Oh gosh...this post so speaks to me. I have never felt so emotional as I have in New Mexico when I see those road side tributes. No other state has impacted me like NM. And I have also wondered what happened just as you described. And I have stopped (well I've made Bob stop and often even turn mourned!) and photographed them. I've often thought that I'd love to just have a long road trip and just document them and even have conversations with the families. Oh, I so understand!! xoxo
I'm not at all surprised that you get this. New Mexico has always made an impact on us, too. The very first trip we made together was here and it was my first time, Larry had lived in Santa Fe in his young years and loved it so much but we sure were bummed out with the amount of traffic this time, guess there is no getting away from it. Thanks for you thoughts, always.
That must be so emotional to see. I grew up in a very rural, small town where most of the roads were what you would call 'windy back roads.' I lost several friends to car accidents in high school, which to this day I still think of. There were small markers on many of the curves which I knew like the back of my hand, and knew that they could be slippery in winter or hard to make if you were going too fast.But the one that affects me most is the one for my niece. She had babysat overnight as was very tired, and was a new driver. She fell asleep for a moment and crossed the center line on one of those tight corners. My brother put up a marker for her.
Yes, so emotional and such tight, curvy, mountain back roads ... you just can't help but be moved. I can't even imagine if it was a friend or a beloved niece, all it takes is that moment. So sorry for this loss.xo
The roadside crosses always make me stop inside. I often see them on backroads where you think this shouldn't happen. And then my next question is usually "was it a teenager? How are his/her parents coping?" It's heart breaking.
Always that question for some reason, right? Wish we could keep them all safe at home.
The markers always fill my heads with these questions as well. Their sad story, the gone, the loved ones facing the news, the arrangements, the lost days, the grief. It seems that there is no road without one. Our friend died in a bizarre accident, helping a disabled vehicle get off the road. His family put up a marker and I drive that stretch of road every week. 19 years later, I cannot find the marker and I never could. Other friends see it on their daily commute, but I can never locate it. I wonder why.
So sad about your friend and I sure wonder why, too, that you can't locate his marker in all these years. It could still happen out of the blue so be ready for that ... hugs, friend and thanks for the conversations.
In a folklore class I took in college, we each had to pick some aspect of life around us that fit the tight parameters of what defines folklore and research that for a semester project. One student chose these roadside memorials as his topic. They are so poignant and sadly, prolific. The crosses are beautiful - and I agree about New Mexico - it is, indeed, so enchanted and moving.
This is such a poignant post, Susan. So many sad stories behind the crosses and markers... We also have them by our roads though I guess they are not not that many, and I know some of the stories. It's all so sad.