I know that this is supposed to be a "humor" blog, but I have not felt much like laughing over the past few weeks. I have told you all about the devastation caused in my home state of Alabama. I felt so very blessed that no one I love was seriously hurt or had serious damage to their homes. However, this past Sunday, May 15th, tragedy struck our family.
My cousin Darryl is 6 years older than me -- the oldest of 4 cousins on my mom's side, and the only boy. While we were growing up, my sister and his sister always paired off and Darryl was left with me -- lucky him. A teen aged boy stuck with a kid not only six years his junior, but also a girl. He taught me how to drive a go-kart, how to shoot a BB gun, and introduced me to heavy metal. He saved me from hours of playing Barbies and introduced me to Eddie Murphy. He married his wife Billie and they had 3 beautiful little girls. He and his wife are both educators -- Darryl has furthered his education and his career is now in administration while Billie teaches middle school English. Last Sunday, after spending the day fishing with their girls, they were involved in a single car accident. The accident crushed Billie's arm, breaking the large bone in two places, and it claimed the life of their middle daughter, Kinsey.
My heart breaks for Darryl, Billie, and their two surviving daughters. I do not know of any words that would provide comfort in the loss of a child. As a mother, the idea of having to bury one of my children makes me want to curl up into the fetal position and cry. The loss of this precious child, knowing that she will be absent from every future family gathering, has had me in tears for days. I have been preparing for the long drive to Alabama and dreading it. I want to be there, but I do not know what comfort I can give. Parents are not supposed to bury their young -- a child's death subverts the natural order of life and death. When a parent dies, you lose your past; when a child dies, you lose your future. How do you comfort someone who has lost their future? What can you say to someone who has lost a piece of themselves? A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. But there is no word for a parent who loses a child, that's how awful the loss is. It is beyond words.
But I am a writer. Words are all I have to accompany the tears that I shed. And so I am writing this for Kinsey. Beautiful, precious, Kinsey, who blessed our lives with her caring heart and glowing smile -- who continued to bless others even in her death and who sits on Jesus's lap in heaven and tells Him of her game ball on Saturday and of the many fish she caught on Sunday. Kinsey -- who twirls around in heaven's fields and runs down streets of gold and who will never hurt, or cry, or know sadness. And I am writing this for Darryl and Billie who will forever grieve the loss of their daughter and for Taylor and Erin who have lost their sister.
Kinsey was a beautiful little girl full of life and promise. She played softball, and had just been awarded her first game ball on Saturday. She caught more fish than anyone on Sunday. She was developing into a real leader, at home, at school, and on her team. She was looking forward to this weekend when she would be celebrating her 7th birthday. She had many, many friends who will all miss her terribly and who have been forced to face the harsh reality of death much too soon. She was a sweet little girl who cared for others -- at Christmas this past year, she was incredibly protective of my youngest child, Jackson; continually entertained my 4 year old, Lorelei; and she palled around with my 7 year old, Bella. She was affectionate, loving, and tender hearted. Even in her death she gave to others, as 5 families were able to prolong and enrich the lives of their children through the gift of organ donation. Every life is precious, but the life of a child is to be cherished above all others and its loss is nothing less than mortifying.
Please pray for my family as we cope with this loss. Especially pray for my cousin and his wife who lost their daughter, for my Aunt Betty and Uncle Lawrence who lost their granddaughter, for Taylor and Erin who lost their sister, and for Krista, Holly, and JJ who lost a niece. When a child dies, it is like a stone cast into the stillness of a quiet pool; the concentric ripples of despair sweep out in all directions, affecting many, many people. Kinsey will be forever loved and forever missed.