Judson's Legacy

A Year and a Half Without Jud

Dear family and friends…

A year and a half has passed since Judson passed.

As I reflect on the last 18 months, it is apparent that a year and a half without Jud is different than half a year…but that’s all it is—different!  It’s not easier.  It’s not harder.  It’s just different.

There is something else I realized today as someone at Starbucks noted the picture of the little boy on the pendant around my neck, is that I no longer describe my loss as “recent”.  A couple months ago I would be talking about Judson and mention that he “recently passed away,” then immediately get a little sheepish at the realization that no one else would probably describe his death as recent.  Yet, today I was struck by the fact that my wound does not feel quite as fresh…not as raw…no longer new.  This grief, this sorrow, it IS my life.  What could once be described as something that shocked my life has now become my life.

Drake and I were talking a couple nights ago about all the challenges of living with this sorrow; it is as though we desperately desire to be “normal” again, but we must come to grips with the reality that this IS our “normal” now.  The very fabric of our lives spiritually, emotionally, physically, relationally, has changed.  We are not who we were before our boy got sick.  We are different.  And though we may long for the life we once had, it no longer reflects who we now are.

This is our journey.  This is the road, the trail, the path that is leading us toward wholeness.  I often wonder how I got here or why God chose this course for me, but it’s my story.  I desperately wish my story could be different, but it cannot.  And so I cry out to God , constantly begging him to do something with this broken life of mine.

Thank you for being part of our broken life.  If you read about our journey, we consider you a part.  And quite frankly, it means the world to us that people still care enough to read.  The drama to the story is gone.  The newness of the story has subsided.  I believe it could only be love and compassion that keeps someone engaged and reading at this point.  So thank you!  Thank you for caring about a little family in Southern California that is living in sorrow.

Much love and gratitude,
Christina (on behalf of Drake too)

19 Responses to "A Year and a Half Without Jud"

  1. Lora says:

    We think of you often Christina and keep your precious family in our prayers! What heartbreak you have been through. I read your updates as often as you post them and enjoy reading about how God HAS and IS carrying you through your grief. I relate so much to your story as Judson reminds me so much of our boy. 🙂

  2. Amy Dresher says:

    Your family is continually in my thoughts and prayers. I may not always post a comment because I will admit, that sometimes my words just seem so inadequate but I do read all your posts and love to keep up with your family and see how you are doing. I am glad that you feel you can be so open and honest with exactly how you are feeling. It is inspirational to me to see how your trust in God has not been shaken through all of this.

    I also want to say that I have felt led to tell you that I know no matter how old you live to be, you will always, always miss Judson deeply. I know from reading your posts and several other blogs where mothers or fathers have lost children that not everyone understands that and they think that you should be "over it" after a certain length of time. But I do get it, even if I haven’t experienced that kind of loss myself. My grandma is 99 years old and in the 1930s she gave birth to a baby girl that had some kind of problem with her esophogus, it wasn’t connected to her stomach. She lived about 2 months and passed away from starvation. It is something that nowadays could have been easily corrected but back in that day there was nothing the drs could do for her. My grandma now lives with my parents as she has dementia and cannot care for herself. There isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t scream about her baby girl, this happens not once, but several times a day. She may not be in her right frame of mind but she sure hasn’t ever forgotten her daughter that was only here with her for a couple short months and yet she doesn’t remember my dad most days.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and soul with strangers who have loved Judson and your family through your blog even if we haven’t ever met. God bless you!

  3. Kristen says:

    The passing of time means something so much different to a grieving person than one who is not-I am so deeply sorry that you are being forced to walk this path. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers today and always …

  4. Traci says:

    Hi Christina and Drake,
    We love you guys so much and I read every post you write. It is our privilege to be a small part on your journey. We miss you and think of you, Jud and Jessie often.
    Love from way over here!

  5. Elaina says:

    Thinking of you!

  6. Stacie says:

    I have been reading your journal now for about 21 months. I have followed along with every up and down, tear, laughter and memory you have written about. You and Drake and Jessie and of course sweet Jud will always hold a very special place in my heart. I may never get the chance to meet you and tell you in person how sorry I am for your loss; and I may not fully understand the grief you are going through; but as a mother I can only have a small piece of understanding. If I were to lose one of my boys to something; anything I don’t know where I’d be. I don’t know how I’d deal. I am sure you hear this a lot, but you really are an inspiration to many. You and Drake have kept going for Jessie’s sake and to carry on Judson’s legacy. He would be very proud of you both I am sure. So thank you for telling your story and helping me understand. And as long as you are writing, I will be reading.

    Stacie Leatherberry
    Madison Wisconsin

  7. Wendy Heak says:

    Dearest Christina,

    I am continually praying for you, Drake and Jessie, you will always miss Jud and you shouldn’t feel bad about saying his death is recent because as you say you still feel the same but you just have to live with it. Although I have never lost a child when my dear Dad died 2 1/2 years ago everything changed, we miss him dreadfully but just have to get on living, with God’s help we do just that.
    Thank you for sharing your family with us, people who have never met you, but feel that we know you.
    In christian love,
    Wendy from N.I.

