Carrie Cotton

Just a Girl In The World Sharing The Ups and Downs of a Messy Life

I spend so much time staring at this picture.


On the day my world was rocked to the core, I find myself staring again.  29 years ago half my family was killed in a car accident.  29 years ago, and this date still has the ability to shake me.

29 years ago, a Saturday.  My mom, brother and sister went for dinner and a movie and never came back.

There were no goodbyes. In a matter of seconds.  They were forever gone.

I look at this picture, which was the last family picture we had.  The six of us together. I love it. I love that it reminds me of our childhood home. I love that my mom and dad are dressed up. Hair done.

It was a wedding. My brother was in it. We were all dressed up and ready to go.

What I love the most about this picture – I see my mom’s hand resting on my shoulder. I focus in on that because it reminds me that my mom was always there for me, always supporting me, and always loved me.

It’s a simple gesture.  But to me, all these years later, it has such a huge impact.

Her hand is on my shoulder.  Reassurance.  Safety.  Like a promise to always be there.

29 years later and I miss that reassurance. I miss that feeling of being looked after, taken care of, and yes, loved. But that pictures tells me, reminds me – it’s there.

I struggle with talking to her. I know other people who have lost loved ones, say they talk to them. I’m not sure why I can’t or don’t.

I don’t see signs and wonders.  But I believe I don’t need to SEE anything to know she is around. I believe she is part of who I am.  I believe she is in my laughter and joy.  I believe she is in everything I see and do.

I want to believe that I am the very best of my mother.  And I pray that my kids are as well.  And every so often, I see a bit of my brother and sister come out in my kids which makes me smile.

I try to talk about them all to my husband and kids. I try to share as much as I can remember about who they were, and what they liked to do.

29 years later. Hard to believe.

I’m so thankful I have this picture. This reminder of just how much my mother loved me.


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