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MEMORIAL SILHOUETTES

for our children
page 1 of 5

music playing: SUNSHINE ON MY SHOULDERS


IN MEMORY OF
Lucas Christopher Ross "Luke"
21
October 31, 1979 - April 3, 2001
Acute Bronchopneumonia












SILHOUETTES OF FATHERHOOD

The silhouettes of fatherhood
From another time and place,
Grief has cast it's shadow
On his cheerful father face.

The contour of his happiness
Created sometime long ago,
Darkened by his agony
And the truth he's come to know.

The profile of his peacefulness
Embraced in days gone bye,
Shaded by his loneliness
And the many tears he's cried.

The shape of all good things to come
Yearned for in future days,
Blackened by reality
Of death that's come his way.

The form of his existence
In the life he thought he'd live,
Clouded by his pleading
That his life he'd gladly give.

The figure of fulfillment
From yesterdays desires,
Obscured by constant mourning
And all that it requires.

The likeness of tomorrow
Won't bring the things it should.
Soon he'll find the light within
The Silhouettes of fatherhood.

© 2007 - Christine Ross
~in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001
Published in
LIVING WITH LOSS MAGAZINE
Summer 2009, Volume 24 No. 2
Bereavement Publications, Inc.






Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!

~ Lydia M. Child





My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person,
he believed in me.

© Jim Valvano






My father didn't tell me how to live;
he lived, and let me watch him do it.

~ Clarence B. Kelland





The greatest gift I ever had came from God,
and I call him Dad!

~ Anonymous





One night a father overheard his son pray:
Dear God,
Make me the kind of man my Daddy is.
Later that night, the Father prayed,
Dear God,
Make me the kind of man my son wants me to be.

~ Anonymous





A father is someone that holds your hand at the fair,
makes sure you do what your mother says,
holds back your hair when you are sick,
brushes that hair when it is tangled because mother is too busy,
lets you eat ice cream for breakfast, but only when mother is away.
He walks you down the aisle and tells you everything's gonna be okay.

~ Unknown





When a father gives to his son, both laugh;
when a son gives to his father, both cry.

~Jewish Proverb





A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child.

~ Knights of Pythagoras





It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons

© Johann Schiller






It doesn't matter who my father was;
it matters who I remember he was.

~ Anne Sexton





Small boys become big men through the influence of
big men who care about small boys.

~ Anonymous





They say that from the instant he lays eyes on her,
a father adores his daughter.
Whoever she grows up to be,
she is always to him that little girl in pigtails.
She makes him feel like Christmas.
In exchange,
he makes a secret promise not to see the awkwardness of her teenage years,
the mistakes she makes or the secrets she keeps.

~ Unknown





When I was a boy of fourteen,
my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.
But when I got to be twenty-one,
I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.

~ Mark Twain





When I was a little girl,
Dad, you were my hero.
Some things never change

~ unknown





"I loved the boy with the utmost love of which my soul
is capable of and he is taken from me -
yet in the agony of my spirit in surrendering such a treasure,
I feel a thousand times richer than if I had never possessed it"

letter of William Wordsworth
on the death of his son, 1812






Anyone can be a father,
but it takes someone special
to be a dad.

~ unknown





My son,
a perfect little boy of five years and three months,
has ended his earthly life.
You can never sympathize with me;
you can never know how much of me such a young child can take away.
A few weeks ago I accounted myself a very rich man,
and now the poorest of all.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, on the death of his son






With gentle reminders I am blest,
Soft surprises on me are pressed,
As when I, gazing at the moon,
Feel your presence as my guest.


When I hear the cry of a loon,
or catch a brief snatch of a tune
That we once shared some time ago,
You seem so near, I'm not alone.


I sense your breath as breezes blow
and your soft kisses in flakes of snow.
in mists sometimes your form I see
or in the sunsets afterglow.

I often feel you here with me.
Your soul from body now set free
Has the welcome ability
Gentle reminders to bring to me

...From Rachel's Cry






























THE NATURE OF GRIEF

There is a kind and gentle man that is the type of dad that dreams are made of. He never misses a soccer game, or an awards day, or a school presentation, or anything for his kids. When his kids are sick, he is there. When his kids are honored, he is there. When his kids just need their dad, he is there. Working hard and long hours is done only to produce wonderful family vacations and to provide his children with the things they need or the things that he wants them to have. But the most important thing he provides for his kids is....LOVE. His FAMILY comes first..... above and beyond anything else. It is understood at his job that NOTHING comes before his family. My children are lucky enough to have this kind of dad.

