Trail of Tears

I can hear Harper crying in her crib. She’s angry. She doesn’t want to go to sleep. She doesn’t want to be held. She wants to explore. But I’m tired and sad, and the day is over and I need her to give me this space. So she will stay in her crib and she will be angry.

There is no time to be sad and so the tears pounce when they can. The trail of sadness continues at the Morley house with yet another loss — a coworker of mine.  A fellow educator who was tragically killed in a car accident on the first day of school.  None of it makes sense.

When somebody you love dies at an “advanced” age you are sad, but you are also grateful that they lived such a long life and had the opportunity to either fulfill or come to peace with their dreams.  If someone dies from an illness, regardless of age, you are sad, but illness and death go hand in hand and seem a natural and expected way to leave this life. But when somebody has their life stolen from them – when their dreams are ripped away by another person, either by purpose or accident, there is no sense in it.  There is no way to make those pieces of information fit together in your head.  No matter how hard I try I can’t.

Keye’s killer was arrested.  A crack head with a history of robberies and thieving.  He will be brought to trial and I have confidence he will see justice. We cheered that an arrest had been made but it is a hollow victory because the one thing we all want we can’t ever have.  This man, this thief of life, can’t give us Keye back.

I miss them all.

The irony about being a person who writes, studies writing and loves good writers is that you learn that the best writing comes from the strongest emotion and the strongest emotion is pain – not love.  We, as humans, feel more alive when we hurt than when we are happy.  We are more aware of our delicate human nature, of the value of the things around us, when we are in pain.

I drove to work this morning in an epic downpour. As I slowly made my way down the expressway with 18-wheelers and teenagers and guys on their cell phones I thought of how quickly something could go wrong and I could be dead.  But nothing went wrong, and I’m not dead.  Instead, I’m sitting at my kitchen table, listening to the fire crackle and shedding tears for those who weren’t quite so lucky.


One thought on “Trail of Tears”

  1. Wow. You are so talented with words, Bethie. Brought tears to my eyes. So sorry, again, for your losses.

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