Hole In The Heart RK

Written by: Carl Rice Jr

Never Ending

Written By: Carl Rice Jr

Dad listens to his voice message.  His best friend Mike left him a message that his daughter Kelli found out her fiancé Todd had died.  A while later Dad and Mike are talking on the phone.  Mike says, “Todd was driving home to see Kelli and just like Kristen and Ryan, he hit a tree and died.”

Later on Dad is on the phone with his pastor and he angrily says, “So God is in control?”  If God wants to, He can dispatch his angels to protect people despite of their actions.  Yet here God is again, choosing not to protect Kelli’s fiancée as he chose not to protect Ryan and Kristen.

Dad tells his pastor a lot of people will automatically assume Todd had been drinking.  People who know Todd will say, “If he wasn’t drinking he would never have died.”  People who don’t know him will say, “He chose to drive his car after drinking.”  Many people will say, “It was his own fault.”  Many Christians will say, “It was his free will.”

My Dad tells his pastor, “It’s the same thing people said about Ryan and assumed about Kristen.”  Dad speaks loudly as he lets his pastor know how people need to understand God’s word before they open their mouth.  That it doesn’t matter if you are drinking and driving, driving sober, sword fighting or going on a Christian mission trip.  Dad says, “This doesn’t mean drinking and driving is okay, its not.”  What it means is, God has a time for us to be born and a time for us to die!  This day and time cannot change (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2). 

Mike calls Dad back and his voice is quivering.  He says, “God will only give you what you can handle.”  Well Kelli’s had too much.  Mike says, “I saw Kelli ripped apart when Kristen died, crushed when Ryan died and now I see her heart torn out.”  Mike’s voice gets louder, tears flow through the phone.  He wants his anger to be known.  He doesn’t want Kelli to go through the pain of Todd dying.  Mike has a good heart and he will do all he can to comfort Kelli.  Yet once again Dad and Mike are reminded of the hole in their hearts’ left when Kristen and I died.

Dad thinks of how the never-ending death of children scars so many people and leaves a hole in the hearts of parents that cannot be filled.  Dad sees the excruciating pain that parent’s experience, as their hearts are ripped apart.  Dad sees how the death of a child brings horrible winds of destruction.  Dad sees how parents want nothing more than to see their children again.

Dad watches a football player make a catch.  He thinks of me.  Dad imagines playing basketball and bumping against me, I bump back and we both laugh.  He then realizes I’m not there and that he’s all-alone.  Dad goes to the gym without me.  Dad goes to the hockey arena and it smells like my hockey bag.  Dad sees a tall young man in an army uniform and more than anything Dad wants to say, “Ryan.” 

Mom walks through the store where she sees a young man looking at clothes.  He looks like me.  Mom wants nothing more than to hear Ryan when names are called out at Christmas.  Mom makes my favorite meal but I’m not there to eat it.  Mom walks toward the sound of my voice and I’m not there.

BJ goes to the movies and the attendant’s name is Ryan.  BJ’s girlfriend has a best friend whose name is Ryan.  BJ wants to celebrate my birthday with me.  People ask BJ he meets if he has any brothers or sisters.  BJ doesn’t want to be an only child and breaks out into tears.  BJ hasn’t gone back to church saying, “What good did it do Ryan, he still died?” 

Leslie yearns to hug me.  She wants to look in my eyes and say, “Ryan I love you.” Leslie walks through the mall thinking about our favorite store.  Leslie waits at home for me to call.  Leslie talks to me at my gravesite, streams of tears falling to the grass.  Her arms hugging the air, her sadness so deep no one can ease it and her lonely voice quietly says, “Ryan I love you.”  It’s people acting as though nothing has changed, even though Leslie has never-ending thoughts of, “What if?”

The phone rings and its Kelli Moss, Kristen’s sister.  She wants to know if she can come and visit Perp, a dog from France she gave my Mom and Dad.  While visiting she begins to talk about Todd.  She talks about a wedding where she is going to be the Maid of Honor and how it should be her getting married.  How she worked through so many difficulties with Todd and how happy they both were.  Holding back tears Kelli says, “I thought nothing else bad could happen after Kristen died.  Then Ryan died.  Now Todd has died.” 

Kelli talks about how she answered the phone at work and the woman’s last name was Todd, how a lot of people who know Todd died act as if nothing happened.  Kelli looks up to the sky and yells.  Her voice is quivering as she yells, “It’s not fair!”  Kelli is filled with sadness and anger, as she continues to yell.  She tells Dad some people will say, “Was Todd drinking?” Kelli tells Dad who gives a “shit” if Todd was drinking.  Why can’t people talk about how much Todd loved me?  Why have so many people forgotten my pain and loneliness?  Why don’t they try to realize I have lost someone I will never forget?”  It’s never-ending.