This is a very moving story that I stumbled on while searching for true stories. I wrote the author, wife and mother of the story for permission to run it here. She graciously accepted and told me about her site which looks out for children, and I’ve included that info below. Please take time to read this, and reflect on it, because it pounds home the reason for cherishing the ones we love, and telling them so, as often as possible.
A TRUE STORY — by Jody Lundie
It was Sunday morning back in November of 1985. My two sons, Jeremiah, six years old and Jacob just 18 months behind him at four years of age, played in front of the big glass window of our living room. As the sunshine warmed the room our thoughts were, “What a beautiful fall day.”
My husband, Bob, and I were busy cleaning the dishes off the table after just enjoying one of Bob’s favorite meals, red beans and rice
Suddenly sounds of excitement came from the living room. The boys had just watched a gopher go into one of our irrigation pipes, right outside the window. Jacob began yelling, “Pa, we just saw a gopher go into an irrigation pipe,” alerting him of what they had just witnessed.
Bob yelled back, “Come on boys, let’s get him” and out the door they ran calling our family dog to help.
I knew just what was going to happen and I it was not something I enjoyed watching, so I went back to work in the kitchen. Bob would walk the pipe up on end as the boys held one end to the ground. After getting the very long pipe parallel he would proceed to shake the gopher out the end of the pipe. The dog would then grab and kill the gopher.
Gophers are a nuisance to any farming operation and they seemed to frequent our little 40 acre organic garden operation so I knew it must be done. I think the “boys,” all three of them, viewed it somewhat as a game.
The next thing I knew, the door opened, the boys came running in yelling, “Call 911! Pa got electrocuted. He’s dead, he’s dead. Call 911.”
Now Bob was one who liked to joke and have fun. He always said that he was put on this earth to entertain. I figured this was a bad joke. I went to the door. There I saw Bob laying face down in the sandy driveway right under a power line. My heart started to beat fast. I did not want to believe this could be happening to me. However, by the way the boys were screaming, I was scared. I yelled, “Bob, you get up right now, you are scaring the boys!”
He did not move.
I then ran to his side. His body was still. I was so scared. I ran back inside and headed for the phone. My fingers could not dial the phone fast enough. When the voice on the other end answered I cried out, “I think my husband has electrocuted himself and I don’t know if he is dead or alive.”
As I hung up the phone, I knew it would take some time for the emergency vehicle to get to us. I needed someone to help me now. Stan Wagner, our neighbor was the first person who came to mind. I knew the Wagner’s telephone number by heart, as they were very good friends and neighbors. Mary, Stan’s wife, answered sharing with me that Stan was at work. I slammed down the phone. I knew I needed a man to help me now. I quickly dialed the home of another good friend, the Gottwalt home. When John Gottwalt came on the phone I screamed, “John help me, Bob just electrocuted himself.” I knew he would be there in a minute.
With all the thoughts racing through my mind I could not even stop to comfort the boys. There just was no time. I knew someone could not lie that still for a very long time.
I ran back to Bob’s side with the boys following me, screaming and crying at the same time. As I tried to turn him over the boys yelled, “Don’t touch him, you will die too.” Oh, my goodness, my little boys just knew their father was dead.
I seemed to know it too, when Bob’s stiff body made a thud as John and I together turned Bob onto his back. My body trembled as I brushed the sand from his face and closed his eyelids. For a moment there was sense of peace as I realized his soul was leaving his body. I paused for a minute and then panic set in. He was leaving me. All I could do was pound on his chest, screaming and crying, shouting at him to not leave me.
My life changed in just three short hours. At 12:00 noon on a beautiful fall day I was happily married to a wonderful man and father. At 3:00pm that same day I was a 29-year-old widow, not even knowing what the road ahead would be like.
Love and appreciate the people who mean the most to you for they can be taken from you in a minute. It can happen to you… as it did happen to me.
Copyright © 2006 Jody Lundie
Jody Lundie’s deeply inspiring story brings laughter and tears as she shares it with us following her several tragic loss. After several years of conducting sales training and seminars, Jody has been honored to be featured on stage with speakers like Ed Foreman, Charlie “TREMENDOUS” Jones, Les Brown and Nido Qubein. Recently Jody founded an awareness website to help parents make their homes safer and healthier for their families. Visit: www.KidsNeedUs.com