by Cairenn Rhys
December 8, 1980
I was in my bedroom, listening to the radio when the DJ announced that John Lennon had been assassinated.
I begin pacing the room, in tears of disbelief. Hearing the television in the living room, I remember my Dad is watching the Monday night football game. No one else was home.
Heading down the hallway to the living room, where my blind father sits. His head down, sightless eyes looking at the floor, hands folded in front of him. He looked up at me as I approached…
and I spoke without really knowing what to say,
not a question, not a shout, not a whisper but that vocal reaching out to a parent, a parent that already knows what you are thinking, feeling, and needing as child.
He was in his own state of shock, I saw it on his face. All he could manage to say in response to me was…
“I know,” a long pause, “I know.”
He looked down at the floor once again, struggling for the words to explain to his young daughter about the evils in the world that takes the lives of good men, and knowing that he would never be able to protect me from any of it. Knowing this was my generation’s introduction to it all.
I took a seat next to him on the couch. We sat in silence. We sat in a shared sadness and realization that in the flash of a moment the world had changed.
Unknown to us at the time, but fifty-one weeks later, nearing the first anniversary of John Lennon’s passing, I would be sitting on that same couch, grieving the passing of my Dad.
The world truly has changed.