Today marks the day ten years ago that during the early morning hours, John Michael Gore took the hand of Jesus with his famous beautiful smile as he was at peace with the world. Hand in hand, Skip and I took our longest walk — through the halls of the hospital and out to the car, not knowing the journey we had ahead.
Last week, another young man left this life – memories began to flood as we were told of his passing, as he had played along-side of John Michael “on the ice” all through junior high and high school. I have waited to contact his parents – I know too well what lies ahead for them and wanted to wait until this weekend was over.
I never want to see this date as an “anniversary” or really want to count it as years, but, yet, I want to remember this date as it is the last time I held his hand and kissed him – a day our hearts broke forever, never to be whole again. And, then, I want to remember our wonderful family and friends who clung to us, not only that first week as we celebrated his life, but, also, those first few years that actually have become a blur – how did we make it? It was those friends and family, and the grace of God that held us together, to remind us how blessed we were to be chosen as John Michael’s parents and be able to have great memories of a charmed life we three led together. The Grace of God – words we do not take lightly; it is because of Him that we go forward and reminds us of the great responsibility we have to carry on the life of our child – to honor his life.
My message in today’s blog – nothing can compare to the love you have for your child; nothing can ever soothe the ache of your broken hearts; and, nothing can prepare you for the longing you have to see your child, hear his voice, and look into his eyes. But, the good news is that this love is what defines us and prepares us every day to go forward in serving the One who made us all, doing His work to hopefully make a difference in the lives of those whose paths we cross. Jesus is our anchor and guards our soul.
Dear John Michael,
Not a day goes by that your mama doesn’t have you on her mind; the tears start to flow, and, then, I say to myself , “no, you have too much to do – you must forge ahead, with a smile on your face and love in your heart and remember that those famous words of yours, ‘that’s my mama’ ” – so, see, my world still revolves around you and always will.
You are missed. You are loved. You are our baby boy always.