Friday, August 1, 2008

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, I was 108 8 months pregnant with Natalie. I was hot, uncomfortable, and cranky, and in no mood to cook supper. We ordered Chinese take-out, and I took Sammy with me to pick up our food. When we stepped out the restaurant's front door, there was a group of people gathered on the sidewalk, talking in shocked, hushed voices about a bridge collapse. When I got back to my car, I flipped on the radio to the news station, and waited to hear which bridge had collapsed, thinking maybe California had had another earthquake or some such thing.

I was shocked to hear it was the 35W bridge. The bridge that I'd crossed twice every day since 2001, on my way to and from work. The bridge that, just the previous week, I had crossed with my then-19-month-old in the car, on the way to the zoo.

Later, I was to learn that a pregnant woman and her 22-month-old daughter died in the collapse. I couldn't help but imagine myself in her situation. How panicked I would be as I tried to save myself and my children, and how difficult it would be to get into the backseat and unbuckle Sammy's carseat in time.

I've always been afraid of bridges, especially those that go over water. I thought it was an irrational fear, but was proved wrong by the events of one year ago today.

Last Saturday, I took the kids to Fort Snelling, and returned home on 35E. The next day I learned that, a mere hour after we passed under this particular bridge on our way home, a 6-foot-by-9-foot chunk of concrete fell off of it onto a passing car. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt in that incident.

I am getting a bit paranoid to leave my house these days.


Colleen said...

I am so glad you weren't on that bridge one year ago. I agree, too, about the fear. I have never before been afraid of bridges, but that collapse affected me as well. We leave for New York this afternoon, and I will be crossing my fingers, toes, and saying prayers on every bridge I bet!

Mommy Vern said...

I can't believe that was a year ago already. So sad. I know it must have changed the way you think about things. This was a very good reflection, thanks for sharing.