Excerpt from the book: Good Night Kendrick, I Love You: A Mother’s Journal through Grief
By: Rhonda Roseland Fincher
Chapter 6: A New Calendar Year Without Kendrick
The pages on the calendar are milestones. Making it through Thanksgiving and Christmas were two huge milestones. Now, another milestone greeted us … a new year starting without Kendrick.
January 20, 1996
I’ve just been looking through your photo albums and crying. I haven’t written to you for so long. I think a sense of denial just to get through the holidays. It’s the new year now and on one hand I’m glad to say goodbye to the sorrow of 1995 but how do I get going on this new year without you? I was reading from the Bible a little earlier. What if heaven is not there? What if you’re just gone? Where is heaven? It must be very far away in another solar system. I miss you so much. I miss your jokes, your laughter, your hugs, your kisses, your sweetness, the way you said, “Mom” and “Good night, Mom, I love you.”
We’ve done a lot since the end of November. Are you watching over us? We’ve been trying to keep busy to keep the sorrowaway. The frames we ordered for family and friends in your memory were beautiful. They will be nice memories.
After Kendrick died we had wooden frames made to hold his photo that were etched with “Remembering the spirit of compassion, kindness and friendship to all” along with his name and birth and death dates. We gave them to some family members and special friends.
We can’t decide what to do about a ballpark or other memorial. We’re considering just setting up a foundation for now. We’re going to order sports drink bottles with instructions on how to avoid heat illness.
We meet with the lawyers on Monday to find out what they recommend.
It feels good to be writing to you again. I don’t know if it is healthy for healing, but I imagine because it helps me talk through some of my feelings.
Aunty Shelly is doing okay right now. I hope she stays healthy. Her family needs her here.
Well, Dear, I guess I’m able to face my recovery from my grief again. So, I will continue to write in here more often again. Your birthday would have been in a week and a half. You’d be continually making your requests and pestering me about what I was buying you.
I love you, Sweetheart. I miss you so much and you know you are on my mind almost constantly. Sometimes I’m okay and sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I feel like I try to pretend it didn’t happen, and sometimes I wonder if your life was a dream rather than losing you a nightmare.
Well, Hon, I’m going to start on my new year. I’m going to make my list of goals for the year for me and also what I want to doin your memory. So good night, Kendrick. I love you!
January 30, 1996 – Tuesday
Kendrick- I miss you so. I keep waking up early in the mornings and thinking about you. I can’t believe I won’t see you again. I won’t see you grow up, go on dates, drive a car. At church on Sunday a young man that came to visit us after you died came and sat next to us and I was looking at his hands and how much I miss holding your hands. We placed flowers at the front of the church on Sunday -fourteen white roses in memory of your birthday. Dad is supposed to go get one so we can dry it and save in memory.
I got the sample of the water bottles we’re considering distributing for all the sports programs with heat stroke prevention information. We’re meeting with the lawyer on Thursday to talk about setting up a nonprofit foundation. The lawyer from last Monday cancelled our appointment and we’re meeting with them on Saturday regarding a suit or whatever they recommend.
Your sister is doing great. She’s growing up so fast. I remember you at that age changing from a little boy into a young man.
After church on Sunday a couple came up to us and asked us if we were the Fincher’s. They were Marty and Bill Keeling. Their son, Andy, was there at practice with you and he had heat exhaustion. He passed out behind the school and a UPS driver found him. He was treated and released at the hospital. Wonder why he was saved and you weren’t. What did we do wrong? Why would God spare him and not you? Is Andy lucky or were you lucky to go to heaven early? I don’t like waiting for answers!! What I wouldn’t give to replay time and have a different ending to last summer.
Daddy’s on the phone talking with Uncle Kenny (Mike’s uncle from Chicago). We had fun seeing him at Christmas. We told him how much you thought of him.
Life … I was listening to a tape by Wayne Dyer the other day and he said, “We think we are human beings with a spiritual side. What we forget is that we are really spiritual beings having a human experience.” But, it’s that fear of the unknown. Now I know you are there in the unknown. The unknown I like to believe is heaven and God and all things good. I believe that you are cared for and loved and peaceful in a blissful life. Faith … that which we don’t see and yet believe. I have faith I will see you again. Good night, Kendrick. I love you!
Excerpt from the book: Good Night Kendrick, I Love You: A Mother’s Journal through Grief by: Rhonda Roseland Fincher.