I think all dangerous work forms a bond among the people doing it and the families that love them. You bond over the worry. You work hard and play hard and very often with each other around to enjoy the ride. You get to know who is hurting and who is happy. You celebrate the birth of a child and mourn when someone has a family member pass away. You raise your children together. Some friendships are closer than others. Yet everyone still has this bond deeper than friendship. Even when you seem on opposite sides of the world in views when it comes down to it every one around steps up to help you through the rough spots.
This past week has been one of the roughest of our lives. A horrible tunnel accident took the life of one of the men. To say that these men and all of us who stand behind them were sent into a tailspin would be an understatement. BUT I also saw miracles. Little differences were put aside to help a family stricken. Men stepped up to work 12 hour shifts so that those on the swing shift could mourn. Women came together to help me supply meals to the family. I saw men from out of state mourn with us and honor our fallen brother. I saw an amazing depth of love and support for each other and for the family who needed us all the most.
The thing few realize about tunneling is that it is often a career for these men. They love the work. They also know that it is one of the most risky in the world. This particular job has been considered one of the most complex in the country. Yet they do it with a smile and a bawdy joke. These tunnels are always to improve the lives of the community around them. Some, like ours, are to bring water, some to help traffic, some for flooding. They quietly and without ever expecting a thank you serve a community that has a need and they do it by risking their lives. They often come home bruised and tired but push through and do it another day. So please if you have a tunnel project in your neck of the woods give a prayer of thanks and one for the safety of the men and women doing the job. Some lose their lives for this.