Michael, my brother, found out first from his mother-in-law. There was an “agricultural accident” on one of the roads near her house and the farmer was so bad he was being airlifted from the field. Michael knew we have some fields on that road, which is a particularly hilly area, and knew dad was out spraying. Before calling mom, he drove out there to make sure it wasn’t dad. Thankfully, it wasn’t.
Nonetheless, when dad got home, mom immediately gave him a big hug, an earlier disagreement forgotten.
After dinner, when we expected the emergency personnel were likely gone, we drove out there to see if it was one of the farmers we knew. It wasn’t. We found the field though.
It was eerie.
It was a hay field. The hay was cut and laying in neat rows. They had been in the process of baling it. The tractors all sat right where they were when the accident happened. Halfway down the rows of hay. It wasn’t hard to imagine that they dropped everything as soon as they realized something bad had happened. Baling the hay suddenly didn’t matter any more. We could almost sense the panic as they got out of the cabs and ran to the other side of the field.
We don’t exactly know what happened. It’s possible we never will. It doesn’t really matter though.
The accident is a reminder of how quickly and unexpectedly something dangerous could happen, on the farm or off. At any time. To any one of us. It might not just be a cut on the arm, a broken finger, or a hurt knee. It could be something much, much worse.
It was a reminder not to leave the house angry at one another. Say goodbye. Say I love you. Stop and take a minute. Because you never know what is going to happen.
Our thoughts and prayers are going out to that farmer, his family, and all the guys that were working in that field.