Miracle at Sumner Avenue

It’s being called the “Miracle of Worthington Street”. Indeed. While having my delayed Thanksgiving dinner in South Hadley, my mentee called me to see if we were ok. An explosion- are you kidding me?!

I watched the news that night thinking about a similar incident that happened on November 16th- just a few weeks ago. You didn’t hear about it because (thank God) nothing exploded. But it got me thinking about how serious it was.

I was in the grocery store on November 16th buying food for Bruce’s birthday party. My phone rang- it was an auto call from Sumner Avenue Elementary where both of my daughters go to school. I hear the principal’s voice say that the school has been evacuated due to a potentially dangerous gas leak. The message further informed me that all of the 532 students had been safely evacuated to Trinity Church.

My phone began to blow up (no pun intended) with texts from other moms. The school was surrounded with fire trucks and police cars. Everyone was nervous and worried about how our kids were handling a serious evacuation. I received another call informing me that the gas leak was investigated and that the school was safe for re-entry. Students would be back in time for lunch.

I pulled into my street about ten minutes later and witnessed the most amazing exodus of kids. 532 kids were walking down Sumner Avenue from Trinity Church. Police cars were parked at every intersection making sure that each child crossed each street safely. I smiled at the glorious parade of safe and happy kids. I imagined that the staff at Trinity Church was worn out as were the teachers.

A short time later I received another robo-call informing me that all was ok and that everyone was back in school safely. I was so impressed with the incredible level of coordination displayed by everyone. I was so happy that our technology has advanced to the point where parents can be kept informed and as a result- chaos reduced.

Given the explosion that occurred on Friday night in Downtown, I am so grateful that those in charge of our children had the wisdom to evacuate the school. I am grateful to Pastor Mueller and everyone at Trinity Church for being such an intricate and important part of our community- in a way that either embodies or transcends the church’s mission- depending on how you look at it. Thank you to the Springfield police who were friendly ambassadors to our kids during their crazy three hour adventure.

Our family lived Downtown for a while on Mattoon Street. Our prayers go out to all of our friends who are living and doing business in Downtown and managing in the aftermath. Tim at Tyre Trak is the BEST and we are hoping he can re-open soon. We don’t trust anybody else with our cars!

We all got so lucky- again- and Springfield moves on and rebuilds- again.

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