This past weekend, I spend a good amount of time in the car – wearing tread on Interstate 71. I notice when I’m in the car by myself, I reflect a lot. The radio is on, but after about 15 minutes I don’t really hear it anymore. I get lost in my own thoughts.
Sometimes on these trips, I’m haunted by a car accident from that very stretch of highway. When the thoughts occur, instead of pushing them aside, I usually sink in to the memories.
The particular memory I was recalling was being at Meg’s house with Mom and Dad the day after the accident. I was telling her about the accident. I remember feeling very withdrawn. I recounted the story with very little emotion.
As I was telling her the series of events, tears were streaming down her face. I don’t know if she was crying because of what happened or because she was worried about me. The thing that struck me about this memory was that it was completely new to me. Don’t get me wrong, I remember being there and telling her about it— but the visual of her standing there with tears silently streaming down her face was so new.
You’d think that being in the car on 71 would most often trigger these thoughts, but that isn’t the case. Sometimes I think about it in the car, but sometimes it can be as unrelated as discussing weekend events with someone. At those moments brush the memory aside—I don’t have the energy to dig it up.
When I’m in my car, by myself with nothing but my thoughts. That’s when I spend time with them. I feel like I need to remember everything, that I owe it to the two people that died that day.