all and wondered at how strangely we are all connected to each other, how we bear each others’ burdens.
We were talking about that strange irony/alchemy this morning too…to stop and watch and then find yourself in the hospital. I didn’t hear the story until this morning. Mark WAS late home, but not seriously, and he arrived in time for another Family Dinner. How lovely to think of you thinking of me, and even more lovely to think of you praying. Returning the favor as I go about the day here.
glad M didn’t miss dinner! tonight as i was making dinner, i was listening to Greg Boyle and thinking more about the strange ways that community breaks into our lives. it’s a good listen:
the stories that bridge could tell…and you told this one…with a happy ending.
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