All of these people can help
Now for ten years we've been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin stone
But that's not how it used to be
How it used to be. I remember, as the year 2000 approached, the laughter J and I shared about people believing that the world as we knew it was going to end. A good friend had enough food stockpiled for a small Army. She was convinced that there would be mass chaos as 2000 rolled in.
Me, I didn't believe that the world as I knew it would change in 2000. How wrong I was. Jason's death, 10 years ago today, changed me irrevocably.
I wonder a lot lately. I wonder who I'd be today if Jason hadn't died. I wonder what I could have done differently, how I could have changed his mind. I wonder how much pain he was in. Was he scared? Did he think of me as he left? Did he really believe that I would be in less pain with him gone than with him here? I have a picture in my mind of him reaching for the phone as he died, but being unable to reach it. That picture won't go away. And, since the delightful Alabama police refuse to release his pictures to me, I'll never know if he was reaching for that phone. There are so many things that I'll never know.
Yet, because of his death, there are so many things that I have learned. Not things I wanted to learn, but things I learned nonetheless. I have learned how incredibly fragile human life is. But I also learned how amazingly resilient we are, how much we can live with, how sad we can be, how much we can still make a difference.
Someone asked yesterday if it is possible to both get on with your life and never stop grieving. The answer is a resounding yes. Yes, you can continue living. Because of Jason's death, I have met some of the best people in this world. I am lucky to call them, "friend". I know that they are always there for me.... and they know that I am always there for them. They have helped me see that the best way to honor Jason's life is to live mine.
That doesn't mean that I don't miss him. It doesn't mean that there isn't an empty place in my soul that only he can fill. It means that I can take the lessons he taught me, and try to share them with the world. I've learned to not ever judge. First of all, I'm not in the judgment business. Mr. God has a prior claim on that, and He does just fine. I've learned that, if you look past the surface, you will see someone who needs your kindness, your understanding, perhaps your help.... not your judgment.
I've learned not to sweat the small stuff. I already knew that... but now I know that it's all small stuff. As long as nobody is dead, there is nothing that can't be fixed. It may be difficult, but it CAN be fixed.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me." Words my Mother said to me many times. She was wrong, my Mom. Words don't break your bones. They have the power to do something worse. They have the power to shatter your soul. So I've learned to just.... be nice. That's it. Just be nice. I try not to say things that can hurt. I don't always succeed, but I try. A lesson learned from J's death.
I'm glad about so many things. I'm glad I let him eat dessert first. I'm glad I let him run as much and as often as he wanted to. I'm glad I dropped what I was doing more times than I can count because he wanted me to, "come see". I'm glad I hugged him a lot. I'm glad I never left him without saying, "I love you". I'm glad that he believed, until that one tragic time, that I could fix ANYTHING. I'm glad that I never told him to stop being so generous, to stop giving things away (I did ask once that he not "lose" anything for awhile because Mom couldn't afford it). I'm glad I always took the opposite view to his on any subject that we debated, because it taught him to see that the world isn't just black and white. I'm glad I made him "something simple" for dinner, when what he asked for took a lot of time. I am grateful for so many things.
I wish I could hug him one more time. I wish that he would rest his elbow on my head and tell me I'm short (which I'm not. He was just tall!). I wish he'd make fun of my nose. I wish he'd badger me to run with him. I wish I still had to wrap his Christmas gifts for him. I wish he was here to cry over the Treasure Ship with. I wish he were here helping with the preparations for that oil slick that would make him so angry he wouldn't be able to talk. I wish he was here to go parasailing with. I wish we could go diving together. I wish we'd seen "Gladiator" together. I wish he was ordering unsweet tea and putting 10 packs of Equal in it while I told him that Equal was really bad for you and he didn't need to eat it... especially since he was such a health nut. Vegetarian with an Equal and Diet Coke addiction. I wish...... I just wish.
Please live your life. Make every minute count. Don't ever let there be regrets. Love while you can. Love is priceless.
Jason, my little love, run with the wind. Pole vault over the moon, then hurdle the clouds. Thank you for watching over me the last 10 years. Thank you for keeping me alive when I wanted to die. Thank you for sending my love,
I miss you, Kidlet. So much. There might even be tears today.
Brenda deLuna, always Red's & Red Man's Mom
Life isn't the party I'd hoped for, but I'll dance anyway, because my sons believed I would.
Jason August 5, 1974 - May 7, 2000
Rick August 5, 1974 - August 16, 2002 found August 24, 2002
You may not think the world needed you, but it did. For you were unique: like no one that has ever been before or will come after. No one can speak with your voice; say your piece; smile your smile; or shine your light. No one can take your place for it was yours alone to fill. Because you are not here to shine your light, who knows how many travelers will lose their way as they try to pass by your empty place in the darkness