I still see the car careening into my lane.
My mind replays the split-second decisions made at 50 miles per hour.
I still hear the music blaring through my speakers. Oh, do I hear the music.
And then this:
The crunch of steel on steel.
Van spinning, spinning.
And the one thought racing: “I’m going to die today.”
The girls remember, too. They weren’t in the van with me, but they were at home when I walked through the back door after coming home from the hospital on the same day. (A miracle, truly.)
Maybe they remember that it was a snowy day when I hobbled in with torn pants, bloody shoes, crutches and a face of deep gratitude at the miracle.
Maybe it’s the fact that — exactly one year later — I’ve been playing the song over and over again.
Our senses are acutely aware.
“Mommy,” Lydia said the other day. “It smells like the day you were in the accident.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I don’t know … It just smells like that day you came home. I can’t really describe it.”
The day of my accident, I held Lydia close and long. She sobbed, and so did I. And we breathed each other in. They say smell is one of the most powerful memory triggers.
(I wonder, now, about the fragrance of Christ. For Christ was close. Very, very close.)
A rush of emotions swirls about our home this week. Gratitude and sorrow, peace and grief. One year ago, so much changed here. And we’re still trying to process it.
We faced death in our family, twice in one week. In the front seat of my crushed Toyota Sienna, I survived.
And then, four days later, from the bed of a hospice room, my father-in-law’s story ended differently. He died on Jan. 21, 2009.
We both claim victory. Sweet victory. Four days apart. Two separate battles. One loving and gracious Savior at work in both places. The aroma of Christ swirling all about us.
I may take a few trips down memory lane this week as I sort through this mix of emotions. I may share a bit of it here, or I may hold it closer, more quietly and privately.
It’s a tender time here ….
Photo: Taken from a friend’s cell phone shortly after I arrived home on Jan. 17, 2009. In the embrace, Lydia and I let tears fall. And today, I do the same here quietly as I tap at these keys and remember …
RELATED POSTS: The Miracle on Highway 75 (the story of the accident)
No Eye Has Seen (the story of Paul’s Home-Going)
Captain May I? (One of my favorite moments of communion, taken with Paul a few days before he died)
Scar (The story of the Y-scar on my leg)
A note to my email subscribers: Some of you have asked about the words in blue or pink. Those are links to other places on the Web. Sometimes, I link to Bible verses at www.biblegateway.com that inspired words here at Getting Down with Jesus. Sometimes, I link to old blog posts or to others’ words or blogs. If you click on the colored words, you will travel to those places. Thank you for inquiring, and for caring, and for reading. You bless me with your words in my inbox, and with your silent witness, too. I thank you for your quiet journey with me.