When I sat down to dinner this evening, it was fully my intention to work on an assignment for my Principles of Emergency Management class, but my mind and logic had a disagreement with my heart and emotions and I ended up here, first with pencil, then with keyboard. My thoughts following a path so often traveled these days. A path that leads to the very reason I started my blog and my social media pages. I started thinking about Donny and how little time we had together overall. He was my brother, yet I feel like I never really got to know him. I miss a future that I will never know and I regret not being with him more in person, on social media, anywhere. I started thinking how terrible it is to have a loved one ripped away from you like a page torn violently from a book. The more I thought, the more overwhelmed I became, thinking about a young life extinguished, now but a memory that I must cling to forever.
Learning about his death through social media was gut-wrenching, confusing, infuriating, and panic filled. We should have known first. We should have been the ones to tell the world and not the world tell us that our brother, uncle, cousin, nephew, father, son was gone. I don’t blame the people who posted on social media. They were grieving and in shock, just like we would soon be. It took hours to notify us. It was afternoon before the word got to his family and his accident happened in early hours of that morning. While Donny having an emergency contact card with him during his accident that day would not have changed the outcome, it would have changed how I found out. It probably wouldn’t have, in his case, given a chance for last goodbyes, but it could have. At the very least, if the authorities had known whom to contact, then the family might have actually been the first to know.
Making an emergency contact card only takes a few minutes, but it could have a great effect on your life. If you do not own a computer or printer, ask a friend to print one for you or visit a local library. Having an emergency contact card is not a guarantee that the authorities will find the card. It is not a guarantee that you will get to speak to your loved ones before they are gone. An emergency contact card is not a guarantee of anything, but it is a small way to help turn an emergency in the direction that you want it to go, even if it doesn’t end the way you would wish. Help arm those helping you with the information they need to contact your family and allow your family a hopefully quicker knowledge of your emergency.
So please, if you haven’t already, print yourself and your family members an emergency contact card, laminate it, and make multiple copies to keep in your wallet, purse, car, everywhere. Life is so short already, but it is also unpredictable. You never know when an emergency will happen, yet when it does, you should be ready. Make sure that you include important information on your contact card, like your name and other basic information as well as the information of the people you want contacted in case of emergency, along with their phone numbers and their relationship to you. Also, don’t forget to add medical information such as allergies, long-term medications, or other conditions which may be vital for a doctor to be aware of. You can find an easy contact card template at https://geticecard.com/.
Stay safe during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and always. I will leave you for now with the poem I wrote for Donny which led me back to my blog tonight.
Unfinished – By Tiffany Donovan
A paper to be finished,
Blinking line on a white screen.
A song from the past,
Somber notes caressing air.
My mind is wandering
Down a familiar path.
A worn trail snaking into the depths
Where you’ll live for an eternity.
Our story shouldn’t have ended.
There were still more chapters to be read,
Laughs and love to share,
Adventures still to be had.
But the wings on your back are real now,
You are forever frozen in time.
A wish, a regret I can’t let go,
A life I never really knew.
I’ll keep your memory,
White-knuckled in my grasp.
Taking you where ever I go,
But our story will always be…unfinished…