Dear Justin:

 

On the evening we met you were just seventeen,

My new lady's almost grown son.

Your smile was contagious, your eyes had a gleam,

And I knew you would be lots of fun.

 

It was a night in March Madness, your favorite time,

And the joy that it brought you was sweet.

To the neighbor and back all the evening you ran,

On the stair with those oversized feet.

 

You did everything fast, there was no doubting that,

You lived like each day was your last.

Through your eyes I'd  remember that youth was great fun,

And I'd grin when those feet would zoom past.

 

You were brooding at times, your emotions were strong,

When your mind was made up, that was it.

A young man of passion, with purpose and plans,

You'd much rather move than just sit.

 

Your humor was earthy like most other guys',

And your favorite belches were LOUD.

And when one of those gems would erupt from your mouth,

You would look around smiling, and proud.

 

You wore short pants year round, whatever the weather,

And you'd snort if we asked, "Aren't you cold?"

Long pants were for work, or for formal occasions,

Or for people like me who were "old."

 

But what made me proudest as the years did fly past,

Was how close you became with your mother.

You'd spoil her with presents, and share those long talks,

And of late even took her to London!

 

Did you ever look close at the pride in her eyes,

When she'd gaze at her fine, strong son?

Like I told you, NO ONE could love you like her,

And you'll always be her NUMBER ONE.

 

And when the biggest questions of Life would arise,

Things like God, you had doubts it was true.

But, for all who have known you, we've no doubt in our minds,

There's a special place saved for you.

 

I can see you with God, in your Redskins hat,

Sitting on His lap, taking it all in.

I imagine Him laughing  when you pull His finger,

Beaming your shit-eating grin.

 

And don't worry about your mom. We'll see her through this,

Though our hearts are all broken, it's true.

Though the joy that you brought us was over too fast,

We thank God that He let us love you.

 

So, until we all meet again in that one special place,

Where God's love will make us all one.

Put your wings on and race the angels through space.

Farewell. Be at peace, my dear almost son.

 

With Much Love and Sadness

 

                                           Pete

 

2006 - E. Reed