We are all a list of those we have to lose



It was a sucker punch; we were down and then it hit hard; again.

Ace died in February. We lost him to Suicide.

My father was in the car within hours of the call;

“Daddy, he is gone. We need you.”

We all needed Daddy then; my husband, my son and I. We needed his True North Compass to lead us somehow out of the Hell we were in.

He and Ace, my father in law liked one another. They were the same kind of men in many ways and there are very few men who are of this mold.

Daddy and Mommy got in the Buick and drove straight through, close to 16 hours with the snow on the mountain. A friend put them up in their guest house. We did not have room on the farm.

Daddy  was there for us; for all of us.

The first week after you lose someone is a mess. You live in a fog and don’t know up from down. After a suicide, you don’t know black from white. You don’t know shit.

I am a mom. I knew to take care of my son. Trauma counseling and tears and long walks on the land were the order of the day. I knew to hold my husband.  I knew that and that was all.

Daddy kept us going, all of us, my mother in law included.

At dinner one night at a restaurant in town, my husband said,

“ Bill, you know death is NOT an option now. You realize we need you and there is no way we can accept you kicking it. Not an option.”

My dad loved my husband like a son. Ace loved me like a daughter. We were one close odd  unit

My dad heard what Juan said and started to cry. He tried to lighten things up,

“ I can’t give you any guarantees but I will try to hold on for a year; a year will get you by.”

We had just months earlier celebrated my sisters marriage to her soul mate, Paul, in London. It was one of the happiest moments in our family history.  During the trip my father had a serious medical problem but would not see a doctor. I was under strict instructions not to tell my mother or my sister; he did not want to ruin the joy.

I know now that it was a minor heart attack; thus the concern with him sticking around.

We needed him.     He was our rock.

less than a year later I got the call, “I have the most awful news; Dad is dead,” my mother said.

We were on the first flight out the next morning.

We were barely recovered from the loss of Ace.  We were barely above water.

My husband’s friend Don sent a CD knowing how important music was and knowing how important Daddy was.  He sent Black Cadillac by Roseanne Cash.

It is the sound track to my grief. It is the soundtrack to her grief.

She wrote the songs on the album after losing her mother, Vivian Liberto,  her step mother, June Carter Cash, and her father, Johnny Cash all within a 2 year period.

In one song she sings “ I am a list of all those I have to lose….”

And that is how I felt in those years losing Daddy and Ace and 9 other friends and family members in a two-year period.

Losing two of my best friends, one to suicide with its own weird set of problems and my father so suddenly, leaving me with my mother to care for.

Roseanne Cash sings,

“ God is in the Roses, the petals and the thorns…”

And she is right.

It hurts and time does not heal any wound that deep;

The thorn.

And yet; we were close. We were resolved.

We were in Love and Love held us and  still does;

The Petal.

Pain is both a curse and a blessing. My God knows the score and I do not. I have no clue what it is I need to move from here to there; My God Does.

I am grieving my mother’s death already. She is gone, was never there

and still she is on the list of those I have to lose.

I will lose her.

Today I will remember that God does what God does and that is all I need to know.

I will sit with the knowledge that we are a list of those we have to lose.

 In that is both a Petal and a Thorn,

both are born of God.

I am a gardener.

I have roses planted for Ace and Daddy.

I have roses planted for Ella Bee; our newest family member;

our newest  Petal

~ by Step On a Crack on November 4, 2011.

10 Responses to “We are all a list of those we have to lose”

  1. Strong and eloquent writing. Great stuff, thanks.


  2. So beautiful.
    Once we have learned one truth, the rest becomes easier:
    I, myself, am on the list. I must say good-bye to me.
    Once I have done that, I can lose the rest with more strength, more grace.
    I have died, my life is hid in Christ, and He is seated in Heaven. (Col. 3:3)
    What can death do to me?
    Of course I mourn and I drift around not knowing what to do with myself and I cry for at least a couple years.
    But I don’t die the thousand deaths. I am already gone . . .


  3. Beautiful and so sad, yet somehow your strength always shows! Thank you again for being honest and telling your truthful story that sings and resounds over and over during my day, reminding me to pray for you and your family. Be kind to yourself, Jen.


  4. Holy crap, love! I wish i could hold you now! A big hug would still not be enough to heal the wounds of all your losses. THORNS be damned … We need more petals. Bless Ella Bee … the sweetness and newness! She is on the list of GAINS! You are on MY list of gains. What a sweet life! I am blessed with you! Love, mel


  5. Interesting lyrics. I like the way she says it. I feel you on grieving your mom. It’s how I’ve felt the past year. Through all of your pain your hope is louder. That is faith!


  6. Wow, that is alot to handle. You are in my prayers


  7. […] We Are All a List of Those We Have to Lose […]


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