Today…October 4…marks the day that we lost our son thirteen years ago. Another driver lost control in a rainstorm and hit our son’s truck. How can it even be possible that so many years have come and gone? How can it be possible that I still remember every moment of that day when the accident happened…etched in my memory like an engraved picture on glass? Careful…be ever so careful with the picture…be very careful with the words…always be very careful with the memories.
I do my best to keep his memory vivid in my mind and I am certain that my husband does the same. It is easy and natural for me to talk about Justin. Recently, a friend mentioned what it was like when she left their first child at Kindergarten. Someone else continues the conversation with how they felt when their child took the big step into that big school. Since our son is still an important part of our lives, I talked about how I was so emotional about leaving him at school…in fact, I could not even say hello to the teacher.
The moment might have been the first time ever that I absolutely could not talk! Everyone laughed, but one friend said….“Justin was such a sweet boy”. A very nice something to say, but the emphasis was obviously on the word “was”. The conversation subject was quickly changed. I felt like I had never had a little boy go to school for the first time…I felt as if I was supposed to push those thoughts back into the recesses of my mind.
However, memories don’t work that way. I realize that some people are uncomfortable with the mention of a lost child…a child who is forever 26 years old…a child who spent so many happy years with us. We were so thrilled when he was born…just like we were thrilled when his sister was born. Some of our happiest times were to see them together…playing and laughing…even with a five year age difference. I suppose that I don’t want others to forget about our boy named Justin.
~I want to think about how much Justin loved our farm.
~I want to think about how he could name every type of tree…every plant on our land.
~I want to think about his inherent ability to express himself with the written word.
~I want to think about how he could play the guitar so easily.
~I want to think about the songs that he wrote and sang.
~I want to think about how he liked to hike and explore.
~I want to think about how much he loved Austin and how the uniqueness of Austin fit his personality.
~I want to think about his independent spirit and ideas.
~I want to think about how much we loved him, how proud we were of his abilities and his dreams.
~I want to think about his gentle ways, about his calm demeanor, about his friendships.
Justin was our son. Justin will always be our son. Justin will forever hold a special place within our hearts.