It's Jason's birthday today. Jason is my son-in-law and son-in-love and the father of my grandsons. He and Lily have been together for a long, long time and the miracle of their love and their marriage and their union and their sons is just one of the most amazing things in our lives.
A few months ago, Jason was asked to write a little piece about his father who had been a police officer and who was killed when Jason was very young and he did. Now, Jason is a quiet man and he doesn't talk a lot about what's in his heart but he doesn't have to. The way he is around his boys says it all. He is the most hands-on, loving daddy I can imagine. And I can only imagine that had he not died, Jason's father would have been as proud of him as a father can be.
So when I read what Jason had written I asked him if he would let me put it up here on the blog and he said I could. I was going to put it up on Father's Day but I think it is even more appropriate to put it here today, on Jason's own birthday for many reasons, one of them being that I am certain that the day Jason was born was one of the best and happiest days of his own father's life.
So. Here it is. In Jason's own words. It is about a very young boy losing his father, it is about that boy growing up and becoming a father himself. It is also, if you read between the lines, about a woman having to face the most horrible reality and going on to raise her two fine sons by herself and I'd like to thank Jason's mama for being that woman. Happy birth day to her.
We love you Jason. Happy birthday!
"On the morning of May 31st, 1992, I awoke to the sound of my mother crying in her room. I got up out of my bed and walked through the kitchen to see that my mom across the room being held by Satellite Beach police officers and my Uncle Wes trying to comfort what they could of my mother’s tears. I proceeded to see what had happened. My Uncle Wes picked me up and laid me on our living room couch and stayed until I fell back to sleep. I awoke again, this time in my mother and father’s bed with my brother Chris by my side and a commotion of noise coming from our living room. A river of tears was falling down my brother’s face and I asked what is wrong. He told me, "Dad is dead". I knew not what to say. So I got up and walked into the living room, where I saw family, teachers, and police officers staring at the TV. As I turned to the TV there was my dad’s face and the news caster speaking of the story that transpired in the middle of the night. My mother called me over to her and she just wanted to hold me. She rocked me and said she loved me. After awhile I went back into my mom anddad’s room walked into the closet and grabbed my father’s gun out of the gun cabinet. I walked out of the bedroom and held it out to one of my dad’s fellow police officer (Steve Fry) and told him, “My dad doesn't need this anymore.” That day forever changed our path as a family. We knew not what to do without a father in our lives. I grew up without my dad; not knowing what dad’s are like, or what they do. But, yet, I have come to realize how my dad felt about my brother and me. He loved us deeply. He loved us without measure. He loved us unconditionally. How do I know this? Because I love my sons deeply, without measure, unconditionally. Through my sons, I have grown to know my father. I want to thank all of you who have kept my family in your thoughts and prayers these past twenty years. Your compassion has helped us through many hard days. And I pray that the good people of Satellite Beach and its courageous members of the Police Department never, ever have to repeat such an awful event again."