  8. Veronika says:

    We are still here for you.


  9. aunt sue says:

    We do care Christina and Drake! Love, aunt sue

  10. Robyn says:

    Drake and Christina,
    We continue to lift you up in prayer each and everyday. Our lives have been enriched by your willingness to share Jud and his story with us. Be patient with yourselves as you learn to live with this new "normal". Life will never be the same, but that doesn’t mean that life does not have many wonderful moments ahead for you. Thank you for choosing to continue to include us in your journey. Many blessings.
    Love, Robyn

  11. sara says:

    Hi Christina,
    I’ve never commented on your posts before but I have been reading each and every one since October 2007. A friend who was following your story told me about Jud and I felt compelled to read his story up to that point. As a mother of a son almost the same age as Jud, I read those early posts you wrote about Krabbe and watched the sweet, sweet video clips that were on YouTube of Jud singing and my heart broke for you. My heart still breaks for you and I think of you often. Any time I see Mater or Lightning McQueen I pray for you and for kids plagued with Krabbe. It’s the same when I hear the Star Spangled Banner and also sometimes when I see my boys kiss their baby sister. Memories of videos you’ve posted of Jud and Jessie and words you’ve written come flooding back and I pray. That’s all I can do, and it seems so small, but I do it. I enjoy being onthis journey with you and am learning so much about God and His mercy, grace and especially His mysterious ways through you and the loss of your sweet Jud Bud. You are making a difference. Jud’s memory is alive in thousands you have never met and will probably never know about. You are real and your pain is raw. You matter. Your family matters to this mom up in Oregon who will continue to follow you on this journey and who will never forget Jud and the life he lived for Jesus. Heaps of blessings to you, Drake and Jessie! Love, Sara

  12. Mary says:

    Dear Drake and Christina,

    It is not fair that because of your grief I have benefitted so much from you sharing your journey so honestly. Your blog has been a education on the depths of living with grief of missing a child. I wish it weren’t so!!!! My heart goes out to you and I continue to pray for you and your family.

  13. Sue DiMarino says:

    Thank you for your thoughts and words…I am still reading, still praying and still acutely aware that your journey could of easily been mine or anyone’s. I read because it keeps me humble and in touch with God’s grace and very thankful, thankful for God’s love and mercy towards you and all of us and in awe of all He has done with everything surrounding Jud and the amount of people He has touched through Jud and you. Thank you again, as long as you keep writing I will most definately keep reading. Love through Him…Sue

  14. Jean and Gary Butler says:

    Christina,Drake,and Jessie~
    We will ALWAYS be here for you…..ALWAYS. You’re "stuck" with us now.Gary and I both feel
    like your family is a part of our family.Our life has
    been so blessed since you came into it….more than you will ever, ever know. We thank you for sharing your life with us….your pain, your sorrow, and your joys.
    We just love you so much!!!!!
    Jean and Gary

  15. 68337 says:

    I too am praying for your family. Every time I drive by Wilson Park (twice a week), I think of you and pray for you. May God continue to keep you close.

  16. Sarah Jones says:

    Thank you for sharing your life with me.

  17. hh says:

    Dear Christina and Drake,

    WE WILL NEVER FORGET JUDSON! And we will never stop praising God for his life and the way God has used him to profoundly impact our lives and so many others. As MM said below, it is not fair that you live with such incredible pain and grief while the rest of us benefit as we learn from you and grow in our faith and are challenged each time we read what you write. I don’t understand it at all. But every day my heart cries out to God on your behalf and I pray for God to help you through this day and to hold you through it. And every day, because of Judson (and this journey we’ve felt like we’ve been on with you), I think of and try to live out the most amazing verse (to me) in the Bible…."Be still (in the Greek–don’t struggle) and know that I am God. I will be exalted in the heavens; I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10. God is God. We are not. He knows what He’s doing, even though we’ll never understand until we get to heaven. I’m thankful that this life is so short in light of eternity. And I’m thankful that you’ll be hugging and kissing and enjoying Jud in person soon–in God’s perfect timing. We love you guys with all of our hearts. Heather and Mark

  18. Michal says:

    I’ve read your story for about one year. I "happened" to find a darling, precocious toddler boy singing one of my favorite songs on youtube. Of course, it was Judson. A trail of various comments led me to your sites.

    You are such wonderful parents and faithful believers. I love to hear your encouraging voice, Christina, as you guide and cheer your beautiful kids. You look especially lovely in England when you are holding sweet Madison at the banquet.

    I care and I pray for you. Praise God that you know "the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings." Malachi 4:2

    In His Love, Michal Ann

  19. Alea Eurich says:

    Love to you sweet friend. Though I am far and havent seen you in a while… I think of you often and somehow had Judson and his cars on my mind and wanted to see how you guys were. Jessie is beautiful. Love to you all. xo

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