She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I'm sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders
It's been a long day
And there's still work to do
She's pulling at me
Saying "Dad, I need you
There's a ball at the castle
And I've been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"
So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone...
--Lyrics from Steven Curtis Chapman's latest song, Cinderella, about his daughter Maria.
Maria's life was cut short yesterday when one of her brothers backed up a truck in their driveway.
All day I held this in, and then L asked me if I'd heard. I had, Heidi had put it on her Gmail status and then other folks had put it on their FB status'. I was numb. But listening to John and Stephanie (our local Christian radio show folks, who are the most normal talk show hosts I've heard, Christian or not) talk about it and then they played this song, which I'd heard over the weekend, sitting in traffic at the junction for Rte 8, I got goosebumps. And I wanted to send a copy of Ordinary People to the Chapman son. Because I think a book solves problems...in Ordinary People, the one son survives the other. Of course, there's more to it. I've never seen the movie. I had a conversation once with Chris and Eileen (happy graduation Chris!) where Eileen said, all he wants to do is recommend a book so he doesn't have to talk to you. And he sputtered, no, I want to recommend a book so that we can then talk about it. But it does come out funny, says the woman (me) who has sputtered out, "Have you read such and such" in a moment of not knowing what else to say.
In the moment of grief, though, I know too well, and was reminded by Tim Keller tonight: no content will help. Hugs help. Presence helps. Weep with the weeping.
[Writer's note: this was updated at 10:01 pm.]
5 weeks ago