3352277 UA-24517149-2

Clara Rose {Unsolved} Murder Victim

Clara Rose, Murder Victim, Mother, Loving Friend

Okay, I am going out of my comfort zone here, but I trust y’all (or I am still in denial anyone reads this haha!).  If you are a friend of mine on Facebook, or on my biz page, you may  have seen my posts regarding Clara Rose and the “like” page her daughter and I set up.

Clara was an amazing woman to me. She was so loving, so supportive, so encouraging. Things I didn’t believe I had in my life up til then. I was seven years old, feeling like I was living in a desert of unworthiness. When she came into my life, as a random soccer coach, I had no idea she would be the water I was thirsty for. She showed me what unconditional love looked/felt like. She influences me to this day.

I remember hanging from the soccer goal and she’d come by and tickle me–seeing how long I could last until I dropped to my feet. She never berated us, only encouraged us when we made mistakes going for the score, pushed us all harder to be a great team.  Which, by the way, is NOT my nature at all. I have a very hard time with team sports, but I was able to enjoy the experience.

She promised me I could play goalie instead of forward on our last game, and Laura, who had asthma, could take my place and not HAVE to play goalie.  She kept the promise. She believed in me. She believed and told me I could do anything I set my mind to.

At halftimes, with our mouths full of orange slice smiles, she lifted us up, pointed out the things we were doing right.  She was full of love, long hugs and gentle touches on the cheek, endless patience. She listened to my {endless, I’m sure} stories about horses.  Being a child, I was blissfully unaware of what she was enduring at home. I am shocked, to this day, that she was able to remain so loving and not bitter in front of us.

I am the blonde on the right, next to Clara. Wendy is to my right, in ponytails.

I am the blonde on the right, next to Clara. Wendy is to my right (brunette), in ponytails.

The morning I was told she had been murdered is one I will never forget. Suddenly, the water dried up.  I was bereft.  People said horrible horrible things in the name of “God”, spoiling the belief in a loving diety along the way. (Irony, since I was in a religious school, wasn’t there supposed to be a “loving God”? After all, it wasn’t Catholic school–gasp!)

In March of this year, her daughter and I, seemingly through Fate, were re-“united”.  We both felt an immediate bond to  each other, a feeling of having an ally, someone who knew what it was like from “the perspective of a child”.  We were able to talk to each other in a way we weren’t able to with others.  Stephen King said it best in The Body (later the move Stand By Me):

The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of , because words diminish them–words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it.  That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.

I have waited almost 33 years for justice to be served. For the person who is responsible to be held accountable, and not just in front of God. In front of this world. Known, exposed, humiliated. His life torn apart like her daughter’s, his reputation ruined.  This year, I learned I want it so much more for Clara’s daughter than I ever wanted it for myself.

So please, if you will, join us on the page.  Join us in visioning, in putting energy behind the cause. Support this beautiful woman who grew up without the love, the support, the care she deserved from the amazing mother Clara was.  Every little bit of humanity helps fight the monsters among us.  xo

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  • Michael Joshua November 29, 2011  

    Wow, incredible story Jill. Thank you for going out of your comfort zone and for sharing this very personal part of you, for a woman who obviously shaped you into the amazing person you are today. From how you describe her, Clara rubbed off on you in more ways than one. This is very tragic, and believe me, you touched me with this. I’m sorry Clara was taken too soon and like you, want to see whatever monster did this brought to justice.

  • Maureena Bivins, PhD November 30, 2011  

    A gift within this terrible tragedy is the reunion between you and Clara’s daughter.  I have never experienced such a loss but I know deep in my soul that there is nothing more heinous than the deliberate taking of another life.  I could really relate to your distress about things that were said in the name of God following the tragedy.  I wonder if it was similar to the reaction I had as a child when I watched the televised deaths of John and Robert Kennedy and the memorial services that followed wherein their children were told by men of the cloth that “God has taken them etc.”  I found that to be so reproachful to God and I grieved for the children.  It is humans who engage in murder, not God.

  • Wendy Rose May 8, 2012  

    Thank you so much for writing this. It mean so much to me. I sometimes have a hard time reaching out like this due to the anxiety it provokes. It’s so nice to have someone fighting for her too.

  • Carolyn Rose Gardner October 26, 2012  

    Thank you so much for sharing this and being their for Wendy. I know it means so much to her to share her loss with someone who also knew and loved her mother.

  • Carolyn Cook Gardner October 26, 2012  

    I am so grateful tha Wendy has re united with you after all these years. It means so much for me to know that she has someone she can share her feeling with that knew and loved her mother. Thank you for being there for her then and now. Maybe someday she will finally know the truth regarding Clara’s murder. She deserves to have some closure.

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