I went on a brief solo trip in my car today and brought along some songs from here and there. One song I added to my playlist was one I haven't listened to for years - Don't Cry for Me Argentina by Madonna from the movie Evita. As I was listening to the song, I immediately thought of my friend, Tim, who is no longer in this world. I could see him singing it on the staircase in his parent's house as though I just heard him yesterday - with all of those exaggerated facial expressions that only he had.
I reflected on the time we got into a car accident. We were driving back to his house after going to a friend's house - and the friend was in front of us in her car. He decided that he was going to try to pass her on a back road just because. He got next to her, then lost control of the car when he went off the left side of the road and hit loose gravel. The car hit a mailbox then flipped end over end from one driveway to the next one landing on the tires almost facing the opposite direction of where we were heading. He looked at me and said he was sorry and asked if I was okay, to which I replied yes. We repeated the same question and answer three times then the engine started making a noise. Tim yelled, "Get out of the car," but my door was stuck shut. A man from the house whose driveway we landed on came out and pulled the door open then walked us into his house. His wife was on the phone with 911. I remember sitting on their couch. We happened to land on the driveway that belonged to one of our classmates who drove the same car - they thought it was their daughter! The car was totaled. My glasses were broken. I had bruises on my knees for a few weeks. I had just turned 18 so I could refuse medical service. I had to call my mom to pick me up and I was hoping she'd get there AFTER the car was gone but she pulled up just as soon as they had it on the flatbed - and she saw the damage. She looked surprised that both of us were uninjured.
Every few hours my mom woke me up to be sure I didn't have a concussion. When I got up the next morning, I called Tim. I asked him if he was barefoot when we had the accident. He said yes. He had walked around all the glass barefoot and also sat in a police car and no one noticed he was barefoot. I asked him how he was able to do that - and he told me that he had spent years walking on clamshells in his driveway!
A few years later, I lost a boyfriend who didn't make it home from my house - he had a car accident. I was in a blur then and while I spent time amongst friends, Tim was the one who got me through it.
I am fortunate to have the memories I have with Tim - there are so many. I am thankful that when I think of him, it is with happiness and joy - which is what he brought to all who knew him. I am sad that his life was cut short; believe me, he had so much more to give but I rejoice in the fact that I will see him on the other side - singing and barefoot with that sparkle in his eyes.