Un-Natural

There is a reason that there is no word for a parent that loses a child. It is not a natural phenomenon, you are not supposed to outlive your child. Much less a vibrant 17 year old son who has the world laid out in front of him on a silver platter. A young man who thought the world was his for the taking. Baseball, football, girls, one special girl in particular, Jordan. The love of his life, the young lady for whom his world spun and spun only. They were each other’s other half. They were happy doing the mundane things together. The mall, Ulta, Tractor Supply, doing their homework together, even just walks together or drives to just nowhere. They were just happy together.❤️

I never knew my 17 year was such a romantic, dropping little notes for Jordan to find. Buying her little gifts to make her happy.

I knew he was a crazy rough and tumble guy. I knew he was Chippewa Boots full of dirt, a baseball bag full of sweaty clothes, and grass stained baseball pants. A glove that literally smelled like an old horse, it was damp and sticky and sweaty, but it was molded to his hand perfectly.

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e was size 12 baseball cleats, full of dirt and grass, with insides that smelled like , well a teenage boy. No amount of professional deodorizer could fix them nor could baking soda and a myriad of essential oils. It was the funk of teenage boy feet. He was size Chippewa work boots that were never fully tied, so he always had this kind of clunky walking gait to him, with the laces tucked into the tops of the boots and his jeans tucked into his boots.

The same jeans that were so difficult to buy. Size 32×34, or if truth be told really 30×34. All legs, no waist and even less ass. Tall and skinny, he was long and lean all 6ft tall of him. Blue eyes with the longest eyelashes that u have ever seen, on a man or a woman.

Those beautiful blue eyes that either sparkled when he laughed and smiled, or got all dark and stormy when he was mad. Mad, usually at his Mom, for something he didn't want to do. Like his homework or clean his room, those dark and stormy eyes were reserved for me. Or for his coaches, when he was mad and frustrated, an alternative version of "The Game Face."

The rest of the world got to see the sparkly blue eyes, the flirty, happy, beautiful blue eyes, framed in those long dark lashes that enraptured everyone. I would give anything to see those eyes and eyelashes again in real life. Whether they were smiling or mad at me, I don't care.

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ow I am a member of the Crappiest Club that no one wants entry to. The Club reserved for Mother's who have had to bury a child before themselves. Maybe if he was doing something to cause this I would take some comfort, as minimal as it is knowing he was at fault. But there is no blame to be shared. He wasn't speeding, it was raining hard and the slopes guardrails acted like a ramp. All of that conspired to act like a slingshot to send him airborne.

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he fact that my heart is torn to shreds, a huge part is missing and I am not sure it will ever be replaced. I want him back, instead of the 200+ sympathy cards that line my mantle. I still want the car, with its loud music to pull in the driveway and the size 12 Chippewa boots to come clomping across my floor leaving mud and dirt in their wake. For now I will have to settle for the empty boots in the breezeway, and the memories I have left. For the car is gone forever, just like my blue eyed long lashed baby, leaving a hole in my shattered heart.

Thank You

This started out as the basic thank you for the local newspaper and took on a life of its own. I am still struggling with the thank you to place in the newspaper but this blog took shape instead.

The family of Connor Powers would like to thank everyone for their continued support after his accident and subsequent passing. (That part I have down without a problem, it is after that things go haywire)

The medical team at Baystate Health, in the PICU, the Trauma Team, The Neuro Team and the Pediatric Team (headed by Dr. Christine McTiernan). The PICU nurses who became extended family for 12 days, coaching us to eat and sleep as well. My special nurse angel Hillary Duda. Without her Starbucks would not have appeared with her morning shift. Her hugs were amazing, they didn’t medically fix anything but they made me feel like my world wasn’t shattered.

Connor’s girlfriend and his everything Jordan Hurlbert. She slept in a chair for 4 days next to his his hospital bed. Holding his hand and talking to him. She was wrapped in a blanket because it was under 50* in that hospital room, because Connor needed to stay cold. Jordan you are the strongest young lady I know!!! Bar none❤️❤️

Jordan’s family: Brad, Shelly & Jared lost Connor too. He was just as much a part of their family as Jordan is a part of ours. We will heal with time, that’s what everyone tells me, right now we are all clinging to each other like life raft survivors.

Mark’s boss John Lamoureux, who was there from the beginning, he was at the hospital before we were. Telling the staff he was Connor’s uncle to get the ball rolling. Staying with us for 12 days, taking us to dinner. Getting us a hotel room in Springfield. Making us go and nap in the “Parent Sleep Room”. His wife Danielle who brought me real Kleenex because Baystate ones made my eyelashes fall out!! They seriously need to invest in better paper products there😝

My boss Steve Keyes who sent my amazing coworker Rachel with a gift basket that was so big I don’t know how she carried it. It had slippers to keep my feet warm and a blanket that I dragged around the hospital like Linus.

Steve himself who came and sat in the waiting room with me and held me while I cried. Connor was my son, but he was also one of Steve’s employees too.

Revered Douglas Belanger who made me see that 12 days of prayer may not have medically fixed the problem. But it made my heart feel better.

Reverend Bob Szafran who performed the hardest service anyone has ever had to. Saying goodbye to a 17 year old whirlwind of a young man. He did it with grace, love and as much humor as allowed. There was no one better to do Connor’s service.

To all the young men who where Connor’s pallbearers:

Steve Keyes & Curtis Warren

Cam Chase & Jared Taylor

Brady & Zack McCloud

Adam Hallenbeck

You all went above and beyond to carry Connor to his final resting place. I know that was the hardest thing that many of you have done and I thank you from the bottom of my shattered heart.

To Bonnie Sullivan & Nichole Gancarz who became #3connorstrong💙. They created basket raffles, brought dinner and even facilitated the students at FCTS to work with Manny’s Appliances to donate a washing machine to us.

To Krystal Finn and her mom Missy who came to the hospital one of the last nights. Connor n Krystal where boyfriend and girlfriend in preschool till 7th grade. Krystal earned the right to say goodbye to him, and Missy held me up and let me cry. I love both of you to the moon and back. My life with Connor in elementary school is intertwined with yours and you will always be part of my heart and my family.

To the students at FCTS, we may have lost a son but you lost a classmate and and a friend. That hurt will be with you for a while. I love hearing all of your stories about him, and all of your adventures together.

To Nancy Purington and her family who has been there for me from the beginning. Who came to the hospital and dragged the boys. Just so she could hug me. I don’t have enough words to thank you. She also brought dinner knowing that cooking was not on the list of what I would do.

To Joni Sessions who held my hand after the funeral and gave me permission to fall apart finally. And I did, like a house of cards.

To the students at MTRHS, he was one of you too, and your grief touches me in ways that both hurts and heals. Connor Strong stickers everywhere, a Dodgeball Tournament organized by Brady McCloud in Connor’s memory.

The love that this community feels for us is outstanding, amazing and overwhelming. I may have lost a son, but you all lost a community member, a student, an employee, a friend, a boyfriend and on and on. The way that you have surrounded us to show us your love. I wish I had words other than Thank You. Thank you to each and every one of you. I love you.