too little, too late
I’m not sure how to even start this.
Last year, right around this time, I was going through a pretty rough phase in my life. I went through a difficult breakup and moved out on my own with very little stuff and even less cash. I was strapped in every conceivable way. It was one of the worst times of my life.
Shortly after the move, I was driving around 465 on rush hour near the Michigan Rd exit when my right front tire blew out. I pulled over to the side of the road– I didn’t have a cell phone, I didn’t have cash for a tow truck, and I sure as hell didn’t have the strength to change a tire on my own. I panicked and (yeah, I know) started crying.
As I’m sitting in my car freaking out, an unmarked cop car pulls up behind me and two people get out. One was a uniformed State Trooper; the other, a kid with a close-cropped head and a suit. The State Trooper offers to help change the tire, which turned in to a 45 minute ordeal because of my oh-so-lovely car. The kid introduces himself as a recruit for the state Police Academy, and neither of them would accept my help (or my money). They stick on my spare tire, tell me to be careful and not to speed, and they go on their way.
I remember writing the Indiana State Police to get the addresses of these two guys, in order to send them a thank you note, but I never got around to sending the note.
And now I’m crying again, because the State Trooper that helped me that night, Lt. Gary Dudley, died yesterday when a truck hit the group he was riding with for a charity fundraiser.
Thank you, Lt. Dudley.