We’re home from West Virginia, and trying to find our routine again. It seems strange to have simply skipped a week of our lives, of our work, of time in our regular routine. It’ll be a week before I actually know the date again, much less have a clue what day it is.
I honestly don’t know how to post about our trip to West Virginia. I feel that I need to, though, in light of the fact that my last post was about the accident. How do I adequately eulogize three people suddenly gone from this Earth? How do I adequately explain all the horrible feelings that come with knowing part of our family have been touched by tragedy? The best way I’ve had to sum up our week is this:
We have seen things, heard about things, and had to think about thinks so horrific that no one should ever have to think, hear, or see them. And we’ll never, ever get these horrors out of our heads.
That pretty much explains it. One young woman and her two young children were killed suddenly in a very violent accident, brought on by wrong choices and a lack of attention to detail. Four bald tires and rain certainly didn’t help. There are so many different facets to this horrible situation that are simply not mine to air online, and that won’t help anyway.
We spent the week gathering near to our family, hugging people a little tighter and being a little scared every time someone rode off in a car for the hour-long trip to town. Different parts of the family made arrangements, organized clothing and services, took care of retrieving personal items from a car so terrifyingly mangled that it is stored under a tarp to keep the innocent from seeing it, and worried what to do about people looting the personal items from the apartment of a dead woman. We gathered for five hours to receive the many visitors who rallied around our family. Somewhere around 200 people gathered for a triple funeral so sad it is beyond words. We trekked to the country to the final resting place for their bodies, high on a beautiful hill just down the road from the site of the accident. We thanked God for the infallible innocence of children, and for the salvation received years ago by their mother. Knowing that we will see them again made it easier to commit their bodies to the earth. Knowing that it will be a long, long time made it bittersweet.
Carrie was a beloved daughter and niece. She was like third daughter to my in-laws, and her own daughters were loved deeply by everyone who knew them. They were their grandmother’s life, and their daddy’s joy. The three of them are gone too soon, and girls’ father will never be the same. Through the amazing gift of organ donation, we can only hope that Carrie, Haley, and Addison will live on and were able to save lives even in their own passing. As the story was picked up by the Associated Press, hopefully people will understand the importance of having good tires on a car. If one person is saved through that, a tiny ray of hope shines through.
Thank you for all the comments, calls, emails, texts, cards, sweet things mailed across the country, and most of all through your prayers and good thoughts. We literally couldn’t have made it through the week without you. And thank you for understanding that none of us are “over it” and we don’t expect to be anytime soon. I fully expect to see glimpses of Haley and Addy in our own children, since the Baileys genes are just as strong as the Hill ones. I know I’ll never drive in the rain without thinking about them, and I’ll be more mindful of my speed and car maintenance. We will remember seeing tiny girls share a casket, we will remember a daddy who tried to resuscitate his sweet daughter in vain. We will remember a cousin who had such a good time the last time we were all together, and seemed to always be smiling. We aren’t “over it”, we haven’t moved on. We may cry. But now we have three more people to look forward to seeing in Heaven, and that eases the pain just a little. Thank you all for showing us so much love.