This past weekend the world of racing lost an amazing IndyCar driver, Dan Wheldon. I live within a few miles of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and this news hit me pretty hard. IndyCar racing is kind of a big deal in the city of Indianapolis. To some, it’s life.
What specifically hit my heart the hardest is not that the great sport of racing lost one of their best men, but that 2 little boys, only 2 years old and 8 months old, lost their daddy. That a beautiful woman lost her 33 year old husband.
Dan Wheldon was a young husband and a father, and he had a very dangerous profession.
Growing up, my father too had a very dangerous job. Maybe not as risky (or ahem, as lucrative) as a professional race car drivers, but a job none the less that could have seriously hurt him or even killed him on a daily basis. A job he knowingly risked his life for every day, so that he could feed the four little mouths waiting for him back home.
Looking back at the stress my dads job put my mother through, and hearing about tragic events like Dan Wheldon passing away, makes my heart ache for all the women who send their husbands out to do dangerous jobs.
And I’m left to wonder, how does becoming a parent change the way we take risks?
Did becoming a dad change the way Dan Wheldon (or anyone with a dangerous job, for that matter) view his occupation? Did he ever consider hanging it up, because the physical risks were just too great? Or did becoming a dad fuel his passion for the sport even more? Did he try harder, race faster, because he had a family?
I don’t know. I’m not him, and I’m not his wife. I’m just a sad fan.
Could I be married to a race car driver or a man with an extreme occupation? Probably not. But then again, sometimes you don’t get to chose who you fall in love with. And oftentimes you don’t get to chose the job you have.
I know, it’s complicated.
So to all the husbands and daddy’s out there with dangerous jobs? Promise me you will be extra careful today. Your wives and children love and need you to come back home.
IMAGE CREDIT: INDYSTAR.COM