Springtime brings so many memories of Austin, from our last year with him, in 2008, to the very beginning. When tears fall in remembering him, I think of them as spring showers. For flowers to grow, rain must fall.
I think of baseball and the array of equipment that would meet me at the front door, in the back of my truck, and across his bed. It seemed I was always hauling a baseball bag, sodas for a fundraiser, or making a trip to the mall for new cleats and another glove.
How I miss watching him play and how he improved each season. I miss rooting for my sweet boy as he caught a fielder or hit a home run. I even miss fussing at him for the tenth time to pick up his bat, or ball, or glove that I stepped over coming into the house each afternoon. One of his bats remains by our door to this day…
But every time we see #23, his jersey number from t-ball to his final season, we are reminded of him. He sends us these hellos almost daily. They are always a hug for our hearts.
As the vibrant grass peeks out of the ground with every sunbeam, I am reminded of Austin and his side job of mowing. I don’t know that I’ll ever hear the hum of a lawnmower again or smell the scent of freshly cut grass without thinking of him. He was so proud to have regular customers and a steady source of spending money, but he also enjoyed just chatting with the neighbors and elderly ladies he helped each week.
When I think back to the early years and Springtime, I see my cute little man all dressed up for Easter. His dark eyes and satin black hair always looked so good next to the pastel colors of the holiday. I would often dress him in soft baby blue and yellow suits or short outfits, which would all end up with candy or dirt on them by the end of the weekend. I can still picture him as a baby, sitting waist-high in the tall stalks of bright green grass, finding a hidden egg and attempting to put it in his mouth. It was a real egg, hard-boiled, but he didn’t understand at that early age why there was a shell still attached!
What reminds me most of Austin this time of year though are flowers. From the sunny faces of daffodils, to what most people think of as weeds, dandelions, they bring back fond memories of motherhood. As a toddler, he was in awe of dandelions when they were in “cloud puff” form and loved to swish through them, sending them flying through the sky. He’d pick one by one, blowing away the clouds with puffy cheeks and a giggle. As he grew older, he began picking daffodils, especially at my Mom’s house, where the fields by her farm are colored with them this time of year. From tiny hands holding mostly the buds, because he didn’t quite know how to pick, to beautiful bouquets, at an age when I was surprised he hadn’t outgrown wanting to, he made sure my home was filled with them each season.
Now when I see a field of daffodils, I smile remembering those moments. Those memories are made extra special when family pick me some each spring. While neighbors may wonder why we don’t spray away our dandelions, I can glance out my window and recall chubby little legs running through them.
Spring-time can be bittersweet, filled with so many reminders of Austin. But with the beauty of new life each day brings, I’m given hope. Spring, I think, is but a small glimpse of Heaven. I hold tight to the promise of knowing the new life Austin now has and the splendor of spring that must surround him.
No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. -Proverb
In 2008, my world as I knew it changed forever, with the sudden loss of our 14-year-old son, Austin. The journey to my blog (and attitude toward life) was bumpy and tearful, beginning at a memorial blog for my son. I later chose to take another path, challenging myself to find the JOY in every day, despite the sadness I still felt. I love and miss him daily but I’m living my life to honor him – and celebrating every moment it brings. My goal…to find and share the joy in every day. You can find me at Joyful Challenge