Rear View Window

Dillon’s 24th Birthday
Dillon turns 24… Always Lemon Cream Cheese Pie!

I’ve recently sold my house on Cessna Court and have moved to a new house in a different city. That home is where we lived for 21 years. I raised my boys there, went through a divorce there, fell back in love there, created great memories there, and grieved the loss of Dillon there. I was also feeling stuck there. Feeling that I would never be able to turn the page and start the next chapter… so I put it on the market and it sold in less than a week. Time to make new plans and new memories.

There is an excitement in making new plans, new memories, but there is also a lot of guilt. Guilt that somehow I’m leaving Dillon behind, back in the house where he was raised, the place we celebrated his last birthday when he turned 24. The bedroom where he would sneak out the window onto the roof. The marked lines on the door jamb that would show how tall the boys grew each year. The holes punched in the walls when they were going through puberty and their anger was out of control… all covered up now by filler and a fresh coat of paint. The memories in the backyard we would all gather each holiday to share love and laughter. I realize that we take the memories with us, but there are so many attached to that home that I can’t help feeling sad with the thought of leaving it.

And then there is the 3 years and 4+ months that have passed since the last time I held my son. That number continues to grow each day and I feel further and further away from him, as if I’m in the car turned around looking out the rear view window and there is Dillon standing in the road behind us waving goodbye. The car keeps speeding forward and the gap is getting bigger and bigger, farther and farther away from him, and there is absolutely NOTHING I can do to stop it!

The question I ask myself is, “Do I want to keep staring out the rear view window, or do I turn around to look and see where I am heading?” A part of me doesn’t want to turn around, I don’t want to disconnect from that pain because it feels like I’m abandoning him. What kind of a mother would do that to her child?!? But my child is no longer here and I am… I am here and I feel it would be a dishonor to Dillon, myself, Kyle, Steve, and everyone else in my life if I don’t turn around and not only look where I’m heading, but take the wheel and choose the path where I am going.

The last day Steve and I were at Cessna, standing in an empty room with four empty walls, we talked about how it no longer felt like our home. It was now just an empty vessel waiting for the next family to arrive. New stories, new marks on the walls, new memories to be made. We would be taking our memories with us. There was a smile that came across my face in realizing that my memories needn’t be attached to an address, to a place, but they could be taken with me everywhere I go. And even though Dillon is no longer here in flesh & blood, he is always here in spirit, always with me every step of the way. So in the words of Mary Oliver the poet, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I plan to live, I plan to love, and I plan to grieve for the rest of my days. I will never stop grieving… and I wouldn’t want to. Grief isn’t just about pain and sadness, grief is also about learning, growing, and creating. Grief is a reminder of the wonderful memories that I have created and the strength to keep living to create more wonderful memories. I often ask myself “Why? Why Dillon, Why me?” But I let go of this when I listen to Chris Stapleton, “Don’t go looking for the reasons. Don’t go asking Jesus why. We’re not meant to know the answers, they belong to the by and by.” I’ll never be sure, but I believe in my heart of hearts that I will be reunited with Dillon one day when it’s my turn to transition Home. Until then, I have to keep living life in this realm, in this reality, in whatever four walls become my next home.

Sending love to all my sister moms out there that struggle every single day. Know that you are not crazy, your are not alone, and that I am here for you… here to cry, to laugh, to listen and to share. All my love, Mary


  1. You, Mary, are one amazing lady. Holidays are the most difficult time of year. May your heart be light and full of joy. Lots of love to you and all your fam. 😘

  2. Mary, this is so beautiful and touches my heart in so many ways. I am holding onto planning to live , love and grieve for the rest of my days. My beautiful sister mom, I love you and am walking right beside you, for the rest of our days. ❤️

  3. You have put into words so eloquently how grief can break your soul. The healing almost feels like a betrayal but it’s necessary to move on and live the life he deserved. I felt the same way selling my dad’s house last year. Keep writing… your words help heal us all. 💚

  4. Aww Mare tears in my eyes. I so wish I could be there to give you a big long hug. I’m so glad that you write and share your thoughts, wisdom and insights. I know you are helping people that can not express in this way and you are touching there hearts and so they know they are not alone.
    I love you so much my Sister 💜💜💜

  5. I forgot to add, I talk to Dillon on a weekly basis and I feel him here with me as well. He is such a big hearted guy and I know he is watching over us. 😘

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