“Tell me about the strawberry farm, mom,” I could hear his little voice ringing in my ears. “Tell me about the tractor ride.” Then I would start in with the story about our adventures at Tanaka farm. But just a few sentences into the story my sweet man would interrupt. Enthusiastically piping in, Jud would continue the story, “And we ate carrots, and green beans, and then we picked STRAWBERRIES!” opening his eyes as wide as they would go to express his great pleasure.
“And you ate a ton of strawberries, didn’t you Bud, Bud?!”
“Yep, and they were sooooo, yummy!”
Judson, Jessie, and I had visited Tanaka farm on two separate occasions—once at Halloween and again in the spring for strawberry picking; though Jessie was just a baby snuggled in a sling, both of these visits were huge highlights for Judson. He regularly wanted to replay the experience.
Remembering his trips to the farm filled Jud’s heart with joy…
Jessie and I revisited Tanaka farm this week. Though we’ve driven by it hundreds of times since losing Judson, this was our first time returning to this special place my precious boy loved.
As I sat in the same tractor-pulled wagon, Jessie snuggled beside me, our previous trips began flooding my mind. I could hear the enthusiasm filling Judson’s little voice. I could see the delight on his face as he triumphantly picked each strawberry. I could see the thrill in his eyes as he pretended to drive the tractor. I could see his smile as he raced around, climbing hay bales.
No one around me was aware of all that was stirring in my heart. I was feeling the searing pain of Jud’s absence while simultaneously recalling the sweetness of having my little blonde boy sitting beside me.
Remembering his trips to the farm filled my heart with sorrow…and joy…
It was an acute picture of the multiplicity of emotions triggered by my many thoughts and memories of Judson each and every day, most of which are never known to the people around me.