santa cruz wharf

13 September 2007

Humbling and Heavy

So very cool. It is the only time I've received an award for something I have written. The Rising Blogger Post of the Day is given for a specific post….not the overall blog…or the blogger….which shouldn’t come as too big of a shock. I kinda keep my little blog somewhat frivolous in nature…and tend to be more of a reader than a writer… so when I read the email from Judd…I surely had that warm glow of pleasure.

I surfed right over to read his post….and felt a cringe...
"oh…my post about Marshall.” Heavy sigh.

I guess the adages “write what you know” and “write from the heart” are true.

My heavy heart over the subject matter does not detract from the humble honor I feel. I took some time reading thru Judd's
blog…saw many people whom I admire…and found some interesting new sites. Cool.

Thank you again.

Damn.... Continued (part one is here)
While the repercussions and devastation for this other family are far deeper than I can even begin to comprehend…the selfish bitch that I am is far more concerned with how my kids are dealing with some of their own reactions and feelings.

This tragedy continues as a daily topic of discussion. Yet again this morning, her very first words were “did you read the paper? front page.” I know what she means before I even look. She asks questions about amnesia symptoms and suicide attempts. I know no more than she does. The tension in her voice reflects both her horror of the reported details…and her disgust at the tone and implications of the report. When I don’t provide sufficient knowledge…she demands…”well…what do you THINK then.” That 19-year-old exasperated tone which really means, “please…you have to explain this for me because I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.”

Old issues and new revelations…for Little Missy…but even more so for The Cub. He was closer to the man…for years. How do you reconcile the coach you admired and respected with the man who suffocated the woman who kept score…welcomed you in their home…cooked you dinner? At just under six foot and closing in on 300 pounds he is a true bear of a boy…who took the smartass freshman to task for making fun of the murder. “I had to teach him a lesson of RESPECT” he told me later. He promises me he didn’t push the little jerk into the wall…just advanced upon him so quickly the kid backed up into it.

We talk about being mindful of your anger. Of how it can become mindless rage and get out of control. Little Missy dealt with serious anger issues for years…still does to some extent. Ten years ago when I first came into their lives she would spike every few weeks. Now… she only spikes once a year or so. Two years ago, her righteous indignation exploded into anger during Lacrosse practice. The man who broke up the fight, soothed and calmed her was the murderer. She reminds me of the incident with a bit of fright in her eyes…from the thought of the murder….or recalling her own out of control rage…I don’t know…maybe both.

At the memorial the kids choose to stand although they arrived with plenty of time to find a seat. Easy exit if need be. They stayed in close proximity although not next to one another. The other coach’s wife was drunk and crying and held onto The Cub.

Hundreds if not thousands of people attended the memorial…many of which were in the 13-20 age range. Both The Cub and Little Missy (separately at different times) acknowledged to me later that they knew they were the only ones there who did not cry or have tears in their eyes. They did not tell me out of pride. They did not want to cry…but they damn well knew…it made them different.

They watched their three…now motherless...friends…reliving how they felt ten years ago when they lost their own Mother. Remembering by name how specific people acted toward them when it was happening…how people deal with their loss now …if at all.

The moments that have actually made me cry was when each of them admitted…with their wide-eyed shock and utter sadness…that hey… cancer is better than murder. Damn.


Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

congratulations honey!!! excellent choice judd made...

smiles, bee

Gawpo said...

Hi there! Saw your comment on Candace's blog where you said you saw her comment on Michael's blog and so I thought I would come to your blog and then I saw it: That beautiful fabric-covered upper wing. Is it on a Waco? A Stearman? What? What?

You will see lots of flying pics on my blog.

I am from Turlock. My mother grew up in San Jose. We visited her parents in Watsonville and hung out at Capitola and Aptos a lot.

Cheers! G

Gawpo said...

And I was THERE when Bonds hit 600. Got a pin and everything to prove it.

Marilyn said...

Congrats! You deserve it

Mimi Lenox said...

Congratulations, my friend.
You wrote the tale well but I am sorry the award had to be about something so tragic. Your kids are lucky to have you help them through this. Be strong. And keep writing.

Travis said...

Such horrifying circumstances. Your writing is most certainly deserving of recognition.


Mel said...

*heavy sigh*

Tough times for the kiddos and the mom.....

*sending peacefilled thoughts*

What a kindly recognition--and you do speak from the heart very well.

Linda said...

"Write from the heart" is certainly the best way to go, even though it is oftentimes the most painful way to go, too.

Congratulations on your award, it is definitely well deserved, but I wish it could have been for something completely different than it was. Life, though, can be a real bear at times - it's how we deal with it that matters most. Sounds like you are all dealing very well, though I'm sure that not having the answers is frustrating. Still, how do you explain something that you yourself don't understand?

crazy working mom said...

Congrats to you! :)
That's awesome. Very well deserved indeed.

mar said...

Congratulations on your award! such a tragedy... and a great post!

Mags said...

You 100% deserve this award-for many of your posts, but he chose a good one.


Desert Songbird said...

It would be so very easy to be angry at a situation like this. I think that the bewilderment experienced by your kids is normal and expected, too. You're handling of it is balanced; you're all blessed to have each other.

Skittles said...

I'm glad that post got the recognition it deserved.

Don't feel selfish for being more concerned for your own kids. I would be the same way.

This whole thing is a tragedy and unfortunately you won't always have the answers to the questions. Hug your kids close to you.. that's the best you can do.

Marilyn said...

Just returning after reading the posts carefully. They are heart rending and well worth the award... but I'm so sorry. So sorry for everybody involved.

Amazing Gracie said...

I just read the posts. My goodness. To be so young and to have faced so much. To be so close to a man that is capable of such a deed has to frighten even the most knowledgeable of men.
Your portrayal of thoughts and emotions was stunning - excellent job in bringing it all home.
I read your comments all the time and think to myself what a wonderful way you have with words: both wit and nuture.
The acknowledgement of your work is quite deserved!!!