On August 28, 1999, the world stopped turning. Our hearts were broken, our lives were shattered. With just a knock, a policeman at the door..... Our lives will never be the same.
On September 29, 1978 our lives were blessed with a beautiful new baby and on August 28, 1999, he was taken away, our oldest son.
Jared Ryan Mott was a light in our lives, he was joy, and he was challenge. He was hope, he was frustration, he was laughter and tears. He was our first born, he was a wonderful reason for us to be living.
Jared was his own person. He needed to do things his way and in his own time. He was frustrated too, with life, and struggled with what he knew, what he wanted and what he was looking for in and from life. He was old for his years..... he was a challenge, he was inspiration.
Jared was life.... full of love and forever giving. He was gentle and kind, quick to laugh or crack a joke, quick to pitch in and do anything it took to ease someone's burden. Jared touched lives. Jared changed lives.... We did not fully realize the extent of Jared's influence on everyone he met until this week after his passing.... I am still in awe. At the service in Aurora, the chapel was filled and the gym was half filled. Businesses closed for the service. People left school and work to be there if only for a few minutes, whatever time they could steal, to pay their respects and to say a few words to us. Friends, co-workers, the mailman, the convenience store clerks, teachers, classmates ..... no person he spoke to was left untouched by his spirit. Each person had at least one special memory of how their life had been changed by this special young man and they had to speak of it to us. Each person with a different memory, literally hundreds of different memories of how one young man had touched the life of every one he came in contact with.
In 20 years Jared had lived more than I had in 40. He was strength and goodness.... He was a smile. Jared loved children, he loved animals. He always paused to give a loving pat to each and every pet in the house before he would go to bed. He would call, "Ma, I'm home", when he came in at night, already I miss that.... my heart aches for the sound of his voice.
On August 28, 1999, Jared was taking a truckload of his sister's things to school for her in Idaho. He fell asleep at the wheel and was killed in "the worst accident in 16 years". Mercifully he died instantly. Even more mercifully and miraculously his friend who was with him did not die. The only piece of the truck that was intact after the accident was the passenger side door and seat. This was no accident, this was all part of the Lord's plan.
Out of tragedy must come some good. From the carnage there must come comfort. From the despair..... hope. As we see family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers come to our door in tears, offering support and strength, our pain is eased. Friendships once lost, have been renewed. Faces that were previously not familiar to us are now people with names, with a common bond, a shared love for this boy who touched our lives. As we see people come into our home with food, help with household chores, gifts and such an out pouring of love we are in awe at the strength we have been given to see us through these days of preparation to lay our son to rest.
How privileged we are to have had him in our lives, even for this short time. While I feel cheated at not having the chance to have him longer, to watch him grow, meet the girl of his dreams who would be his wife, hold his babies in my arms the way I held him, I am grateful for the time I did have to be his mother and to be his friend. I believe that as they took his torn and broken body from the twisted rubble of his pick-up truck he was treated with the gentleness and tenderness that he would have had from one of us, his family, who loved him dearly. I am grateful to all those who were there at the scene offering their help to Jared, Andy, and the truck driver, helping Jared as he passed from this life into the next. The closest we can be to heaven, while on this earth, is in birth and in death. You were chosen to help him with this passage, to help him return to his Father in Heaven and though we may never know you, we are thankful to you, for being there for him in his last moments. I envy you. How I wish I could have been there for him.
My prayer is that there is no guilt ..... Do not torture yourself with ..... "if only I had done ..." or " I should have....." While this appeared to be an accident, we believe that in the Lord's plan there are no accidents. This wonderful young man was called home to a new life, a mission that is all just a part of the plan.
He had fulfilled what he needed to do here and it was time for him to return to his Father in Heaven and while my heart hurts so badly I sometimes cannot breathe, I know he is safe and in the hands and arms of his loving family who have gone before him and a loving Heavenly Father who needs him there in Heaven to continue on in his Eternal progression.
We saw the spot where he died, we touched the crumbled wreckage that bore no resemblance to the truck it used to be, and we held the hand of a beloved son, now cold, so cold, and black. His body so torn we could not look one last time at his face and we wept for our loss. We wept for the emptiness we feel. We wept with our hearts broken and aching with the longing to see him one last time, to say a parting word, to feel one last hug.... He did not hug us goodbye when he left, feeling sure that he would return again in 2 days safe and sound. "Don't worry mom, we don't need sleep, we are young", was the last thing I heard, and then a chuckle so typical of this gentle boy..... Oh, how we wept.
Then, standing outside of the morgue, after holding his hand and saying goodbye, we were enfolded in his arms and filled with a peace that touched our hearts and souls as if he were standing there with us holding our hands and we finally understood ..... he had been called home. His spirit was with us, talking to our hearts and telling us of his love. We know he is safe and we know he is happy.
While we will always miss him and feel the aching emptiness of this loss, we can remember the good times, the funny things he did.... We can laugh and we can smile.... we will have our memories... We are at peace. We have discovered that each day is a blessing and that it is a sin to let a day go by without telling our loved ones we love them. We have a new commitment to each other as a family. Our lives have been changed..... Out of tragedy there comes some good.... We look forward to the day when we will all be together again.
Thanks to those who were there for him in Wyoming. Thank you for your help and efforts in behalf of our beloved son. Thank you for your help, concern, sympathy, empathy, and prayers for our family. We appreciate all you did for us while we were gathering our daughter's belongings from Jared's truck. We appreciate the chance we had to say goodbye to our son at the hospital. We appreciate the sensitivity of the coroner and the officers who were there to answer our questions and to assist us in everything we asked them to do, for giving us the closure we needed as Jared's family. From the carnage comes comfort and from the despair comes hope. Time will help our healing, we will be ok.
Remember this young man. Do not forget how he has touched your life. I read a quote once, "By the time that I die, I want it to have mattered that I have lived".
It mattered that Jared lived.
We are all the better to have had the privilege of knowing and loving him. Now it is our turn to "make it matter" that we have lived. May the Lord bless you.
You can email Cindy Mott: firstname.lastname@example.org
anniversary date 08-28-99
date of post 09-21-99
Cindy writes a tribute to her son Jared Ryan Mott.