Tag: memories

The Time Phenomenon

Amparo Atencio

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.

The Fourth Anniversary

Tracy Bradshaw

Yesterday was emotional to say the least. A friend had bypass surgery Parkwest Hospital, and Alan and I went after he got off work. I didn’t want to go, but considering the seriousness of the procedure I made myself.

We were driving to UT hospital about the same time, four years ago after receiving a call that Sawyer had been taken there – memories filled my head.

Getting out of the car – memories filled my head.

Walking in, I saw the Emergency area – memories filled my head.

Inside, we didn’t know where to go – memories filled my head.

Talking with a receptionist – memories filled my head.

Waiting and wondering – memories filled my head.

A nurse came out with a report. I hung on every word – memories filled my head.

Memories filled my head…

We learned that it would be approximately an hour and a half, so Alan and I left to grab a bite to eat. Upon leaving the hospital behind us – memories filled my head.

Nervously entering the hospital again – memories filled my head.

Making our way to the elevator, holding Alan’s hand – memories filled my head.

A man exiting the elevator, walking toward us and pointing at me said, with a pause between each word, “Sawyer — Webb’s — Mother.” Oh, how it warmed my heart to hear those words again. I hugged him. He was Sawyer’s boss and said that he remembered “this day every year.” He said that he “loved that boy.” We hugged again, and I was somehow better. He did love Sawyer. I could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. How calming it was to talk with someone who shared feelings similar to my own.

Sawyer Webb’s Mother, Tracy

Hearing Sawyer’s name, knowing that he was remembered and acknowledged, and being given back my identity felt like being wrapped in a warm blanket on a bitterly cold night. I swallowed my identity back down inside. Yes, I am still and will always be Sawyer Webb’s mother.

I had met Sawyer’s boss twice at the restaurant over four years ago, and I remember him coming to the funeral. How he recognized me and the timing of the encounter, I believe, is no coincidence. Sawyer (maybe God, maybe both) knew I needed those words at that moment, and my mommy heart filled with a familiar appreciation for my loving son, Sawyer.