Tuesday, August 24, 2010

5 years continued

Thank you all so much for the kind comments and emails. They have been very up lifting and appreciated. I have been touched. Writing about my experiences has been cathartic. These posts are definitely for me - they are tough but ...

I’m a story teller at heart and I have now been allowed to open my entire back catalog. I could easily write volumes about how hard life got after that day. I believe that there are defining moments in life. I have a couple of them – they are not all tragic. However, with this date my mind is still divided. I now see things differently. I see dates, events and even philosophies as BEFORE and AFTER. On all of my photographs and documents I immediately created a new folder called BEFORE and placed everything in it. Everything from that date forward was in an AFTER folder. I have since let the AFTER folder become current –but the BEFORE still remains.

So I dug into the BEFORE folder last week and looked over some of the documents. The tears still flow, however there are smiles and laughs present. My sister related a story to me years ago. Just after this had happened she was talking with an old man – he was in his 80’s or 90’s. He told her how he had lost a child like 60 years ago. She said his eyes welled up and he just started balling. I can understand.

Anyway, I cannot even attempt to tell you how special these people were to me – I’m not that good of a story teller. Sharla had been involved in so many organizations and had touched so many people. Hundreds and hundreds of people came to me and told me just how special they were. I wrote this to thank the community that I lived in – the outpouring was wonderful.
My name is James Daniel and I have experienced a tragic loss this week. I have lost my beautiful wife Sharla and wonderful daughter Lainie. Those who know me know that we were inseparable and that my family was my everything – they were my ‘Super Girls’. Her sisters, Suzie and Shannon, brother Shane, mother Marcia, and father Phil and their families are also struggling.

I would like to show my appreciation to this community for their compassion, sympathy and generosity in my time of need. My neighborhood has come out in full force. They have laughed and cried with me. Held me in the darkest hours and helped me with this loss. I would like to especially thank Caroline and Elaine, the Moore's: Ruth, Frank, Cat, Mouse, Frankie and John. These people have always been more than neighbors. These are special people.

The community services that my family has been involved with have also been very generous: The American Cancer Society, The Hyte Community Center and the Light House mission. I have worked with each of these organizations with my wife and daughter and have seen the differences they make in peoples lives. These organizations do powerful work each and every day. I encourage you to donate your extra time and monies to help better your fellow citizen. I will give more of myself.

My daughter’s school, Honey Creek Middle School is a special place. My daughter truly enjoyed her time there. The staff and children have been wonderful and they will continue to remember Lainie like I do – full of life and always smiling. I miss my parenting rolls already: going over homework, worrying about tests and packing school lunches. I enjoyed evenings with my daughter and discussing what she had learned that day. The children that I have seen this week, really just babies, have touched my heart. I hated to see them grieve and I know that they have had to grow up this week. Some innocence has been lost. Children have the ability to see the fun times without the sadness. This is what I strive for. A close friend of mine, Charles Joenathan, imagined what it would be like to be able to do this – to live more like children. These are profound words.

My B1027 Radio Station extended family has also been very supportive. I do not know many of these individuals as well as my wife or even my daughter but they have helped immensely. I appreciate them and look forward to developing these relationships.

My wife and daughter have taught me many lessons over the years. They have made me a better person. I hope that your home can be like mine – where everyone knows that you love them but you still tell them all the time. Please do not let the petty, insignificant trials of our every day lives come between you and the ones you love. The time spent on this earth is precious. Try to live in the ‘now’. Although the sun also rises - tomorrow may never come. Please enjoy the moments that you have and kiss your babies at every opportunity.
Thank you

Lainie was so proud of this dress.  She had saved and purchased it with her own money for the upcoming 'Snow Ball' dance.  She never got to wear it.  I buried her in it.

5-years-feels-like-blink-of-eye - part 1

5-years-continued - part 2


5-years-continued-thank-you-all-so-much - part 4


Matty O said...

I seriously cannot fathom... I mean, you hear about this happening to people, but you never understand it and you can never put this into perspective.

In tears again reading this. I mean, I just hurt for you. Your daughter's smile shows how truly happy she was.

I do not blame you for backing up your memories and sending them to different people so you will always have them. I would have done the same thing.

abbi said...

I read yesterday's post and then had no idea how to even respond, but I was certainly in tears. I'm sure the pain will always be there but I hope writing about this has been cathartic. It certainly makes me relize how things can change in the blink of an eye.

Becky Ryder said...

You wife and daughter will live on in the man that you have become. You reflect the love that you shared with them. I am honored that you are willing to share this with us.

Silvia said...

You are an inspiration, James. I am still in tears. This is so hard to bear. You are a very strong person. Thank you for sharing this with us. I don't know if I would make it. I feel like giving you a big hug...but if I do, I will break down in tears. God bless you, man!

Runners Fuel said...

I can't even tell you how sorry I am!!!! You are a VERY strong person.

Richard said...

Wow. You are more than an Ironman... Praying for your successful AFTER.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Becky has said it best.

Emz said...

My heart is so full right now.

I just thank you for opening up and sharing.

I feel your strength.

I love the last paragraph. Thanks again.

Kim said...

James, I'm sorry. How terribly tragic and heart wrenching. Sharla and lainie are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Heidi Austin said...

James...wow. I'm speechless. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing. You strength is amazing.

Jon said...

James, I am catching up on your other post and this one. I am so sorry for your loss. What you have done with your life since then has been incredible and I hope you continue with your goals as an athlete.

lindsay said...

It amazes me how strong you are and how you've managed to make so many positives from such a bad moment. Lainie is gorgeous - I am sure she is dancing every night away in that dress! I hope your community is still as strong now as it was 5 yrs ago.

Kathleen said...

I too don't know what to say. How wonderful that the three of you spent so many wonderful moments together and knew that you loved each other with all of your being. I am so sorry for your loss.

Caratunk Girl said...

My heart is full and so are my eyes. Your Super Girls are so beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss. This really puts a lot into perspective - as you said, it is so important to live in the now because you never know what will happen tomorrow. Big hugs to you.

Barb said...

I have just read through your last two posts, with tears in my eyes. You are so amazing and strong to have come through this with such a healthy outlook and lifestyle.

What a blessing you had in having loved two such amazing girls. They are absolutely beautiful!!

I will make a special effort to hug/kiss/love my three babies (19, 16 and 11) and my husband.

all my support to you.

Angie Bee said...

I had no idea. Thank you for reminding me to cherish what is most important to me. My boys, including my husband are what matter most and all the trivial stuff seems so insignificant when imagining loosing them.

I wish you peace and happiness and thank you again for putting yourself out there. I am glad to have seen a part of your super girls in you.

Evolving Through Running said...

Heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. Your strength and your love come through very clearly in your words. I am deeply saddened by your loss, but equally amazed at how you have come through this experience. I'm not the most emotional person, but the caption from the photo above knocked the wind out of me and left me in tears. Lots of kisses and hugs planned for my daughter tonight. Thank you for sharing.