Next month will mark the nineteenth year of my son’s birth. I used to mark every “birthday” with delivering flowers to his grave. Now, I simply mark it by taking the day to go and stand at graveside.

For those who have lost a child, you know this pain. You know that there is no “getting over” it. It may lessen, It may become less, but it never really goes away. It is ever present and always comes back every birthday that you don’t get to spend with him or her.

Sean Ian would have been 19. He was the only child born between me and my first wife, and the reason she went crazy. Sort of. Well, not really. She was already in that downward spiral long before.

She and I were married for six years. Of that time, we probably spent less than half together. No, it isn’t what you think. I spent more time staying with my folks throughout that marriage than was right.

It wasn’t my choice, though. She was not mature enough, even being three years older than me, to maintain a relationship independent of her mother. I have nothing against mother-in-laws, don’t get me wrong. But when they hate you from the very beginning, you do not stand a chance. Especially if your wife/other half is an incessant mommy’s child.

And this immaturity was part of the reason she fell into mental collapse. The pressure of her mother to “live” a certain way was too much. And the meddling took its toll on me as well.

Near the end of our fourth year of marriage, maybe our fifth, she got pregnant with Sean. He was going to change everything for both of us. He was going to be a bond between us. Something to give us commonality.

I had wonderful plans of teaching him everything my father had refused to teach me. I wanted to be a hands-on father. There through it all. I wanted to be the father that played catch. Taught the finer points of basketball. Encouraged him to follow his heart, not what he thought I expected.

But it was not meant to be. Seven months in, she ended up leaking fluid. she was instructed to take to bed rest, but she refused. By the end of term, he was already gone. He was born on March 15, 1997 and buried March 19,1997. I wrote the following for him.

Seven White Roses

Seven white roses
Lay on your grave
To remind us all
Just how long you lived
Seven white roses
Symbolizing the hope you gave
As tears fall
And that day is relived
But seven white roses
Are all I can give


Seven white roses
Lay on your grave
As a token of my love
For the son I never knew
Seven white roses
For a boy so brave
That heaven above
Wanted him too
Now seven white roses
Mark each month you lived


Seven White Roses
Lay on your grave
To remind us all
How precious you were
Seven white roses
Show the love we’ll save
When we stand tall
And our stance is brave and sure
Yes, seven white roses
Are a gift from me to you


Seven white roses
Lay on your grave
As a memorial to you
though it won’t last
Seven white roses
Remind me of the love I coulda gave
To you as you grew
But that won’t come to pass
So seven white roses
Is only a token of how I feel.

(solo out)

1997, JTB

And people ask why I have the blues.

Yes, I know there is a mis-wording, but it was on purpose. How else was I to make it all rhyme? I will probably post at least one set of lyrics written about my son a day until his birthday. I don’t know yet. But these do need to be shared. Even if it is only as the lyrics themselves.


5 thoughts on “Sadness

    1. My blues start this time every year and go until the week after. Holidays are a bit hard as well. The what if is definitely the hardest part of it. as is the knowing that all that could have been is a moot point. I had plans, in the beginning, of putting seven white roses and a red rose for each year that passed on his grave on his birthday. But roses can get expensive and things happened. Now, I get a single white and single red flower, unless I can afford to get a full dozen.

      Of all the pain I have had to go through, knowing that I was a heartbeat away from being a father and lost the chance hurts the most.

  1. Very sad story. I suspect you would make a wonderful father. I hope there are at least some youngsters in your life that you can mentor. I know, that’s not the same as being a father, but at least that would capture some of the love in your heart and help some kid that doesn’t get enough love or enough wisdom.

    1. I was mentor for my stepdaughter for a long time. Unfortunately, I am no longer able to see her. she moved. I have, however, been trying to get a music and writing related deal started here in my area, but have found it difficult. I also tutor in English and Creative Writing.

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