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2003-12-12 - 2:53 p.m.

I just read an article in memorium in the local VA paper for our neighbor who tragically died in a farm accident a few weeks ago. She is the wife of one of the lawyers I have done work for. I feel for him and his five children who tragically lost her as she stopped while grading the steep driveway to adjust the blade at the front of the tractor. It rolled over her and she died of major injurys the next day. SO horrible! And a reminder of just how dangerous the seemingly idyllic lifestyle in the country really is. The worst part of it- I think, is having the knowledge that her husband and she were having issues in their marriage. That had to make it just even more horrible for him-- I mean, if you are to lose your spouse, the nightmare would only be worse if it happens during a time of discontent. I pray his last words to her were loving ones in kindness and that at the time of her death they were at peace with each other. To top it off, I believe the source of their discontent was that he travelled to take a full time job, leaving his family back on the homestead! I think she either didn't want him to go, or wanted the whole family to be with him. He apparently chose to take the job on his own initially. There were local rumors that he actually had taken off and abandoned his family!! That is one horrible possibility- but considering the propensity of small town gossip, it is just as likely that the wife was seen crying and talking about how he was gone and distraught by that NOT because he abandoned them, but because she was so upset at not being together for the first time in twenty years of marriage! In any case, all those circumstances of him having been gone make it all the more tragic, as no matter what the REALITY really is- it must be exceptionally painful for him to have this as the outcome of his choices. I can only imagine that he thought he was doing what was best. I can also imagine him insisting that he would work elsewhere in order to preserve that desired lifestyle in the increasingly expensive Northern Va area. (In part because the cost of living where he was hired is RIDICULOUSLY MORE EXPENSIVE and I know you can't find houses there that have room for family like in VA!) He in fact had a conversation with me about a year ago asking how Westley and I found the arrangement we had of him working out of state for those same exact ideals of preserving our lifestyle in the small rural community. I was very positive in taking to him about our experiences. So this lawyer knew that even though it is hard, I assessed that it was totally worth it for us to have Westley work in a very good paying job on the West Coast even for the eight months he stayed in the job before he quit. Those eight months alone made a positive ecomomic impact. Perhaps the only difference is that I gave Westley my full support, and perhaps this lawyer's wife didn't. When I heard the rumors of abandonment I couldn't help but think like a lawyer that if it possible she REFUSED to move w/ the kids when he moved for a job, then she was the one who abandoned him! Legally a wife does have that duty when the husband is the breadwinner (or vice versa- if a wife is the supporter of the family and the only possibility of a job to maintatin their quality of life requires a move, he would have the legal obligation to move with her or SHE is the one with grounds of divorce for abandonment!) In any case, this lawyer I can just see the stubborness of the lawyer thinking the short term sacrifice is worth it for the long term. And now she is dead. Just tragic. Keep them in your prayers.

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