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.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


A holiday weekend and fortunately a long one for me. Two days in a row off and so a chance to relax a little more than usual. Holidays bother me, as I've said before, because it's a time to get together with family and then the absence of a family member, a loved one, in this case Kevin, is glaring. This weekend is okay. I'm in a reflective mood. Not that it is unusual but this reflectivity is different, I guess. Actually, I guess I wouldn't classify my usual states of mind "reflective". Maybe it's just a matter of semantics, or misuse of words which is more like it in my case. Reflecting or a reflective mood connotes, to me anyway, a more quiet and peaceful state of mind which really describes my mood today and which is unlike my general state of mind! I am thankful for the respite from the usual ups and downs that have blanketed my psychic wellbeing; despair one day euphoria the next, intense, often frantic, emotion laden, I guess.

It's Memorial Day weekend. I was thinking about things when I turned on the TV this morning for a little noise. Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood was on and finishing up, as it usually does, with a peaceful scene from serene environs across the country, of water flowing, birds and wildlife, etc. This morning they ended at Arlington cemetery, with a new flag which marks each grave site, as they do every year at this time, as we all reflect on the heroes of war past and present. It was comforting to me. Kevin wasn't in the military but Brian was in Iraq for a year. Here, I was so worried about him and yet he came home. I wasn't worried about Kevin in Des Moines and yet he disappeared. Over two thousand young men have lost their lives because of the Iraq war, a majority of them around the same age as Kevin. It is comforting to me because I'm not alone in the loss of my son, my child. I think of that and it is comforting to know. It is a scene that is playing out over and over again across the country.

But it's not just war casualties. It seems that a couple of times a week I run across a vehicle that has "in loving memory" on the back of it. And they have the birth date and date of death on it, and most of the time it is a young person. Or, I just heard mention, again, for the second time, at work, of a co-worker, who had lost a child. I'm sure it is my awareness too. If nothing had happened to Kevin, perhaps these things would never have entered my perceptions, my awareness. But they have. So many times since Kevin died. So many young children and young adults buried by their parents. Something that I thought rarely happens. One of those life myths that we're told but that ends up not being true. So many parents do bury their children and it has been a tremendous comfort to know that I'm not the only one. Not by a long shot. But it doesn't take away the horrible feeling of loss. It doesn't bring back Kevin but it does help.

Reflecting today on things, though, is peaceful and calm. Nothing new to report. It has been two months , now, and Lt. Tunks has still not gotten back to me to set up an appointment to go over Kevin's file... Today it doesn't upset me. It's par for the course. Tomorrow might be a different story and yet I hope my peace of mind is a step forward. Time heals, they say, and hopefully my reflective state of mind is an indication of healing... But I haven't lost my resolve!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

In The Midst of Mother's Day

This week has flown by. I haven't had time to think about much of anything but the few brief moments when I have, I'm still sitting at the computer with Brian on Mother's Day. I was starting to write something in my head and Brian asked if I wanted to do a blog. I did, but didn't want to take away from my special time with him. It was special and fun, for me anyway, and this year Brian took over the Mother's Day detail as Kevin had a few years ago. (that year Brian brought me an ice cream cake but was with Jaylynn, I think. Kevin and I went walking, he actually walked the five miles with me and then we went to A'-Dong for lunch! It seems like I've written about this before but perhaps not. A very special memory and a very special Mother's Day. On my walk there's one section, 33rd St. to 31st St., so, 2 blocks, where I run up the hill. I told Kevin that I had to run up these two blocks and so I would wait for him at the top. He laughed and took off up the hill and, of course, beat me. I'll never forget that, and his bemused laughter that I was going to beat him up the hill!)

Brian and I went to A'-Dong for lunch, too, something I had wanted to do last year but didn't have a chance to do. We then went back to his place and did computer things. Hunted for music, songs, and even down-loaded a Pink Floyd video from the Live Aide concert at my request. It was really neat since I'm so backwards when it comes to the computer. But I'm still there, sitting at the computer.

All this week I've been thinking about the title but it has been coming out "In the midst of motherhood". I've had to say to myself, no, it's "mother's day" not "in the midst of motherhood". I wondered why this kept popping into my mind. Well, once you're a mother, one is always in the midst of... that will never change. Once you're a mother, you're always a mother, until the day you die. A girlfriend of mine talked about one's life intentions. If one looks over one's life, they , he or she, can figure that out by the focus or situations which take up ones energy. Undoubtedly mine is motherhood. The biggest joy, and the biggest sorrow of my life. And thanks to our excessive commercialism, it is ever brought into the forefront once a year in May whether we, or I, like it or not.

The Magnolias are gone. The Daffodils are gone. The Tulips are gone. The Iris are in full bloom. A flower which always reminds me of my mother. She would always say an Iris is a poor man's Orchid. Actually, I think because of my shanty Irish background I have always preferred Iriss anyway. Along around Friday I realized that because I had been so consumed with the loss of Kevin, and not being able to be with him on Mother's Day, I hadn't even thought of my own mother on Sunday. A psychic told me that Kevin was with my mother. I hope so. I hope Kevin is with Minerva and Justin Martin, his paternal grandparents, too, and my father who knew him as a baby, and his favorite dog, Morgaine as well. I hope more than anything that that is true.

