As I left off the last blog post, I was trying to illustrate how the park at the end of my street was one of the happiest places on earth that wound up being one of the saddest through attachment. My dad was a roofing contractor, and in a series of unfortunate events, he wound up falling from a very high roof. His company had all safety measures in place, and there is no ill will there, it’s something that can happen some times when these professionals are dealing with heights of that nature. He was the first fatality in their company history, so I can’t say anything bad about it. When I was a young teenager though, I was furious. I wanted to blame everyone and everything around me. And then one day, as I went up to the park, to sit on the swings as I often did when I needed to think. I saw a sign posted at the gates. The park was closed, and set to be demolished due to disrepair.
This was somehow even more crushing than the news of my dad. I understood life and death, and I knew that eventually, we were all headed in the same direction. But the park, the park was steel, and concrete and sand. That stuff was essentially eternal, how could the park be closing. I came home crying to my mom that day. When I explained the news, she put in a call to our local councilman to find out what was going on. The essential gist of it, was that the park needed a lot of upkeep, and the money just wasn’t in the budget.
I wasn’t going to settle for that answer though. I knew that if I wanted to save the place that held so many memories for me, that I would have to do something myself. In a series of conversations between my mom and the councilman, it was decided that if I could raise five thousand dollars, the council would match it and have the park maintained. Now a fifteen year old me needed to figure out exactly how I was going to make that happen. I talked to the school, to the local church, to every group I could find, and we ran massive money raising campaigns. Over the course of a summer, I had managed to raise just over three thousand, but still very shy of my goal. It crushed me, and I thought that just like my dad, I would have to say goodbye to another thing that meant the world to me.
Then one day, I woke up, and looked to the mason jar that I kept the money raised in. It has a piece of paper that said “park fund” on it. I decided to count it one more time to see how far off I was. As I counted to five thousand, I could barely breathe, how did this happen over the course of one night?