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.
21 thoughts on “Morning Meanderings…. Remembering Moments With My Son”
He always sounded like such a remarkable young man to me – full of enthusiasm for life. I cannot imagine your pain and I am glad you’re able to be thankful for what you had with him.
Your post brought me to tears, and I didn’t even personally know your son, but I feel I know him from all your wonderful stories about him. God bless your family…. those memories will always be there for you to comfort you.
What a powerful emotion filled testament. I pray God continues to give you and your family strength
I love that you were so close to Justin and had such fun times. It has been a mission of mine this past year, since Justin’s passing, to be a better mum to my seventeen year old boy. It was certainly a wake up call from you that life can change in an instant and I always try to keep the conversations and laughter going in our home so that we too have positive memories to look back on in the future.. Thank you always for your inspiration even in your darkest of days xx
Your past year has been one I don’t think I could have gone through. You are an amazing person, Sheila, and Justin would be so proud of you.
What a beautiful tribute to Justin and to you. Such wonderful memories you have.
Thank you for sharing, and you are ALWAYS in my thoughts and prayers EVERY day.
Thank you for sharing your memories with us. I hope you find more peace, solace, and inspiration as you write and talk about Justin more. Sending you love.
Remembering special moments like these are a wonderful tribute to your son and the time you had together. Thanks for sharing.
I remember thinking how lucky you were to have that fun time at the movie premiere with your son (when I read of your plans ahead of time.) And then I remember crying at my computer when I read your FB post a couple days later. Life changes on a dime. That you had those recent memories with Justin is priceless, and I’m GLAD you share your emotions with all of us. You NEED to do it, we want to know how you are doing, and for others who have, or will find themselves in a similar boat… you are an inspiration how to keep going when it’s the last thing you want to do.
How lucky you are to have the memories of this wonderful time together, to know that the last words you said to Justin were “I love you.”
Thank you for sharing this post, Sheila. Your memories of your special time with Justin are very beautiful.
I have no words, really, just love and heartache for you, and internet hugs.
Thank you for sharing this, Sheila. The relationship you and Justin had was so great and so much fun to get to see. I’m glad you had this time together, and will be thinking of you over the coming days.
Big hug! I’m following along. Thank you for your blog.
Thank you for posting this, it is a wake up call for each of us to treasure each moment with our dearly loved ones. You do have a treasure to look back upon, that 21 hours of laughter and bonding. The words of his tattoo are strong.
I am so glad you had that time with Justin and that you have shared it with us!
My mother’s heart grieves with you. But thru your writing and thru the lovely memories of Justin that you share, beautiful slivers of light shine amongst the darkness. Like a star in the night sky, like hope in a shattered heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Memories to cherish. Justin was so lucky to have a mom like you and he was a wonderful son to you. Sending you hugs, and keeping you in my thoughts always.
As a parent of 3 and grandparent of 4, I absolutely cannot conceive of what you have gone through, and continue to go through, on an ongoing basis. All I know is that it just sucks.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories of your last hours with Justin. I remember that picture so well. You both had a special bond and your stories with Justin always made me smile. This post, although heartbreaking also made me smile.
It is special, and heartwarming, that you had those close and fun times with Justin. My heart still aches for you and your family. I think of you often with prayers.
What a wonderful memory. Hugs, my friend.