Diary of a Mother's Mission

My son, Kevin Martin, disappered under mysterious circumstances in the wee hours of July 18, 2004. His partial remains were found on February 1, 2005 in the river. The Des Moines Police have not been helpful and this is my blog to tell what I have done as it's done.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Terrence Patrick Gilson, Kevin's older brother died on September 29, 2006. He loved Kevin and was devastated by Kevin's disappearance and subsequent death. The older Kevin became, the better he and Terry got along. Terry visited Des Moines the first time I lived out here, I think in 2002, around May, and then Kevin went to see him in New York after that. Perhaps I have the two events backwards, I'm not sure, but that doesn't matter.

Where to begin? I was going to visit the library last Sunday (as I had been here Friday and Saturday) a couple of days after my return and as I was logging my journey to and from New York, but I didn't make it. I think the words would have flowed more easily then as I was in a different place and frame of mind. Over the past week all the memories of Terry have been flooding in, I guess a normal part of the grieving process, just as they did with Kevin. So now there's so much more to write but wanting to keep it brief since this is Kevin's website. The reality is though that Terry was an integral and important part of Kevin's life, and would have been either way, if he had died before Kevin or after Kevin, as he did. And I guess I will include things that I said at Terry's memorial service, things which I felt strongly about and which could have applied to Kevin as well, although circumstances were different.

I wrote this before; Terry was the sun, Brian my rainbow, Kevin my pot of gold. Terry was sunshine, a sunny disposition, a big smile on his face all the time. He was the little boy that was the envy of all my girlfriends because their husbands wished they had a kid, a son, just like him; all boy! He was a joy. He had just learned to walk and so insisted on going up the stairs himself. Of course I was right behind him but when I tried to take his hand he pushed it out of the way and said "I do, I do". He had no fear. We went to Jones Beach, the first time for him, at age 4 or 5 years. He had never seen the hugh waves before but he charged right into the water with me right behind him! When he was a little older he discovered Terry Bradshaw and the Pittsburgh Steelers and so for the first time in his life had a super role model and with his same name. He was a devout Steeler fan and one of his friends commented to me how this love and devotion wore off on others as well as his family. Brian, Kevin and I also became nothing but Steeler fans. I failed to mention though that he also loved the New York Yankees and was a fan even before their hugh winning streak in more recent years. During Terry's high school years I vividly remember a conversation with his football coach who had called to check up on Terry. He said that Terry was the kind of kid (player) that the scouts would be watching. He was that good!

Terry wasn't setting the world on fire, though. I'm not either. We all struggle, we all strive, we all have to make a living and put a roof over our heads, in my case it's half a roof. Terry was struggling and those of us who were close to him, recently, were very troubled about him and stuggling right along with him. We all have demons to one extent or another. I'm not just referring to alcohol or drugs. A demon can come in many forms and can be something the person fights all his or her life; weight, insecurity, inferiority, etc. Some of us can overcome our worldly problems, some of us can't. Maybe Terry couldn't. Maybe Kevin couldn't either.

We can never really know, though, what is truly in another's heart or soul or mind. We can never really know what another person is stuggling with or dealing with, not really, not even though they might attempt to tell us. I truly believe that each person does the very best that they are capable of doing at any given time, as I'm sure Terry did, and Kevin did, even though it might not have appeared so to others.

Terry is my child. Kevin is my child. Each of them had to do or be nothing else in my eyes. Their lives were precious. They were both children or manifestations of God. Each one of us has a God given purpose. Maybe it will never be clear to us what those purposes might be. Maybe in time it will be clear but perhaps not for those who mourn his loss, and Kevin's loss, so horribly. We live in this goal oriented, achievement, monied world and so it's hard to remember who we truly are, in my opinion, my belief. But I do believe in the sacredness and uniqueness of each and every life. We are that regardless of what we do or don't do, we are that just because we are born. It has nothing to do with what we achieve or don't achieve... Terry existed and Kevin existed. Just by being who they were they made a contribution to life, perhaps more than we'll ever know. The story isn't finished yet.

A couple of years ago, here, at Christmas time I bought a figurine or collectible from a sports store. It was a young boy 10 or 11 years of age who had fallen asleep in a chair with his Steelers shirt on and helmet right beside him. They had these for the other teams as well. I bought it for Terry for Christmas but couldn't give it to him. It made me so sad. It was this beautiful little kid with all the potential in the world. He was a little devoted Steeler fan having fallen asleep in a perfect world. He had his whole life ahead of him. This was the Terry I knew and this figurine represented him and all my perfect hopes and dreams for him. It never happened. This wasn't Terry's life anymore.

So it's hard for me at times to realize that this world is just a shadow of the real and perfect world to come. Terry is at peace now, free from the turmoil and strife which seemed to dominate his life more recently. And he is with his brothers, Danny and Kevin... and his Pop. He loved his Pop who was like a father to him. (my father)

Terry loved his daughter, Elizabeth, first and foremost, about the only thing he devotedly attended to, he loved his brothers and friends and he loved the Steelers and the Yankees. (I love you, Terry, Love, Mou)


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