Just Musing: School bus accident brings back memories of tragic time

Most schools are back in session now. I’ve enjoyed seeing proud parents share pictures of their child or children all dressed up and excited for their first day of school. Unfortunately, for parents in Northwestern in Clark County, that first day turned into a nightmare as one of their buses was hit head on by an oncoming car, went off the road and turned on its side, injuring more than 20 students with one being a fatal.

I understand the children were elementary age students. I just cannot fathom the call those parents received that day after putting their precious child on the bus. My thoughts and prayers to all families in the school district.

I know from personal experience about unsettling phone calls, regardless of the age of your child. I was home alone when I received a call from Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana, that my daughter had been brought in by squad for what might have been a stroke. They were seeking permission to treat her and asked if I would be coming to the hospital. We lived 4 hours away. I gave them permission to do whatever they needed to do until we arrived. I called my husband’s work and asked them to send him home immediately due to the emergency, called a couple of friends to help with the younger children and packed a bag for a couple of days.

When we arrived at the hospital, they had her on life support and still running various tests to determine why she had become unconscious at work. She was 20. It was a brain aneurysm in the subcutaneous layer of the brain and inoperable — at least at that time (1981). I don’t know if they can do surgery on that specific brain injury now. She passed away 2 days later.

Anyway, back to my original thoughts, one has to see those huge yellow school buses on the road. Many of the back roads are narrower than state highways. If you see a bus coming your way, please slow down a bit and give them plenty of room to stay on the roadway. The accident in Clark County happened on a state highway similar to routes 4, 95, 98, 423, 47, 203, 739 and 309 in Marion County.

I have several friends who have also lost a child whether from accident, illness or freak incidents. I believe I speak for all of us when I say this is not the time to make negative remarks on social media as I saw this past weekend. You never know what stands in your path tomorrow or yet today. Let’s show a little compassion for those grieving or dealing with an injured child — even if the injury is not life-threatening. Sorry for the sermon but we need to get back to thinking of others and not being so judgmental.

On another thought, I understand COVID is rearing its ugly head again with a new variant. Hopefully, everyone always follows good hygiene habits but, if not, time to get back on the bandwagon. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer, clean door knobs and kitchen counters frequently. Masks have not been mandatory but that can be your choice to wear or not. I wore mine on my flight to DC last week and was one of maybe a dozen on a plane of 100 passengers or more.

Let me leave you with this quotation by Marianne Williamson: “You must master a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.”

Until next week, be safe, watch out for those big yellow school buses and be kind.

Brenda Donegan is a former Marion Star staffer. She may be reached at bdonegan55@gmail.com.

This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: Ohio school bus accident brings back memories of a tragic phone call