Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Little Bit Longer

This blog has been silent and the truth is so have I.  Over the past summer, our family suffered the tragic loss of our fearless leader…my dad.  While we as children all know that we will someday lose our parents, its worse when it comes in a violent inhumane way such as murder.  During the time shortly thereafter his Facebook and our Facebook pages begin to fill up with condolences and memories which were expected since he was a minister and an unselfish man.  I shared every one of them on my page, but couldn’t write one of my own to express any emotions that I was feeling; minus the angry tweet to the Kansas City chief of police on which I still stand my ground that a family should be notified before anything is posted on twitter.    Our mom wanted people’s memories to be shared at the services, but I couldn’t bring myself to put anything down on paper.  While everyone else stepped up to the plate I struggled with words…any words.  My words that my husband has often referred to as pretty and elegant were laced with hate and bitterness.  I think everyone the day of the funeral waited for those words, maybe even needed them, but they like my father were an absence that echoed through the building. 

Months and months have gone by and still even writing this the dread builds inside my chest.  In my house the unfinished character collage, unedited manuscripts and ultimately the closed laptop is the proverbial elephant in any room that I enter. My son eventually stopped asking how many words I had written in a day; my daughter who has been intrigued with my current WIP stopped telling me things I should add to the series.  My husband doesn’t even try to bring up the subject of writing.  Even in the few moments that I have tried to lie down words they have been laced with the same hate and bitterness.

Of course leave it to my ridiculously talented daughter to call me on my own issues and not use any words to do it.  She over this time has been the one true shining light.  Since a young age she has been involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  She doesn’t have diabetes, but her grandpa did and it was an organization that he inspired her to be a part of.  Shortly after everything happened she decided to be our Captain for our JDRF walk team.  It didn’t stop there though as she had already started searching for material for her dance solo for the year and ultimately settled on “A Little Bit Longer” by the Jonas Brothers.  While this song is about the lead singer’s personal journey with diabetes, Cloudy decided to dedicate it to her grandpa and her own journey through this. 

Through all of this she has never stopped dancing a living testament to the rest of us.  To put it frank there have been many tears shed while watching her perform to one of her all-time favorite songs dedicated to one of her all-time favorite people.  The solo has been very successful at competition this year and has even garnered media attention for the story behind it.  On Friday morning we as a family will be sitting in a court room as the man who took so much from all of us will be sentenced and I find it bitter sweet that the night before we will be watching Cloudy perform her beautiful piece yet again.  It’s hard not to imagine Dad sitting beside all of us cheering for her or annoying the neighbor on the side of him while he brags about her.  But in all ways he is there in the heart of his granddaughter as she performs a piece that reminds us that something so beautiful can come from something so tragic. 


“It is a long journey, not just as a writer, but as a human being. Take nothing and no one for granted, be humble always, be kind especially when it's difficult and never forget the place where you came from and the people that helped you get where you are. These things will live on in you and through you, long after the words have faded.”
C.K. Webb