later ... - Notes from Justin's Dad.
When I started this website, I thought that I would be writing my
thoughts daily. But putting those thoughts in writing does not come
March, 2005 -
It's already been three years. Before the death of Justin, I
had never been to a cemetery except for a funeral. At first I was stopping by
about every two weeks (we live about a hour from the cemetery). Others stop by
more often ... Justin's Mother has kept a 'memory book' for people to write in
when they stop by. I've never written anything in it, and I'm sure many others
who stop by don't either. Even though I don't write, I do take a peek to see
when the last time someone wrote ... In the first three years someone had
always written with three days of my visit.
The first couple of years we went to the cemetery the evening
of the crash, the first year there was more than a dozen of his frends who
showed up. This year I stopped by the cemetery the day before just because ...
by the time I stopped by the next after noon there were roses against his
stone, he is not forgotten.
I try not to read
more from the 'memory book' than the dates and the names ... But ... today I
see the first line of today's last entry says 'We haven't stopped by since the
funeral ...' and between the pages was a picture of this couples young son, his
name 'Justin ...' was written on the back.
(I'm writting this eight months later)
I awake from a dream that
I will never forget. In the dream, Justin had been with a group of people, but
even in my dream I know that he shouldn't be. He' just there, not saying
anything. Finally in my dream I find a flashlight to shine on him ... and as
dreams can change, this one does. As the light shines on him he disapears and I
am now shinning the light on a old fashined white movie screen, and everyone is
around watching old movies of Justin. As I awoke, I knew I had been 'crying in
Justin is still often in my dreams (and the dreams of others,
I've heard) but few were as vivid as this.
Justin's Mom invites everyone over to their
house for a Memorial day cookout, the crowd doesn't seem to be getting any
smaller. Along MN 95 there is a section of highway that has been 'dedicated to
the memory of Justin' ... I've hadn't made it out there before for trash pickup
but I did go this year. Over 40 people showed up to pickup trash on that one
mile of highway.
After three years, things have finally quieted at the
cemetery, it is getting longer now between the writtings in the 'memory book.'
Not sure what the first words of one entry this summer were, but I read on ...
the person writting was being shipped out the next day to go fight for our
country, and he took time out to visit an old friend.