i got to thinking. not in a self loathing, self pity party kind of way, but i thought, i wouldn't want my bad memories to be taken away. if all of my bad memories were taken away, i would seldom think of the grace of God that pulled me through the death of this person, the death of that person, my car wreck, etc. I would rarely think upon the mercy that is new to me every morning, no matter how 'royally' screwed up i am or was or will be. (it's new to everyone...every morning! Hallelujah!)
though it's been nearly 3 1/2 years now since Ashley was killed in a single car accident, sometimes, bad memories find a way to come back to me. even at the oddest of times. at times when i'm doing something that has nothing to do with thinking about awful things and bad memories. Though painful, i wouldn't want that memory taken away. of course, i would want the event to have never happened. but God orders the steps of man, not me, or anyone else for that matter. if i were to have my bad memories erased, there'd be no sense in healing, or walking through the grief of a tragedy. it'd be like i'd feel sad and not have any idea why i was sad! I'm not sure the pain ever goes away, just some days it's more unbearable than others.
here is the bad memory i am going to share. i'm not sure it has ever left the page in my notebook that it is written in. until now. i think it helps to talk about the bad memories. it opens the door for continual healing.
I found out Ashley died while reading the article in the newspaper. i was sitting in my dorm at my desk reading it on the Internet. the world suddenly stopped. and i sobbed harder than i can ever remember. but that's not the bad memory that keeps flashing back to me, though it haunts me every once in a while. Ashley's wake and funeral were to be the week of Thanksgiving. after arriving home from school in NY, my body felt numb. i don't even remember the days leading up to the services and funeral. the only memory that i remember is this. The first day of the wake, i was sent to place an order for flowers to be sent to the funeral home from our family. I vaguely remember the drive from home to my mom's work for money. i remember walking into her shop and telling myself, "don't start." i got the money and before i turned to leave, i started to cry but saw a customer coming into the shop and rushed out the door to hide my tears. i walked briskly to my car and drove to the flower shop. i somberly walked up to the counter, money hanging out of my hand and stood in line behind a chipper man. i sludged up to the counter, looking down at the glass and said something to the affect of, "flowers for Ashley Janderwski, from the Bailey family"
most may think the number 13 is unlucky. but i was lucky to know number 13.