Judson would be starting high school this week.
“Would be” has become the consummate phrase encapsulating all the missed milestones with my boy. Sometimes those milestones settle in my soul without too much emotion. Other times the would be’s hit like a ton of bricks.
Today was the bricks.
As Jessie became a teenager this week and started 8th grade, I’ve been acutely aware of how quickly the moments that turn into days have become years. Relishing the milestones in my Jessie-Girl’s life—feeling all the joy of watching her grow, change, struggle, and become—always highlights the significance of the missed milestones with my Jud Bud.
Starting High School. A missed milestone.
I know a lot of kids starting high school this year, including the boy who lives next door. I watch. I note. I observe from afar. And I wonder.
Actually, that’s what I’ve been doing for almost 12 years. Wondering. …Watching. Noting. Observing. ..following the lives of the kids who would be the same age as my boy. And wondering.
I wonder what he’d look like. I wonder what he’d care about. I wonder what his gifts would be. I wonder where his interests would lie. I wonder who his friends would be. I wonder what would make him laugh…and cry. I wonder. And I wonder. And I wonder about the would be’s.
Wondering is a strange thing after the loss of a child; it is birthed out of a real, tangible, and beautifully significant life, and yet it leaves you in an imaginary world of hypotheticals—a world of would be’s. It’s painful.
On this side of heaven, missed milestones are weighty. There is still so much to grieve. But I can’t simply keep my eyes on this side of heaven. Because on the other side of heaven it’s promised that the would be’s are insignificant in light of God’s eternal glory.
Amen! Praying for comfort and strength through everyday life and especially through the “would be’s.” I can never truly understand the depth of your grief, but I am forever amazed at how your love for and light from the Lord shines so brightly amidst the tears. You and Drake do so well to celebrate Jessie and her accomplishments and talents while still grieving and remembering Judson. The love, comfort, and support you three have given to so many others who have traveled or are still traveling a similar difficult road is inspiring and a great reminder of God’s love! So thankful for His salvation and grace and our eternal home where the four of you will be reunited! Sending love and prayer, as always!
Christina, You are one of the bravest souls I know.
May Gods Love Hold you tight❤️
I can understand that because our son was diagnosed with Asperger’s a wile back and mid medicated for 10 years. After 12 doctors, God dropped the right one unexpectedly in our lap. This man is changing our lives. But, I see all the kids that have friends from school. Ours dropped out and opted for home schooling. He painfully calls anyone on his call list just for human interaction. I see others who went to college and have graduated. I will leave out the horrendous nightmare our son lived out during those years. While I still have my son, I can relate to your loss. Our struggle continues as we try to prepare him for the work force. But God sent us this doctor and our son at 23 is emerging after a 10 year nightmare on the wrong drugs. My only belief is knowing that God can turn ANYTHING to good for those who love Him and work according to His purpose. Now, to soften our son’s heart again to His Savior.
Thank you for sharing your life with us. We care.
So beautifully stated. I lost my 1st born grandchild, my 16 year old grandson and only grandchild for 15 years, almost 2 years ago. I miss him so much that sometimes the ache is almost to much to bear. I wonder all the time what he would be doing now. What you said about heaven is so true. I believe I will see my grandson again, but I also believe that being in the presence of Jesus is what heaven is all about. The thought of worshipping Jesus with my grandson will make it all worthwhile in the end, but I will miss him everyday until then, and always wonder.
I can’t believe sweet Judson has been gone 12 years. If I never read another post from you and forgot all about you, I will never ever forget that sweet boy. He truly changed my life and I never even met him. Your courage amazes me and I truly admire you. God bless you and your beautiful family.
Dearest Christina, I’m so glad you wrote your thoughts and feelings. These ‘would be’s’ hold a powerful significance. Sending you love and strength as you observe.
Thank you for sharing your heart. Love you, friend!