In Memory Of Jason
Twenty-three years ago today I lost my fourteen-year-old son. He has been gone for much longer than he was with me, but in some respects he's never been gone. He still lives in my heart. And He lives in Heaven. I just can't talk to him anymore. I can't hear his voice. He no longer comes bursting into a room to share the latest thing he saw or learned or did. He no longer teases me. Or hugs me.
Above, Jason teasing me at the beach. He's about 13.
Of course, by now he wouldn't still be doing that anyway. He'd probably be married with children of his own – children I will never get a chance to meet because they never had a chance to be born.
Jason lived with us for nine years. He was a foster child who lived next door when we met and became friends. We chose each other. He was my four-year-old friend before he became my five-year-old child. And we loved each other. I will always love him.
Jason loved all animals and they took to him -- even the wild ones. This was taken at family camp on Catalina Island one year when a lot of rather tame deer were coming into camp. He also managed to pet a wild buffalo there one year, but no one took a photo. Jason was about nine or ten here.
Jason loved to play and was very imaginative. I loved to watch him play with Snakey, a stuffed animal I'd found at a garage sale. I think Jason was about eight here.
On the Good Friday before he died, his half-brother Bob and family made the two-hour drive from Orange County to see him baptized and join our church. Jason was so happy that day that they were there. They got caught caught in traffic and were a bit late, and Jason begged the pastor to have the baptism at the end of the service instead of near the beginning. And so it happened, and everyone had arrived by then. (Jason is standing between me and Bob. My husband is on the other side of me. Our daughter, who had left us by then--a whole other story-- is on the other end. The rest are all part of Bob's family.)
Jason's half-brother Bob had also been adopted, only by their father's parents. By the time Jason and Sarah needed a home, the grandparents thought they were too old to raise the children to adulthood, Bob was nineteen and engaged by then. The grandparents gave us their blessing and we promised to let them see the children regularly.
A couple of months before his death, Jason came with us to a 25th Anniversary Celebration at a church we had attended before we moved to Newbury Park. Little did any of us know then that the pastor there would be preaching Jason's memorial service in a few short weeks, and that one of that church's musicians would also help us in the service. An ex-pastor took the photo of us as a family. We've always been glad he did.
This last photo I took of Jason is in the pool at my Mom's house about two weeks before he died. He loved the water. Eventually it took him away from us.
On that last day of his life, Jason rode a jet ski to Heaven at a hastily planned church outing. He died in our pastor's arms. And he never came home. And I have too many tears in my eyes to keep typing.
Pictures and content are original and may not be used without permission, B. Radisavljevic, Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved
Image Credit » I took the photo