Deciduous refers to
- the falling off at maturity
- the dropping of a part that is no longer needed
- the falling away after the purpose is finished
Deciduous refers to
I sat in the sunshine by the community pool and I overheard several sweet little voices call out, “Watch, papa, watch.” This universal call of a child reminded me of all the times mothers watch their children. We watched them as they grew and tried new things. We watched them as they slept, and sometimes we even had to watch them as they struggled with life’s challenges.
For a mother, this watching began the moment we knew we were pregnant. We watched the foods we ate and we watched with a little nervousness for all the issues discussed in the pregnancy books.
Then the precious child arrived and the watching intensified. We got up in the middle of the night to watch their breathing. We watched each step as they grew. Things did not always go as we had planned, but we adapted and we continued to watch them go forth in life.
We happily took on our tasks as mothers and even thought ahead to the day that we would be watching our grandchildren grow. Then one horrible day the worst thing happened and our child is gone. Our world is changed forever.
Our child will always be a part of who we are. Things are different, but the love continues and now we watch with our hearts. We watch for pennies, rainbows, birds, butterflies, signs and connections.
In Memory of Clint
It’s been five years
Since you’ve been gone.
The pain is so real
The hurt still strong.
The masks I had
Are all still there.
Depends on the day
As which one I wear.
Tuesdays I hated
For so many years.
But this one is back
With all of the tears.
The songs that I hear
“Wish you were here”
Are oh so true
Everyday of the year.
Your memory will last
As long as I’m here.
But the day I hold you
Will be so dear.
Remember I love you
And miss you my son.
The time will come
When our days are one.
Until that day
Remember to share
Your signs for us
So we know you are there.
Love and miss you big bunches,
In memory of Damon Fewer. Damon’s 9th Angel date was May 22, 2016. This poem was submitted to the local papers in his memory by his father, Sean Fewer.
A thousand memories of you I hold
Thoughts held so close and dear
All a treasure to behold
Of a time when you were near
My son Joel died nearly 9 years ago. Joel lived at home and for a few years after, his room remained exactly as it was on that day. A life cut short, never knowing this would be his last day on earth. Memories filled every drawer, cupboard, hanging space, pictures on the walls, teenage stuff on his desk and the contents of his computer. Then of course there was his sound system, complete with turntable and mixer, he really loved music.
During my grief journey, I have listened as fellow bereaved travelers imparted the fact that life is forever changed after the death of a child. For sure, on this we can agree. Since I thirsted for more information, I thought I would share a change I have noticed. Whenever the subject of a past event, or time is brought up, my mind rushes to do the math. I found this surprising in a way. I suppose I might be considered to have average math skills in everyday life. However, in normal conversation, when the subject is about a time or event in the past my mind can do amazingly fast calculations.
I’ve begun to notice a phenomenon that is happening as of late. I suppose this is the natural order of things, but it is unsettling.
I see adults who are now entering middle age. You know, those nearing 30 like Tony would be. And I don’t see anything about Tony in any of them although these are his peers. No, his peers are supposed to be entering adulthood, not middle age. They are supposed to have the look of one foot in childhood, the other in adulthood. It has happened twice now that I see that lack of realization up close and personal.
The first time, I was visiting a friend. As I got out of my car to go into her house, I noticed a father and his child on the quiet street. The little boy was gleefully pedaling his two-wheeler as his father walked behind him, encouraging his son on. I smiled at the scene. It’s nice to see fathers involved with their children. When I got inside, my friend asked me if I had seen “so and so.” I didn’t know who she meant and didn’t recognize the name until she reminded me that it was one of our boys’ old friends. If she hadn’t told me, I would have never thought the man was of that age group, that time frame. Nothing about him suggested a peer. Instead, he was just a mature man entering middle age and not an immature young guy making his way into adulthood.
The second time, I was in a lobby, waiting for my appointment. A woman standing behind me asked, “Are you Tony’s mom?” I turned to see a fit, athletic woman whom I didn’t recognize. I responded yes and asked her how she knew my son, and she told me they were good friends in high school. Stunned, I asked her “Oak Ridge High School, class of 2007”? Could this young woman entering middle age be a graduate of Tony’s class? Wouldn’t those young people look so much younger than her? I was so grateful to hear her memories, see photos of Tony I had never seen before, and share tears over a life cut too short, gone too soon. If she hadn’t told me, I would have never thought she was of that age group, that time frame. Nothing about her suggested a peer. Instead, she was just a mature woman entering middle age and not a silly kid making funny faces at a camera.
But that is the way of it, and I adjust to this reality. Tony’s peers are indeed entering middle age. They indeed are maturing adults with children and good paying jobs. Tony is forever young, and that gap will only grow wider as time marches on.
Today was the last time I plan to set foot in the Anderson County Courthouse, in Clinton, Tennessee. It was the culmination of the criminal justice phase for the murder of my son, Tony James Phillips, forever 22. This is the impact statement I delivered to a crowded courtroom, full of defendants, the accused, the suspected, the admitted guilty, in addition to family members, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the judge.
The heart remembers even when we aren’t actively thinking about our child. It was 5 1/2 years since our son had died of a drug overdose. The thoughts weren’t in front of my face all the time, and the weight wasn’t so heavy on my shoulders. I was finding the energy to re-invest into my new normal.
This article was originally published in www.opentohope.com on Jan. 7, 2009, a website whose mission is to help those who have suffered a loss to cope with their pain and invest in the future.
I was sitting at my desk and glanced at the new calendar hanging on the wall. Suddenly, I was hit with the overwhelming thought of another. My heart ached over the thought of another birthday for my deceased child, another anniversary date, and all the other holidays that would come around another time. Many questions came to mind. Had I not gone through the depths of grief? Had I not walked through the Valley of the Shadows? Was this not enough? How could I be expected to do more??