Judson's Legacy

Two Thanksgivings

Dear Judson…

We just celebrated Thanksgiving.  And of course, your dad, sister, and you top my list for that which I’m thankful for most.  Yet it is very interesting to be so incredibly thankful for you and yet have such sorrow and pain associated with my gratitude.  It is like nothing I have ever felt before or probably ever will.

I only had two beautiful Thanksgivings with you.

I vividly recall both of them.  We were at Grammy and Papa’s house both years and your cousins were there too.  The first Thanksgiving you were 11 months old; you were my pride and joy as you cruised around the furniture and tried to keep up with your cousins who were constantly smothering you with love.  I remember that your dad and I had a difficult time getting you to try some of the festive food—you would inspect each bite and if it wasn’t familiar you would reject it.  However, we were confident, if you’d just take a taste, you’d like what we were offering.  Finally, after lots of coercing, you tasted each item, and sure enough you became a fan.

The second Thanksgiving, when you were almost two, was so exciting!  You were already talking so much and had a great time conversing and playing with your cousins, particularly Carson and Avery Joy.  You loved being part of the gang and continued to enjoy the attention they gave you.  I remember how you also wanted to include your new sister.  Furthermore, I recall sitting around the dinner table and your cousins started banging on the oak dinette saying, “We want pumpkin pie!” – You joined right in with them, laughing and laughing because you thought it was so funny.  We continued to hear that phrase from you for a couple months.  You also loved the “bullet” from the whip cream dispenser that Aunt Amy gave you, taking it with you everywhere for about a month.  You had lots of laughter and smiles that day.

What joy these memories hold!

But now I’ve had two Thanksgivings without you.  What pain these memories hold!

Last Thanksgiving was a blur.  I was still in shock and could not comprehend the reality that you were gone from this life forever.  I practically expected you to come bounding down the stairs in the Lake Arrowhead cabin that morning, anxious to play with Ella and Jessie.  But you didn’t.  And I won’t ever have that delight again.

This year we spent Thanksgiving with your daddy’s family.  Your Aunt Danielle made Lightening McQueen placemats as a way to “include” you and honor your memory.  It was so sweet!  But I could hardly function without you.  I had such difficulty celebrating the occasion when all I wanted to do was cry because of your absence.  Ella expressed how much she misses and loves you!  I can only imagine how your relationship with her might have grown.  Unfortunately, I also began to realize that for some people, even those who loved you, it is easier for them to forget.  This breaks my heart!

I will never deny you Judson.  I will never, ever try to forget you!  You are a huge part of me.  You continue to be my pride and joy.  You are at the pinnacle of my Thanksgiving because you and your sister are the greatest gifts I have ever been given.  Your death will NEVER change that!

On this Thanksgiving, more than anything, I thank God that our separation is not permanent.  I wait with great expectation to see you again!  In the meantime, I will continue to learn what it means to live without you while still honoring you, and I will cherish those two beautiful Thanksgivings forever!

I love you so much!  I miss you more than I can express! 

See you soon, though not soon enough,

2 Responses to "Two Thanksgivings"

  1. Jean and Gary Butler says:

    Dear Christina, Drake, and Jessie~
    This might seem strange to some who read this….but what JOY your writing gave to Gary and I today….a day when we needed a blessing.You know Christina….even in your grief…you are still "thankful". We sometimes tend to think, in our own sadness, there is nothing to be thankful for instead of taking time to realize the precious things that God gives us to be thankful for….and today (after reading your post)we thanked God for simple memories.Thank you Christina for reminding us of all that we have to be thankful for….and you, Drake, and Jessie are our blessings.
    We love you all so much~
    Jean and Gary

  2. 50353 says:

    ad our 3rd Thanksgiving without our son here – and are coming too quickly upon the 4th anniversary of his heavengoing. Thanksgiving has such a bittersweet memory for me, as 4 years ago was our first Thanksgiving just at home with our children – no going to visit other family. I got out our good China dishes – a first with our children – and the good silverware. I "made" them dress-up for a Thanksgiving picture. Ohhhh – little did I know, two weeks later that our son would be gone, and how precious that picture would be. And now, we are "settled" in our "new normal" and this Thanksgiving I can say, was good. I had a short moment of tears, remembering – but tears of Thankfulness as our children all continue to follow God. Yes, indeed, it’s a brief separation – a brief time of tears – a brief time of heartache – and what forever peace and joy we have to look forward to that will last forever.

    I rambled – but I just wanted to let you know, I so understand your grief and pain, and hope.


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