In the first days, weeks, and months after Austin passed TIME was such an enemy. With every tick of the clock, it seemed he was slipping further and further away from us. Every night, around 10 pm, we would relive the events of his death. When the clock showed 11:13, it was as if he had just died, all over again. I wanted to stop time, to push pause and make the pain cease - or better yet, rewind to our last day with him and somehow change the outcome.
As time went on, the date of his passing became the reminder. On the 29th of each month, I was then brought back down into the deep abyss of painful flashbacks. And my heart, which I thought was already shattered, would break again into a million more pieces. Each month was a reminder of not only his death, but how long it had been since we'd seen our precious boy.
I don't dwell on a linger on the date of the 29th, as I did in the beginning. Now, on most months, it is just another day. Missing him never goes away, each day begins and ends with the painful awareness that Austin is not with us.
When we planned our first fundraiser for the scholarship fund, it was an obvious choice to pick the Saturday of the Strawberry Festival. It is normally the busiest day and the best time to set a tournament. From the beginning, I knew it was the 29th, but the significance of that date didn't hit me until later. May 29th also marked that Austin had been gone a year and a half.
I could have let that drag me down. It is so easy to give in to the depression that comes with losing a child. Time doesn't fix that pain, you just learn how to cope. You don't move on, you learn to move forward.
Instead, I chose to honor that time by using that date to remember him. We marked the first fundraiser for his scholarship fund on this date by playing his favorite game.
So many moments, I could imagine Austin smiling down on us. From the beautiful blue skies we were blessed with, to the record number of teams, I know he was both helping us and proud of what we accomplished. I'm sure he was out there rooting for certain teams, laughing at the bad shots, and soaking in the love that was shown for him.
And I know he was touched that we set aside this special day to remember and honor him. It was a day filled with joy as we shared Austin with so many. I hope his life was an inspiration to all of them, as much as it was and still is for us.
The donations raised yesterday allows us to fund a project that will not only remember Austin but impact the life of another deserving child. And that is everything Austin was about - helping others and lifting them up. I'm so glad he helped us yesterday - and I'm so proud to be his Mom!