Memories of Jonathan 2009
by Pam Eggleston
MEMORIES OF JON
* Going cold turkey by throwing your baby bottle out the car window.
* Swallowing a coat hanger. I can still get queasy when I think about it.
* Everything Star Wars and Bat Man- your little Ewok Village.
* Getting lost on the beach- but you weren't, just visiting as usual.
* Crying like your heart was broken when I wouldn't let you wear Andrea's Alice in Wonderland dress.
* Disappearing into someone's apartment for a couple of hours.
* All the stolen bicycles.
* Shaking whenever you played Dragonslayer at the Stop-N-Go.
* Hearing you bust your butt open over the telephone and taking you to get stitches.
* Your fascination with anything electronic, especially computers.
* Your face on Christmas morning while rubbing the sleep from your eyes.
* Watching Close Encounters and your famous quote "that's one big mother".
* Your comic book collection and finding your first girlie magazine, which I made you take back.
* Telling me it's "women's work" when I asked you to clean the kitchen.
* Pipe bombs and dirt bikes (not among my favorites).
* All those parent/teacher conferences.
* How much you loved to fish, but didn't particularly like to eat it.
* Stealing the icing before I baked the cake.
* Learning to play the trombone.
* Getting your adenoids removed and it did nothing for your chronic sinusitis.
* Teaching yourself to play the guitar- your greatest talent.
* Your strange drawings of cartoon characters.
* Video games obsessions.
* How much you loved Claussen kosher pickles.
* That great hit you made in the last inning of your Little League game.
* Buying your first suit for Heather's formal function.
* Holding me when we scattered my mother's ashes.
* Your first and only hot air balloon ride.
* How you loved to play pool.
* But most of all, your wonderful laugh. God how I miss your laugh.
I wrote this for my son, who I lost in April 2000, on the first anniversary of his death. Next month he would have been 33. Most of his buddies were there and everyone was so appreciative that I said things about Jon that made them laugh, because that's what Jon was all about. He was always looking for a good time. That fateful day he was doing just that, and lost control of the motorcycle and hit a telephone pole; that was the end of my life as I knew it and the end of my only son.
I've gone through all the textbook stages of grief - from denial to finally being able to talk about him, laugh at the memories, and know that because I survived this, I can survive most anything. I have two daughters, both older, who likewise are getting on with their lives. At first you pretend things are normal, then eventually you get to where one day you realize that you went a whole day without thinking of him and the astonishment makes you understand that the heart is a resilient muscle. You have others to think of so you move on. You rationalize that "it's what he would want" to deal with the guilt you have for not continuing with your suffocating grief.
But it's really just human nature to heal. It's in your best interest and for the ones remaining to heal and set an example of strength. As long as I'm alive, Jon is too. He lives in my mind and heart and my dreams. He was a great guy.
For those here that are just beginning their sad journey towards recovery, I simply want to tell you that although words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss, I'm living proof that you can survive it and learn to smile again - and mean it.