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On our way home from vacation, my five year old daughter and I got stuck in traffic caused by an accident up ahead. My daughter asked why we had stopped, and I told her someone had wrecked. That’s when she responded with “Remember when that happened to me?” I was confused… She’d never been in a car accident. I laughed, thinking she was playing pretend or something, and asked her what she was talking about.
“Don’t you remember? We was going to the store and then we hit something, and then the glass cut me and it hurt so bad and I was so scared at first, I thought I was dying, but daddy kept saying I would be okay and I knew he wouldn’t lie.”
I just stared at her for a minute, not sure what to say… For one thing, the whole thing was crazy, I had never been in an accident, and neither had my daughter. And the other thing was, she didn’t have a “daddy”… I mean of course she had a father, but he wasn’t part of the picture, never had been, so where was she getting this from?
Traffic cleared and we continued on our way home, and it slipped from my mind. A few weeks later, while on the phone with my mom, I remembered it and told her about it.
After a pause, my mom told me that when she was just about 3 years old, there had been a car accident, and that her older sister, who was five at the time, had been killed when a piece of glass from the windshield had somehow slit her throat. It was such a tragedy that for the most part her family tried to pretend it hadn’t happened, getting rid of everything that reminded them of her sister and and never mentioning it, which is why I never knew about it. My mom said she could barely remember the accident itself, since she was so young, but she said she’d never forget her dad crying as he held her sister in his arms and repeated over and over again “You’ll be okay, you’ll be okay, you’ll be okay.”
I felt chills run down my spine as I wondered how my daughter could have possibly known that.