"Mommy, come move the tree."  "What tree, baby?"  (Looks at me like I'm dense) "The TREE, Mommy.  It's in my way.  Granny says she can't move it.  But you can.  You're MOMMY."  So outside we go, to see what exactly it is that he wants me to do.  There, up against a crab apple tree, is his little red tractor.  The tree is in the path that he wants to ride.  I tried to explain to him that the tree had deep roots in the ground, and we couldn't move it, that he'd have to go around it.  "But you're MOMMY.  You can do ANYTHING."  Such faith that I could fix anything that needed to be fixed.  Only once in his life did he lose that faith.  I'll never forget that sunny day, and how I struggled to keep him from seeing my laughter.  Now, when I see a crab apple tree, I close my eyes, and I see a red headed little boy saying, "Move the tree."  I smile through the tears.
"Um, Bren....Jason's up in the top of the tree."  "You're confusing them!  It has to be Rickey up in the tree."  "No, it's Jason."  "Jason's leg is in a cast up to his hip, remember?  He can't be in top of the tree."  "That's how I know it's Jason...."  So Barry climbs the tree to help J down.  That "nothing can stop me" attitude never changed.  My six year old son wanted to climb the tree, so he did.....cast and all.
I put a clipping from a magazine on the refrigerator.  "Someday, one of my kids will say, 'I've finished cleaning my room and the bathroom.  Is there anything else you need me to do?'."  I come home from work and there is my Jason, with a mischievous grin, saying those words.  I look in the black hole he calls his room, then look at him.  "You didn't say anything about doing it, just SAYING it.  I said it!".  He could always make me laugh....I couldn't possibly be angry about the black hole he called a room.
I pick him up from track practice.  He doesn't have his track shoes with him.  "Mom, I lost my shoes."  "Pardon me?"  "I SAID, I lost my shoes.  We need to go get some new ones."  "How did you lose your shoes?"  "Just did..."  So off we go to the mall, to buy new shoes.  At the track meet a couple of days later, I see his shoes on the feet of another young man, one who had been wearing ragged shoes.  I don't say a word to J....just smile.  Generous to a fault, my child.  The third (or maybe fourth) time he "lost" his shoes, I had to ask him not to "misplace" any more shoes for a while.  He didn't...until the next year.
So many *good* memories.  Then the final memory....how can there be a "last" memory of your child?  For 27 days, I didn't know where he was.  6:15 AM, April 16, 2000.  I'm at work, getting ready for a busy day.  I answer the phone.  "Do you know who this is?"  Like I wouldn't know that precious voice.  "Just come home, Kidlet.  I'll fix it."  "You can't fix it this time, Mom.  I love you."  The last words I ever heard him say.  "I love you."  21 days later, they called to tell me he was dead.
I miss you, my little Kidlet.  I miss your smile, your ****-eating grin, your laugh, your sarcastic sense of humor.  I miss you telling me my nose is too small and I'm too short, and asking me when I'm going to cut my hair.  I miss your grace, your beauty, your charm.  I miss your badgering me to run with you.  I miss empty containers of ice cream in the freezer.  I miss bowls with one spoonful left in them because, "You told me to save some for others".  I miss you stealing my socks, somehow stretching them over your size 12 foot, then telling me your socks didn't fit right.  I miss the foot rubs, the back rubs, the world's best hugs.  I miss you running over the flowers with the lawn mower, then saying, "Oops!".  I miss everything about you.  Thank you for letting me be your Mother for 25 way too short years.  I love you, J.  You will live in my heart forever.  Run with the wind, baby boy, run with the wind.
Maximum respect,
Brenda Adkins, always Red's & Red Man's Mom