Monday, April 6, 2009

Put A Lid On It

On Sunday, I had to drive past where Jessica and Kelli died. I don't know if it was because I was alone, because I was listening to Dave Matthews, because it was raining, or what, but as I approached the overpass I experienced a stab of grief and pain so intense I had to catch my breath.

I've been thinking about them a lot lately. Not that I don't think about them daily. The holidays make me miss them even more. I was shopping for the Easter essentials today (ham, potatoes, wine), and as I went through the frozen section I saw Cool-Whip. I realized I wasn't making Jessica Salad this year. I almost cried as I passed the freezer without buying any. It may sound stupid but I just can't make it this year. (Jessica Salad is a concoction of pistachio pudding, crushed pineapple and Cool-Whip. She started making it when she was about 5 and it's been a staple of our holiday tables ever since.)

Tonight I had to find some paperwork that I knew was in their Funeral Box O'Fun. The name comes from Maddy's godfather Kevin, who also gave their eulogy. When he came to my house before the funeral to discuss the service, he had a backpack with his Bible and book of readings, and whatnot. We deemed it the Funeral Backpack O'Fun. I don't know why, maybe because we had to find something to laugh about.

Anyway, the Funeral Box O'Fun is a huge plastic storage tote full of important paperwork like their death certificates and insurance papers, but also their funeral guest books, sympathy cards, and newspaper articles. As I was flipping through it to find what I was looking for, I found the very first Post-Dispatch article after the wreck. The picture of the crumpled cars on the front page was horrible, but not as bad as the next day's paper, which had pictures of their beautiful faces next to that carnage.

I could feel that familiar cocktail of pain and anger, sadness and rage, boiling up again.

I quickly found what I was looking for, and put the lid on the box. If only I could put the lid on my feelings just as easily.

16 comments:

Baylee♥ said...

Im so sorry to hear that you're having a hard time, Kim. Its hard to figure out what to say, because I did not personally know jessica or kelly, but I did know OF them, and I heard many wonderful stories about both of them. They're both looking down on you and they want you to be happy. Its so unfortunate that they're lives got cut so short, but that is not a reason for you to stop celebrating life. Live it for your girls! :)

Tattooed Dorothy said...

Honestly, I'm in awe of your strength. I've never had to deal with any sudden or early deaths in my family or group of friends. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of the pain you endure EVERY SINGLE DAY. Thank you for inspiring all of us with your amazing STRENGTH!

willtherebecake said...

Jessica salad. That's cute! Perhaps I should try it.

Hugs to you Kim! I miss that we can't do lunch as conveniently anymore. I'd buy you one of those big Java Co cookies. :(

Brian Uhl said...

Hi Kim, Brian here. I know what you mean about the site of the accident. I drive by it twice daily, to/from work, and I feel pain each time. I thought it would help me heal by forcing myself to drive by that site each day. I don't know if it really has but I say a prayer for the girls each time and that helps. As for the salad, I remember when Jess had it at Nana's and she just loved it so much and decided that would forever be her contribution at the various holiday meals. Now, whenever I see a similar salad, I always think of Jess but I just can't bring myself to try it because it just isn't the same. Take care.

Shutter Bitch said...

Jessica Salad. Those are the kinds of things that should be remembered, not the pictures of the cars. Not that you can help what your brain conjures up... One more detail in a beautiful mosaic that make up each of the girls' personalities.

Thinking of you...

Zookeeper said...

I wish there was something I could say or do that would help the hurt. Whether you're feeling it right now or not, you are amazing. I hope that being surrounded by family this Easter will help you through the holiday.

Krys72599 said...

Please know that there are a lot of your readers who never knew either of your daughters or you, but hold you all close in our hearts. I've lost loved ones, and can honestly say that it doesn't ever get "better" or "easier" - you just get better at dealing with it.
Remember the good things and think of them whenever a sad memory pops up and threatens to take control.
And on a totally irreverent note: "Funeral Box O'Fun?" We would SO be friends if I lived in your neck of the woods!

Kelli said...

Thinking of you this week. I don't imagine the pain ever goes away, but what a graceful picture your present on how to deal with it. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Ive never posted on this site before, but come here almost every day to read your blogs. I knew Jessica, as I graduated CHS a few years before she did. Remember the good times you had with her, not the horrific pictures of the accident. I cannot imagine what you are going through, but from reading your blogs, your one of the strongest women I have ever seen. My mom makes the same salad for holidays and its one of my favorites, next time I eat it, I know Jessica will run through my head!

Marrdy said...

I imagine that driving by the spot of the accident must be one of the most painful things to do. I am sorry you are going through so much pain right now. I hope peace will once again fill your heart.

MamaB said...

Sending you hugs and good thoughts! I still get this way when I go to St. Louis and see the hospital my Dad was taken to when he had his first stroke (undetected at that hospital)and get angry that they didn't do more for him and could have saved his life. The good memories are definiately what you need to hold onto too!

As far as Jessica's Salad. I make that dish for every occasion and call it green fluff! It is so good! We do add walnuts, mini marshmallows and mandrin oranges but it is so good!

Frogdancer said...

Just back from Sydney, reading 316 posts in my feed reader, but I had to respond to this one.

Now that I said that I don't quite know what to type....

You'll be fine. I don't think you really want to put a lid on it. Just keep going...

Wendy Uhl said...

As I was filling Easter eggs for Tony Saturday I found some plastic eggs from an egg hunt held years ago. When the girls were 11 and 8, we had them for the weekend, and planned an egg hunt at our house. I marked the eggs with a "J" or "K" (just to make things even) before hiding them. Finding them always brings back memories of times past and love lost. My favorite Easter pictures are of them in actual Easter dresses and smiling to beat the sun. Miss them and love them so much.

Matthew said...

I'll be thinking of you and hoping that you have more good memories to think of than bad ones. Hugs!
MaLeah

Matthew said...

Oops, I posted with Matthew's blog account on accident, but I'm sure he'd echo my sentiment! Love, MaLeah

Zip n Tizzy said...

I'm catching up on older posts, but I'm so glad to see you made the salad. It made me smile and think of the picture you have of her on your blog. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I didn't know your girls but whenever I see pictures of them, or read stories of them, I hear tinkling laughter. That's how I felt when I saw the Jessica salad. Their spirits are strong.
I'm just as happy every time I hear of your upcoming wedding and how loving Craig is to Maddie.
I am so sad for your loss, but so impressed with your enormous heart and your lasting ability to fill your life with joy and love.