The “Beans” video became part of Griffin family lore when my daughter, Darcy rediscovered the VHS tape during a summer home from college. I remember vividly taping that moment 20 years ago and knowing even then how special it was. We took it home to Indiana several years ago after recording it on DVD and the simple magnetism of childhood discovery and curiosity prompted viewing after viewing.At that time we lived in El Paso, Texas, 1,400 miles away from our family but the video connected us to a time and place when life was full of promise, security and hope.
The “Beans” video and the story took on special meaning when my oldest child, Dani was killed in 2006 by a reckless driver.
Somehow in the midst of numbing grief and pain, the “Beans” story became the message I needed to relate to friends and family gathered at her funeral and to readers today:”All of you have asked me what you can do to help – well, I have it. Keep a part of Dani in your heart always – live life a little bigger, hug those you love a little tighter – take that chance and go for your dreams.”And most of all (pardon the obscure family reference) ‘you get your own beans!'”
“Dani and The Beans” is taken at times verbatim from the video – I watched it repeatedly in writing the story but the images remain ingrained in my memory. I hope its simple, yet powerful story inspires children and their parents to embrace each moment together and serves to remind us all that we have a part and a purpose in God’s plan.
Author: Donna Griffin
Illustrator: Michelle Coy