I reacall a time long ago when there was a sound of joy that came from deep within the soul of this dad as he stood there in the delivery room and first learned that he was the father of a "son". He held his baby so close as his eyes filled with tears. As his little baby grew older he became his dad's piggy back partner, his pitch and catch partner, his fishing partner, his camping partner, his mountain biking partner, his skiing partner, and his partner at work as they shared a job together. The death of his son literally brought this man to his knees. He prayed, kneeling below the window of his son's room, his eyes once again filled with tears and then that sound that came from deep within his soul was released, but this time not because of joy, but because of knowing that his son lie dead just beyond that window.

Sometimes a father and son have that 'special' relationship that is created because of a love that is shared. Their love is not an obligated love, but a love that transcends expectation. A love like these two share cannot be separated by the lack of physical presence. They continue to share in each other's spirits on this earth. One day this dad's eyes will fill with tears and that sound from deep within will be released because of joy, as his soul and his son's soul will reunite as father and son....... FOREVER on the other side.

There are many that have been a special father figure in some child's life. Sometimes this father figure comes in the form of a mom who has taken on both roles of a parent because of reasons beyond her control. Some father figures are those men that have loved a child and that child loved them and looked up to them. But whatever the situation, the nature of a father is to be with his children, not to be without them.

Oh how we long to just see our children once again and be with them once again. We can imagine that we see them, but is it really our imagination or are they really there? When we see someone that resembles our child, it takes our breath away and tears begin to fall. We can hear their voices in our minds, those voices that have a direct line from Heaven. Sometimes we think we need that reassurance that we see them, or that they speak to us.... but in reality, we need nothing but what we know from the nature of our hearts.

The nature of the earth is probably one of the best healers of grief. We can see our children in the sunrise, and we can taste them in the rain. The afternoon breeze brings their scent to us and we can feel their touch in the shadows of the evening. When the world is at its quietest that is when we can hear our children the most. The spirits of our children fill up all of our senses. We long for their love, we long for their laughter, we long to always be with them.... but most of all we long to be the one that dies in their arms, the one that dies first. But all of these senses that are aroused by the gift of nature returns our children to us in ways that we thought were impossible. Our children are here with us always because that..... is their nature.

© 2011 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001



A FATHER'S LONELINESS

I miss you Luke,
Just before dawn arrives
When I awake to another day
And your memory is gently on my mind.

I miss you Luke,
In the early morning sun
When I catch a scent of pine trees
And breath in all the feelings that scent evokes.

I miss you Luke,
In the middle of the day
When I see a dad and his son sharing lunch
And I smile remembering all of our times together.

I miss you Luke,
In the afternoon
When I hear an echo of deep laughter
And I laugh out loud just imagining it is you.

I miss you Luke,
At the beginning of a sunset
When I feel the warmth that it provides
And I can almost feel your hug in that warmth.

I miss you Luke,
At the close of the day
When the stars appear in the night sky
And I wonder how long it will be until I see you again.

I miss you Luke,
In the middle of the night
When I awake from a dream of you
And I long to go back to sleep to dream of you once more.

I miss you Luke,
Just before the dawn
When I awake to another day
And your memory is gently on my mind.

© 2010 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001





















THE SLEEPLESS NIGHT

I woke up early this morning
Just as the sun was beginning to rise.
I reached out for my husband.
He wasn't there, to my surprise.

I arose and went to the window.
On the porch was his shadowy form.
He was probably just reminiscing
In the misty veil of the dawn.

Silently I remained inside
Hidden secretly from his sight.
Allowing him his solitude
Outside in the pale moonlight.

His silhouette took my breath away.
The eerie resemblance of our son
The one that died many years ago
Leaving us grieving and so alone.

Quiet tears began to fill my eyes
With memories of life and joy.
Longing once more for days gone by.
Wishing my husband still had his boy.

I pondered in the stillness
The pain this man should have been spared.
I wanted to go out and hug him
And tell him how much I cared.

I dared not disturb his reverie
Because I know how I cherish mine,
So I waited inside just watching him
As the clock ticked away the time.

I felt a warm hand on my shoulder,
A whisper "You can't sleep either hun?"
I turned quickly away from the window.
Standing next to me was my husband.

