Surreal To Think… Been 10 Years Now

Remember 10 years ago? Perhaps you do, maybe you don’t. Ten years ago, all the TV stations were covering the awfulness and effects of 9/11. It was also 10 years ago, when Lou Holtz was leading the Gamecocks to a pretty good season, beating the likes of Alabama in a high scoring shootout. I remember details, because it was ten years ago, too, that Kinsey Black Jones was taken.

If you’re unfamiliar with her story, Kinsey was struck with breast cancer in her 20’s, which later metastasized to her liver during pregancy. We were married 11 months.

Last Sunday, as I usually do this time of year, I cruised to Manning United Methodist to attend service where I’ve shared a pew with the Blacks since I’ve known them. As always, I’m glad I made the trip.

After a spell at the Blacks home, Mr. Black and I rode together to the cemetery. As I’ve posted before, Jennifer and I visit Kinsey’s marker at various times during the year. Driving there with a loving father, however, brings about a whole ‘nother perspective (especially since I’m now a dad).

As this may be the first time Kinsey’s marker has been projected online, please notice the sleek mirror shine, and lack of leaves, debris, or dust. If you’ve never had your name etched in a cemetery stone, I can report with authority the feeling changes only slightly at 38 years old, as it did at 28. That said, what you see in the pic above, is the devotion of a loving father, as Mr. Black visits and “swiffs” the marker every day he’s in the county. Let me let that sink in for a few seconds. To my knowledge, Mr. Black has visited the cemetery every single day… for 10 years.

As another year rolls by, I need to type how fine and strong of a woman & wife Jennifer S. Jones has been. She became part of an extended familial situation, that many folks may not have had any interest in. That said, Jennifer loves the Black family and the feeling is reciprocated exponentially. In short, we’ve been one big happy family for a few years now. Enter our daughter, Finley S. Jones! 🙂

As Finley grows older, she’s going to know three sets of loving grandparents, in-laws, uncles, aunts, and cousins. She loves all of her Nana’s and Papa’s, and they flippin’ adore her (of course!). Next year, I’m hoping her niece, Elizabeth Black, will attend USC so they can form a fun bond.

Of course, I don’t type this post to tug at any one’s hearts, or to make anyone sad. I am compelled, however, and feel a sense of responsibility to mention Kinsey’s memory. Overly simplified, I just want to remind our friends that… “It’s that time of year.”

Kinsey would have been 40 yesterday.


  1. beautifully written..

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