Jeremy Frampton remembered for his hugs, poetry

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - "That was pretty much all he talked about," Judi Hedstrom said of her 22-year-old son Jeremy.

A member of the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets, Jeremy Frampton always looked forward to the fall semester and Texas Aggie Bonfire.

"He loved the camaraderie. He just really found his place at A&M," she said from her Phoenix, Arizona home.

Jeremy wasn't scheduled to work the night of November 18, 1999. As a brown pot, the fifth-year senior was there passing on the tradition when 2-million pounds of logs crumbled.

"They had climbed to the top of the stack and had only been up there just a very few minutes when it collapsed," Judi recalled.

Known for his huge smile and big bear hugs, his mother remembered the moment she arrived at Jeremy's College Station home following his death.

"The porch was lined with his buddies. And as I walked up to the porch, every one of those big 'ole guys came over and gave me the biggest bear hug because they knew that's what Jeremy would have done."

The days that followed were painful. Months after their son died, Richard and Judi Frampton ended their 26-year marriage.

"Because I was a counselor myself, I knew that often when a child dies, the parents end up in divorce. I never imagined it would happen to me," Judi admitted.

"Initially I was like, 'God why would you let this happen?'"

But with time, Judi began to grieve with hope, and discovered beauty from the ashes.

"You have to let yourself really feel that pain so deeply, but once you do that, you're able to experience joy at a level I had never experienced before," Judi explained.

Judi fulfilled a lifelong dream of being a counselor and teacher in Africa. And by comforting a family friend on the loss of his son, she found love again and remarried.

"I have seen God just put things together in unbelievable ways," she smiled.

And even though it's where her son's life ended, Judi finds comfort at the place Jeremy loved most and where he's always remembered.

"Where I feel closest to Jeremy is when I'm at that memorial and when I'm on the campus of Texas A&M."

It's Jeremy's own words that are forever inscribed on his memorial.

The Purpose of Life by Jeremy Frampton

Why look for reason
there is no cause
Why try to find a purpose
there may be none at all
Take whatever there is
and make the most
And if there is nothing
make your own
And while you are loving to live
a reason will become
and a purpose will appear
making all the more reason to go on

Both his mother and father think Jeremy may have followed in his brother's footsteps and would be in the military today.

Richard Frampton still lives in Turlock, California. He said he misses his son's sense of humor the most.

"He really had a good sense of humor. He was a lot of fun to talk to, to visit with and just a lot of fun to be around, Frampton said.

Frampton said the 20th anniversary has been harder on him than the others.

"Because I think about it a lot more. I mean I always do and I always reflect on that day, but 20 years. I think about it, he would be 44-years-old, so it just brings it all into perspective."