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.
5-years-feels-like-blink-of-eye - part 1
5-years-continued - part 2
5-years-continued-thank-you-all-so-much - part 4