Fear is something each and every one of us face throughout our lives. While I always feared something might happen to Jason (just like any other parent), I was able to manage that fear. I guess that was because, deep in my mind, I believed it was so unlikely anything would actually ever happen to him. The fear may not have been real to me then. Of course, put me on a ladder higher than 4 feet up and you'd better be ready to catch me as I passed out. That fear, the fear of heights, I could never manage because it was so real to me. But now I am facing a new fear that I never imagined but is so real it is tearing me apart. That is the fear of a future lost. A future without my son Jason, without grandkids, without a daughter-in-law, without the dreams I had that were so deeply woven into the thoughts that swirled in my heart and mind. So, how do I overcome this fear? How do I move forward from here and build dreams of a new and different future? Honestly, I don't know yet. I am sure I will eventually find my purpose and my new future. I have shed so many tears the last month or so and I know I will shed many more. But I read a quote from William Shakespeare that has helped a bit. It said "Tears water our growth." So, maybe these tears are just helping me to start the next phase in my life, helping me to grow and find that new purpose.
Of course, a key part of my son's future would have been the future and dreams of all his friends. So, I hope I can continue to share in the happiness that his friends will seek out and realize in their lives...... I want to encourage his friends to talk with us about their hopes and dreams... to come to us if we can help in anyway... and to remind us of stories of Jason. One of Jason's best friends just asked Jason's dad, Gregg, to be a part of his wedding to represent Jason. This was such an incredible gift to us. It was the first gift of our new future.
Jason had fears, of course, some we knew about and some we didn't. I always thought he could overcome anything. Sometimes, we had fun with Jason's fears (maybe this is what we call bad parenting 101). Anyway, I remember one time we were in Laughlin, NV visiting my parents. One of the hotels had a train that ran around it. Jason was about 4 years old and was so excited to ride the train. Little did we know that part way through the train ride, a group of actors would jump on and pretend to rob the train, shooting their guns off, yelling loudly and terrifying Jason.. Jason was screaming at them "Get off my train," threatening them if they did not get off the train now he would get them, crying a little and grabbing for us to protect him while still trying to show a brave face to the train robbers. The train robbers started to laugh, Gregg and I started to chuckle and I think that just made Jason madder and more steadfast in his resolve to rid the train of the robbers and manage his fear. Later he told me he was not afraid. He told me he saved everyone from the bad guys that day. I am sure he wove an amazing tale to his friends in preschool about how he single handedly defeated a gang of train robbers and saved his parents and others from certain doom.
Another story of Jason's ability to overcome his fear came right after he became a member of the ASU football team. I remember during his first days of practice at ASU, they put him up against Vontaze Burfict, a monster of a man, and about the meanest looking SOB I have ever seen. Jason summoned all his strength, overcame his fears and stood there and took a hit from Vontaze. Jason was knocked about 20 feet in the air. But he stood back up, got back in line and was ready to take that hit again. I know he was scared to death, but I also know he knew he had to prove to himself he could do it. I also know that he probably told all his friends later how he took the hit from Burfict and Burfict was the one shaken. We all loved Jason's stories....
Dude, I love you and always will and I will miss you dearly every day for the rest of my life.... mom
Hi, I'm Jan Franklin. I am and will always be Jason Franklin's mother. He was everything to me. He brought such joy to me and so many others in his short life. I will never ever forget him.