This story, from Mary, moved me deeply. Everyone has losses. A loss doesn’t have to be a death. There are many different kinds of losses. Loss of health, or part of health, or opportunity, or innocence, or even loss of heart. All of these are losses and if we’re honest with ourselves, we know that our losses are part of who we are and who we become. Or who we can become. I hope other readers will share as Mary has. Peace to all, Fran
I was the last person my seven-year-old sister held in her arms before she opened the screen door, grabbed my five-year-old cousin’s hand and ran across the country road to reach the barn on the other side. Screech, boom, crash, the drunk driver hit the children, killing my sister instantly and my cousin a couple of days later. I remember nothing of that day or the days that followed, how could – I was barely two. The year was 1953, my mother was pregnant with her sixth child, Carol was the third.
This tragedy has lingered in the air my entire life, not avoided but never discussed. Souvenirs were tucked away in the cedar chest and a rug, woven with fabric from her dresses, covered the piano bench. How did my parents mourn with so many children and so much hard farm work that needed tending every day? Why did I never ask?
I know four things. My parents chose not to prosecute because the driver had young children at home. An auction was organized and we moved away from the farm. According to my father there was only one question left unresolved between my parents. Was this accident part of God’s plan? And 30 years later as Doctors surrounded her bed, I held my mothers hand as she explained the reason she had a scar on her heart was not because she had suffered from Rheumatic fever but rather because she had lost a child. And still I never asked.