I never would have thought that I would be happy to have cut a conversation short with a member of my family until last night.
I had been up in Circle Pines visiting my dad, who was helping me sell my old car. After we finished at the DMV, we returned to his house and chatted about wedding plans, life, and whatever else found its way into our thoughts. Dad and I were discussing my new car and how my plates weren't in yet when I decided to leave. He had asked me to find the number to the dealership so he could call (always a papa to me), but I told him not to worry, and that I'd call on my way home. Anyways, Jay was making dinner - to be served at 6:00 pm. It was 5:11. I never thought I'd remember each time that I looked at the clock last night....
I jumped in my new Cruck, headed home. 35W is the straight shot to our place and it was no surprise that the evening traffic was thick. From NordEast to my exit, it was stop n go. I got on the 35W bridge and changed the radio station. It was 5:56. I remember thinking to myself what discomfort I felt with all of the construction that had been going on. I was home not long after that for Jay and my first date night in months. Since it had been so long, we commenced "Operation: NO PHONES" the minute I walked in.
Date Night was amazing, as is any date with Jay. Lost in our own little world, we were oblivious to the fact that the 35W bridge collapsed. Around 10:30, we turned on our phones and readied for bed, only to find more than a dozen voicemails, pages, and text messages. As we listened to message after message of "Call me", one finally mentioned a bridge collapse. We turned on the news only to find out that, not 10 minutes after I crossed, the 35W bridge collapsed, injuring and killing numerous people. I called my dad right away, unable to imagine the thoughts that were going through his head - me having just left his house, driving over that bridge, and not responding to a single call or message for more than 5 hours. Jay and I stayed up for an hour calling our family members letting them know we were okay.
Today, I've felt almost detached....absolutely blessed that I left my dad's house when I did - cutting that conversation just 5 or 10 minutes shorter more than likely gave me a whole new future.... I feel like the luckiest person. My heart and prayers go out to those still lost in the aftermath, and to those families who still haven't gotten a call to say their loved ones are alright. I can only hope that more people are found alive soon.