February 9, 1974 -
December 4, 1995
I sit here out on the patio rain or shine
with my first cup of morning coffee. There I watch the wind make the leaves dance at the
tip of the breeze and remembrances of people that have drifted in and out of my life pass
through my mind. I lift my face towards the heavens and say thank you. Thank
you for the joy you have given me.
Last night I was thinking about this magical thing called happiness. And I realized
that happiness is not a state of being, but rather brief moments in our lives that we look
back on with joy. Happiness could be compared to the night sky. The black of
the night sky is a canvas on which we paint happy moments in our lives, we call these
happy moments stars. Jason, today your family writes to you thanking you for putting
so many stars into our night sky.
Jason you do not come to me in dreams. I catch glimpses of you in past memories and
faded lithographs. They all combine to form a panorama portrayal of our life
together. Memories bittersweet and longing. Your dreams, like ours for you,
We were so proud of the dreams and aspirations that you had. You chose to educate
yourself even though we as parents were more than willing to help you. Instead you
said "No, I want the satisfaction of being able to say I did it myself".
You were a remarkable person.
You received your Associates in Arts Degree and Associates of General Studies from Rio
Salidro Community College. Had you lived you would have received your Bachelor of
Arts in April. You planned to go on for your Master's Degree that fall. How
remarkable to have accomplished all this within three years. All this while working
Jason you were a person who excelled at his job in the education department of the Air
Force. You were considered by your co-workers to be either "the man with the
answer" or "the man who can get the answer". Your lovable personality
often turned customers into friends. You always made a point to go out of your way
for anyone who needed a helping hand.
Jason you had such value for life and were such a productive member of society. You
were someone who made a difference. Although your life was short-lived the love that
you gave to all of us who knew you will last forever.
When you were taken, a part of us went with you. Probably the best part. It
is the remembrance of the type of person you were that contributes to the sustenance of
our family. Knowing that you are no longer a physical part of our lives brings such
deep sadness and despair. Yet when we reflect on the beauty of your smile and the
joy you gave, for you radiated it, that gives us pleasure.
As the old proverb states "morn not too long that he is gone but rejoice forever that
he was here at all". In the end after your careers have been established; your
families raised; your fortunes made; it is the love that you were able to give that you
are truly remembered for. Jason the joy that you gave your family is like a
"light" that is lit within our hearts. It is illuminated by the
remembrance of you. Thank you , thank you for the joy you gave; for the
compassionate person you were; for the integrity in which you chose to live your
life. But most of all thank you for gracing our lives with your presence. We
rejoice at your having been.
This family is no stranger to the irony in
life having a child born to us on Christmas Day and losing another to violence in New
Mexico, December 4, 1995.
Jason Aro Frank was assaulted outside an establishment in Alamogordo, while waiting with a
friend for their designated driver. It was an unprovoked attack. A senseless
random act of violence. The defendant was convicted by a jury of his peers. He was
evaluated by a professional and a recommendation for prison time was made. Yet the
defendant was allowed to walk away without having served any jail time.
The remembrances of Jason linger in the air like the fragrances of lilacs that use to
bloom in our yard. Home, that place in Wyoming where we resided as a family happy
and safe. There we lived as an average, typical middle class family believing in
equality and justice for all.
Something has gone wrong within the criminal justice system. Perhaps the intentions
and purposes have become misguided. I visualize it comparably to a beach.
Those that are involved in it are focused so intently on a single grain of sand that they
miss the entire view of the beach. Somehow an imbalance has been created.
Reminding me of erosion caused amid the grains of sand by the tide drifting in and out on
Yes the defendant is entitled to his legal rights but that does not mean that the victim's
should be denied. Denied just because he is not visible or audible. This
imbalance in the system leans towards favoring the defendant. The defendant should
not be allowed to manipulate and abusively use the system. Time and time again we
see those responsible for criminal acts not being held accountable or responsible for
their actions. Has "justice" become just an old faded worn out
term? Just a word lacking in meaning? The reality for the victim being simply
"one who is sacrificed". Have we forgotten the lessons learned throughout
history? When accountability and responsibility are denied bedlam ensues.
Jason's parents continue to live in New
Mexico. His brother Luke attends college in another state. Jason's widow
continues to live in their home in Arizona. Together they collectively continue to
live their "life sentence". Life without their loved one. They will
receive no "time off" for good behavior.
Jason's last humanitarian act was as an organ donor. Bringing the gift of hope and
life to others.
Respectfully submitted in remembrance,
The family of Jason Aro Frank