I am not a widow, I am not an astronaut, I am a mother. I am not Childless. However, I am one less Child.
Always there were Freddie and Jackie;
Now there is Jackie, my beautiful daughter; no physical Freddie.
(Letter to Freddie)
Freddie, from the moment I knew you were to be born, I was overjoyed. I intuitively knew you would be a son; one to carry the family name with pride and honor.
My heart was filled with love as I watched you grow, but in the back of my being there was also this fear.
I was fearful of losing you, but I pushed those feelings deep down and found delight in every moment you lived. And, boy, did you live! You accomplished more in those 54 years than others could accomplish in a hundred or so years.
You were a delightful child who loved to play tricks on family and friends. (story about invisible strings) I am grateful for all my memories. When you confided in me you wanted to send a robot to the moon, I thought “why not”; if anyone could you could so we shared this dream and I worked to help you make this a reality. You did so well; you were the soul of this project.
I will miss sending and receiving those emails about our moon adventure. I will miss those birthday and holiday calls received from you. California was such a long way away, it seemed. I thought we had time.
But most of all, I will miss your hand holding mine…..as a child and as a man. The last time you held my hand was in the hospital when you looked up at me with those big brown sad eyes and said, “you cannot leave because you are part of the plan,” as he held tightly to my hand. I did not know what plan; I said “I am only making things worse”, however, I stayed. I could not let you die alone, without family.
My physical time with you is over now. So, son, put those hands that I held for 54 years in God’s hands until I can hold your hands once again.
And tell God, “Thank you” for me. And tell him how grateful, how lucky and how privileged I feel that he chose me to be your mom and I hope I made him proud.
And, son, tell God thank you…thank you for allowing me to be with you as you left this earthly plain; to hold you gently and to whisper over and over “I love you, I love you, I love you.” And I will forever whisper to the wind, Freddie, I love you, I love you, I love you.
Aeschylus wrote, in explaining the intensity of the suffering and grief that accompanies a loss:
“And even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”
Your earthly remains have come home; your soul has followed your heart to the stars and beyond to touch the face of God.