So I gazed back out the window.
The silhouette I had seen was gone.
Then my husband said "It's okay sweetie,
"He's been out there all night long."

© 2007 - Christine Ross
~in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001
Published in
LIVING WITH LOSS MAGAZINE
Summer 2007, Volume 22 No. 2
Bereavement Publications, Inc.
























THE EASY PART OF THIS JOURNEY

It was June 25, 2012 and it had been two years since I had seen Jennifer. There she was... sleeping peacefully and so still. There was an echo of whispers throughout the room. Jennifer had spent the last 20 years struggling with an awful disease that tookher kidneys, her legs, and finally her life.

I sat there in that beautiful Catholic church in that quaint little town as I watched her parents standing there in front of her casket. They were crying as they held her cold hands and as they bent over to give her that one last kiss goodbye.

The mother walked back to the pew and as she walked away two brothers of the father walked up to the casket. When the father saw them he turned towards them and they all stood together hugging each other in a circle. But there at the front of that churchwas an unbelievable eerie coincidence. The three brothers that were holding each other at the casket had now all lost children. One of those brothers was my husband. You could hear their sobs and moans float throughout the chapel as they all clutched eachother in disbelief. It was one of the saddest things that I have ever witnessed.

As the music began, the service began, and the pain began. I was now sitting next to my husband. His brother, the father of the child in the casket, was sitting right in front of us. Then, next to my husband was his other brother. I looked at my husband justas his brother grabbed his hand and as their eyes met they both cried on each other's shoulders. I looked further down the pew at his wife, my sister-in-law, and her eyes were red and tears were streaming down her face. My tears dropped to my lap as I absorbedthe reality of it all. I thought to myself as I looked at all of us sitting in that pew, we all have a common bond. It was the worst thing in the world to have in common.... our children had died.

As the service continued I cried for Jennifer and I cried for my son Luke. I cried for Dylan and for Matthew, the children of my husband's brother. The thought of all four of these children, together in Heaven, and all of us sitting together on earth was sooverwhelming that it consumed my emotions and I could not stop crying. I felt that I was reliving Luke's service all over again, with memories of Dylan's service and Matthew's death, and now the reality of Jennifer's service. It was 1972 when Matthew diedas an infant. In 2001 Luke died. Dylan died in 2010. And, now 2012 had brought the death of Jennifer. Four children from three brothers just seemed so unfair.

As the pall bearers, two of which were my husband and his brother, carried another dead child out of a church to a hearse, I could only hear the shuffle of their feet through what seemed like an everlasting silence. Was there a song playing? I really do notknow. I only know that there was a reverence, and a presence of angels all around. Angels that would walk with Jennifer to Heaven, the same angels that walked with Luke and Dylan and Matthew. I knew that those Heavenly angels would walk with Jennifer's parents,just as they had walked with us when Luke died, and just as they had walked with the parents of Dylan and Matthew..... and they would be there for all of us through the difficult days and years ahead.

As the casket passed the pew, followed by Jennifer's parents, my sister-in-law (the mother of Dylan and Matthew) and I stepped out behind them. We reached for each other's hands as we both looked deep into each other's eyes with that knowing and those familiartears streaming down our faces. We walked out of the church together, the sun was shining brightly and a few clouds in the sky as if to say.... life will go on. My heart was heavy with the knowing that for most everyone else at that funeral the pain was mostlyover, but for the family of Jennifer it had only just begun. My sister-in-law said to me as we walked hand in hand to the adjacent cemetery...... "As unbelievable as it may sound, the funeral is the easy part of this journey."

© 2012 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001






ONE LAST KISS


Oh, there you are
So still, so cold.
No more breathing.
No growing old.

As I touch you
Nothing is real.
Your skin is cold,
Your body still.

My eyes see you.
My heart wonders...
Beneath this shell
Do you slumber?

I listen close
No sound from you.
I whisper soft
My voice eludes.

Air engulfs you,
Frigid and stale.
I breath in deep,
Capture your smell.

Upon your lips
I press my own.
The taste of death
It lingers strong.

Lips cold and sealed.
Your life dismissed.
Tears warm your face
With ONE LAST KISS.

© 2003 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001




















A LITTLE IMPAIRED

I've been known to seemingly talk to my self in public, but I'm really talking to Luke. Most people think doing that is abnormal. If I concentrate I can hear his voice, I can hear his footsteps, and I can feel his touch. Even I, sometimes question myself and wonder if my mind is playing tricks on me.

