July 22, 2003

// February 26th, 2010 // A Mother's Grief

As I sit at his bedside and watch him struggle to breathe I want to thank you, God, for my firstborn son.

Thank you for the joy I felt at seeing this scrawny, red, beautiful baby at just seconds old. Thank you for his laughter as a young boy — deep, deep from the core of his being. Laughter that bubbled up and overflowed onto all those around him. Thank you for his precocious speech at two years old, ready to carry on an enjoyable conversation with anyone he could, no matter their age. My friends would say, “That kid’s a trip” — high praise for a youngster in the 70s.

Thank you for his high spirits, though they sometimes brought him trouble as he reached his teens. Thank you for his physical abilities, his great co-ordination, and his first motorcycle at eight years old. Thank you for mud thrown from those motorcycle wheels plastering him from his sneakers to his grinning face, mud that turned his bright-blond hair brown. Thank you for his third grade teacher, Mr.Ozust, who understood him and his counselor, Dr. Lapidus, who helped him to understand himself.

Thank you for his sense of adventure and his ability to share it with others, like his little sister Amy. One beautiful autumn morning when he was nine and she was five he taught her a lesson about trust. As they passed through the ten acre field on their way to school, they saw in their path ahead the large California pepper tree with branches so dense you couldn’t see through them as they swept the ground in the breeze. As Steve and Amy approached the familiar tree he told her that today he wants her to go around on the left of the tree and he would go on the right telling her, “I’ll see you on the other side, I promise!” She was afraid and didn’t want to separate from the safety she felt with her big brother. The two sides of the tree seemed so far apart in her young mind. As she timidly reached the far side of the tree I can imagine her little girl joy and relief when she found him waiting there for her. He taught her a lesson that day about trust and faith. He was there for her even while she couldn’t see him during her long trek around the giant tree.

Thank you for the deep, loving bond between him and his only brother, Nick. Together these two were fun incarnate, spreading laughter wherever they went. Thank you for his loving concern and advice for Janiece, patiently and privately counseling her, trying to help her avoid some of the same mistakes he had made as a teen. She listened and learned.

Thank you for the way he would take Robyn, his baby sister – eighteen his junior, out shopping with him, together exploring the deepest recesses of their favorite thrift stores. And for the short time they had to play at the beach together at their joint hobby, body-surfing, after serendipitously on one of those forays finding wet suits that fit each of them . Then last December his head wound interrupted the fun and they had to hang up their wet suits.

Thank you that he added so much to our family, giving us his wife Annette to hold his place, and Lori, his ex, as a lifelong friend and family member. And for introducing Amy to her soul-mate, Jeremy.

Thank you for his children, each reminding me of their father’s youth in different ways. Nicholas and his bike and his adventurousness (always taking the more difficult path) and Christopher’s sweet disposition and his laugh, so much like his dad’s.

Thank you for his bad example and thank you more for his good examples. Early in his adult life he ran from You, from the burdens he thought You would place on him. But he grew and he found You and found the freedom that can come only through You. And now Lord, please forgive him for any wrongs and bless him with peace. Please accept him into Your rest.

Thank you, God, for my firstborn son.

One Response to “July 22, 2003”

  1. It amazes me how much God will use a life even when it’s not committed to Him! I am so thankful that my big brother learned of the freedom through God’s grace before he died!

    Beautiful prayer mom!!!!
    Love you!

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