I am one of the luckiest people I know when it comes to my friends. Whether it is people I see everyday, or those I haven't seen for years, the friendship of so many wonderful people is helping to pull me through. My friends have been with me constantly helping me to see there is a light at the end of this tunnel. They remind me of the great things Jason did in such a short life... they remind me of what I can do to honor him... They remind me that there will be joy in my life again. They keep me busy and distract me from my negative thoughts. They let me talk about my fears, my guilt and my memories. And, they aren't afraid to have me around knowing I may lose my mind at any time. A true friend knows that "they can't stop the rain, but they can hold the umbrella." And I have so many true friends.
Jason was a true friend to so many people. That was evident based on the number of people who showed up at his service or who have sent us cards and letters since. He was the most social person I think I have ever met. He and I shared the gift of gab and the desire to entertain and engage everyone we met. He was the happiest kid around... I was, and am, so lucky to have had him… He was an only child which can be hard, but he decided early on that he was never going to be alone. Whether it was talking to kids or adults, he was going to be the center of it. I remember when he was just 3 or 4 years old. He had gotten a power wheels jeep and he wanted to drive down the street. So, he got in it and started driving with me walking behind. Each house we passed, he would drive up the driveway, up the path and then start yelling… “Hello, do any children live here..” If no one responded, he would just turn around and go to the next house. That is how he met the Schmidt’s, Patrick, Joseph, Quinn and others in the neighborhood. His friend Tanner mentioned he did the same on his pink and green bike one day when Tanner moved into the neighborhood… He just came into Tanner's backyard, introduced himself and started riding bikes with them. He was “Mr. Social..”
Brother Tom from Chaminade told a story about how whenever he would have a prospective family walking with him around Chaminade, he would seek Jason out. Jason would introduce himself and then spend the next 10 plus minutes telling them about Chaminade, the teachers, the students, you name it. I am sure he convinced many a family to bring their children there. He could truly talk to anyone about anything. Speaking of Chaminade, one of Jason's friends told me a story about his freshman orientation day at Chaminade. Jason, made sure to walk around and meet everyone. Each person had a name tag on. Over in the corner was a quiet young black man named Rotimi. Jason never saw color, he just saw people (which I am so proud of him for to this day). So, Jason went straight over to Rotimi, started talking to him, told him he had the coolest name ever, then took his name tag off, gave Rotimi his and spent the remainder of orientation introducing himself as Rotimi. He was a character.
Not only was he a storyteller, but he was a master debater. Choose any subject and he could argue with you about it for hours. I'll save some of those stories for a future blog.
I think one of the main things I will miss will be talking and debating with Jason or watching him work a crowd. He was a master.
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.