Finish Line


“you’re forever on my mind”



Finish Line

(In loving memory of my son, Aaron Kistner: 11/4/76 – 7/3/95)

It is my favorite picture of you son,
the one I treasure most
since your passing.

A simple snapshot,
taken at the airport,
upon your return
from having run the New York City Marathon.

A gentle, triumphant smile,
eyes beaming behind those ‘cool’ shades,
jacket sleeves rolled in casual hip-ness,
bag thrown carefree over your shoulder,
medal dangling proudly from your strong neck.

The victor: gentle, cool, hip, carefree, proud, and strong,
– fiercely handsome!

How profound this captured moment proved to be.

Taken just before the finish line of your 18 years,
it said it all.

Your race is run,
your bag is packed,
your reward’s in hand.

Fly my sweet angel – fly!

• • •

rob kistner © 7/3/05


Aaron Robert Kistner, 18th birthday, returning from NYC Marathon
Shortly before he was killed
photo edited by: rob kistner © 2008

• • •



~ by Image&VerseToo on April 4, 2008.

27 Responses to “Finish Line”

  1. i cannot begin to imagine your pain and all i can say is that i am so sorry this tragedy happened. my heart and love goes out to you. some things in life leave us wondering for eternity of the reasons why it happened. yet, sometimes, no answer comes. all we have is our cherished memories and the love in our hearts to carry us through. he was such a handsome young man.

    my love and blessings to you always rob,

  2. isn’t it funny that the pictures we have of those that have left us behind become imbued with almost human characteristics…

    i cannot even begin to imagine your loss..

  3. …that picture speaks volumes and your poem touching…I wish i could write something more…

    i cannot even imagine this kind of loss…death…. it takes away whom we love and never spares the ones left behind trying to cope…

    take care…

  4. It is against the natural order of things for a parent to outlive the child. I can think of no greater tragedy, and no greater tribute than to remember with words like this.
    We cannot feel your loss reading them. That would demean your memories. But we do experience just a fraction of what it means. And it is humbling.

  5. A tribute from the heart. I can only try to imagine your sorrow at the death of this vibrant young man, but your poem expresses much.
    A photo to cherish forever.

  6. Words fail me..

    A terrible loss which can never be filled.

    As granny says, a photo to cherish forever..

  7. I honor your writing, loss and tribute with a moment of sincere silence.

    Thank you for sharing that and for seeing joy in a life lived before the inexplicable and the unfair.

  8. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  9. No one should outlive their kids. The greatest tragedy of all. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I can only imagine your pain, but the writing is evocative, and written as only a father can write about their children.

  11. I came I read and I was touched,

    Do guys hug?

  12. I am so sorry for your loss. This is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  13. I agree with an above comment, words fail me…yet I think it is a wonderful way to share the memory of your son.

  14. I am so sorry you lost your precious son. A beautiful and moving tribute. May peace be yours.

  15. I can’t even imagine what you feel each day Rob. You are so strong to share your beautiful sons photo with us. Your poem is a moving tribute and I love the reasons you love this handsome picture of him. A true treasure. ♥

  16. This must have been an emotional piece for your to write. Your poem is such an honor to him. Well-written and poignant. Thanks for sharing your son with us as well as your beautiful words.

  17. Such a beautiful boy. I find myself with a tear in my eye, looking at him, reading your words. Dear Rob, when you say that he is forever in your mind, I hope that the memories of those days – his days of happiness and triumph – help you.

  18. I am so sorry for your pain. I could not imagine losing a child. Reading this poem gave me goosebumps, it was so emotional. Very well written. And again, I am so sorry for your loss.

  19. So sorry. I cannot imagine your pain. And it never passes. Lovely tribute.

  20. That can’t have been easy to write, but I guess putting your thoughts into words is a comfort to you. Such a tender piece

  21. Rob, this is beautiful. His life, the photo, your words. Thank you for this.

  22. Your poem shows such strong emotion. Thank you for writing a poem that affirms your son’s life. What a powerful response to Sunday Scribbling. That last lovely line shows grace and healing.

  23. Oh I am so sorry – there is no pain like that of a parent loosing a child. Such beautiful imagery you have used… the finish line and the airport to illustrate his passing – it is magnificant!

  24. Rob,

    I’ve read that the greatest pain that a parent could have is to outlive their children. I feel for you and the parents who lost their children too soon. I think this poem is your gift for every parent who share your sentiments and this would help heal the pain and the deep sorrow that comes with the loss.

    I like how you gave meaning to every details of his photograph, the last travel he had and the homecoming using them as metaphors to make the message of the poem fully understood and the emotions fully felt.

    I am sorry for your loss.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

  25. I am sorry for your loss!! He was a handsome boy. He sure was!

    This poem is so beautiful and painful!

  26. This is beautiful and bittersweet. My stepson died early (21 years) and I, too, found that poetry from the soul helps put things in its place. Still, the pain is always there…

  27. I’m sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine the pain of living each day without him, even though it’s been years.

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