Monday, December 21, 2009


First, I want to say that this will be my last post about The Wreck. At least for a while. It just seems all these threads keep unraveling and I need to trim them and try to secure them back in place, otherwise the whole garment will fall apart.

There are two songs that immediately affect me physically, hurling me mercilessly back in time whenever I hear them. One is Happy Together by The Turtles and the other is Dedicated to the One I Love by The Mamas & the Papas. Both songs were released in 1967 and played nonstop on the radio. My parents always had the radio on in the car, so these memories are quite vivid. I could almost swear Happy Together was playing when we skidded into the semi.

Whenever I hear these songs I sometimes get a lump in my throat. Other times there is a sort of tickle in my stomach which gives way to a sick feeling when the memories come flooding back. I love these songs and wish they weren't connected with that event.

Sometime after the accident my aunt and I were in her bedroom listening to the radio when Happy Together came on. I immediately burst out crying. She asked why I was crying. I told her it reminded me of the car accident. Aunt J ran out of the room shouting, "MAMA, GAIL IS CRYING BECAUSE THE SONG ON THE RADIO REMINDS HER OF THE WRECK!" My grandmother told her to turn it off. That was all. No discussion, no exploration of my feelings, nothing. Maw Maw continued to wash dishes as though I had only burped. I felt silly being so emotional, but it was purely instinctual. I needed to deal with my sadness. Why didn't my family ever want to help me with that? Well, what was there to say, anyway? Words, pity, hugs...wouldn't change a thing. When all is said and done, the loss lies there like a big gaping hole. Nothing can cover that up. Only time can make the memory less vivid, more cloudy.

Ah well, I'm moving past it slowly but surely. It only comes up every now and then, like when I heard Dedicated to the One I Love yesterday. I haven't heard that song in years and there was that old familiar feeling bubbling up in the pit of my stomach. The car swirling too fast, sirens, sterile hospital rooms, doctors in starched white coats. Isn't it funny how a song can trigger such deeply felt emotions, or bring back sights and smells?

Okay, pity party over! Here are the gorgeous songs from that time. Wouldn't you agree?

No comments: