A dear friend told me that a great way to cope with the loss of my son is to write about him, how he impacted me and others throughout his life and what I am doing now to try to move forward through my immense grief. So, today, I start with the first of what I assume will be many blogs to come. Jason was truly a light in his short life, a light that will burn in me forever. While it is still incomprehensible to me what happened, I know I need to move through it and lead a life that Jason would be proud of. Guilt is one of the toughest things to deal with in this journey so far. So, over the last few days, I have started each morning by telling Jason I am sorry for what I could have or should have done to help him and I ask him to forgive me. Each time a thought comes into my mind about why I didn't do something more or why I didn't see something earlier, or why I didn't understand the magnitude of the issues he was experiencing, I try repeating that statement again.... "I am so sorry for what I could have or should have done to help you and I ask you to forgive me." It is hard sometimes to clear those guilt thoughts from my mind, but I know I must keep trying. We all know that Jason always told us "I got you." So, I know, given this, he has forgiven me. If any of you out there are feeling some level of guilt because you failed to respond to a text, or couldn't go out when he asked you to or noticed he wasn't himself but just chalked it up to a growth pain in his life or you just didn't keep in contact because life just moved on... tell Jason you are sorry, ask him to forgive you, and rid yourself of the guilt. I know he forgives all of us and I know he will have all our backs as we move on with our lives. And, also, take a moment to drop a friend a note just to say hi and and remind them you are there for them.
Now, on a lighter note, given the blistering heat outside, I know many of you may be heading to the beach. That reminds me of a story told during Jason's service where Jason, himself, should have felt some level of guilt over his own actions. Anyway, the story came from Brandon "Beef" Rappaport a friend of Jason's from his Chaminade days. During the boys senior trip to Newport Beach, Jason felt Beef was just a little too white and needed to work on his tan quickly. So, Jason said, like he did so often before, "I got you" and he gave Beef a bottle of baby oil and told him to lather up. Of course, by the end of the day Beef was fried and barely able to move. Jason's reaction.... "the baby oil worked.... just look at all the color you got.." Now, in this particular case, I am not sure if Jason's life mantra of "I got you" was meant as a support statement or as something else..smirk.. smirk....and maybe he had a little bit of guilt over his baby oil recommendation. But I know Beef forgave him and laughed it off. Anyway, for those heading to the beach, forget the baby oil, protect yourself and enjoy your day....
We don't know everything that contributed to Jason's final decisions, but, in hindsight, given what we now know, we are certain that CTE played a part in it. One of these days we will have that fully confirmed and, when we do, we will certainly work with others to do what we can to help in both dealing with, lessening the impact of, and preventing CTE. If you would like more information about CTE, check out one of the links below:
Boston University CTE Center
Concussion Foundation Organization
Dude (Jason), 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.