Wednesday, August 01, 2012

At the Crossroads of Life and Death, August 1, 2012

She was much too young
to lose her life,
and I was much too young
to lose her.
~Russell Shepard

Hello Family and Friends,

Often in genealogical research life and death get juxtaposed. Such is the case today as we remember the death of one dear one while basking in the light of a new arrival.

Celebrating William Quincy Shepard. The new arrival, of course, is the son of Nathan and Chenda Shepard, William Quincy, who was born last Saturday at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Cindy and I are still with the happy family in Northern California and are getting used to the new little cry, trying to figure out what you call a baby with his name, and trying to get our minds around the fact that three little ones inhabit this household.

The first picture shows little William (in the middle), with his parents Nathan and Chenda, his grandmother Cindy with his brother Logan (1) on the left, and his grandfather Steve with his sister Preslea on the right. 

In William's Shepard lineage dating to 1835 every person has "William" somewhere in their name with one exception. This is his lineage: William Quincy Shepard (b. 2012)/ Nathan William Shepard (b. 1977)/ Steven Dale Shepard (b. 1948)/ Eugene William Shepard (1921-2003)/ William Shepard (1888-1976)/ William Elmer Shepard (1862-1915)/ William Shepard (1835-1862).

Remembering Linda Shepard. The joy of William's arrival is placed alongside the realization that today is the anniversary of the death of my sister Linda Shepard Clark, who died in a traffic accident in Lubbock, Texas, August 1, 1971 at the age of 20. She and husband Jerry Clark were students at Lubbock Christian College at the time.

The second picture was taken in front of the Gower home on Lynne Street in San Diego in 1968. It shows Linda in the green dress on the right, holding her infant niece Kerri Shepard. Also in this picture are my grandparents Leroy Gower (left center) and Nola Shannon Gower (behind Linda), as well as my cousin Hershell Gower (seated in front) holding his infant son Shaun, with his wife Janet Nolan Gower behind him. On the left are Darrell, Maida, Barbara and Russell Shepard. Can any of you identify others in this picture? Let me know.

Linda's death occurred 41 years ago today, but her life is still remembered fondly by all of us who knew her. My brother Russell, during a difficult time for him last year, wrote the following poem about Linda's death. Thanks to Russ for his willingness to have it shared with all of you.

My Loss
by Russell Shepard

It's been 40 years to the month.
I was nine years old; too young to
even be a punk.
But I remember oh so well
that night we got that call.
They said you weren't coming
home at all. My loss.

It was the first time I saw
my dad really break down
and cry; my mom was sitting
there by his side.
Tears of grief, sorrow and pain.
This family would never be
the same. The loss of a daughter,
sister and wife. She was much
too young to lose her life, and I
was much too young to lose her.

They say time heals all wounds,
And it's better to have loved
and lost, than never to have loved
at all. But we don't have a
choice when heaven comes
to call. But through all the heartache
sorrow and pain, heaven was
the place that gained.
My loss.

The scars from my loss
still remain. I still feel
the pain. It's still hard to
believe that you are gone.
But I gave life to someone
to carry your name on.

- - -

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