Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My Son Jason Loved Life

No One Loved Life More than My Son Jason

This month's theme for City Daily Photo Bloggers is Loving Life. No one loved life more than my son Jason. Unfortunately, he only got to enjoy it for fourteen short years, but he packed a lot of life into those years. He was a child we choose, and he entered our lives when he was just four years old. He moved in with us when he was five, and he officially became our son when he was seven. (Read more about that in How I Became a Parent.) He usually celebrated his birthday at the beach. It was a joint party for him and his sister, adopted with him, and we invited their friends and their friends' families. This picture was taken at the first one of these parties.

My Son Jason Loved Life
Jason's Friends Try to Bury Him in Beach Sand

He loved playing with other children. He also loved building things with any available materials. In this photo, he and his friends are building a log fort with the logs from a tree that had just been trimmed. Jason is the one in the football shirt. The rest are his friends in the neighborhood.

My Son Jason Loved Life
Jason and Neighborhood Friends Building Fort from Logs

Jason Made Friends Everywhere

As Jason grew he continued to make friends with both people and animals. He loved being with animals, and they seemed to know he loved them. He also befriended many who had no real friends. It was also easy for him to start conversations with strangers we met when we traveled. He loved the historical sites and often tried to learn as much as he could from the docents and enactors. Here he has engaged with a soldier at Valley Forge. He loved learning, but not school.

My Son Jason Loved Life
Jason at Valley Forge

Here he is petting a deer that came into family camp on Catalina Island. I think he was seven or eight that year.

My Son Jason Loved Life
Jason Petting a Deer in Camp on Catalina Island

When he was thirteen, we took a mother-son trip to Sacramento and spent a night camping at Clear Lake. He made friends with this dog he met there. He loved dogs and when at home he would bring home every neighborhood dog that got loose during the day and keep it until the owners got home from work. Then he'd return the dog to its owners. He knew where all those dogs lived because he made the rounds of the neighborhood on his bike every day and got to know all the neighbors, including the adults.

My Son Jason Loved Life
Jason  Playing with Dog from Nearby Campsite at Clear Lake

On this trip, Jason fulfilled his dream of panning for gold. He had made friends with a friend of my husband who would visit and tell stories of his own gold prospecting trips. Our motel in Sacramento was right by the river. We had bought a gold pan in Old Town, and he had the time of his life with it, even though he didn't find much gold. It was the experience that mattered to him, and he experienced as much as he could in the time he had.

My Son Jason Loved Life
Jason Panning for Gold in Sacramento, 1990.

It was trying to experience as much as he could that finally led to his death. He went to Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles on an impromptu church outing to waterski. One of the adults had the boat. We did not know he had brought that jet ski that Jason had always wanted to ride. Even though we had told him to wait until he was 18 to ride a jet ski because we knew how dangerous it would be for him, the adults on that trip offered him the chance and he just couldn't say no. So he got the chance for that experience and rode that jet ski straight to Heaven.

Click here to see what other City Daily Photo Bloggers posted to this month's theme: Loving Life.

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