I am praying for the safety and survival of the miners in West Virginia. And that the families will be able to persevere regardless of outcome.
I worked today and then went shopping (a new suit, yeah!) and when I got home I saw this story on CNN. I reflected on my youth in Chicago and when I would hear a story like this I would wonder how anyone could be a miner or a miner's wife...
Then my husband and I moved to New Mexico and he lost the job that was the reason for our move. He ended up getting a very high paying job - as a coal miner! So I went from being a suburban professional young woman to being a New Mexico Coal Miner's wife within the matter of a few months. I was 25 years old and in the midst of my disease. Let me tell you, being a housewife in a small town in New Mexico is just the thing for an alcoholic.
We moved around... in fact, we lived in West Virginia for a while. But today, watching this story unfold on television, I had a memory so powerful it took my breath away. I really haven't thought about this for years.
One day, about 22 or 23 years ago, I got a call from the ER at the hospital in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. They told me my husband was there. For some reason (denial?) it didn't even occur to me that there could have been a horrible accident, I just thought he got hurt at work. I drove to the hospital in a pretty sanguine mood. When I got there, it all changed.
When I walked into the ER and saw the doctors and nurses scurrying around - all of them covered with coal dust - I knew something was very very wrong. An old woman walked up to me and asked me "are you one of the miner's wives?" Oh my God.
There was a "bounce" in the mine. That is when the floor of the mine comes up suddenly - it can be minor or very major. This one was fairly major. There were no fatalities, but there were several men injured very severely. My husband had some injuries - a sprained ankle, and a rotator cuff tear, I think.
My sponsee called just as I was having this profound memory. I told her about it and we laughed about how many different "lives" I have had. I told her that I am worried that when I am an old lady, they will think I am making shit up. She said not to worry - they think that now! ha.
Anyway, here is an electronic prayer for the miners, their families, their friends, their company, and their town. God please be with them all.