Time doesn’t heal our kind of wound

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We just got back from 7 weeks in Florida… staying in our RV.  One day, about a month ago, as I was laying by the pool… a Daddy and his Daughter, about 9 or 10 years old, were splashing and playing in the water.  “Daddy, can I jump off your shoulders… Daddy, watch me swim under water… Daddy, count how long I can hold my breath…” on and on they had fun hanging out together in the water.  I couldn’t help it… as I listened to them… tears started running down my cheeks… from memories past… from knowing how much Bryan misses his Daughter and that interaction… that fun… that laughter… that Father/Daughter bond.

A few weeks later as I sat on the beach… looking at Facebook… my niece posted an article from the Lufkin Daily News.  Gary Stallard, whom I have always enjoyed reading his articles, wrote about his Daughter.  Unfortunately he is also a member of this “club” that no one wants to be a member of.  It has been two years since he lost his precious one…his Jordan.  He recalls a memory of them going to a concert one year before her death.  He thanks God for those memories… because that helps pull him through…but it has now been “Just long enough to prove to me I’ll never get over her being gone.”

 

Yes Gary… thank you God for the memories…. but it doesn’t take away the pain… your pain… or ours.

  I know Bryan suffers her loss in silence… more than he lets anyone know.

I’m sorry Gary… it doesn’t get better…maybe less raw… but…  time doesn’t heal our kind of wound.

STALLARD: I’m glad I let her slide in the mud

 By GARY STALLARD/The Lufkin News | Updated 3 days ago

I really didn’t want to go to that concert in the first place. I sure wasn’t planning on a mud slide.

 It took place on a school night in October. It was drizzling rain and cold outside; and this particular show was more for people way younger than I. In fact, I’d offered to give my daughter Jordan my ticket so she could find a friend.

Nope. This night’s commitment went way back — back to when the band broke up — and she wasn’t going to let me out of it.

Blink-182 had been one of her favorite bands for years. When the band broke up, Jordan cried. She was crushed that she’d never seen them in concert. In an effort to mend her broken, teen-aged heart, I promised if they ever toured again, we’d find a way to go.

It may or may not have been an empty promise on my part, but she wasn’t taking any chances. She broke out the sacred “pinky swear,” and I was forever bound to that.

When I heard the band had reunited and was touring — and would make a stop in Houston — I bought two tickets. Again, I planned to let Jordan invite a friend.

She invoked the pinky swear clause, and I was stuck.

I missed the three opening acts while standing in line — in the rain — buying her T-shirts. She loved every band, of course, and since this was a special occasion, I bought her one of each. When I finally joined her on the lawn inside, the cold rain had created a quagmire. I was already pre-writing her excuse for missing school from getting sick.

I spent the next two hours bouncing in the mud with her. She wouldn’t let me sit; oh, no. She needed a dance partner, and it didn’t matter that he was old. She held my hand, we bounced, and my knees promised me I’d pay the next day.

Then it came time to leave, and some other kids started a mud slide. Naturally, Jordan wanted to do it with them. I had visions of my poor truck covered with slime, but this was our night. I couldn’t possibly say no. When she finished, I could see little more than eyeballs and teeth. The child had been happily slimed, and my truck would follow.

I’m glad she did it. I still have the image of that muddy, beaming face riding home from the concert. She never stopped talking, bouncing or singing all the way back.

This week marks three years since that concert; this month will make two years since we lost my kid. Two years. Just long enough to prove to me I’ll never get over her being gone. I’m okay most of the time, but then I’ll hear a song, or smell someone wearing the same lotion she wore, or hear a giggle that sounds like hers, and it’s like getting gut punched. My knees crater, and I have to find somewhere quiet to gather myself.

It’s during these times I make a desperate grab for the image of her and that mud slide. Those memories — and thank God I have a lot of them — get me through. Memories of the late nights watching scary movies together when everyone else was asleep. The purple hair dye I let her and her sister Jaime put on my head while walking through the mall. Letting her blast her music as loud as she wanted on road trips, and trying to sing — or “screamo” — along with her. Standing outside dressing rooms while she tried on clothes just because she wanted me there — and trying to ignore the strange looks I got from passersby.

Things I’m sure normal people don’t do; but then again, Jordan wasn’t exactly normal, as anyone who knew her can attest.

Lately, when I hear parents complaining about something a child wants Mom or Dad to do, I want to beg them: Do it. Let them get muddy. Let them get loud. Let them be weird. Get loud, muddy and weird with them.

And then I pray that if they do, it won’t be for the same reasons I needed those things. I pray it will be one of those awesome “Remember when?” memories they’ll laugh about later. A daughter telling her own children how her mom or daddy once jumped up and down in the rain at a punk-rock concert and laughed while she slid down a muddy hill.

Dirt washes off. Thank God, memories don’t.

Gary Stallard’s e-mail address is garylstallard@yahoo.com.

4 thoughts on “Time doesn’t heal our kind of wound

  1. Suzanne & Brian,     I know the aching, stabbing pain, that shoots anytime anywhere! !  But is always with us guarded by the Hand of the Girls Loving hands My daily….     But there are still  HOLE IS OUR HEARTS !!! Wanted to share a story I’ve just experienced.                I did just recently received  back ” The Joy of My Salvation, ( even though I knew I never lost my Salvation )       I felt, because I’ve Always couldn’t wait to see Jesus 1st in Heaven,      and since Noel is there now, for the last 5yrs WANTED TO SEE HER FIRST. And I felt guilty for that, but knew my Heart was set on Her 1st.  Then one precious day I received, what I felt was the Joy of my Salvation renewed …. The Joy from Jesus knowing He knew my Heart, and If He chose for me to Embrace my baby 1st  he knew Best ! ”     Days of Grief and Pain hit so HARD with Soooo many memories. I remember the first time I saw Birthday cards for  “Daughter” I broke down right in that isle.          I did get a Bday card for her daughters Bella 7yrs & Alex 5yrs for ( Mother ) and they laid it on her grave …. it was Hard for the youngest (5yrs old she was only 6 months when she died ) and Alex has said, as children think in their hearts & minds      ” If I was still a Baby, Mommy would Still be Alive ” children carry different aspects of divorce, death & trauma as their fault  😦     I pray for Healing of their Hearts & Minds all day ….. And as I heard Noel pray many time with them that “God would teach you about Heaven”         I think one of the hardest moments was when I heard the phone answered at her house     (by the girls dad)      “She is dead” !!!!!!!  OMG ….   Back to the Joy of Our Salvation, His Mercies are New Every Morning, and Great is His Faithfulness  🙂  Hold on, read the word & devotionals, cry talk to friends AND ONE’S WHO ARE IN THE SAME CLUB  XO XO XO     THINK & PRAY FOR YOU & BRIAN & your son and your’all parents             ALL THROUGH THE DAY ….. Specially Sharon & Roy Dean In Jesus name Love Debbie Moss     

  2. Thanks Debbie for your prayers. You are ahead of us in this journey and you give us strength and hope for better days to come. Love you too.

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