My husband (Robin) is an engineer and has been since 1975. A few years before Luke died, Robin decided that he wanted a change from engineering management, so he quit his job and went into real estate, and was very successful at it. Luke and Robin were real estate partners for about one year. What a blessing that was!!! Then Luke died at the age of 21. Robin tried to continue in real estate but could not keep up the smiles and happy face that goes with selling and listing. So he quit real estate, we sold our house in Phoenix, and moved north Flagstaff, Arizona.

Finding an engineering job in Flagstaff was almost impossible so Robin took a construction engineering job that was west of Phoenix, about three hours from our cabin in Flagstaff. He worked in that job for about a year and a half (the length of the contract) and we had to live apart for most of that time. He knew the job was coming to an end soon so he decided to take his Profession Engineering Licensing Exam to open up opportunities closer to the cabin. It is a very difficult exam so he had extensive studying to do. The test is given twice a year in April and October. These months happen are the most emotional for Robin because Luke's birthday is in October and Luke's death day is in April. He studied and took the exam in April, but wasn't sure if he passed it, because it was extremely difficult. The job west of Phoenix had ended about a month earlier and Robin was looking all over the country and the world for a job in engineering. At that particular time jobs were pretty scarce in Engineering. If he had his Professional Engineers License he felt he could probably get work closer to home by being hired on contract. Flagstaff is a smaller town than Phoenix, so the opportunities are very limited. But felt he probably did not pass the exam. It was June and he was still anxiously waiting for the results of the exam in the mail.

About a week before Father's Day Robin and I had lunch at a Chinese Restaurant. When they brought our fortune cookies Robin's fortune was..... SOMETHING NICE IS COMING TO YOU IN THE MAIL. Robin said......"Maybe it is my EXAM SCORES".

The next Saturday (the day before Father's Day) we went to the P.O. to pick up our mail. The exam scores were there! We both sat in the car, holding our breath as Robin opened the letter. He read it and just started crying because he had passed the exam! Now, so many doors were open to him including the possibility to live closer to home. Robin looked at the license number/file number listed on the letter and it was 21143. (Luke died at the age of 21, in the year 1, in the month 4 (April), on the 3rd day.) Robin started crying again and said "This is probably my father's day gift from Luke." We were so excited, and crying, and amazed all at the same time. I said "Okay, we are going back to that restaurant again today and see if Luke has any more messages for you." After eating they brought us our fortune cookies again. Robin opened his and it said "YOU HAVE AN IMPORTANT NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SHAPING UP." Robin started crying again at the table and then flipped his fortune over and read the little message on the back. It stated "HAVE A GOOD HOLIDAY."

Somehow, someway Luke found a way to get a special Father's day gift to his dad and to wish him a Happy Father's day. I'm sure a lot of people think that we are a little crazy, a little impaired, a little unwell. But just because Luke is not here physically does not mean that he is not here. We haven't lost our minds..... we lost our son.

© 2013 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001



TRICKS

Sometimes I think I hear his car
Coming slowly up the drive.
I run up to the window.
I look out through the blinds.

I hear the gravel crackle
And I hear the engine roar,
But As I stand there at the window
I can't find him like before.

Why does my mind play tricks on me?
Such a cruel thing for it to do,
But I still listen anyway
As I search for what is true.

The days they get so lonely
And the nights are filled with tears
I just can seem to understand
Where he's been for all these years.

I think I hear him at the door
And I think I feel his hug.
But I guess it's all just make-believe
Created by undying love.

My mind is resting quietly now
And it's late into the night,
But there I go imagining
All the things I can not fight.

He's coming up front porch steps
And he's walking to the door
As I peep out through the window
My mind plays tricks..... once more.


© 2013 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001























FORGOTTEN SERENITY

Dear Luke,

I will never forget you and I can't wait to see your beautiful face in Heaven. I'm so sorry that you died because I know that you had so much to live for. After all this time, I still can't seem to make it fit in my mind that you are gone. Sometimes when I think of how long you have been gone, I get so overwhelmed. How can you be gone for so long and how have I survived for so long without you? Life is not the same, and never will be. Everyday is painful, but I have learned to live with the pain. It is as much a part of me as breathing.

