Saturday, September 20, 2008

Train one eleven: one week later

This is a continuation of my thoughts about the Metrolink train crash on September 12, 2008. I'm using this blog to sort out my feelings because I really don't like talking about that day.

When you are called on to deal with things beyond your control it's important to have a few things:
  • Supporting family
  • Good friends
  • A sense of humor
I've spent the last week dealing with a lot of different emotions and today, as I boarded the Metrolink for LA, I felt I wasn't doing it alone. All week people told me how lucky I was to have not been on train 111. What I've decided is fate kept me off that train and my real luck is to have all three of the necessities above.

My husband was beyond patient with me even after I forgot and burned the kettle dry on the stove. Plastic may be a miracle product but that handle produced some wicked smoke.

The mood at the Simi Metrolink Station was quiet this morning. The remnants of the impromptu memorials, still there, caused a few tears and the ride did not have it's usual Friday joviality. When we passed the accident spot it seemed as if we were going slower than normal and well we should, that's now hallowed ground and there was no talking as we drove into the Chatsworth Station just beyond.

My court date was the lightest we'd ever had and we were released by 11:00 am. This meant I'd be waiting two hours to get the 109 train. I chose to go shopping for my husbands birthday and used my time wisely. Since I've not taken that early of a train before I couldn't say if it were the normal amount of travelers with only a handful getting off in Simi. Not like the 111, the next train, where maybe forty or so disembark there.

The conductor, someone I recognized, was understandably not her cheerful self. She always jokes with people she knows and says hi to everyone else as she makes her way through the cars. Friday she seemed to be as somber as expected for only a week after the accident. The day of the wreck she was on the 113 with me but not working, just heading home and was put off the train in Northridge with the rest of us. Today, as she walked passed me, she nodded and wished me a good weekend. I asked her how she was doing. "Better, she said, but it's been a long week." You could hear the sadness in her voice; see the anguish in her eyes. Then, with a half smile she said, "See you later."

With time, you get better about talking of such things but I still won't talk about it in public. This is a small, big town and I'd hate to have someone, having lost a loved one, over hear how lucky I was to have missed the 111 train.

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