Time Heals All Wounds

As I was driving to a meeting it donned on me that I was driving through the intersection where my mom and sister were killed.  As this intersection is absolutely no-where near anywhere I ever go, in fact it’s hours away from where I now live, I don’t think I’ve driven through it since my Dad took me there.

I remember the visit to the spot years ago, it was probably a few weeks after the accident happened.  It’s a rural intersection.  There are cattle fences, trees, a swampy pond, and farmer’s fields as far as the eye can see.  The spot where I’m told my families car ended up is still swampy and treed.  When I went back shortly after the accident, trees were down, the fence was broken and I remember collecting my sisters hand-wrapped spools of thread that littered the grown that had been sitting in the swamp for a few weeks (she always made friendship bracelets and was likely making one at the time of the accident).

They say time heals all wounds.  And, looking at that spot, it appears completely healed as nature has regrown. The only difference between my visit nearly 20 years ago this visit is that fence has been repaired and the trees have re-grown.  20 years later no-one would ever know that my mom took her last breath in that spot, and my brother and sister were cut from the wreckage and rushed to the hospital.

Yet, reality of life just isn’t quiet the same.  If you look at me, if we saw each other in passing, on the outside I too appear healed.  I was not in the accident so I have no visible scars to carry with me.  I am now just another young mother who works full-time and loves her family.  Heck, perfect strangers probably think I’m decently put together most days. I am no longer the teenage who’s family died in that car accident.  I no-longer walk around feeling like that’s the first thing people think when I walk in a room.  I’m just another person living in a big city, my personal history is no longer plastered to my forehead.

Yet, I know, my heart and my soul aren’t quiet as healed as my outward appearance portrays.  And, honestly, I know I’ll never be fully healed, the day they died my life as I knew it died.  Yes, life goes on and I’ve continued to live, but my heart will always know two very important people are missing.

.

It’s been almost 20 years.  How in the world has it been 20 years since I felt a hug from my mom and laughed with my sister?  20 years.

How can it be only 20 years, when it feels like just yesterday?  How can it be that my son has never and will never know his grandmother or his aunt?  I don’t think I’ll ever stop asking these questions.

It’s true what they say about grief, it’s not linear, it ebbs and flows with time.  Today is clearly an ebb in the road.

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30 Comments on “Time Heals All Wounds

  1. I’m sorry you found yourself at that random place in the road, and that it hit you with so many memories and emotions. Hope you are hanging in there and working through things. Sending you lots of love!!! *hugs*

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  2. Yes, a loss like that would be life-changing, and I know from your posts here that its effects still reverberate in your life, 20 years later.

    What a tragedy. I’m so sorry.

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  3. This post made me so sad. I’m really sorry you lost your mother and sister in such a tragic way. Those are the kind of things you can never take back, bounce back from. I can only imagine how much it hurts. I can only send hugs and wish that you have more good days than bad days, when it comes to memories.

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  4. I am so sorry for the trauma and loss you went through as such a young girl. Grief is a forever changing thing. Sending you love.

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  5. Wow. As someone going through grief I couldn’t agree more! It ebbs and flows. I keep saying it comes in waves. A similar thought. Praying for you. Thanks for writing such vulnerable thoughts!

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  6. Grief really does ebb and flow and it’s always so unsettling when it hits you. Hoping today is better. Big hug hon. ❤

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  7. I always think of families who have lost loved ones at particular intersections (marked by a small cross or my own memories of a bad accident resulting in death) and wonder, “how do they drive past here after what happened? It looks like nothing happened here but it did.”. It makes me sad that you are one of those people who sees and remembers something at an intersection that most people do not. I can’t even begin to imagine what that was like for you. I do want you to know that people who were there back then, who saw that traffic accident at that swampy intersection and then heard the result of it on the news or from others… I promise you they still think of your mom and sister 20 years later when they drive by. Nature healed the landscape, but it hasn’t healed many strangers’ memories of your family. ❤️ They’re loved and thought of by many.

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