Back to School

Dear Dawson,

It has been a while since I wrote to you.  I have a binder of letters that I wrote to you after you left this earth.  When I look back at those, I can see how far I’ve come.  I have found that keeping busy is the best way to get thru the day.  To get thru the week.  To get thru the years.  I finally took the plunge and went back to work after spending 15 years at home raising my babies.  I started making that transition just 4 short months after your leaving.  I knew it was the only way to get thru this life without you.  I tested the teaching waters to see if I was ready by taking on a short term position.  People wondered how I was going to cope with being in the same school that you attended.  That’s when I found that the busier I am, the better I am.  I didn’t expect busier to mean no time AT ALL for anything else, but that’s where I found myself this past school year for my first full time teaching.  Teaching math at Chiles Middle has been a blessing.  This was your school.  You roamed the halls.  Even though your 6th grade year was the only one you spent there before cancer stole so much of your abilities, I can still see you with me on those days when I was on campus substituting.  So this past school year, my classroom was located in the 7th grade building.  This was unfamiliar to me as all of your classes were located in the 6th grade building.  I had no memories to connect us in that building.  Now my classroom has moved and I will be in the 6th grade building this coming school year.  In the same classroom where I substituted so many times and we spent so many days together.  I can remember you coming by on those days to give me a hug as you went to Mrs. Viles’ classroom across the hall.  You were never too embarrassed to give me a hug in front of your friends.  Some may think I am crazy to take on that emotional task, but it gives me comfort.  I like being in the same building and in the same classroom where we spent so much time together.  I like remembering our days together.

We are doing a  Gold Ribbon Week at school to remember and honor you, and all of those children with childhood cancer.  It will be the last week of September.  I am not doing the Unite for the Fight campaign this year because the football game is the first week of September and there just isn’t enough time to make an impact.  Hopefully Gold Ribbon Week will take off and we can spread it to other schools.

Carson got his driving permit yesterday.  I’ve seen a lot of your friends get their drivers’ license as their parents post so proudly on Facebook.  I’m excited for them.  It is a rite of passage for a teenager.  A major milestone.  I give my heartfelt congratulations to them and wish them safe driving.  I didn’t get to do that with you.  I really hate that.  Since the dirt road to our house is so long, I remember putting you in my lap and working the pedals while you worked the steering wheel.  Yep, driving would have been your specialty.

Carson cleaned out his closet yesterday.  That may sound like an odd thing to tell you but I also consider that a major milestone.  I have so many boxes of stuff from his closet to take to Goodwill.  Before I gathered it all together to put in sacks, I went through everything.  I admit that I did take a few toys out of the pile.  They were yours.  I have to keep them. When memories are all I have left of you, I have to hang on to them like they were my lifeline.

Our faith was the largest part of our journey together, and it is what binds my heart to yours.  This world is getting a little crazy down here so it gives me peace to know you are whole, you are safe, and you are happy.  “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  Revelation 21:4.  My favorite.

I love you my sweet boy!

Until forever,


Dawson Creager Go Gold