Judson's Legacy

18 Years Old

Dear Jud…

It’s hard to believe you’d be turning eighteen today. I’m finding this especially jarring and hard to swallow. Maybe it’s for the same reason any parent might experience…it means letting go of your childhood. 

But your childhood already became intangible to me—after 3 years you were frozen as a preschooler. I’ve been left to only imagine all the life you might have lived as a growing boy in our home. So in reality, I’ve already had to let go of your childhood…completely. Yet, even so, there are still these marked layers that are another step in the process of grief.

And this milestone of your 18th birthday feels like a significant step in my journey as a grieving mom…my grief has aged. Instead of watching you age and grow and become, I realize it’s my grief that’s been aging and growing and becoming. It’s as though my grief has become a full-fledged adult now: more mature, confident, learned, and independent. It requires different things of me, but it’s very much a part of me. 

And you’re very much a part of me, Juddy. My every breath has been shaped by you. And although I don’t know whether you’re a full-fledged adult in heaven or still the little boy that I let go of 15 years ago, I do know that you’re living a fully-realized, whole life in the glory of our Savior. And the character and substance of who you are—bright, articulate, funny, handsome, sweet, and Spirit-filled—is mature and complete, lacking nothing. And that is worth celebrating!

I miss you so much, Jud Bud! So very much! And I celebrate that blessed Christmas Eve when you came into my life 18 years ago!

With all my love,


One response to "18 Years Old"

  1. Nina Demci says:

    Jud was, and still is, a wonderful little boy. As I watched him cry when he couldn’t do something, it seemed to me his cry was from being afraid and sad instead mad. He loved his little sister, who he affectionately called “Jessie Girl” very much. I want to believe that he got to go to his Monster Truck Rally in Heaven. I’m blessed to have gotten to know the whole family’s, as well as Jud’s, story. Thank you for sharing him and your family with us. Take care and God Bless. Sincerely,

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