It is so odd to look back at posts here and on Facebook from a year ago. Everything was so exciting. I was so ready to conquer the world. Now as I come around full circle to these last days of true happiness, I have to look at them with a sort of bitter-sweet fondness…. they were after all my final days with my son.
I am going to post here exactly what I posted on my Facebook page this morning.
Why do I say these things out loud and publicly? Because it helps me to say it out loud…. here is what was. Here is what I had. Here is what I remember. Here is what I will not let go. I have found over the past year that it is easier on me to say things out loud in a way that I can reach many at once, rather than answer the same questions over and over again…. How are you? How long has it been? We are getting close to a year right? You were with him shortly before the accident?
I know everyone means well and I am so thankful that people continue to talk about Justin. I know I have much to be thankful for.
It was a year ago today this photo was taken. I was in St Paul to do an interview on April 2nd with Scott Eastwood and Brit Robertson for The Longest Ride movie. I met up with Justin at 3 pm on April 1st and we hung out in his new apartment for awhile and he showed me around, I even took pictures because I thought it was so cool.
He then took me out to dinner at a place called Dixies. He thought that was pretty funny because he knows my odd repulsion for all things County and Cowboy. We talked about everything. He told me about how amazing this recent trip to Honduras was and how he originally thought it would be his last trip, “But mom, I don’t think I can stop going, it is so important to me.” We talked about his upcoming plans with Heather the next night for the WILD game and he was so excited about that. We talked about the book he had just finished, Girl On The Train. We talked about how Branden was doing and he was so proud of his friend. He told me about his new tattoo (you can see it in the picture) that came form a devotion that really spoke to him in Honduras.It is written in Spanish but it means “Set my heart on fire, let me soul be free”. We talked about his plan for the year, he already had several trips lined up including our annual trip in November to Harry Potter World.
We went to the pre-showing of the movie The Longest Ride and we both had to admit it was better than we thought it would be. After the movie ended Scott Eastwood and Brit Robertson came from behind the screen as a surprise. Justin was thrilled! We joked how cool it would be if the actors always came out after a movie ended and said,”Well, how did we do?”
Justin grabbed his phone and said, “Mom! We have to commemorate the moment!” And he took this picture.
After the movie we went and seen Saraya at her work. Then we went back to his apartment and watched Netflix – the entire season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt which I had recently watched myself at home and told Justin it was pretty funny. We were up until 2 am until I could not keep my eyes open. It was always like that when we were together… I think I always felt his age when I was around him.
The next morning Justin made me coffee in his Harry Potter mug while I worked on a contract for a client on my lap top. At noon, I had to leave for the interview. Justin helped me carry everything out to my car, we hugged, we said I love you…
and I drove away.
I did not have a clue that this would be the last moments with my son. I did not know that within three days I would be standing in my kitchen numb with the most intense pain of my life.
BUT… I did have those 21 hours. 21 hours of laughter, and sharing, eating and talking and watching a crazy show on Netflix. I know the last book my son read, the last movie he seen, and the last show he watched on tv. I know he was forward thinking and had plans… he always had amazing plans.
And I would not trade that time…. THIS MEMORY for anything.