Conversations in the Car

By Molly Bice-Jackson - 2:12 PM





I talked to Justin on the drive home from the theatre last night. I was exhausted. I've been exhausted all week.

I got to sit in the audience and watch the other cast do their dress rehearsal. It was an emotional experience for me. Maybe that's why I cried the whole drive home while I "talked" to Justin. It hits me now and then...the fact that he is gone. Home to be with Lucy and his grandparents. It hurts. I looked over at the empty passengers seat next to me and cried and cried. I even reached my hand out and put it on his leg and thanked him over and over again for all he has done for me.

There were moments I would look over and smile--laugh, even, through my tears. I don't know exactly what he was saying to me, but I kept saying, "Ok, Ok." I think he was telling me to be better. Do better. And that he loves me.

I asked him if he has seen Lucy. I asked him if he could please let me know, somehow, how she is doing.

I didn't feel crazy. I didn't feel dramatic. I was just grieving and talking with my friend. Does he know how much I love him? Does he know how much he has affected my life? Is he at peace? Is he at rest?

Sometimes I feel I am doing ok at this whole thing...this whole "life" thing. I'm managing. I know for certain I have put up more emotional walls over the past year or so. I don't cry much. When you cry everyday for 2 years straight, I guess you get to a point that you just don't want to anymore. I rarely cry  during the show even though it the most emotional show I've ever done. Even though little Gavroche dies on stage and his little body is carried down the barricade. I don't cry. I don't cry when I have to say goodbye to my lover and then he gets shot and killed. I'm all cried out.

But that changed last night on the drive home and I haven't really stopped crying since.

Justin's parents are coming to the show opening night. Justin loved Les Mis. I love Justin. I love Les Mis. I love his parents. His parents love me. Some of my best friends will be there. It will be on my dad's birthday. It will be Valentine's Day. And...I don't know. The flood gates might be open again. And I'm OK with that.

You can only lose something that you HAVE, not something that you ARE. Justin and Lucy are both a part of me. As long as I am living true to the beautiful part of myself that they created in me, I am never too far away from them. They will never be lost to me.

So I'll keep having conversations in my car. I'll keep listening.

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13 Loving Lines

  1. a beautiful post. my heart aches for your loss & grief. You are doing an incredible job at this thing we call "life" - I hope you know & remember that. Hugs.

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  2. "You can only lose something that you HAVE, not something that you ARE. Justin and Lucy are both a part of me."

    Wow. How powerful.

    I am so, so sorry for the loss of your beloved friend. I am forever so, so sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter.

    I love Les Mis--this may sound dumb but ever since I saw it live at 7 years old, I've thought of it as one of the guides/philosophies that help me navigate life. I often sing lines from it in my head when I'm struggling. I think the fact that you're in this particular show right now is so meaningful. It exemplifies the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unthinkable loss and pain. Its completely understandable that you would have to guard your heart in order to do your job in such an emotional show with so many parallels to your own losses...I mean, how could you not?

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  3. Your last paragraph… You may be the wisest person I know. I know my floodgates will be open on Friday. Will you please point out Justin's parents to me so that I can tell them how much I love him?

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  4. I am sure that he was listening..enjoy your show on Valentines night..Justin will be watching from above!

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  5. You capture grief so beautifully and eloquently. It's perfect. I'm grateful that you share. It's important. You are amazing. Makes me love you even more.

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  6. Hi Molly Dolly. Amazing that last night my thoughts turned to Lucy and Justin and my parents and you as I sat in a meeting where everyone spoke Russian but me. Because I had no idea what was being said, my thoughts turned to my family and suddenly strong emotions combined in my heart. I was missing you and everyone so much, kind of feeling alone, plus gratitude for all the amazing family and friends in my life - and the tears began and continued as I walked home to our apartment and Nancy. Perhaps it was the same time you were talking to Justin. I'd like to think it was. I feel so blessed to be your earthly father. Your words describing your conversation with Justin was an incredible birthday gift for me. Think of me on your opening night - I love opening nights. My heart will be with you. -Dad

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  7. I love the lyrics of the Epilogue. It speaks truth and gives me so much hope in my darkest nights. These are my favorite and I get choked up everytime I hear them. (I may be singing along softly when I come see it ;) I cannot wait for the dark nights to end and for that light and warmth that will come when we are reunited with our Savior and loved ones. hugs to you Molly.

    To love another person
    Is to see the face of God.

    Do you hear the people sing
    Lost in the valley of the night?
    It is the music of a people
    Who are climbing to the light.

    For the wretched of the earth
    There is a flame that never dies.
    Even the darkest night will end
    And the sun will rise.

    They will live again in freedom
    In the garden of the Lord.
    We will walk behind the ploughshare;
    We will put away the sword.
    The chain will be broken
    And all men will have their reward.

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  8. "As long as I am living true to the beautiful part of myself that they created in me, I am never too far away from them. They will never be lost to me." <--THIS. So powerful.

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  9. I don't know what got to me most...you talking to Justin in the car (I do that a lot--talk to my husband when I am alone in my car) or the post written by your dad. Beautiful words...all of it. What you said is so true...you can't lose something that is forever a part of you...little Lucy grew your belly but then she grew in your heart, never to be lost or forgotten. Same with Justin. Break the perverbial leg on Friday. Wish I had been on the ball and bought my tickets sooner....opening night will be amazing. Keep smiling Molly. You are loved. {{{Hugs}}}

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  10. I talk to Link - and my aunt, Grandpa, etc - not as much as I should, though. I am so sorry about your dear friend. Hope you feel his strength & love as you bravely tackle such an amazing play. Wish so badly we could be there!

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  11. Now I can't stop crying. I'm lost without my father who I lost 2 years ago. I always thought it was silly to grieve so because we WILL be reunited for eternity...but then I experienced a loss and found out for the first time what grieving really is. I thought I knew...but I didn't. 3 1/2 years ago I was given 6 weeks to 1 year to live. My goal was to live long enough that my great niece, who I cared for and adored, would remember me. Well, she'll be 8 years old in March and I think I've done her a disservice. I'm finally slipping down that last slope and now she will not only understand my death, but she will remember me, and grieve. I now wish I would have gone before I inflicted this upon her. This life is a blessing to be sure, but the tragedies of this life take an immeasurable toll. My loss came naturally as my father was 86 years old when he passed. Your losses have come unnaturally, and I can't even begin to understand your pain, your loss, your process. I can only send my love and prayers and promise that if it is possible I will find Lucy and tell her all I know about her loving, grieving, precious, adorable mother who loved her, and loves her with all that is possible.

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