What Can You Do?

Last night, I managed a fun event for a group of out-of-town corporate guests.  Near the end of the evening, one of our attendees received very tragic news that her sister and brother-in-law — who lived in Denver, Colorado, as she does — had perished in a car accident earlier that night.  She was devastated, and it was all we could do to calm her down.  I tried my best to get her a flight home last night but, by that time, all the flights out of Portland to Denver had already departed.  We got her back to the hotel as quickly as possible; thankfully, a co-worker of hers chose to accompany her.  I had the hotel deliver to her room hot tea and a light snack, hoping that it would usher her to a sense of calm.  A little note accompanied it, stating: “Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.”

Most of the other guests were unaware of the incident, and gleefully went about enjoying the evening’s festivities until time came for them to all return to the hotel.  For those few who were aware, an overwhelming feeling of helplessness remained.  Although we all collectively believed that we did all that we could do to respond to the situation, a few of us wished we could’ve done more.

Right now, that young lady is boarding her plane to head home.  She undoubtedly had a restless sleep, and probably was on autopilot this morning as she prepared to depart the hotel.  I’m certain a million different thoughts are racing through her mind right now, and the flight home will be just as restless.  I truly hope that she will be alright.

And although she and her family are anonymous faces to you, please keep them in your prayers as they try to move forward.

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3 Responses to “What Can You Do?”


  1. 1 curlywurlygurly October 16, 2008 at 6:29 am

    that is so horrible…i can’t imagine. it brings to mind something that happened on tuesday night this week.

    i was at my local library, a tiny little place, and a group of women (my age) were standing around chatting. i was browsing nearby. one woman’s cell rang…she picked it up and was chatting happily with (i presume) her husband. suddenly, her voice took on a panicky tone and she said, “what happened to my mother?!? tell me. tell me what happened.” and it went on like this for agonizing seconds. my heart was racing and i felt panic fo her.

    i can only guess the news wasn’t good because she became hysterical because he wouldn’t tell her what was wrong. it was awful. on my way home i called my mom just to check on her.

    the landscape of a life can change in a second…with just one phone call.

  2. 2 jonsquared October 16, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    @ gurly – i always wonder if i’ll be able to keep my composure if i’m ever placed in that position, and then i decided that i don’t ever want to be placed in that position. hope everything was fine with that lady’s mother…

  3. 3 DAVE ID October 16, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    I don’t pray, but it is so sad for her.


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