The Smiles We Left Behind

Updated on April 15, 2019
always exploring profile image

My name is Ruby, and I live in southern Il. I love to write rhyme, poetry, and fiction.

Jackie, my son.
Jackie, my son.

Time Passes So Fast

It seems like only yesterday when you were just a little cotton head boy

We grew up together, like two kids enjoying a new found toy

So many memories returning, like the time you were stung multiple times when you had to see the beehive that appeared overnight in our back yard tree

I remember grabbing you and rushing to the hospital, feeling sure you would forever be an amputee

I remember your first day at school, you wouldn't let me leave

So, I stayed all day, you looking back, checking if I was still there and looking so relieved

I remember the day we went to the gym to select the musical instrument you thought you had to own

The anger on your face when the salesman mistook me for a student and asked me what I wanted to play, your comment " You don't look like a student. What you gonna' do order a trombone?

Those were all happy days, childhood, high school, your first love, your first car

That made you the happiest by far

My first grandchild, what a wonderful gift of love

Now you've gone home to heaven to find new strength above

Your terrible cancer fought a persistent battle and won

You're now in heaven mingling with loved ones and having some much needed fun

My life will go on and I'll forever miss your smile

But we'll see each other again, watch for me just for a little while.

This was Jackie and Catie's song


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    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Oh Catie, I think you two not being able to be together is almost as sad as his death. I was so happy to put the song on. Thank you for leaving a beautiful comment, and yes, we all will be together some day. Love you...

    • Catherine Surloff profile image


      4 months ago from Florida

      Dear Ruby, I love your poems. Thank you for posting Jackie's and my song. We use to listen to it and sing it to each other every night. We also listened to it when we missed each other during the hours we were a part. It is an old song, and as we grew to love each other this song fit us so well. When I sent it to Jackie, he cried. He never heard it before. We couldn't stand to be a part even in the hours of slumber. Oh, Ruby I miss him so much, I am crying right now. He was the perfect man for me. I wished I had many years to still be with him. He is safe in God's arms and we will see him again one day. Until then my tears will flow. Love you, Catie

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Dianna. Yes, memories are wonderful. Your comment was heartfelt. Thank you so much.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 months ago

      This is a sweet tribute to your son. So sorry for your great loss. Our memories help us celebrate the wonderful people who pass on.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Harish. I feel the loss everyday and still cry at times, but time is helping me to heal, and I know he's with God and I will see him again someday. Your kind words of faith is very much appreciated..

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 

      4 months ago from New Delhi , India

      Ruby , what a wonderful expression of bond , a lovely tribute by a doting mother to her adorable and dear son Jackie. You brought me tears with your words. I 'am really sorry for your loss , and pray to Almighty to give all peace to the dear departed soul !

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 months ago from Southern Illinois

      John, to be perfectly honest, I don't remember, but I know you are always faithful to read and comment on anything I write. Thank you so much. You are a friend indeed. Hugs.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Ruby, I know I read this and left a comment but it seems to have disappeared (as comments sometimes do here). Anyway, again my condolences and this was a lovely and fitting tribute to your son Jackie.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Pamela, nice to meet you. Thank you for coming to read about the loss of my son Jackie. Thank you for the follow. I will follow you too.

    • profile image

      always exploring 

      5 months ago

      Hello Pamela, nice to meet you. Thank you for coming to read about the loss of my son Jackie and thanks for the follow. I will do the same...

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 months ago from Sunny Florida

      I am so sorry to read of the loss of your son. I have always thought that is not a pain a mother should have to endure. I do believe when heaven is a wonderful place with no pain, no fear as the Bible states. I wish you well and will be happy to follow you on Hubpages.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Thank you Nell. I miss having him to talk to, we were so close. Life goes on. Take care my friend.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 months ago from England

      Dear Ruby, I am so sorry. I was wondering just the other day that we hadn't seen you for a while. sending my prayers and best wishes.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Dear Martie, I fully agree with your comment, we will live with a deep hurt that will last a lifetime. Thank God that we have the faith of a life after death and we will see all our loved ones again. I have so many to reunite with. I am the only one left of twelve children. My sister Mary just died a couple of months ago. It was a double whammy when Jackie passed, I was still grieving and missing Mary. We were so close. Thank you for always coming to encourage and offer words of wisdom. You were among the first Hubbers I grew close to, can you believe it's been 9 years? Take care, lots of hugs...

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      My sweet Catie, so happy to see you. Jackie was fully aware that you loved him and I did too. You are all he talked about until he was unable to speak. It was a double hurt that he couldn't be with you, but our faith will take us to heaven to see him again. What a wonderful day that will be!! I hope you are feeling better. I hope you will write on this site. God bless. Hugs

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      5 months ago from South Africa

      Dearest Ruby, my heart goes out to you. I believe the most difficult thing for a mother to do is coming to terms with the loss of a child. I don't believe she ever succeed, although she will learn how to live with a hole filled with nostalgia in her soul while looking forward to the reunion.

      Take care, my dear friend!

