Pete’s Tug At My Heartstrings Today

Pete & Book dec2013 026

The picture above is my late grandson, Pete.  He died in a horrible accident in the early hours of July 5, 2010 at age 21.  He’d been celebrating July 4th with a group of buddies on a wide ledge three miles up a mountain road.  Dropping a powerful lit firework, he jumped backwards and fell 100 feet to the canyon floor.  He died instantly from a skull fracture and part of my heart died with him.

Since his death, we keep two 5×7 photos of him on an antique dresser in our dining area.  In the picture above, his eyes follow you wherever you are.  That happened to me this morning as I passed by and it grabbed tightly at my heart strings.  That’s not the norm because I pass that picture a thousand times a day.  Therefore, I stopped to look at it and was overcome with a powerful need to go up where he fell, which has become his memorial site. I grabbed a little pumpkin that I always buy for him each fall, filled a small bag with candy corn, grabbed my camera and my husband and we headed out.


It didn’t take long to notice the magnificent fall colors we were surrounded by as we climbed up the mountain road.  This is the prettiest fall we’ve ever seen in the 33 years that we’ve lived in these beautiful mountains.  It was absolutely breath taking all the way there and all the way back.

It was only 44 degrees at Pete’s Place and it is snowing there as I write this, which means the leaves will now be gone.  So I am grateful for that little tug at my heart strings this morning.  It ended my tears, got me outside, lightened my heart and brightened my day.

Pete's Place Oct. 2014

Pete’s Place Oct. 2014

If you’d like to know more about Pete and his story, click on the “about” button at the top of this page.




About jtzortman

Author of "WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW" - A Grandparent's Journey Through Grief, first place award winning novel "FOOTPRINTS IN THE FROST" and award-winning novel "SNOW ANGEL". Contributing author to anthologies "Felons, Flames & Ambulance Rides", "American Blue", "Recipes by the Book: Oak Tree Authors Cook" and "The Centennial Book of The National Society of Daughters of the Union 1861-1865". Numerous articles, poems and short stories published since 1990. Charter Member of the Public Safety Writers Association and member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Winner of ten writing awards. I live in a quaint Colorado mountain tourist town with my husband and Siamese cat. When deeps snows blanket the terrain and spectacular views from my windows, it becomes the perfect spot in which to write.
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6 Responses to Pete’s Tug At My Heartstrings Today

  1. Jackie – Thank you for sharing this moment. Having lost two children, I know the pull of the picture. I too pass such a photo every day and feel the tug. God Bless You.


  2. jtzortman says:

    Thank you, George. I didn’t know you had lost two children. My heart goes out to you and your family because I’ve seen the pain that creates and it’s merciless. Hugs and blessings to you. Thanks for stopping by, as you always do. I appreciate it.


  3. Leona Lee says:

    Jackie, my heart breaks with you. I have never had this kind of loss, we have a very large family and I feel the pain of our parents and siblings that have went before us, but the pain you feel is so different from a lot of us, Love and Hugs to you and Pete


    • jtzortman says:

      Leona, be thankful that you don’t know this particular loss. I have also lost my parents and my only sibling, my older brother, Tommy. I thought Tommy’s loss was the worst pain I’d ever know. I was wrong. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Love & hugs right back at you.


  4. Sarah says:

    Thanks for writing about this Granny! Mom’s best friend, Michael, died 3 years ago in September and the past 2-3 weeks he has been showing me that he was around or that I at least needed to pay more attention to his ornery self. I love getting signs that he is hanging out with me. It makes me smile knowing that they are still around us. Love you!


    • jtzortman says:

      Yes, it’s always uplifting when you realize that someone is trying to tell you something. When I saw how gorgeous it was all the way up there, I knew why we were meant to make that trek. It was just awesome. The whole area has been especially beautiful this fall, but we hadn’t been up to Pete’s Place for awhile. We also go to the cemetery now. Love you, too.


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