On Saturday, December 7th 1996 my husband woke up, excited about the snow that had fallen the night before. He had just bought his new snowmobile, and had been working on it all week with the anticipation of riding all weekend. He had wanted to start riding the previous night but as he worked for the power company he was needed to work to fix damage caused by the storm. He came home around 4:00 am on the 7th and went right to bed. But he was so excited about riding he only slept 3 or 4 hours. By mid-morning he was ready to go. I could not join him that day as I am an EMT on the town ambulance squad and was on call that day. So we made plans that we would go together the following day. He left with a smile on his face. We said our 'I Love You's' and he rode off.
That afternoon it started to snow again. I don't think anyone realized just how bad this storm would be. It was a wet, heavy snow and by dusk tree's were falling everywhere and the accidents started happening. We transported a man having a heart attack that afternoon and on our way back we heard some sobering news on the radio. The next town over had just had a fatality.
When we got back to the station the Emergency Management Team was starting to assemble. When we were told that we would be staying the night at the station I immediately wanted to get in touch with David to let him know where I would be. You see, he was always worried about me. So I started making a round of phone calls at homes of friends that I thought he might stop at. Was I surprised when I actually found him!!! I was just planning on leaving messages. He sounded so happy!!! He was always a reserved person so when he was in a really good mood or happy it really made an impact. He and one of his friends were just out having a good time. I told him where I'd be and he joked around with me saying he was having such a good time he probably wouldn't be home all night either. I said, well, just be careful. He said he would. We said our I love you's again and promised again to ride together the next day.
Two hours later we had an ambulance call. It was for a snowmobile accident on the road David's brother lived on. Someone had hit a fallen tree. I said to one of the attendants, "God, I hope it's not David." Two seconds later the Chief of Police tried to get me out of the ambulance before it left. It was David. I refused to get out of the ambulance and the other attendant in the back with me supported my decision. We left.
We started to get equipment ready on the way, assuming that we would have a head or neck injury. This terrified me. David was a very active person and if something would have happened to inhibit his activities I know he would not have let himself live.
We got to the scene and we all immediately ran to David. He was barely conscious. He looked at me for just a split second. All I heard him say was, "I can't breathe," and then he lost consciousness. I later found out he had been calling for me and I feel he was fighting to stay alive until I got there.
Then David stopped breathing. We started breathing for him and got him in the ambulance as fast as we could. We called ahead for an advanced life-support unit to meet us en-route. By the time we hooked him up to the heart monitor he had no pulse. We then started CPR. The whole time we worked we were talking to him, trying to get him to fight, to start breathing again. The roads were treacherous, at best. They had to radio ahead to have the road cleared for us to get through. I'll never forget one spot on our way up. We only saw the big pine trees crossing the road and no way through. But the police waved us through this one small area and we barreled through it blindly, not knowing what was on the other side. Thank God it was clear. To this day I still have a hard time driving by that spot.
Our normal transport time is 20 minutes with clear roads and little traffic. We made it to the hospital in 18 minutes.
By this time I was so afraid that I couldn't talk. They put him in the Critical Care room and started doing everything they could to save him. I had to walk out of the room. I needed to get myself together.
During the time that they worked on him I was in and out of the room. It was a very emotional scene. Then, once the ER staff found out he was my husband, it became emotional times ten thousand. Everyone fought so hard to save him.
By now David's Mom arrived at the hospital with Kevin, David's brother. The Doctor then came to us and explained what David's injuries were. He had a collapsed right lung and an artery in his left shoulder was ruptured. He was bleeding to death and there wasn't anything they could do to save him.
When we went into the room, they were still doing CPR. Everyone knew that if someone was going to tell them to stop it would be me. David's Mom took one look at him and started to cry. I told them to stop.
After David died we were allowed to take as much time as we needed to say good-bye to him. When at last it was my turn, I kissed him and said, "You bastard." I never felt so alone in my life. David was my knight-in-shining-armour. He was my hero, my best friend. The sun for me literaly rose and set on this man. He gave me the world. Then he took it with him. I love him so much and we had a great marriage. You know, the kind most people can only dream of having. Now all I have are memories.
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anniversary date 12-07-96
date of post 04-20-97