The Curb at Jamba Juice

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The boys and I went to Jamba Juice the other day as a reward for cleaning their room and preparing to give away a number of toys and stuffed animals…big ones…to children at Children’s Hospital. We rode our bikes, which appeared to be treat enough, and as we arrived, twisted our bikes together in the bike rack just outside the store. Ordering was traditional in that neither one of them knew if they wanted a bar to snack on or a smoothie…

So with drinks and bars in hand, Christian and Everen decided it was best to find a sunny spot on the curb rather than sit at any of the six empty tables outside. Of course I agreed and stood over them as they watched car after car run over my head (my shadow extended well into the street). And that’s when it hit me.

I watched them having fun together, laughing at every car that rolled over my shadow-head, and I realized that we are incomplete. I really saw it. They don’t have someone to tickle them any more, at least not in that sweet way only a woman knows. They don’t have someone they can curl up with and feel the tenderness in their souls. They have me and the memory of a mother’s kiss on the cheek. It hurts to see them in that light.

Two months ago, at one of our four counseling sessions with Monica, we played a game of Jenga, and on each of the pieces was a question ending in an elipses. You know: “I remember when…” We went around a few times, and then Everen got the piece that said, “I’m envious of…” After I explained what “envious” meant, he responded with something I’ll always remember…

“I’m envious of all of the kids at school who have a mom and a dad.” It was tough to hear him say that, but at least he could.

I recognized it when he said it, but it was the glance at two kids on the curb at Jamba Juice that really drove it home for me. We have a broken home.

So I ponder the choices before me. What do I pursue? And why? What would be best for the boys? Why? Only God truly knows. I just need to fall back in line and quit trying to figure things out. That, I’m finding, is the curse of my personality type. Throwing a baseball was so much easier…

Dear God, please lead me again. I will follow. You say to cast my cares on you, and that your burden is light. May that be true tonight for three Graves boys.

From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.
Love always.

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  • T
    November 14, 2008

    Hi Jon, I’m new here…

    I am a single mom but not due to the same circumstances as you. However, with that said, I would like to give you kudos for allowing your children to miss their mother. I can remember many times when my girls wanted their dad and I resented them for it. Why couldn’t they just be happy with me? I did my best not to show them that weak side of me but… at least I was aware of it.

    You are amazing and strong for going through this process and encouraging your sons to feel whatever they have to feel. Those are the type of boys who will grow into amazing men.

    You are never incomplete. Sure it may look like it from the outside but that love that you offer and the undying love from their mother is still there. You just have to feel it in the breeze that blows, the color of the flowers and wherever else you feel her presence. She has never left you.

    As my daughter said to me after my father passed away last year, “He’s not gone, Mommy. He just lives in your heart now.”

  • Anonymous
    November 17, 2008

    Beautiful article, son. I love you and will see you and the boys soon.


  • "Grandma"
    November 18, 2008

    I read the words once again of a wise, yet humble and sensitive man. While God is healing all of your hearts to move on to the next chapter He has for you, the natural void remains.

    I can envision the curbside and hear the laughter of the children, but also feel the loss you witnessed. You are a loving and caring father, and now everything to your boys, as you know. This past year, I’ve watched the boys grow emotionally, academically, spiritually, and every other “ally” there is. Their stabiility is based on your strength and love, and knowing Jesus is still the center of their family.

    I truly don’t think your family will always be “broken” but I know it is hard to be an incomplete family especially for children at such a young age.

    Many times I still fight back tears myself and questions I shouldn’t ask, (“Why?”) when I see the three of you instead of four. And my heart is touched with each article of yours that I read.

    Continue to seek God’s plan son for the 3GB’s and as you tell me often, “Never give up hope.” Jer. 29:11 He will bring it to pass as He has planned it. Wait upon Him, for He loves each of you so very much. (and so do I.)


  • Sarah
    November 18, 2008

    Oh my dear Jon,
    My heart aches as to know that this is an area that God has you in, in His waiting room. Waiting on Him for direction on what to do next…. Seek Him whole heartedly, Jon, as I know you do. And let Him fill that void, that only He can, for all of you. He will be faithful to see you and the boys through this tough time. Its been rough,(but look at how faithful He has been this past year and some) He has been so faithful. I know that God isnt finished with you.
    He longs to bless you and the boys tremendously. And one day you will all be whole again, to some extent. Just dont know when. But for now, its God that kisses those boys, when their hearts are sad, or when they need their mothers love. It is Him that gives it. He Loves them the way their mother did, and even more. He knows them so deep. Knows everything they need and the perfect time for it all.
    Rest in Him, Jon, and let Him lead, and you will find peace in what He brings you to. Its the waiting thats the hard part, or the unknown.
    But rest your weary heart upon Jesus. And all your thoughts place them in His hands and really give them to Him. And watch what He wants to do with you 3GB’s…
    I know He will bless you.
    You are an awesome man of God, Jon, your heart is so precious. And I know that you have been faithful to be the BEST dad out there…. You definetly bless my heart when I see you with the boys.
    I love you all with all my heart. And you know I am here for anything.
    Love you and so does Jesus,