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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Plane Crashes-More Than Just Numbers

All the news outlets are reporting the Comair plane crash in Lexington, Kentucky, this morning. It's not really looking good as far as survivors go.

This is so reminiscent for me of the American Eagle crash of October 31, 1994, in Roselawn, Indiana. You might remember this crash. It got a lot of publicity. It was a similar kind of plane that went down in Lexington....commuter. The plane was circling, waiting to land in Chicago and ice got on the wings, taking it down, killing all 64 people aboard.

One of the people aboard the plane was my cousin, Mandy. Mandy was one of the flight attendants, having just completed her training, the illfated flight was her first unsupervised. She had just graduated from college in the spring of 1994. She was a beautiful, intelligent young woman who had her whole life ahead of her. She was also an only child.

It's a weird way to lose somebody. I remember the night the accident happened thinking they were going to find her. She was going to turn up on another plane somewhere and we would all rejoice and laugh how we thought she was dead, but, now she was alive. It didn't happen that way. It was so weird to have the scene on the television, them talking about how they hadn't recovered victims...knowing that our Mandy was out there in a field somewhere. It was a nightmare.

We see stuff like plane crashes and they'll tell us how many died, but, they're just numbers to most of us. Each number represents hundreds of family members, close friends, co-workers....my heart hurts for all of these families.

I often wonder what Mandy would be doing now. She'd be 35 years old...she had studied broadcast journalism in school, but, had a childhood dream of being an airline attendant that she had to get out of her system first. She was such a natural beauty, television would've loved her. I'm sure whatever she had ended up doing, she'd have been extremely succesful at. She had a diva-like quality to her...a hard headedness....yeah...she'd have done well at whatever she chose.

Twelve years later and she's still wildly missed.


izumi7 said...

It must be difficult to share your story during this time. I want to thank you for sharing it. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

J. said...

Thank you for making us think beyond the numbers. Mandy was beautiful.

John H said...

I like what J. said above. Each one of us is so much more than a number, whether here in the US or anywhere in the world. We get callous from all the numbers because it is so hard to go 'beyond the numbers'. It's tough to do that, but so important.


Granny Pam said...

I flew on those comuter jets and other aircraft over and over, sometimes weekly, for about 7 years. I always felt happy to land. I'm sorry to hear your story.

Anonymous said...

There but for the grace of God....

I feel with you for the emotions this news brings.

And that is a great way to look at all catastrophies. The numbers do begin to just numb us to the reality if we let them.

The oldest daughter worked in one of those puddle jumpers with ASA, another Delta affliate, for about 9 months back in 97-98. We were scared to death all the time. And the pay wasn't what I thought it ought to be either, even for just a glorified waitress (that is what some passengers think of them, though they are trained in so much more). Thank goodness she finally got tired of it and went to MTSU and got that degree in computer science or programming or whatever it was....


Sharon said...

Thank you for such a touching tribute to my Mandi. She would love that you thought she was "diva-like!" It is hard for me when any plane goes down, but especially one of the little ones like hers. It brings it all back and it seems like only yesterday. Thank you again for remembering her and sharing it.

sista said...

HA! She was not only diva -like she was an out and out princess and would've been the first one to say so, wouldn't she? She was hilarious. She'd have ended up marrying a Donald Trump or something I bet.

Jane said...

Thanks for writing about Mandi. I felt the same emotions when I heard about the flight in Kentucky crashing. I watched Mandi grow up as the only child of Sharon (one of my dearest friends), and Mandi would have done anything she wanted to do. She had that special glow about her that you saw immediately. Diva is a great description for her, and yes I think she might have married a Prince of some sort and fit in with royalty. Or she would be taking over for Katie Couric on the Today Show about now. The sky was the limit, and that was what made it even more difficult to accept. I guess that God needed a special Angel, and he chose Mandi that fateful Halloween night.

Sharon said...

And some of you smart alecs are saying "How come you didn't know how to spell your own cousin's name?" Because she changed the spelling on her own when she got older, right, Sharon? Old habits are hard to break.

What was that line from Steel Magnolias that Annelle said about Shelby....she will always be young and always be beautiful....that's kinda how Mandi/Mandy is.

And as for Mandi's mother, I was named after her, incase you're getting confused. We have two of just about every name on that side of the family. For real.

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