I’m not a musical person, but there is a musical soundtrack to my life. We all have that to some degree though, don’t we? We hear a song and it immediately takes us back to a memory.
A song came on my radio recently and took me back. It was Wash Away Those Years by Creed. I know, I know, everyone bashes Creed… however… there’s a particular album of theirs that means a lot to me.
A number of years ago, I had escaped a horribly abusive marriage with nothing but my child and the clothes on our backs. I was young, naive, and had to completely start over with a bruised body and a bruised soul. I remember nothing other the paralyzing fear of those days, because I knew that if I was found, I was dead.
However, after a while, I sent an email to my ex and informed him that I was going to be there on a certain day at a certain time in order to pick up some important paperwork that I needed. I told him to leave the house and to leave the door unlocked. What he didn’t know is that I was driving from California to Arkansas with a friend in order to get that paperwork, and then I was immediately driving back in order to get back to work on Monday… 52 hours of straight driving in one long weekend.
What he also didn’t know is that I was petrified.
When I pulled up to the house, it looked like nobody was home. However, when I tried to open the door, his mother opened it. I went in alone, and my friend took a little walk in order to stretch legs after the long drive.
It took me mere minutes to get what I needed and get out. When we left, my friend told me that my ex had been sitting up the hill in his vehicle watching the entire thing. For some reason, that is what got to me. I started shaking from anger, nerves, fear. I hadn’t cried, not yet, not for years. No tears.
On the drive home, we hit Oklahoma City, and I stopped for music. I was sick and tired of country radio, so I picked up what was then Creed’s new cd, as well as some snacks and other things for the road.
Back in the car, my friend fell asleep while I drove, so I listened to that cd as I drove. One of the songs was Wash Away Those Years. That’s when the tears came. The dam finally broke. I cried myself through part of Oklahoma, the top of Texas, and all throughout New Mexico and Arizona. I shook as I sang along with that song over and over… and over… and over.
When I hear that song nowadays, I go back to that weekend in the car. I can see the landscape of the southwestern desert in my mind and I can feel the release of years of pent up fear.
“Well I guess she closed her eyes
And just imagined everything’s alright
But she could not hide her tears
‘Cause they were sent to wash away those years.”
Yes. They were sent to wash away those years.
Bash Creed all you want. Go ahead. However, I won’t. Creed was my champion in those days. One of my best memories ever was being front and center at their concert at Staples Center about a year after that weekend. Oh, the healing of that year.
Nowadays, I’m starting over yet again. This song coming on recently was a message to me. If I could do it then, I can most certainly do it now. I’m stronger now.