Most of my family members never say your name. Of course you know I am not talking about Dad and Emily, I am talking about Aunts and Uncles and cousins who seem to have forgotten that you were once a part of their lives. Whether you were a big part of their lives or a small part of there lives it is hard for me to understand that you have been forgotten. Oh I know that they think since it has been so long that it is not as important to acknowledge you, but actually they never did acknowledge you very much anyway. I remember when you were 9 years old and the poster child for Epilepsy and you threw out the first pitch in a professional baseball game, the Houston Astros. Oh, you were so proud! I brought the video of you to show all of them at a family function. After viewing the video there was silence and not one word of congratulations or anything, except for one negative remark about you needing a haircut. You cried yourself to sleep that night and I am so sorry for that. How can ANYONE be jealous of a sick child?

They was never much support for you by family in anything you did in your life or any of your illnesses. I have made it this far without them and I will make it the rest of the way without them. I keep asking myself..."How can they act this way knowing what I have been through." Life is full of surprises Luke..... as you well know.

I guess you know all the things that I have had to deal with from family. You would think that they could TRY to understand how difficult life is for me, but they don't even TRY to understand. Two years ago on Father's Day your uncle sent an email to me about some family matters and ended it with...."Don't call me today, I'd like to do my best to enjoy Father's Day." Then why did he send the email to me on Father's Day? Anyway, I responded in an email later that day.... "I hope that you do enjoy your Father's day more than my husband has enjoyed his. Just having all of your children alive should be enjoyment enough." Because of that I have been shunned from the family.

But what I think about Luke is that you don't feel any of the pain caused by others, and I know that one day I will not feel any of that pain either. Heaven is the place for that, because it certainly does not exist here on earth. I have forgiven them for so much in the past, but I have finally reached my limit. I believe that they all need prayers, so if you could pray for them that would be great because I no longer can find a place in my heart for prayers for them. Sometimes on this earth we have to make some tough decisions. If someone continues to cause me pain, over and over and over, and I have forgiven them over and over and over, but they continue to still cause me pain then it is time for me to let it go and not have them be a part of my life anymore. I remember how you used to say "Let go and let God", so that is what I am doing.

I donít care what they do or say to me anymore, but I do care that it seems as if you have been forgotten by them. I am so sorry that they do not speak your name. But Luke, I speak your name enough to make up for those that do not. You may be forgotten by the ones that I thought never would forget you, but you will never be forgotten by me, and Dad, and Emily. You are my son, and you love me and I love you. You lived a beautiful and honorable life that should never be forgotten by anyone who knew you. There are many people that never knew you on earth, but they know you in death, and they love and remember you.

Thank you so much for the 21 years of wonderful memories that you gave to me. I choose to remember you with smiles and laughter mixed with tears, but most importantly you will never be forgotten on this earth as long as I am breathing.

I can't change the way that they feel or if they choose to forget you and I accept that. I can't change your death or the pain it causes me and I accept that. But I can change who I allow in my life. I have enough pain and do not need anymore from others. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Thanks for listening Luke. I have been needing to tell you these things for a long, long time. I love you and I miss you and I remember you ALWAYS.

Love,
Mom

© 2014 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001






FORGOTTEN

Did you forget...
I have a son
Who lived a life
'Till twenty-one

A little boy
Belonged to me
Became a man
Then had to leave

Although he died
He did exist
He has a name
And he is missed

Did you forget...
That he was born
His life still counts
And I still mourn


© 2014 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


























LETTER TO DAD

Dad, I need tell you something
On this your lonely Father's Day.
There just wasn't time to tell you
These things before I went away.

I just want you to understand,
And I want you to feel better.
So I talked to Mom and told her
What to write within this letter.

First of all I want to say thanks
For loving me unconditionally.
I want you to know that your love
Travels to heaven here with me.

Thank you for cherished times we spent
Skiing and fishing and camping,
Working together, talks at lunch,
And watching life as it happened.

Moments shared, like mountain biking,
And the off road trips in the Jeep.
We really had some good times Dad,
Our captured memories to keep.

You always had that special way
Of making everything such fun.
I'm proud to tell heaven and earth...
"He's my DAD, I'm his lucky SON."

You taught me what was important.
It still resides within my heart.
How to love, how to live, how to....
Be together when we're apart.

It's lessons taught through your sweet love
Instilled by you within my soul,
That make it possible to be
Right there with you as you grow old.

I saw you there the night I died
As you cried alone in my room.
I'm sorry that I had to go
And leave this earth so very soon.

I left you oh so suddenly
And didn't get to say goodbye.
I know that you are struggling.
I know you always question why.

You had so many dreams for me
But always let me be myself.
Because of that I never was
Afraid to ask you for your help.

So Dad, I'm asking for your help.
I need you to understand why.
There's something that you need to know,
Dad... it was just my time to die.

Although we're not together
In the way you thought we'd be.
I need to be within your life
As much as you still need me.

Our relationship is special.
We are close to one another.
You're much more than my loving Dad,
You're my friend and you're my brother.

Thank you for giving me that rose
When you said your final goodbye.
That rose was there within my hand
When I crossed to the other side.

Someday Dad, when your time has come
We'll be together once again.
And as I kneel down by your side
I'll place that same rose in your hand.

Remember that I'm always there
In everything you try to do.
I'm not so very far away.
I'm always watching over you.

So be aware and look for me
And try not to be so sad.
Just know you will forever be...
Lucas Christopher Ross' Dad.

© 2003 - Christine Ross



























A MUDDY MESS

When Luke was 11 years old, not too long before we moved to Arizona, we lived on a lake in Louisiana. Robin (Luke's Dad) and Luke, were together building a pier out over the lake, to extend just past the bank. Well the bank area was very, very muddy. Robin and Luke had built the frame and had laid the boards on the top of the frame for the walkway, but had not yet nailed them down. We were all standing there admiring our new pier and Luke decided that he would test the walkway out. Well, he walked too far-out on the end of one of the boards. It popped up, slapped him in the back of the head, and Luke fell face first into the muddy bank. OMG.... It was the funniest thing I had ever seen. We were all laughing and at the same time running to see if Luke was okay. He rose up from the mud, his face completely covered with mud, but you could still see those white teeth shining through his laughter. We then knew he was okay and we all laughed until our sides hurt.

© 2014 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001





























ROCK-A-BYE

Rock-a-bye my baby boy.
Rock-a-bye to sleep.
Sleep within your Daddy's arms.
Sleep in restful peace.

Peace will come to you my child.
Peace when you awake.
Awake to love and happiness.
Awake to everyday.

Everyday will be a gift.
Everyday will come.
Come to find your purpose here.
Come to be my son.

Son, escape the darkness.
Son, don't say goodbye.
Goodbye is not forever.
Goodbye, rock-a-bye.

Rock-a-bye my baby boy.
Rock-a-bye to sleep.
Sleep within the angels arms.
Sleep until we meet.


© 2014 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2002


























THE PHOTOGRAPH

He stood there in the chapel
As he clutched the photograph.
No words were spoken from his lips
All he could do was gasp.

He held the photo to his chest
As tears streamed down his face
Hoping for a miracle
In that "forever goodbye" place.

He glanced down at the photo.
Then a tear fell from his eye
And landed right upon the heart
Of his child that had to die.

No one understood the pain
This grieving father felt.
So they hugged him and his photograph
Not knowing how to help.

This photograph seemed magical
And helped him to understand
That for his child... this one last time
He had to be a man.

So he stood up proud and tall that day
And listened as they spoke
About the life of his child
He still needed in that photo.

He held on to that photograph
Through painful days and weeks.
But finally had to let it go
And let it rest in peace.

Just a stained and wrinkled photograph
Although much more than it seemed
It gave him strength to bear the pain
Never dreamed in his worst of dreams.

This cherished tearstained photograph
Is now a testament to us all
That tears can touch the silenced heart
Of a grieving father's child.

© 2008 - Christine Ross
~in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


























I USED TO CALL YOU DADDY

I used to call you Daddy
Back when I was very small.
I'd ride upon your shoulders,
It would make me feel so tall.

Many years we shared together,
Skiing and camping, and fishing,
Working together, talks at lunch,
All the times that we spent wishing.

Pitch and catch and mountain biking,
Back roads when we went Jeeping,
We had so many good times Dad,
Lots of memories well worth keeping.

I left you for another life.
It was my time to go away.
Just remember that I'm with you
Every minute of every day.

When your time comes to join me
You'll hear me calling out to you......
"Hey friend! Hey Dad! Hey Father!"
And I'll still call you "Daddy", too.

© 2004 - Christine Ross
~in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001

















POEMS WRITTEN BY LUKE'S DAD


Luke (age 9) and his dad (Robin)
after a day of fishing on False River in Louisiana

A GOOD DAY

It's been nine months, three fourths of a year,
Since my loving son, Luke, was called home from here.
I've tried to endure it the best that I can.
But having Luke leave, I can't understand.

There'll be good days and bad days throughout my life.
Will I know a good day if it comes into sight?
A good day is when the thousand tears on my face
Fall in silence not rage at the emptiness of this place.

A good day is when the deep pain in my heart
Only hurts just short of tearing apart.
A good day is when all my physical strength
Allows me to make it through the day's length.

A good day is when my mind keeps on trying,
Only every other second do I remember Luke dying.
A good day is when this void in my soul
Stays just small enough to act out this role.

A good day is when no pills are needed to sleep
And I quietly drift off with the tears that I weep.
A good day is when I remember Luke's smile
Before I'm dragged back to walk that last mile.

A good day is when I know the pain that I bear
Will last only until I can join Luke there.
There'll be good days and bad days, or so I am told.
Do I long for the good days? To those must I hold?

But what of the days in the space in between?
Are these dark days the essence of my being?
So will I have a good day? Will one ever appear?
I might have had one some time last year.

© 2002 - Robin Ross
In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001



THE MUSIC

(Inspired by a John Denver Song)

He felt confused on this crazy earth
With all the things he saw.
He was hoping for an answer to come and find him.
Not knowing what to say or do
And looking for answers from me & you.
Then He heard music in the distance, far behind him.

Luke said I've heard that tune before somewhere
But I can't remember when.
Was it on some other distant shore
Or did I hear it on the wind?
Was it written on the sky above?
I think I heard it from someone I loved
But I never heard it sound so sweet, since then.

He said there's magic in that melody
There's magic in that place.
There's magic in the angel's voice
And the way they dance with grace.
Spirits smilin' everywhere.
Joy & laughter beyond compare.
LUKE knew that it was time to leave this place.

Now LUKE's gone, the cabin's bare.
His old piano's gone somewhere.
LUKE's hat's left, just hanging on the rack.
An empty chair, the wooden floor
That feels the touch of LUKE's feet no more.
Us wishing that our LUKE could come back.

And the guitar leans against LUKE's case
Where all his things have found their place.
The strings are broke and the tune is gone.
The piano's left and makes no song.
But sometimes on October nights
When the air is cold and the wind is right
I can hear LUKE's music, a hello through the night.

© 2005 - Robin Ross
In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001



A FATHER'S DEATH

My life was over
The night that Luke died.
They told me he was dead.
They said I was alive.

They have no idea
Of the lie that they told.
The only difference is
my body is warm and Luke's is so cold.

My dreams and plans
That we have in this place
Flew to heaven that night
With Luke's beautiful face.

Luke's children, my grandchildren,
That never will be
That dream died that night
That was meant to be.

The nieces and nephews
Emily won't know
That dream too left
When Luke had to go.

Holding Luke, Jr.
So close to her chest.
Christine can't realize
That dream was the best.

To watch Luke grow more,
To give all his love,
Can only be felt
From somewhere above.

To be alive
Is to hold things so dear.
It's impossible to do
While I wait way down here.

To meet Luke's wife.
To see his smile do I yearn.
But all I can do
Is kiss his cold urn.

To go to the mountains.
To camp with Luke's son.
That dream too dissolved,
Maybe my favorite one.

To hear once again
As I say "Luke take out the trash",
His beautiful voice
"Sure Dad, I'll get right on that".

To hear just once more
Luke say "Thanks Dad",
I would leave this earth in an instant.
Yet, you say, I'm not dead.

So what are my plans?
Just what do I do?
I only can wait
For Jesus to come for me too.

So I am alive?
I must get on with life?
You see that can't happen
Since that cold April night.

So remember April 3rd,
Two thousand and one,
The night my life ended
There with my son.

© 2004 Robin Ross
In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001



I WANT TO GO HOME

I miss Luke so much, he is my only son.
I want to see him and hold him, I want to have fun.
I love Christine and Emily, more than I can say.
But life, isn't life, since Luke went away.

The pain that I feel no soul should bear.
God can you hear me, I know you must care.
I want to go home, so Luke I could hold.
This world now is always so cold.

I ask God to help, how to survive.
Please, God oh please, make Luke alive.
I want to go home, I scream and I scream.
But, there is only silence, and here I remain.

I want to go home as I lay down at night.
But, then I wake up to see mornings light.
I cannot go before it's my time.
I have to stay here, trapped in my mind.

