Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Word From the Lost

Bang! And one of the major rock formations that helped shape the swirling, winding river that is my life... is gone. In time, the ever-flowing waters will smooth over the jagged edges that are left behind, but the bend in the course will remain. And I will always remember. Always.


My parents bought their house right before I was born. Nearly forty years later, they still live there. When I was three, the Merrill family moved in three houses up and across the street. Although the children are grown, their parents still live there as well. Cole Merrill is three weeks older than I am, and we were raised as practically siblings. His family was my family, and vice-versa. We've all always been close - our moms, both teachers, are best friends, and we even used to all vacation together. Cole has a younger brother, but I was always the girl they never had. Of course, that all changed a month ago, when Cole and his wife Natalie welcomed their beautiful baby girl, Vivian Grace, into the world...

Bang! Cole's mom, Mary Jane Merrill, was killed in a car wreck Monday.

I got the news on Tuesday, and I'm still in shock. This isn't the way things are supposed to happen. She wasn't sick, or doing anything detrimental to her health or well-being. She wasn't a bad person. So far from it, in fact, that the most common thing said about Mary Jane is, "She is the nicest person I've ever known." A special education teacher for over 30 years, and active in her church and a number of service organizations, Mary Jane was constantly working to make the world a better place. So... why?

I don't know. And I don't suspect I ever will. But I do know that I thank God for getting me back to Kansas City over the New Year's holiday, and giving me a short while to visit with Mary Jane while I was there. I can still see her face and hear her voice. No longer just a memory, it is now a memory I cherish.

And I know that the next time I do something great - be it a simple random act of kindness, or something that truly changes the world - Mary Jane will be there. In my head, and in my heart... with me, always.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pain, With Instructions

This is a post I've been putting off for a long time, though I'm not really sure why. Perhaps it's because I feel like it's an admission of a huge failure - although, if you read back through my blog, you'll find that I'm not terribly shy about admitting my shortcomings. Perhaps it's because I don't feel comfortable explaining everything - which is why I won't, even though the lack of explanation on my part has proven to lead to occasional ridicule. Or, perhaps it is simply because there is just no easy or funny way to say it...

John and I are splitting up. More accurately, John and I split up in October, when I chose to remove JJ and myself from our home. We are pursuing a legal divorce, and maintaining joint custody of JJ.

That being said...

Please do not offer apologies. I chose to do what I feel is right for my son and I. It was not a decision I made lightly, but it was my decision.

Please do not make accusations. You do not know what happened. Very, very few people know even part of both sides of the story. I doubt anyone knows all of both sides.

Please do be considerate of our privacy in this matter. A telephone call is very different than a public forum.

Please do keep us in your prayers. Knowing that it is the right decision does not make it easy.