So, I'm still sitting at the computer with Brian right in the midst of my Mother's Day celebration almost a week later. In the midst of motherhood with everything that entails and trying to put my entire life into perspective. So, this year was a difficult Mother's Day but I'm so thankful to have Brian, and to have had Brian with me, to share a painfull mother's day, 2006.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Well, it seems like the Superman movie is coming out June 30th, I think. The other day on one of the morning tv shows I did get to see a trailer for this latest Superman remake. Already, and I'm sure way more than once, I've mentioned Kevin's love for Superman. This was a particularly poignant memory for me but I've also said that others, perhaps, remember different things about him. Things that they shared with him and so those things probably stand out more for them. Kevin must have had Superman pajamas before he knew who Superman was. I have three pair, each one a little larger in size. The first pair so tiny, he had to have been no more than two years old or younger. But then another pair of pjs and then a third pair after that! At what point he became enamored with this super hero, I'm not sure, but he did.

Kevin and I went to many movies together. He never ventured far from his apartment or Flanagan's and I use to worry about that. At least going to a movie was something different, not that seeing another movie was a treat (videos and dvds as everyone knows) and most young people his age probably watch too many, but at least it was a break from his normal routine. We would have gone to see this movie as well and then had a long discourse on whether it was good, better or whatever. He had all of the Christopher Reeves Superman movies. It was amazing how much this Superman reminded me of Christopher Reeves when they showed him as Clark Kent with the heavy black glasses on, but I'm sure that was intentional. Brian thought the actor who plays in Smallville should have gotten the part but I don't know...

So, I will go to see this Superman movie and X-men 3 and even the sequel to the Pirates of the Caribean. I saw the previous ones with Kevin, including "Finding Nemo" and so have a fondness because I saw them with him. (I didn't want to see Finding Nemo, was very surprised that Kevin did, but bowed to his request and really loved the movie. It was so visually beautiful, I thought, and I'm sure appealed to Kevin's artistic bent as it did to mine, as well)

Movies became important to me which is kind of funny since before Lord of the Rings I rarely went to the movies, but then its amazing the things that one holds on to when that's all you have, and so the movies I saw with Kevin have become especially important to me.

And we all have a love of figures that are larger than life as Kevin did. Mine was Wonder Woman. And I'm sure there were others too, that Kevin liked , but for the most part Superman it is, and the one I most identify with him from toddler to young man.

Monday, May 08, 2006

May 7th

I was here at the library yesterday, May 7th, the anniversary of Kevin's memorial service. The library had just changed to its Summer hours effective yesterday, as a matter of fact. I had failed to notice the fine print and so I showed up yesterday to no avail. Brian was busy and not at home and so I ended up not having access to a computer. I don't know why it was so important to do my blog on the exact day, but it was. Kevin's memorial service fell on a Saturday, this year May 7th falls on a Sunday.

I've talked about anniversaries and remembering. One doesn't need an anniversary date to remember but certain dates are more prominent I guess. Who knows as years go by which dates will stand out. Kevin's service had a sense of finality to it. A certain amount of closure. It was a beautiful week, that week before the service. I felt as if I was in a different world, and not a real one. Planning things and buying flowers and visiting with the pastor and funeral director. Busy is good, as I've said before, and that was a busy week. Everything was beautiful at Dunn's Funeral Home. Kevin would have appreciated the old and elegant and beautiful mansion. I got there early that morning. Everything was all arranged and I sat there. It was peaceful and comforting. Everthing there to remember Kevin and honor him, which as hard as one would try, they could never do. All the flowers in the world, all the pictures, all of the guests... nothing could do justice to the loss of Kevin's life. But we try anyway. Everyone in their own special way. We all need ritual. Most of life is ritualistic. Especially during times of tragedy and loss I guess ritual becomes most important, for us, the living.

Something sticks in my mind from another book I have, "The Science of the Mind", by Earnst(sp) Holmes. It says we are birthless and deathless. And more than anything in the world I want to believe that because it brings comfort to me regarding Kevin. We are spirits in Gods image and likeness and so immortal. We are born into this world for a brief time and leave, but our spirit was before and does not die although this earthly body does. So Kevin is fine and, yes, I have to continually tell myself that as I get bogged down from day to day with all of this earthly garbage.

One year later and still so much to do. Remembering that day and some specifics too. I hope Kurt will forgive how long it has taken me to get in touch with him, the man who was fishing that day in February and found Kevin's remains. I remember the beautiful bouquet of red roses that Sarah sent which made the trip all the way back to New York with me. Well, so many things, and as usual, not enough time to write them all down.

So another anniversary date has past. This one, as I said, gave us a little closure a year ago and a year later I relive that day, May 7, 2005, Kevin's memorial service.