Jason's Poem - 7/23/75-7/8/2000

I had a son
From the moment he came out of me
I knew
That this would be someone who would love me forever
And need me
I took care of him
And loved doing it
The runny nose, the cuts and bruises, occasional stitches, broken ankle
His first love
His first heartbreak
When he was a star athlete
I was the proud Mom
Sitting there, watching him
Marveling at what I had made
And then reminding myself
That I was the vessel
But God was the Captain
Jason was tall, handsome and strong
He was kind and loving
So funny
He made everyone laugh
He loved applesauce
And Seinfeld
And watching four movies in a row
On a Saturday afternoon
Everyone who knew him
Loved him
I loved him
And then one morning he was gone
With one phone call
My world changed forever
"He won't wake up"
Where the words that rang in my head
And bruised my soul
We buried him on a Wednesday
I remembered he was born..on a Wednesday
Now instead of taking care of him
I take care of his grave
Bringing flowers every week
Watering the grass on top of where his body lies
And I wonder
What he is doing now
Is he still laughing?
Can he see me?
At first I couldn't believe he was gone
And I couldn't feel...anything
But now over a year has passed
The reality of his not being here is so real
What do I do with the pain?
Where do I go to escape the despair?
The mountains?  The beach?  An island?
Wherever I go...the pain travels with me
Wherever I go...he is still not there
Grief is a prison
How to break free?
The bars are so thick and strong
I cannot bend them
I cannot squeeze through them
There is no key to let me out
From my cell I can see the world around me
People going on with their lives
Laughing, planning, working
Hugging their children, planning graduations and weddings
Being grandparents
None of this has anything to do with me
There are no weddings in prison
There are no grandchildren either
One day as I sat in my cell
Looking at the bars
So thick and strong
It occurred to me
That I could look through them
And see that love was still there
My mother, my sisters, my brother
My nieces, my nephews, my friends
My life was still here even though my son was not
But how to live it?
Is it wrong to smile again?  To laugh again?
When my son cannot?
And then a thought occurred
It started as a tiny speck of light
A ray of hope
What if he was still alive?
What if he was happier than he had ever been while here on earth?
I remembered my childhood teachings
About life everlasting
I had forgotten this
In the busy hustle and bustle that had been my life
I had been busy with homework, and games and college plans
And I had forgotten
About the other place
Because the place I resided was so full and happy
So I started to think
About who gave me my son
And I recalled
How his son had also been taken early
And tortured     
And I found a common ground
Between myself and God
We had both loved our sons
We had both seen our sons suffer before they died
And then I realized
That our sons were together and alive
More alive than they had ever been while on earth
My spark of faith slowly grew
Into a warm light
That permeated the darkness
And then extinguished it
Filling my world with its light
And helping me see with clarity
All the love around me
Faith and Love
A combination so powerful
It eradicates despair
Faith that God knows exactly  what he is doing...always
I bow my head in awe
And I lift my eyes in gratitude
Thanking God for the honor of being his mother
If only for a short time
Yes, I had a son
And I still have a son
He is strong and loving
And he takes care of me now
Because he is in a place where he can
He tends to me now
He dries my endless tears
And places his hand on my shoulder
When I see mothers with their children
I couldn't feel him before
Because my pain was so great
It blocked out everything else
But now...I have learned that I can look thru my bars
And I am not in a cell
I am in a body
I am not bound
I am free
My faith has freed me
And now I can lift up my arms
I can see through my tears
I can feel
That love that started it all
And I know
That I have a son
I still have a son

by Carole Ann Smith

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