Sunday, October 16, 2011

There's An Angel Racing In Heaven Tonight

My hands are typing, but I’m not entirely sure where the words are coming from.     

Today, in what was the last race of the season, Indianapolis 500 winner and 2005 IndyCar Series Champion Dan Wheldon lost his life in a truly horrific crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

He was only 33.  33.  

His lovely wife must now move forward without the love of her life and his two darling baby boys will never fully know how extraordinary their father was.

Though the Cowboys began playing on the other channel, Mom, Dad, and I sat transfixed to the race, waiting, praying, and hoping.  We never changed the channel…we didn’t care about the game; it’s amazing how insignificant a win or a loss can become.

When the announcement came, so did the tears as flashbacks of the darkest day in NASCAR came rushing back.  It’s hard to understand why such a wonderful man with a smile that could light up the universe was taken from this world. Don’t we need people like Dan in this day and time? When you think about it, doesn’t it sometimes seem like the worst of the worst of mankind just cruise through life, while those who bring joy leave us far too soon?  It’s so unfair.

If you try to find reason in this, you’ll go crazy.  There is no reason. There is nothing to understand and, maybe, in the grand scheme of things, we’re not supposed to.  

On this night, after such a tragedy, maybe all we can do is tell the ones we love how much they mean to us, give them a hug, and send as many thoughts and prayers as we can to those who have lost loved ones.  

My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Wheldon family. I firmly believe Dan will be with his wife, holding her hand, watching over his little boys forever.  He’s their guardian angel now.  When faced with the darkest of times, if they look very carefully, they just might see a twinkle in the distance—that will be Dan’s smile, lighting the way, letting his loved ones know he’s there and everything will be okay.

Dan Wheldon, a tremendous driver and a genuinely kind human being, will be missed terribly and never, ever forgotten.  God Bless. 

Wheldon Family after the Indianapolis 500, 2011, credit: Nick Laham, Getty Images

Dan Wheldon, credit: Nick Laham, Getty Images


  1. A horrible, horrible crash. I knew when I saw it somebody was going to be hurt bad. To hear that Wheldon died...had to choke back tears.

    I don't even really follow IndyCar racing.

    And I too remember that dark day in February...R.I.P. Dan and Dale Sr.

  2. I thought of you immediately while I was sitting down to dinner and drinks, talking and enjoying a fun evening with Kat from Kat O'Nine Tales...and I cut her off when I caught a glimpse of the screen behind her with the news. We both watched, hand over our mouths and gasping "oh no" as they showed the clip of the tragic accident. Neither of us watch or follow racing but both of us realized the magnitude of what we'd just seen. I am so sorry sweetie that something so awful struck your beloved sport of course for his family. I'm thinking of you.

  3. Like you mentioned, I always think about the families when things like this happen. They now have to go through life without that person. No matter what we accomplish, life is fragile, we need to appreciate and respect it.

  4. Sad to lose a life so young and leave those kids without their father.

    But seriously, isn't that what NASCAR's all about? Dangerous, lightning speed driving, and the possibility of horrendous crashes?

  5. I thought of you immediately when I heard this. You were on my mind while I was in Panama City too. The hotel we were staying in held a meet and greet with Dale Ernhardt (totally bashing his name, I'm sorry) and I was going to stand in line and get an autograph and send it to you! But by the time I found out about it, it was already over. What happened yeterday was a horrible, horrible thing. Like you, I often wonder why the "good guys" are taken while the "bad" guys linger on. Chalk it up to some things just are, just happen. No explanation. Always trying to find the good in a bad situation helps me cope with this as well.

  6. chocolateangel: I'm just stunned. The wreck was horrific. It's such a tragedy.

    Jewels: :( It's just not something you expect, you know? You watch these races and in the back of your mind you know it's dangerous, you know what can happen, but somehow there's a disconnect. I'm more of a NASCAR girl, but I did follow IndyCar racing and loved Dan--he was so full of life and a genuinely nice guy. It's not fair.

    Jay: Well said. In a split second everything can change. It's so difficult.

    Alittlesprite: It's terribly sad. :(

    Eva: IndyCar, NASCAR, and racing in general--it's all dangerous. The risk is always there, but somehow you never really think about never expect to see it. It's hard to explain, really.

    Yvonne: Finding good in a bad situation is all you can do. Maybe what happened to Dan will help to make IndyCar racing safer or maybe they will rethink oval racing...

    Aww, you are so sweet! Thank you for trying to meet and greet with Dale! The idea that you would even think of me is just so very kind! *Big Hugs to you*

  7. Sad, especially for his wife and kids. :(

  8. Carole: Absolutely devastated for them. :(