People have asked me many times who was to blame for the accident. It was an accident. The weather that night was rain changing into snow. No one expected ice because the weather had been so unseasonably warm that year.
We were about a mile out of Kingman, Kansas, where the road narrows into two lanes again after being a divided highway since Wichita. In that one mile of two lane highway there is a valley. In that valley there was black ice. There was a pickup coming from the other way who slid on that ice, directly into our path.
It was an accident.
I’ll never forget hearing that man wail in the E. R. that night. The chaplain had just told me, “Now that your families know, and your church family knows, I need to tell you…..your son and husband did not survive the accident and we do not expect your daughter to live through the night.” I was stunned into silence. Eyes wide with fear and disbelief, I laid there in silence. So I heard the chaplain go behind the curtain and tell the man on the other side of it. I don’t remember the words, but I remember the reaction. It is burned forever in my memory.
He wailed in grief.
It forever connected me with that man. Two people. Forever changed. By an accident.