I haven’t been here at my blog lately. I live in Raleigh County….just a few miles from where the Upper Big Branch Mine exploded. I am grateful that I did not have family working there. But, I do have friends who work at that mine. I can not tell you how relieved that I was when I found out that my best friend’s husband and son had already left the mine when the explosion happened. My friend’s husband has been a coal miner for around 30 years. He has lost friends in mining accidents. Patty, my friend, lived a life of wondering every day if her husband would return home safely. You cannot imagine how upset she was when her son decided to go to work in the coal mines. He got a job in this very mine……Upper Big Branch Mine….with his Dad.
There are still 4 men unaccounted for in the mines. And, there are bodies that have not been identified. One of TPSkipper’s best friends growing up has a cousin that is still in there. His mother goes to church with me. I can’t begin to image what she is going thru awaiting word on her son. Is he alive or dead? The waiting for her is horrific. She wants so badly to believe that he is in there just waiting to be rescued. But, in truth, the odds are greatly stacked against that.
I know many lives that this has touched. I can remember when I was a really little girl, a mine exploded in Mt Hope WV. It was the Siltex mine. My brother-in-law was working at that time. My Dad loaded the whole family up in the car and raced to the mine site to find out if he was OK. Just a minute or so after we got there, he walked out and I still get chill bumps remembering seeing him. Unfortunately, there were several others that didn’t make it out. Many of them we knew and/or were friends with.
Coal miners are hard working people. They love their families and want to provide the best that they can for them. The stereotype of stupid, toothless coal miner is far from the truth. Most of these men are educated, caring, strong, and God-fearing men. They put their lives on the line everyday for their families.
Please spend a few minutes today in prayer for these miners and their families.