Before I tell about my big bother, I would like to explain some things. I take my school bus driving job very serious, even though Bob & I believe home schooling is a better choice for learning. It saddens me that our society has seen fit to remove God out of our lives, especially, the school system. As for me, I am doing my job for God’s glory and His alone. I believe He is the one who set me in my school bus seat, for what~ever reason. Maybe some day things will be right and God will not be excluded from our work and government. In the mean~time, I will honor Him, in all I do !!! In spite of my inadequacies and my frustrations with those who shun God.
To this day, I have no idea why, back in May of 2003, God let me see a sign, in Gladstone, about school bus drivers being needed. For many years, before that time, Bob had told me I would be a very good person for that kind-of job. Yah, right, me drive that big thing and being responsible for all those little lives. It did not seem it could be a good fit for me, BUT, it has been.
Every school day, I look forward to doing the pre~trip, on the bus I drive. It matters not the weather. Each school day, it is my hope I can be a positive influence to all my passengers. Every moment my passengers are on the bus, I want them to feel safe with my job skills. I wish the public, that passes me, could somehow know I love my job and I care about my passengers and that I really am not trying to impede on them from getting to their destinations !!! I make efforts to let the public know I am not trying to be a bully bus: I let a car in front of me, when safe. I try, very hard to check for cross~walkers. I try to be cautious, near bi-cyclers. I try to maneuver, my big rig, safely, especially when time crunches can be very frustrating.
I try to be alert to all around me. This past Thursday, I was driving my big rig, up a steep hill that has a lot of bushes along the side. Imagine my angst when I saw the feet of a ladder coming towards my passenger door. It was a first for me. I finally saw the utility man at the other end of the ladder. He had no clue what he had almost done. As I proceeded, I checked my left mirror. I could tell the worker across the road had informed the ladder man what he had almost caused to happen.
So where am I going with this ? Well:
S ~T ~O ~ P: means STOP !!! Yep, this is my big bother. I need to lecture. I need to get this out of my system~~~I am sooo frustrated !!! I cannot tell you how many times my stop sign has been out and cars will creep through or inch forward or cars plum do not stop. The usual phrase we have heard is:” I didn’t see the bus”. Oh, give me a br~eak !!!
If you are being a responsible driver; you are going to try and be aware of your surroundings: an emergency or police vehicle, construction, cameras. Perhaps, you are approaching a school bus, or are behind it, I am going to share why it is important to be an alert driver and to be more aware if you are near a bus.
Us bus drivers have student lights that we activate 150′-300′ from a bus stop. You may be wondering what the student lights are ? At the top, front and back of the bus, there are yellow lights, that flash back and forth. Those yellow lights are to warn you that I am preparing to stop my bus and let passengers on or out. I am thankful that our district has made most stops door side. When I push the button to open the door, it activates my stop sign and the upper lights change to red, flashing back and forth, front and back.
So, PL~EASE, when a bus stop sign is out, stop you rig or by~cycle. I have enough to do watching my passengers and keeping them safe. Thank you !!!
Here is an example of the importance, of the public, to pay attention to bus actions: First, I have given each stop a name and the passengers know when I call it out, they are to be ready. It is well known that Mrs. K does not like ANYTHING left on the bus !!!
A mom was jogging to get to the bus stop. She was door side. As we approached stop “7~8” I asked the kindy if she had seen where her mom was. She assured me she had seen her mom. As per usual, I had to ask the kindy not to stand up until bus was stopped, secured and the door was open ~which makes the stop sign go out. She was quick to get out to her mom. I looked to the back of bus to see why the other passenger had not gotten out yet. I looked outside to check the other kindy. Just then she bolted across the front of the bus !!! My heart skipped !!! The other mother had seen and had her hands over her mouth. I had looked at the cars, they remained stopped. I swallowed hard. When the kindy got to the sidewalk, she realized she had mistaken someone else for her mom. Mom looked at me and quickly, frantically crossed the road.
If anything ever happened to any of my passengers, I would blame myself !!!
There is also a new happening that has me quite bothered: It should be well known that school buses are required to stop before railroad tracks. I look out my left window to the count of 3 . I look out the opened passenger door to the 3 count. I repeat. When it is time to proceed, over the tracks, I check for by~cyclists or any rig that may be trying to get in front of me. Lately, while I am trying to get over the tracks, I have had cars and by~cyclists come around my right and left to get in front of me. Ugh !!! How fr~ustrating !!! Really ? How safe is that procedure ??? Just an FYI: Us school bus drivers are, also, on tight schedules !!!
So how does this have anything to do with my grief ? Well, everyday I am hauling passengers, each life has been placed in my care. I want to do due diligence for their safety. I want folks to know how serious I take my job and how deeply I care.
I took my job, as Shawn’s mom, very serious. I tried to do what was right, for him. Someday, I hope for peace, regarding Shawn’s last days. I hope that he wasn’t in torment when I had to explain that dialysis would be stopped first, the feedings would then be stopped and the life saving machines would be slowed down and we would wait. I pray that when I had to tell Shawn all those details that he wasn’t angry with me. I pray that my hovering during his last days, while I was begging God to let my son live, that I didn’t make Shawn’s last moments worse.
So, yep, being responsible for other peoples children is something I do not take lightly.