Candles in the Dark

Picture anyone that sticks out in your mind when you think of a “helper” in this journey we call life. Not your mother or father or even siblings just someone who was there in the most perfect way and it took you some time to realize it. Narrow it down a bit more…

Think about a time in your life where you felt so lost that you didn’t want your immediate friends or family to know just how lost you were. There is always someone there to help us like a candle in that darkness. Who is your candle?

We meet so many people in our lifetime. Some are good some are bad and some are just unforgettable. Either way they are put in our lives for reasons we don’t understand but we deal with and live with. I have many names and faces that come into my mind when describing a candle but sadly this candles light had burnt out after I’d realized what he had done for me. There are many times in my short lived life where I have felt “lost.” It seems in being this ,off the beaten path, soul God places many candles along the way. Some in plain sight and others are disguised. Every kid leaving high school truly does not know what their in for unless their parents have given them a full proof step by step tested Aced and passed life exam…(this doesn’t exist where I come from) Parents do the best they can with the circumstances and surroundings their dealt with. So leaving a cycle of school-summer-school-summer from pre-K till graduation on the Senior (12) year on paper looks progressive but in reality and mentally it messes with you to put it nicely. Everyone asks you what you want to do where you want to be. Some say you don’t need to know you will figure it out. The usual things you would say to someone getting ready to start a new chapter in their lives.. I kept trying to take in the change as easily as I could but I was like a duck in a pond paddling like hell underneath while calm on top. My best friend felt the same way and wanted to ravel in the life that we had known since pre-k. Growing up in a town with yields signs and corn fields only means boys with Chevy trucks, cattails, duel exhaust and brush guards. My best friend Linny found a guy who had the truck the farm the four-wheeler and the best friend for me to tag along too. This all happened two weeks before graduation and lasted almost 6 weeks past. Dan was the boys name. He had a copy of his parents credit card and footed the bill for everything. We wanted to go shopping ,eat, drive around all day in his jacked up truck blaring music as the subs from under our seat took us away to wherever we wanted to go. It was a carefree time in all four of our lives. We didn’t have no place to be and no jobs to go to at the time. Living off your parents, graduation money and your best friends boyfriend pampering you seemed like a cushy way to get over the “what’s after high school bit? ” Being the kids we were we put no thought into anything. We shot guns while floating four wheelers over a pond on Dan’s property. We spent our nights telling our parents we’re at each others house while we lived out at Dan’s parents farm equip with a small kind-of hunting lodge with all the main necessities, cooking New York strips, rib-eyes and filets on a grill. Fishing on a pond and road-tripping wherever we wanted to as fast as we wanted to. We were kids. We were invincible. As the four of us entertained each other for a couple months past graduation eventually real life kept on living and showing its double sworded-side. We had fun times but we were all just kids and kids do what they do…discover new girls and move on or vise versa. Eventually Dan and his friend became stories for us to talk and laugh about the older we got. “Remember that one time!” Is how it usually started. He drove us to everything involved in graduation. Including purchasing roses from Linny and I when we showed up. He knew how to whew a women if his money wasn’t enough. He had a funny personality and something that took me years to figure out the most about him was that he was genuinely a very good soul. The way of the world tends to throw us into roles we don’t always fit and it can cover up the true being of our nature and way. Then again he was 20 with the whole “I’m Country” thing going on so looking for a golden Aura really isn’t my bit at age 18 either. I write about this candle today because I woke up two days ago to this man being on the front page of every newspaper and station in town. Not for a key to the city award either. His house caught fire with his Fiancé and 4-month old child inside. She was the only survivor. Dan and his baby were found in the kitchen and declared dead within 30 minutes of emergency personnel finding them. As I write it I want to let the details wash over the reader and myself as a moment of silence is needed every time this story is stated. Those aren’t details to take in so easy especially with the mental image. Its an eyesore of captivation. I call my old friends associated with Dan back in those days. Everyone in shock especially knowing none of us kept in touch after our times together. We waved and said hello how are you in public but nothing more. I saw him and  his baby with his fiancé at my job one time and wondered the type of man he’d become from the last encounter I had. He had the best cleanest jeans from the buckle. With the best shirt either button-up or Affliction. He had an attitude of if its broke or stained throw it away and swipe a card. The last time I saw this man he had holes in his jeans and stains like he’d farmed or worked on an oil rig with a scruffy beard and a cut off t-shirt. Not the Dan I remember except this. He dated several of my friends through high school and bought a couple of them promise rings. ( yes , I said a couple of them) Always backing out and returning what he didn’t understand that ring actually meant. He took responsibility for his baby Hunter and quit thinking his parents were always going to support him and his outlandish spending. He was going in the process of opening his own business as well as raising his 4-month of baby with his fiancé. Dan had dreams and plans and responsibilities, not the guy I remembered, how could it be I knew Dan the boy not Dan the man. Through the days after his passing as I wait for his visitation to near it takes me back to every time he had ever entered my life. The times he took us to his parents house, the farm, shopping, the conversation. Just everything he did for me in that time of my life. I believe Dan was lost at the time we met. He had a good heart even in the time of his most in mature moments. I can’t believe I have to go his funeral to say thank you. I cant believe it took me till he passed for me to realize what a candle he was. What a disguise he was in such a time in my life. As I read the newspaper headlines they dig more into his life and the man he was. They interviewed his boss and several friends. Its all just heart breaking. The police broke through a window and a wall to get this mother out through the basement as Dan and the baby tried to go upstairs and out. It did not happen the way he saw it in his head. I hope he didn’t suffer. He was trying to rescue his son what better pass into Heaven do you need if its a mandatory trip?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: