There is almost not a moment that I don't miss Austin. Even in a joyous time, which have been rare since his passing, I am instantly reminded of his absence and that he isn't here to experience it. I miss simple, every day things and "normal life" with him. However, I also miss what won't be and what I will never get to experience with him.
Austin was growing so fast and Tim and I knew our years with him at home were on the countdown. He was a freshman and so talk was already beginning of where he would go to college, what he would do and become. As a young child, his list of "what I want to be when I grow up" changed sometimes daily; however, a constant remained - a firefighter.
He was so thrilled to join the Beaver Dam Fire & Rescue as a Junior Firefighter last year. If I would have let him, every waking moment would have been spent at the station. His age frustrated him, in that he was limited in what he could do and where he could go as a firefighter. He was determined to be fully certified before graduating high school. Austin's plans were to possibly join the army in the firefighting/rescue branch or go to college and further his degrees there. He wanted to be a professional, paid firefighter. I know he would have made a wonderful one, and would have made his Dad so proud to have followed in his footsteps. I'm sad he didn't get to do this; however, each time the bell rings for Beaver Dam, I know he is there watching from above and protecting our crew. But I do wonder what kind of firefighter he would have become and how many lives he would have saved.
I wonder how his looks would have changed over time. As I've said before, he grew so fast the past few years. I can look at photos from just a year or so ago and see such drastic changes. Our cruise photos in 2006, still portray a baby face. In the end, he was all but grown up. At over 6 feet tall, with size 13 shoes he was already outgrowing, and a man's voice, I could mistake him for Tim if he walked behind me or was outside working. He was such a handsome teen and I wonder what he would have looked like as a man. However, with age comes pain and so I'm thankful that he never had to experience that. He lived a carefree youth and will always be "forever young" in Heaven.
I wonder what kind of husband and father he would have made. Austin certainly had one of the best as a role model. He had all the best of his Dad and the last day, I even commented about what a good Dad he was going to make someday. Austin was a Christian, a hard worker, was kind and loving, wonderful with kids, and had a great sense of humor. He was all the things you would look for in a spouse - and in a father. I hurt not getting to experience this. I wonder what he would have looked like on his wedding day, what kind of wife he would have found. I wonder what his children, my first grandchildren, would have been like. Tiny copies of someone so wonderful, I am sure. The world is emptier without him in it - and without the family line he would have created.
I wonder most of all what kind of relationship we would have had as adults. I was young when I had Austin so in many aspects, we grew up together. I was looking forward to what kind of adult he would become and how we would be as Mom and Son. I know he would have taken care of me, in any need I would have ever had. I looked forward to vacations and trips we could take together, just the two of us. We never got to take the trip to New York, as planned. I never got to take him to his first symphony or major concert. So many plans and dreams. These were all trips I had envisioned in his future, as he got older. However, he is on the best trip, a permanent vacation, and better than any I could have ever planned. I'm thankful and grateful to God for protecting him and proud for whatever part, as his Mom, that I held in him becoming a Christian. I know he is safer in Heaven and has more wonderful views than any destination on this Earth. I wonder what his days are like now, what he sees, and how many lives he is protecting and saving from above.