Friday, October 12, 2007

October 12, 1997: Ten Years

Friend, I will remember you. (Zack and John Denver)

Ten years ago today John flew his last flight. There is a sadness with me still today, and a joy that I knew of this amazing person. Though I'd never met him except through two concerts, many record albums, and television, he's had a positive impact on my life. He felt like a big brother to me somehow...and I miss him.

For a period of eight weeks, back in the fall and winter of 1997, Tom and I lost 13 people that we loved, most were close family and friends. It was a grueling time of terror whenever the phone rang, and of too many funerals. Tears. Heavy Sadness. Emotional and physical Exhaustion. So much loss in such a short amount of time. Children without parents. Spouses suddenly alone. Sons and daughters torn away. Tragedy and 'natural causes.'

Today I pause to remember each one, reflecting on their lives, and the love and times we shared.

Ten years Tom and I have lived beyond the lives of those 13 people. Have we lived those years well? I hope they'd think so. I know I do.


Mike S said...

Having gone through a similar experience recently, (lost that many plus a few in 2 week period) I know how it can really give our safe little worlds a hard jolt. Nice to see you weathered the ordeal well.

Cherie said...

Oh my word, Mike. I'm so sorry to hear it. Jolt is right. I hope you are finding it within yourself to weather the ordeal well, too. Something tells me you are. Time does help.

tshsmom said...

Wow, '97 was a rough year for you guys!

Z and I were discussing John Denver yesterday. We were working in the garage, while listening to a JD tape. I told Z to pay particular attention to one song. I got his name from that song. ;)

Cherie said...

It's a beautiful song. Nice to know Z's full name. He's quite a kid.

Yeah, it was a rough year, but a growing one. You know how it goes.....

liz crumlish said...

thanks for the reminder that there is life and even fullness after pain.
Loved and still love JD too.
Like the Thomas Merton quote "The beginning of love..." in the sidebar.

Ann said...

I loved John Denver's music, too. I remember the first time I heard "Annie's Song." It's so sad that he left this world too soon, but there is such consolation in his music.

Cherie said...

Thanks, Liz and Ann. Isn't it great how we, though we live miles apart and have never met in person, can console one another in like-mindedness. Amazing.

Hope you enjoy the weekend!

IndianaJones said...

I was raised on JD. It was a year after I graduated from highschool when he died and for a long time following that I couldn't hear leaving on a jet plane without breaking up. He brought much joy to our house and continues to. Death has always danced around me staying just far enough away to only mildly effect me.(aside from micarriages which is a whole different beast) I can't imagine a year like you had. My Grandmother will die in the next 5 years and I am somewhat fearing even just that one passing that will be the right time for a woman who lived a long full life. I'm sorry for the loss that tempered that year but hopeful in your obvious grace in handling it.

tshsmom said...

I knew you'd decipher his name! ;)
I always had the girl's name in that song picked out for my daughter. Unfortunately, I married a man whose last name rhymed with it, so no go. As a consolation, L let me name Z for the song.

deanna said...

Sigh. Such a crush I had on JD. So little I've felt death up close, as is Summer's case. But Cherie you and others do give hope for weathering and learning from such storms.

Cherie said...

Ah, Summer, your parents done right by you!

My last grandparent was one of the thirteen, and I think it was the hardest loss of all, for of all my grandparents, I was closest to her and loved her deeply. You are right that miscarraiges are a whole different beast as I well know, but they are a connection with death nonetheless, with loss. Thank you for sharing, and for your kind words. You'll be okay when the march of death crosses your path. And it will. God gives grace.

Tshs, You are so smart to know I'd know. I don't know that I'll be as accurate in guessing that last name, though. ; )

Deanna, a crush, huh. Well, you are one of many and who can blame you...that hair, those eyes, that smile, that laugh, the joy that was JD, not to mention the music!

Like I said, mine was not a crush at all, but the connection of a true big brother extending a hopeful hand to me while I was in a lonely and pessimistic environment. He was someone who thought the way I did, and it seemed to be okay afterall. Thanks for your encouraging words, Deanna!

cecily said...

I only know one Denver song... Take me home country road, sung with gusto in grade 2 at school. :)

Life is precious and fragile hey... something to be treasured, valued and utilised (for want of the better word that won't come to mind)wisely. (Do I mean maximised?)

Cherie said...

How cute, a bunch of 2nd graders belting out Country Roads. John would have loved it, I'm sure.

Yeah, life really is precious and deserving of much care and treasuring and even maximazation! Thanks, Cecily!