[Vision2020] Jon and John: Mothers, sons and death

deb debismith at moscow.com
Tue Jan 13 15:18:14 PST 2015

Beautifully done. I had to stop sobbing and get a grip before writing this. Moscow is a small town---3 degrees of separation is unusual because most often it is 2 degrees. Having met, known, socialized with, or heard through friends about every one of the people Marilyn speaks of is wrenching....her understanding and homage to all (including John) is phenominal and touches that chord in all of us that signifies a want and hope for better.

Thank you Marilyn, for giving me a touch of love and blessing in the grief.
Debi Robinson-Smith 
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Tom Hansen 
  To: Moscow Vision 2020 
  Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 10:29 AM
  Subject: [Vision2020] Jon and John: Mothers, sons and death

  Courtesy of today's (January 13, 2015) Moscow-Pullman Daily News.


  Her View: Jon and John: Mothers, sons and death
  By Marilyn Beckett

  This Saturday afternoon I went to John's Alley in Moscow to set up for Jon Wight's benefit. Jon, a fine, robust 28-year-old musician who graced many a Moscow Main Street venue, was diagnosed two months ago with a rare, aggressive cancer. Jon came through our house with many of my son's entourage in the early years, all his "brothers" becoming like sons. Their images are painted in my mind, and on my son's bedroom wall.

  Matt is one of them. He organized the benefit and beat the street to create the best silent auction I'd ever seen. As I walked in the door to help, he approached me and told me Jon had just died.

  I see old friend Hud who tells me someone just shot four people, shooter apprehended near Colfax. Three dead, he doesn't know who.

  Having lived all his life here, a consummate joker of the '70s who knows everyone by name, he says, "Moscow just ain't the same, Marilyn."

  Many of Jon's "people" arrive. Many long hugs exchanged, so much love shared. Area businesses and artists have given generously to his cause. Then the live music - Jon's talented friends getting the packed house swaying and jumping, hearts blessing themselves with the light of the dearly departed Jon. A hundred or more bar patrons are brought to an entire minute of pin dropping silence. His brother sings his tears on stage. I hold his hand. His mother's son, and mine.

  His father, connected via digital screen, sings along with the entire room, "Que Sera, Sera."

  My friend Kate texts me that Terri is murdered by her son John, who goes on to shoot others. I remember Terri as the beautiful tall woman with the broad smile who loves to sing and dance. I picture her dying at the hand of her 29-year-old son. I think of my sons, and I dance for her.

  I picture David and Michael on Jefferson Street as, it is said, John continued shooting. I know David, too. Michael graduated with my daughter Liz, his sister with my daughter Katie. I see in my mind's eye an angry young man driving through Arby's and waiting for the manager to fire. I see Belinda face death's surprise as if I were there. She's a friend of Terri's. I see them both wonder why.

  Then Jon's frail arm - it fought back so hard over so many weeks of disease and medicinal poison inhaling the last breath of his life.

  I contemplate who will remember Jon and who will remember John.

  Jon had the will to live. He had music in his heart.

  John might have lost his will to live, surrendering to what seemed a ticking time bomb in his brain.

  One who wishes to live instills the hope of life in others.

  One who apparently wishes to control the lives of others seems to have lost that hope.

  Which are you, young man? Which son are you?

  A good mother knows you both. She gave your life to do with it the best you could. To understand that it is never to be taken for granted or treated with disrespect. To know balance. To know yourself and by so doing, show regard for others. To find the music in life.

  Women create. They give. They grow. They nurture. They sacrifice.

  Every warring country on the globe strives to control women because of their power to create. We know the victims. We know the price.

  Bring us the music we sang to you as babes. Bring the music of life.

  When you read this, do you think it too dramatic? See the dramas of these deaths. See your own.

  We gave back our son Jon today. We loved him.

  Please pay homage to we mothers, all you fathers and sons, boyfriends and brothers.

  This mother knows and loves you all.


  Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

  "Moscow Cares"
  Tom Hansen
  Moscow, Idaho


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