September 2013 to August 2014 will always be the darkest time in my family’s life. During this span of time, my healthy 12-year old son became a cancer statistic and died. He has been gone a little over a month but it seems like an eternity. During our annual Firepokers camp outing, we spread his ashes at Addison Oaks. It was more of a symbolic gesture since we know he will always be with us in spirit. It is also fitting because this was the last camping trip the four of us had made as a family before he was diagnosed… Man, I miss that little boy so much!!!
I wish there was something more to write about… something to make everyone give a big sigh of relief or something to hold onto. I’m sad his journey ended, but relieved Justin’s suffering is no more. Every day I try to make sense of it and I just can’t!!! I try to be strong, I try to be happy but I really hate this “new” normal!!! I loved the old life we had. For the first time I cannot adequately put into words what life has become. We have been doing this parenting thing for over 20 years, the last 13 of them we have had to pull double duty. I got really lucky finding a woman who God only knows what she saw in me. I’m really glad she took the chance and decided to become my wife and the mother of our two children. I feel for the most part I am pretty good at this parenting thing. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no stretch of the imagination the “perfect parent”…I leave being perfect up to Carol.
I take a lot of pride with our daughter Jacqueline. She is smart, funny, compassionate and truly a good soul. I hate the fact she lost her brother, best friend and only sibling, but thankful they grew as close as they did. I am also very thankful she was blessed with kindness, understanding, and a streak of toughness she uses to put us in our place when things get rough
After he passed away, I was going through some of his stuff and was surprised to find an unseen DVD he had made about his family for a 6th grade media class. It is only a little over a minute long… but it’s him… its really him, and he’s thanking us for being his family. I will treasure this found gift forever.