    • Catherine Surloff profile image


      5 months ago from Florida

      Dear Ruby: I love what you wrote about your dear Jackie! I learned a few new things about his youth. It just makes me love him even more. My love grows for him still, even though he is in spirit form now. He has a piece of my heart with him there and I will hold a piece of his heart with me forever here. Love, Catie

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Linda, so nice to hear from you. Your words bring comfort. thank you so much. Blessings my friend. Hugs

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      5 months ago from Minnesota

      So heart breaking to hear of the loss of your son. He is still with you & watching over you until it is your time to join him. Blessings my friend.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Peggy, so nice to see you. We were really close. I was eighteen when he was born, in a way, we grew up together. I get mad all over again when I think he didn't see about the soreness on his back as soon as it happened. I didn't know about it until he was diagnosed with cancer. I love your comment. The thought of him waiting for me with open arms makes me happy, Thank you so very much. Hugs

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I am so very sorry for your loss, Ruby. The grave will never end your loving relationship with your son. It sounds like the two of you were really close. He just got to the end goal ahead of you, but will be awaiting your arrival with open arms. Virtual hugs to you.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Shauna, That's what I did. Thank you for coming back to tell me. I've been gone so long I got in a hurry...Hugs

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 months ago from Central Florida

      Ruby, we can and do still comment individually. You need to approve each comment, leave your comment, then approve the next one. If you approve a few of them at once, you only get one comment box for yourself.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I see the comment section has changed since I've been absent, not a place for me to comment individually. Thank you Mike, Dana, Clive, Shannon, Genna, Verlie, Shauna, Bill, Eric, Paula, Mar, Peg, Sophie, Rinita, and Ven. I feel so blessed to have dear friends who read my work and leave a loving comment. Jackie once said " Mom you spend more time on Hubpages than Facebook " and I told him you all were my second family and we had a bond that was deep and meaningful and he understood. For awhile I was unable to write about him because I cried at the mere mention of his name, now I am able to think differently and so thankful that he is free of pain, so God bless you all and know that I appreciate you all sooo much.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      5 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very sorry to hear of your loss. I can feel the depth of the grief through your written words. He is lucky to have so nice and a loving mother.

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      5 months ago

      Ruby, I am glad to see you again, and I am deeply sorry for your loss. This does feel like you wrote through your grief, every word has a heart, making it into for a beautiful poem.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Thank you Peg. I never thought he would go before me. He always mowed shirtless and the cancer started on his back, just a small red area that he didn't think much of until it became sore and swollen. When he went to his Dr. he removed the tumor and told Jackie that it was deep but he got it all, but it came back. He started on chemotherapy and we thought it was working, but soon he lost his hearing, then his voice. The cancer had metastasized to his lung, brain and liver. He was in terrible pain at the last. I miss him but so glad he's pain free. It helps me to talk about him. Happy you came to offer your kind words. Hugs

    • sofs profile image


      5 months ago

      I am so sorry for you loss Ruby. Your pain is unimaginable. May his soul rest in peace and may God give you his strength and consolation in your time of grief.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      5 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hello Ruby,

      Reading through your meaningful tribute to your son, my heart goes out to you. I can feel the bittersweet memories of his childhood and your role in his development. So sad to know that he has gone on to the next world. Our faith gives us hope that we will see our loved ones again in a land of milk and honey. What a reunion that will be.

      My deepest condolences on your loss. Hugs, Peg

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      5 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Ruby,

      You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Sending you bunches of hugs.

      This is a beautiful tribute - I can feel your son's smiles from heaven.

      Love, mar

    • fpherj48 profile image


      5 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ruby girl, I am hugging you as I bawl my eyes out. Please know that I both hurt with you for such a loss and celebrate treasured memories, as well. I understand. It truly was just "yesterday" when we raised our babies and had the privilege of seeing them grow into the wonderful individuals we could be so proud of.

      It's good to see you. My thoughts & wishes for peace are always yours. Take care, honey. Paula

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby this is just great. Not the loss but the memories and of course how you wrote it. Your man is awaiting you forever.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I send you hugs of comfort, my friend. All those wonderful memories will keep you company until the day you meet again.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 months ago from Central Florida

      Ruby, this is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. My heart bleeds for you. Hang on to those precious memories and thank you for sharing them with us.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      5 months ago from Canada

      Dear Ruby, These lines overflow with love, and express beautifully the joy, and the bond you shared his whole life long. Such sweet cherished moments made me smile. Thank you so much for sharing this in your time of grief.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      5 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Dearest Ruby...I'm so sorry for your loss. It is unimaginable, but perhaps the only thing worse than losing a child is never having and known the child, and sharing that loving closeness. Your son left many gifts behind to hold and to cherish. And how fortunate for Jackie to have such a wonderful mother. Your poem in tribute is beautiful.

      Wishing you peace and love, my friend. Hugs.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      5 months ago from Texas

      It's really good to see you back here, Ruby. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's so hard to watch a loved one suffer from cancer. Your poem is beautifully written and clearly illustrates the love you two still must share. Hugs.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      5 months ago from Jamaica

      haaa...sigh...the lost of a love one is never an easy thing to bare. It burdens your heart so much and makes you feel like you don't even want to be here. I know the feeling ruby, I know the pain. I know the anger. It is all the same. But just as the moon rises above our heads and light our way in the nigh and the sun in the day, you will find the strength to go on until we all meet in that place one day. My deepest condolences.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mike, so good to see you on my page. I couldn't rest until I wrote something about my son. We were so close, and I mss him terribly, but I know life goes on. I was not surprised to see you as the first to comment. You are a dear long time friend. Hugs and thank you.....

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      5 months ago from LOS ANGELES


      Sorry about your loss. Loved your tribute. You now have a new, beautiful angel, watching over you until you two meet again.

      God bless.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello my friend Ruby - This is a beautiful tribute to your son. He is now in a place without worry and stress. He was a lucky son, with a mother who looked out for him. Hear his voice in the birds that give their songs freely.

      Good to see you back. A big welcome, to you.


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