On Saturday evening, I received a text from my sister with these words, “Did you hear about Kidd Kraddick?” Since I was at dinner with friends, I did not call her, but googled Kidd Kraddick on my phone. I sat in disbelief when I read that he passed away at age 53.
Let me be clear. I never met Kidd Kraddick. But his radio show was a part of my life since 1984. Kidd Kraddick’s radio show chaperoned me through so many mornings. Whether it was during the 10 minute drive to high school, a long commute to a court hearing for work, or just because I wanted to start the day with some laughter, my car was always programmed to 106. 1 KISS FM. And his show was a regular part of my routine. One of the first questions I asked my husband when we moved from Dallas to Temple to Houston, was whether or not I still would be able to listen to his show. For me, Kidd Kraddick wasn’t just a radio personality, but a part of my childhood since I was 11 years old.
This morning I tuned in once again to his show, but did not hear his voice. My eyes dripped tears as I listened to many of his colleagues reminiscing about the good, bad, and in-between moments that transpired between them.
Today also is my Dad’s 78th birthday. I’ve spent 5 years celebrating his birthday without him. It struck me how much of a privilege it is to grow older and witness so many happy moments, but accompanying this joy is also a sense of sorrow. When a piece of your childhood dies, you think about the old and evolving versions of what home means. And how you are so unprepared to reconcile what home was and what it is and what it will never be. That part of the process is so hard, knowing that some of the best parts of your childhood will only be relived through memories and stories, but you will never be able to recreate that single moment of time again.
I am seeking solace and comfort today. Knowing that pieces of my childhood have died, but trying desperately to remember this Dr. Seuss’s saying: “Don’t cry because it’s over, but smile because it happened.”