May always brings about a variety of difficult emotions for me. Two years ago I wrote a series about the loss of my beautiful Jenny. Last year I wrote this piece and just couldn’t bring myself to hit publish. I am hoping that a year of distance from the bitter sweet and unexpected turn in our “story” has allowed for more time and healing.
Nine times out of ten when we speak of “the crash,” we talk about Jenny. The loss of her life that fateful night has always (and rightfully) overshadowed the other “minor” losses that occurred. Rarely do we speak of the stolen innocence of the other ones who were in the cars, the other young lives that were forever changed that night.
First, the loss of innocence that a young man experienced by holding his sweetheart while she died helplessly in his arms. The taste of her blood on lips that he had just earlier kissed, slightly sweetened with ice cream and now without breath. The begging, pleading, and desperate cries that were not answered. The memories of being unable to protect her that still spin like a carnival ride of blue and red flashing lights in his head. Stealing the innocence that was rightfully his at age 20.
|Thanks Bobby for the picture &
allowing me to share this little bit about your night
The loss of security that two beautiful young girls, both only 4 years old, experienced as their caregiver’s car smashed into the darkness like a run away train. Their bodies thrown around like rag dolls in a washer until they came tumbling out the doors. Broken and damaged in ways that are still unimaginable to this mother’s heart. Their childhoods forever altered and impacted by losses they probably still don’t know.
Why this? Why Now?
Recently, an article from our college newsletter surfaced. The letter was written by the daughter of the woman who killed our Jenny. It was painful to read about her loss, not only from the crash but also the loss of having her mother in jail. I have always wondered what came of this young girl who’s life had oddly intertwined with mine.
She would never remember it, but I had once been the daycare worker in her classroom. Giving her hugs, laying down her nap mat, pushing her swing. I remember when we were told her name, I knew exactly how her blond hair fell against her face. I remember feeling so brokenhearted for her. Now, all these years later, to read her words, her sorrows, her loss has been quite healing.
It is a painfully beautiful thought that this child who was tossed and tumbled in that car, is now walking the same hallowed grounds as we all once did. Lounging on the same grass, smiling and waving to her friends. Maybe she even sits by the same fountains making plans for her future. I hope that she is making life long friends that accept her for who she is and not what her mother did. As a child of an alcoholic, I admire her for standing by her mom, despite my own anger (and hatred) towards the woman who killed our Jenny and permanently stole the parts (and hearts) of so many others lives.
It can’t be easy to forgive and still love because she was in that car too. She was injured and broken. She was just a toddler. She was the same age as my Little Lu is today. She experienced a loss that we will never understand. I believe there is a lesson to be learned in her healing and her pain. So, just as she prays for us, I will pray for her.
I pray that she would be so fortunate, so unbelievably lucky, to make a friend as amazing and wonderful as Jenny. A friend that shows unconditional love and kindness. A friend that is loved by many and whose smile has the ability to make any moment better. A friend, that even after she has been gone for 17 years, can still makes her heart dance. Only the luckiest people have friend a like Jenny and I was so very very lucky. I pray that she will be just as lucky as us.
|Stole this from my friend Missy today.
It was just the perfect fit.
The Hallowed Grounds of Flagler College