Betty Smith

Forever Missed
by Betty Smith
Betty Smith lives with her husband, Doug, in Oklahoma. She has two daughters, a son who is now in heaven, two step-daughters & a step-son. She loves to encourage and mentor those who are hurting, and help them on their path to healing. Her favorite activities are gardening and loving on her eleven grandkids.
This will be my first Mother's Day without my beautiful son, Jamie. Last Mother's Day he surprised me by showing up at my church and having lunch with me. Oh how I miss him! No mother should have to bury her child. It is the worst pain anyone can experience.

Growing up, Mother's Day was always a special huge celebration. We celebrated all the mothers in our family, but the main focus was on my maternal granny who we called "HeeGee." She feared and loved God and taught all of us truth, even when we didn't want to hear it. Losing her was the hardest thing I had ever done. Jamie was 3 years old at the time of her death and he asked many questions, which I answered truthfully. Then one day as I was cleaning out a back flower bed he said, "Mom, I'm never going to Heaven." Shocked, I asked him why. His reply, "Because I'm never gonna leave you!" But he has. He is now in Heaven with HeeGee, my mom, and many others that I love. But most importantly He is with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jamie was my third and last born, and my only son. He was beautiful, handsome, and so very smart. He started learning to spell at age 3 and read at age 4. He was so smart that I didn't know why God chose me to be his mom, but I was glad He did. Jamie loved and lived sports from about age 2. He could tell you about any sport and knew the stats on almost any player. His dream was to play basketball. He knew the game inside and out. He started playing at the YMCA and was high scorer in every game. He played all through elementary and continued into junior high and high school.

His dream was crushed his senior year at age 17 when he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes (Type 1). He was hurt and angry. After Jamie's graduation, his dad and I went through a heart breaking divorce that was hard on the whole family. When Jamie went to college, he couldn't keep up with the other players because of his illness. I struggled, he struggled, and his two sisters struggled to get back on track.

As time went on we all healed except for Jamie. It took him ten to eleven years of wrong decisions and heartbreak to begin to heal. On Mother's Day 2014, he turned back to God. I never stopped praying for him and loving him. He was still struggling to give up his bad habits and the places it had taken him, but he was trying and was changing.

He had a good job that he liked, was back at church, reading his Bible, and going to AA, when the unthinkable happened. He became very sick in the night and didn't call for help in time for someone to come to his aid. He passed away at age 32 from diabetic ketoacidosis, extremely high blood sugar. Diabetes is a horrible disease.

I have loved many children and had many titles. I worked in a public school, was a camp sponsor, worked in and owned a daycare, sponsored several teen and young adult mission trips, and was foster mom to six different children. I've lost many who were dear to me, including both my parents, all my grandparents, and aunts, uncles, and friends. I have even weathered a heart-wrenching divorce after thirty-two years of marriage. I thought nothing could shake my world after God healed me from my previous struggles and grief.

I never imagined having to bury a child. Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a child. Everything I do and everywhere I go reminds me of Jamie and triggers tears that come in an instant. I miss his smell, his hugs, and his voice. He would show up at random times and always gave the best and biggest hugs. He was loved by everyone who knew him and now he is gone ... relocated to Heaven.

I am struggling to celebrate Mother's Day this year. But I will. I don't know exactly how or when, because it will be so different. It will never be the same. I will go on ... life will go on. I have a husband, two beautiful daughters, two step daughters, a step son, and eleven grandchildren that need me to still be me. I'm working on the healing with God's help and know that even though life is different, it can still be sweet and have meaning.

I am forever changed. Jamie will be forever missed, until I see him again in Heaven.