So until I am called, it's here I must wait,
Looking forward to my walk through the heavenly gate.
This writing is dark as the middle of night,
But not near as dark as what is my life.

So when I am told to have a nice day.
I want to go home I silently pray.
My nice day will happen, I know it will come.
When I see Luke and it's my time to go home.

© 2001 - Robin Ross
In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001



FATHER'S DAY PLANS

So what are your plans for this Sunday?
To have fun with your boys and girls?
"No, you see, you don't understand,
I no longer live in this world."

You don't live here but I see you.
I don't know what you mean.
"Yes you can see me and hear me I know
But things are not what they seem."

"I live in a place
I hope you won't know.
I was thrown there one night
Not choosing to go."

What is this place? Where can it be?
You look Ok to me.
"It's so far away, so strange a place.
Where pain is your company."

Are you there alone? Are others around?
Can you ever come back to here?
"Yes we're alone, no return is allowed.
All forced to face our fear."

This place where you are,
Is it just in your mind?
Because I can see you
And you appear to be fine.

"I can't explain,
This world that's inside.
I arrived here just after
My son LUKE died."

"I could go on, but it's meaningless to.
You'll never understand what I say.
In my pain and alone I'll spend
What used to be a happy Father's Day."

© 2008 - Robin Ross
In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001



THE TOUGH GUY

You're a big man & look like a tough guy,
But there's something I don't understand.
I look at you & see you cry,
What's happened to this tough man?

"The tears that you see, I hope you never know."
What causes them to fall?
"This tough guy who will bow to no man,
Something else has made him so small."

"A force that no person should ever face,
Is what brings this tough guy down.
It was having to see my only son LUKE,
His body so cold, His life gone."

Does this happen often, I mean when you cry?
"Oh yes at least every day,
When I realize that LUKE has gone on ahead,
& Here is where I must stay."

Will you ever go back & be that tough guy?
"Of course, I'm tough every second.
To just survive one moment with this pain,
Takes toughness this world cannot measure."

Will it ever end, the pain I mean?
Or will you always be so sad?
"Yes it will end, the day that I hear,
My LUKE say, welcome home Dad."

© 2003 - Robin Ross
In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001



FOUR LIVES WERE LOST

Yes, LUKE died, oh didn't you hear.
Yes, LUKE died, it's been several years.
Am I OK? Not since that day.
Life ever since is nothing but tears.

How is LUKE'S mom?
Has her pain gone away?
How is LUKE'S sister?
Is she better today?

No, neither cope without LUKE to hold.
I can't explain. There's no end to the pain.
We're all just left here
Waiting to grow old

You see, the day that LUKE died
You can't imagine the cost.
Because on that day
Four lives were lost.

Yes, all four lives ended that day.
One got to go and three had to stay.
It was on April 3rd, 2001.
The only peace that day went to my SON.

© 2007 - Robin Ross
In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001



FLYING WITHOUT LUKE

I stood in line and waited my turn.
Then boarded and took my place.
"Store your items and get settled in."
"Buckle up so you can be safe."

Will some one sit in the set next to me?
Or maybe I'll sit all alone.
The only one that I wished would sit down
Is LUKE, my only son who's gone.

Where is LUKE, where did he go?
He went on up ahead.
He is also still here and up in the sky,
But they tell me he is dead.

The captain comes on and gives us the rules
And Says that we're ready to go.
"If there's anything I can do to make your flight better
Don't hesitate to let me know."

Yes captain there is one thing
That I'd like for you to do....
Fly me to heaven all the way to the stars
So I can see my only son LUKE.

© 2003 - Robin Ross
In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001















SEE OUR CHILDREN'S NAMES

NO MORE NAMES CAN BE ADDED, BUT THE NAMES THAT ARE LISTED WILL REMAIN



PAGE 01 ~ POETRY, STORIES, QUOTES, PAINTINGS, AND MORE



PAGE 02 ~ OUR CHILDREN'S NAMES ~ BABIES AND CHILDREN



PAGE 03 ~ OUR CHILDREN'S NAMES ~ TEENAGERS



PAGE 04 ~ OUR CHILDREN'S NAMES ~ TWENTIES



PAGE 05 ~ OUR CHILDREN'S NAMES ~ THIRTY AND OLDER














"VISIT WITH LUKE"

Last Entry in Luke's Journal:

"When there is love in my heart and a smile on my face,
I need nothing else." ~ Luke Ross


"MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU"

Music playing:
Sunshine On My Shoulders