Happy Birthday, Precious Son

Dear Jason,

You would have turned 30 today. 30 years old. It’s hard to imagine you being 30 years old. You will forever be 19 in our memories.

If you had lived, what would you be doing now? Would you be married? Would you have kids? Would you still live in Washington or would you have moved to another state? What would you do for a living?

We’ll never know. You never had a chance to find out. You never had a chance to make those choices with your life. You never had the chance to find the love of your life, ask her to marry you, or to know the incredible joy of holding your newborn child. You never had a chance to graduate from college, move into your first apartment, buy your first home, or hold a full-time job.

There are so many, many things that you never got a chance to do.

I do know this, though. Whatever you would have done, it would have been with the integrity, empathy, kindness, and caring that were such a part of you. You would have loved with your whole heart and lived a life bringing sunshine and love into the lives of those who knew you.

I’m so sorry you didn’t get a chance to live your life to 30 and way beyond. I’m sure you would have lived it to the fullest. I’m sorry you didn’t get a chance to get married or have children. You would have been a wonderful husband and father. I’m so sorry that you were taken from us. The hole you left in our lives is huge.

But, I’m SO GLAD you were born into our family. I’m SO GLAD you were OUR boy, our precious son.

I miss you, my precious Mr. Jay. My Mr. Sunshine.

I love you…always. I miss you. You are always in my heart.

Happy birthday, Jason.


© 2012 Rebecca R. Carney

So much love your heart can’t hold it

From my journal dated August 12, 2002:

I got a note from W.P.* today…it was the most honest thing I’ve had said to me in a while. She said something along the she doesn’t know what to say to me…and that she’s chicken. Her son, who was a friend of Jason’s, is going away to college, and she said she finds herself grieving for him even though he’s okay and coming back…and that it must be just a fraction of the grief I feel. She said something, too, about the special relationship between a mother and son. I believe that’s true. All I know is that Jason filled a huge place in my heart. He brought me so much joy from the minute he was born!

It has always amazed me that it’s possible to have the feeling of so much love in your heart – so much that it’s like your heart isn’t big enough to hold all of it. That’s the feeling I’ve had for my family – for Joe, for Eric, for Jason, for Jenna. My heart could hardly hold how much I love them…so much pride, so much happiness that they were in my life.

I remember watching Joe play football in the backyard with the kids when they were little. I felt so much love for my family I just had to call tell someone and express it. I called Joe’s mom, telling her how thankful I was to be married to her son. I thanked her for doing such a good job at raising such a wonderful man, that he was such a good dad, a good husband.

Our hearts are really amazing things. One one hand, our hearts can be so full of love we don’t think there is any way to hold it all. We feel like they’re about to explode with love, happiness, pride, beauty, all the good things. It’s almost like there’s no way to express such happy, strong emotions. We feel like we’re walking on air, “over the moon.”

On the other hand, our hearts can be so crushed we don’t know how we can survive or continue to live. They can feel so hurt, depleted, crushed. It doesn’t seem like there’s any way to recover or express the deep pain.

Such extremes. I think most of life is lived in the middle with periodic highs and lows. I don’t think anyone could permanently live at one end of the spectrum or the other. Maybe some people generally live a little above the “norm” and some a little below the “norm,” but maybe that’s what we all try to achieve…balancing the good with the bad. It feels like that “heart so full of good things” is far away right now. I’m on the other end of the spectrum, trying to figure out how to get back toward a new “norm.”

Ripples in a pond

From my journal March 14, 2002:

How I wish I could go back and change things…things over the years…do them better.

I know that Jason knew he was loved. He would never have been as secure as he was if he didn’t.

His heart was right with God. I know that. So was Alina’s. They are in the presence of God, singing praises before the Most High God. I pray that God make this good in a big way, that Jason’s heart would shine as a huge beacon – a beacon of love – a light shining to point the way to the heart of God.

So many people at the memorial service…nearly 500. And Alina’s was huge, too.

They impacted so many lives.

I just pray that their lives will be like a pebble in a pond with ripples radiating out from them, from their lives, that their lives would impact the entire world.

It’s just so tough on us who are left behind. I don’t know how to do this. I don’t want to have to do this.

© 2011 Rebecca R. Carney