Because he was my son…

Justin Brant Newsom – March 11, 1988 – August 23, 2005


At 17 years of age he passed away from injuries he received during an automobile accident on August 15, 2005. He was the right rear seat passenger. He did not have a seatbelt on and was ejected from the car approximately 50 ft. before landing on his head. His head injury was so severe, he never awakened again after the accident that day. The angels carried him to Jesus side quietly, leaving no doubt that the Lord had called him home.
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I have learned so many things from the life and death of my oldest child, Justin. He was funny, bright, frighteningly mischievious and naive in ways that are difficult to describe. His life was riddled with broken promises, broken hearts and broken dreams. He was born my son, mine alone. His father abandoned us months before his birth and so with the help of his grandparents I welcomed my firstborn child into this world a squawling mess of pink warm flesh, a heart full of love and a head that dreamed he would grow up to love the earth, the cowboy culture of my youth and the rodeo.
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My nearly 6 ft, beautiful son loved skateboards, everything in music from Reliant K to fifty cent… and he did not know the first thing about being a cowboy. He did love the earth and hunting and fishing. He lived every moment to its absolute fullest. He wrung it out and shook it before squeezing it one last time to ensure he had enjoyed every last drop of whatever experience he had landed in for the moment. He was difficult to understand and often harder to love. But he somehow found his way into the hearts of everyone he met. He was bigger than life, a literal bull in the china closet. He would be generous to a fault, and merciless when angry. His bi-polar disorder kept us on a pendulum swing that often found us shell shocked or laughing silly, but there was very little in between. His last few weeks were spent working off his probation fees with his grandfather, discovering that he was ready to live the life he had chosen and accept the consequences for his angry actions. He was a wadded up mess with mixed up feelings, needing his father’s love, but hating him just the same. One of his few journal entries shows the great battle for his testimony, “I know I need to be a better man.” The words “Jesus is Lord” written in a cross. He was a walking oxymoron – a lover of Christ, dragging his friends to church each week, and walking with them in the world the other days in between.
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He claimed Proverbs 3:5-6 from the cell of the Wise County Jail during the 7 days he spent there after damaging our car in a fit of rage. I thought then that putting him in jail would be the most difficult decision I ever made, but I would later learned that I would have to face tougher realities in the final months of his life. His life verse speaking to me in so many ways. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways and he will make your paths straight.” I tell his story because he was my son.
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4 thoughts on “Because he was my son…

  1. What a beautiful testiment of your son. It moved me to tears. Consider this post a hug given to you and “I’m sorry.” Because we have our hope in Jesus you will see your son again one day.

  2. Thank you Mitzi, and I appreciate your heart’s aching for me. I truly tell many that I am so blessed to have walked with God through this entire journey. At times, I wish I could be sorrier for my loss. However, often I have great joy at recovered memories and sweet remembrances of the life we all shared for 17 years. I know my son will be among the cloud of witnesses that God’s Word promises will welcome us home! I am so blessed to know that God has such a glorious plan and that we have a better hope when we all come together some day in heaven!

    May the Lord Bless You for Your Kindness to me.

    Blessings,
    Michelle

  3. When I hit the phrase “mine alone” my heart just broke cause I know that your loss as a mother is one that is yours alone as well. And you so honor your beautiful God in your tremendous loss of your precious boy. My son gets his license next week and I have such mixed emotions about it. But we live in either faith or fear. I see childlike faith in you Michelle. I see Prov. 31:20 – a smile at your future. I see a beautifl heart that wants to know and honor a beautiful God. And you do! See you at Jack Hayford!

  4. Thank you, Bev. So much of this story is God’s alone. Without Him none of it would be written for I would not have survived that fateful week when I watched my baby slip from this world into the next. Oh Glory what a Home-Going that was! My heart loves God and I know that in time, the big picture will play out in a way only God truly knows. I praise Him for the time I had my son and I miss him everyday, but I glory in knowing he will be awaiting me with the Savior as I make the journey Home.

    love,
    Michelle

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