As I sit here at the computer, I am already crying, and I don`t know where to begin. My son, my only child, Jack Lee Johnston, died on April 30th, 2001. He was 22years, 10 months, 29 days old. That is not enough! Not for him, not for me, not for anyone. He was my past, present, and future.Now I have nothing but tomorrows filled with pain,and sorrow. Jack had such compassion, truthfulness, trusting and strength. I wish I had told him that he far surpassed my dreams for him. That he turned out to be the kindest person I know.
I remember he was a baby of just 3lbs 14 oz. His tiny hands that I will never again hold. His soft kisses that I will never again feel. His beautiful blue eyes that I will never have the pleasure of seeing again. His voice calling "Mom". I think that I will always miss his voice the most. Jack grew into a man of 6ft. 4in., yet he was, and always will be "my baby".
Jack had a wonderful life. He adored golf, played little league, ice hockey, cheered for the Green Bay Packers, bowled,was in 4-H, cub scouts,saw Disney world,and even rode in a race car that I, his mother drove around the race track, just to give him a "thrill". He had tons of friends, joined in everything....that was just Jack.He started to play golf at the age of 4 when his grandpa, also Jack, bought him his first set of clubs. From the first moment, golf became his life. He played all 4 years varisty in high school, and college.
All he ever wanted was to work as a superintendant at a golf course. He had just landed that job, at Elm Crest Country Club, in Cedar rapids Iowa. He had a passion for meeting new people and had a totally open mind. I wish I had more time to know him, even though we shared everything, well almost. (There are some things even a parent can`t, and shouldn`t know..). I know he loved me, and I hope that he knew how much I loved him. I miss him so much. I want to have all those years back so I could spend all the time with him again.
On April 30th a water main had broken and he had no water to shower with after work. So, he decided to go to his girlfriend's place to shower there. He took the short-cut, over the gravel road. A road that was soft from spring rains. He was traveling in the middle of the road. As he came over the top of a hill, the met another car, also in the middle of the road. Jack swurved and missed the other car, they are fine. He lost control of his car, sliding sideways down a steep hill and around a deadly curve. Then the back tire came off the rim. The rim dug into the road and flipped the car.
The sunroof was open,the car landed on it`s top, then rolled 2 more times, crushing his head, and he died instantly. I went to the road on the 6th month "anniversary" of my sons death, October 30th 2001. I placed 6 orange roses on the road. 6, for 6 months, Orange, for Halloween. Jack would have loved it. Now that I have seen the road, the steep hill, the curve, it all makes more sense (if this thing could make sense). He never had a chance to pull out of it. I do not think an "Indy car driver" could have made that curve while avoiding another car and going downhill in a slide.I understand the accident now. But will never understand Jack`s death.
I do wonder if the reason I HAD to go to the road was not just that the Iowa State Police report didn`t fit...But I think Jack wanted me to see it. He wanted me to know that he did all he could, but it was to much, for even the best driver. I really do think I HAD to go there because Jack WANTED me to. If you all think I am NUTS, or just reaching for an answer...that`s okay. I have been called worse. But I did find a little bit of peace in knowing all this. My heart will always be broken, but Jack let me have a moment of peace.
We are doing a memorial at Springbrook Country Club, where we are, and Jack, was a member. The money that was given in Jacks` name, by friends, ect...totaled about $7,000.00 ! We knew a lot of people ! We added to it and gave $10,000.00 to Springbrook. 2 things will be done.
First, a statue of a golfer (700 lbs of cement!) will be placed by the clubhouse for all to see. I am gonna paint it up in bronze (since I couldn`t afford to buy real bronze) this winter, and set it next spring. I am having a rock engraved with, "In memory of all those who have been" to place beside it.
Second, we are re-doing the first tee, and the cart parking area. We will make it into one level, ,(it is 2 levels now, sort of upper and lower) and cementing the whole thing. It will make the traffic patteren so much better, and the new cement will give a great 1st impression when you see it. We are going to put a bronze plaque in the retaining wall that reads..." In memory of Jack Lee Johnston...6/1/78 - 4/30/01" ....I guess I just don`t want anyone to ever forget he was alive.
You will live on in my memories, I will never forget you Jack. It just doesn't seem possible that you were here and now your gone, never to return. You are out there, somewhere in the universe, please know that I feel very special, that you came into my life. I love you, and always will. I will find you someday, and we will see each other again. Hold that thought, Jack, as I do....it is all that is keeping me going now. That and my love for you.
I will NEVER forget you, my one and only child, my son, my life.............Mom .