But look out! Jones Jr. breaks free and has a clear shot at the quarterback—looks like he is going to get him. Oh, shucks, Junior gets to the quarterback and levitates him! Christopher Louis Jones Jr. is one of the best outside linebackers to ever play this game!
Or, maybe it would be, Junior has the ball now. Oh, he broke the tackle! He’s running down the field!
And I’d be running toward the field, shouting, “Go, my boy! Go, go, go!” Then I’d congratulate him near the end zone, out of breath but telling him, “I’m proud of you, Son.”
These are a couple of the visions I had before and during my son’s birth. Because of multiple birth defects, Junior died in 2015 at just 10 days old, and it pains me that these premonitions will never come to pass.
I had fishing trips planned in my mind. Lord knows I don’t know how to fish, but I’d planned to spend time with my boy. Wonderful are the plans and visions a father has for his son. The truth is, it didn’t matter what my son gravitated toward; I just wanted to root and act a fool for him.
I hear about absent fathers who aren’t in their children’s lives, and I don’t judge, but I do think to myself, “Man, if only I had the pleasure of having a chance to root for my boy!” All I desired was the opportunity to be there for my son. I would never cease to say to him, “You are my son, and in you I am well pleased.” It would be his mere existence that would pull my love.
I heard a pastor preach about when Jesus was baptized, and from heaven God said, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” The pastor said God saw everything Christ would do, and that pleased God. Though I don’t make it a habit to disagree with pastors, I think differently. God said, “This is my beloved son,” and you really don’t need more explanation than that. Christ was His son; He needed not do anything else but exist.
That is my perspective. All my son needed to do was exist. He did for 10 days, and even today he lives on. I will always be a proud dad. That was my boy, and forever will he reign in my heart. I’m glad he was here, even if it was for only a short time. God allowed me to experience fatherhood, and it is a wonderful blessing.
I find myself fantasizing about what could have been. Often, I’m grinning ear to ear because I am still proud of my boy. When Junior was hospitalized, my wife and I were his cheerleaders. Any upward tick in his health was a win for us. He opened his eyes only once, at the sound of my wife’s voice. That was a momentous occasion for us, and it added to all the pride that was already in my heart for my boy. My son’s life was short, but dammit, it was worth every waking moment, and I thank God for it.
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