For Zee, who has made it possible. And for Susanna, Michelle, Andrew and Anna, who are precious, much beloved children, well-deserving of a father and grandfather who is loved and admired, adored and respected, greatly valued as the truly special person he is. It is my prayer that the time which has been lost can be redeemed and the family that has been separated can once again share together as should be fitting in a loving, nurturing home.
If there is no other gift I can give you, let it be this, and may the L-rd multiply this gift through this generation and all that are to come. Selah.
— J. E. Clark | 7 November 2002
This dedication is inscribed on the inside of the front cover of the journal containing the letters I wrote to Zee during our courtship. It was an extraordinary time when all things were possible. I was preparing to open my world and my life to children and grandchildren, an extended family which was engaged in each others lives, and building a business that would provide a comfortable income for us and for the futures of our children.
Three years later, there was nothing left. It was all gone with no possibility of recovery.
In the time since, I have turned over in my mind countless times the dynamics that made it impossible for us to continue as a couple and that ultimately resulted in his death. The enormous pain and guilt he carried from the losses in his life and the betrayals of trust by those closest to him were more than anyone could bear. Yet, in his inimitable style, rather than running from the pain, he chose to embrace it, tried to right the wrongs, and strove to shield others from whatever harm might come to them through the actions of others.
The children that Zee loved so much are forever beyond my reach. I cannot personally pass on to them the heritage that I longed to give them. But I can take up the battle that Zee can no longer fight. It is my prayer that the L-rd goes before them to guide them in all that they do, and to guard and protect them from all that could bring them harm. May He give them all they may need to become the strong men and women of faith that He created them to be. May He keep them secure in His arms so they know that they are much loved and children of great worth. And if it may be, G-d grant me strength to stand in the gap for them in their father’s stead all the days of my life.
– J. E. Clark | 4 March 2011