Judson's Legacy

Desperate to Remember


One afternoon last week I had the chance to spend a good chunk of alone time in the Fullerton/Brea area where Drake and I used to reside.  We called this area home for over five years; this is also where Judson was born and lived for the first 17 months of his life when he was a vibrant, healthy young boy.  Other than Jud’s memorial service and a few quick trips to the area, I had not spent any extended time there since our “Sweet Man” died.

This visit was different.

I was desperate to remember.  I wanted so badly for the area to trigger new memories that were distant or possibly even forgotten.  I wanted to feel close to my boy.  Ironically, as desperate as I was to remember, I was overcome with an intense, piercing pain that stabbed me over and over and over again as my mind flooded with memories of my little Jud.  I drove from one meaningful location to another; each time feeling forceful jabs in my heart.  I finally I had to stop, not because of time, but because I couldn’t handle one more gash to my soul.  So there I sat in my car with multiple emotional stab wounds—suffering and bleeding.  I bawled like every cell in my body was weeping. 

It is a strange dichotomy to long so significantly for something that hurts so much; I want to remember, even if I wind up battered by the memories.

This is the four-plex where we lived.  Jud and I used to regularly sit on the lawn and wait for Drake to get home from work.  He had his first experience in a kiddie pool on that lawn and used to go around and push all the sprinklers down when they would stick out of the ground.  Jud would also pick and blow the dandelions, go for rides in his or “Miss June’s” wagon, and play in the mud that would pool in certain areas.  Jud even learned to walk on this sidewalk – especially with our regular treks to the mailbox.

This is the front door to our apartment.  Jud finger-painted on our porch, colored with chalk on the sidewalk, and drove his little Fisher Price car along this path.  Jud also played with the doorbell, the rocks, and the flowers. 

This was the park within walking distance of our home.  Jud would sit on my lap and we would swing together.  He also loved to drive the fire-truck.  Jud climbed and played like every other kid.

The first outing we ever took with Jud was to this Corner Bakery when he was just two days old.  We had many subsequent trips and when he was a little older he would play at the fountain.

This is the bagel shop that Jud and I would walk to several times a week.  I would get an iced tea and read books to him.

This is the pool where Jud had his first experience swimming.  We came here many times thereafter.

This is the coffee shop the three of us would walk to every Sunday morning for breakfast together.  Jud went from just drinking from a bottle, to eating baby food, to eating our solid foods during our visits here.

This is a fountain on Birch St. where I would regularly take Jud to play.

Another park we frequented.

This was my “thinking park” but I would periodically bring Jud to enjoy the view with me.

6 Responses to "Desperate to Remember"

  1. Jean and Gary Butler says:

    Sweet Christina~Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us. A lot of things can go out of our lifes; but not the memories. Praise God for sweet, sweet memories.
    We love you so much~
    Jean and Gary

  2. alissa says:

    this is very sad. the sheer thought of how painful this is for you makes me cry. i can hardly let myself think about it. i have very similar memories of benjamin as a baby. your experience still haunts me and has not lost it’s power. if anything i’m more humbled and fearful of the lord. i’m glad you are able to share these very personal memories.

  3. June says:

    Oh….Christina….what beautiful memories with little Judson…..what heart breaking memories. As I remember him playing in the front yard, walking up my walk-way, and his daily visits to the mail box – and especially how much he loved the birds outside my window. What a gift he will always be – such beautiful times with him. I can’t begin to imagine how painful this is…..it hurts so much to even try. My heart aches for you.

  4. Jen says:

    I just wanted you to know that I took care of Judson on several occasions when you would come to visit family in Ventura. I was the nursery director at First Baptist Church for a while and thoroughly enjoyed visiting with him. I will never forget Judsons face and his huge eyes. You couldn’t help but notice his eyes right away. I had heard that Jud had passed away and my heart just broke when I heard the news. We were dealing with our own loss at the time and it’s taken me a while to finally get to you but I just wanted you to know that the memory of your little boy will live forever in my heart as well. I also wanted to tell you that I found Judsons story by looking on wikipedia for the definition of Krabbes. I was so happy to find the link and read the story of your Jud Bud myself. I can never forget the videos of him smiling until the end because he kept on smiling from this life into the next. With much love, Jen

  5. Misti Dunlap says:


    Thank you so much for sharing this.

  6. Linda says:

    Everytime I see pictures of Jud, I am blown away by how beautiful he was, inside and out. I can not even imagine your pain. God bless you and comfort you Christina.

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