A Touch of Heart by Deborah

Poetry ~ A Spiritual Window of Awakening

Poetry Collection and artwork by Deborah Mathews


 Art digitally drawn by Deborah 





Together Again


April 1998

First poem I ever wrote about the “CRASH”


Class assignment in College English Composition class April 1998.


I went to my dorm room to think about what was going to be my topic. Suddenly,

a thought came into my head to write about Tommy. The words flowed from my

pen as though spirit was helping me write each word that was bottled inside my soul.

Word after word, sentence after sentence all flowing with vibrational spirit in full spectrum.


Just Remember Me


May 1998

Tommy is speaking through spirit to help those in grief.

This poem in sequence was written while driving bumper to bumper on the 91 freeway.


My Soul

June 1998

This poem is on Tommy’s headstone along with his picture

This poem also written through spirit to help those deal with grief.



April 1999

Written the night before Tom’s funeral service, and recited at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.


Whispers In The Wind

May 1999

Written for Tom’s 1 Yr. Anniversary for headstone capping.


Judgment Day

May 1998

This poem began in court a year after the crash, particularly out of boredom and being

dog-eyed by the suspects co-cell mate as he passed in front of us leaving the court room

in chains. It was finished on the 91 freeway, in bumper to bumper traffic on the way to college

each day. It took two weeks to finish.








My Two Angels -


Little story....within the month Tommy died I think it was him who pushed

me out of the way from a car that was swerving on the freeway to avoid

an accident as I was walking back to my car. The motion of me losing my

balance and hitting the ground was like someone pushed me. But the car

was just inches from me at my left side. I didn't see it coming. If that's not

an angel encounter, I don't know what is. That was the last time I walked

on the freeway. 



For some do not know and they curse the reason why,  their beloved is taken so early in life.


It only happens to others you see, it will never happen to us, believe me.


We always depend upon others for life, to take advantage of love is an oversight.


Their young, they're strong, they have their whole life, who’s to say God will take their short life.


The signs were all there, in dreams, and in thought, mother knew, instinct told her too.


It’s only a dream, how silly should one be, it’s ok, it’s not what I see, believe me.


But over and over the dream did despair, the thought of losing a long life affair.


They fought sister and brother; it’s common in young folk,


with age and wisdom, they both grew we know.


The young rabbit hunter walked the hills over and under, when that got old, he discovered another wonder.


It had two wheels, sometimes three, and a brother, who shared in the love of the same, two wheels under.


They rode day and night; their helmets sometimes light, caution always spoke, from their parents with insight.


Road rash here and a few cuts there, no fear he wore and sometimes he swore.


“One day I’ll ride cross-country far and wide”, little did he know he’d be doing it solo.


One fateful night, while in search of a good sight, he and his friends were the victims of plight.


Suspects all three were intoxicated you see, from the law they did flee, with speed and no care.


Head on they did crash, hit and run was the act, with betrayal as the fact.


The victims they lay as pure as the day, lifeless one lay, while the other ones prayed.


For the ones that remain, their pain will retain, for the loss of their friend, they remain still vain.


Oh, how we miss the one with lifelessness, someday we hope to reunite our loneliness.


Until that day, that we see your light of day, our dreams will be open to you everyday.


April, 1998




May 1998


Headstone has this poem engraved onto it



This poem was written on the 91 Freeway bumper to bumper driving en-route to College in 1998.


Don’t cry for me, because I’ve passed, I’ve just gone home, my sorrows passed.


It’s wonderful to finally see, the world at a view, a sight to see.


I only came to stay a while, to learn the things that were worthwhile.


I learned of love, I learned of hate, I learned of fear, as one must taste.


One day you will, you’ll understand, the reason why we live and die.


The choice was mine and mine alone, the choice to perfect my everlasting soul.


We know it’s hard, it’s suppose to be, that’s why God sent you and me.


If he believed we could not survive, he never would have thought it twice.


The timing was right, please understand, I was well prepared, way in advance.


I’ll be there, just wait and see, when you need me the most, just call on me.


I come and go, you might not know, we want you to know, you’re never alone.


When you visit the grave, we’re at your side, and when you leave, we also retrieve.


The goal in life you set for your soul, will be easier to attain if you believe in the soul.


Each day in life when you cry out why? Remember the goal in soul’s quest for strength.


The knowledge you gain from life’s good and bad, your soul will shine just knowing so.


Just do what’s right in your heart and mind, and others will learn from your shinning soul.


Remember to love, that’s what life’s made of, life’s test of strength is all based on Love.


It matters not what color you are, the real test of soul is what your heart is made of.


Who is going to feed him, and cut his fine blonde hair? Who would take him places, and


tuck him into bed? Does my child know I worry, does he really know I care? Does he know


my stress is silent in the midst of morning air? I know he's here somewhere in the walls of


time and space, for I heard him in the hallway say "don't hurry Mom, I was gone by 3:35".


Our lights that had been flickering, phone calls with no one there, a cat that would freak-out


at the stillness of the air. Silent whispers in my head that told me not to worry. Where is he,


can he see me in this stressful time of fear. 




May, 1998



Through the dew of the evening, my soul slips through. To see how you’re doing and to say, I LOVE YOU!


I miss the whole family I wish it weren’t true. But mistakes I did make, I know now how true.


If only I’d listened to your sound advice, I’d be enjoying the cool summer nights.


I couldn’t go home, not yet, too much pain, I needed to know you’d be fine, please refrain.


It wasn’t that instant that I went through the light, I hung around, you know, just to keep you in sight.


I moved a few things and turned off the lights, Just to remind you, I’m still part of your light.


I stay by your side, through the day and the night. In twilight, feel the cool breeze, against your face oh so tight.


Just listen real quietly to the soft-spoken voice, The voice of the leaves, in the mist of the night.


A twinge in your shoulder, “What was that”? And the phone that rings, when you answer, “Who was that”?


The picture that fell on your back as you cried, And wept for my soul to come back to your side.


I too cried to see you in pain, it had only been six hours since three. When you awake from nine to three,


These are the hours to see and think of me. I wanted to stay as long as need be,


But your strength told me to go home you’d see me. I listened to your voice at night, telling me to go to the light.


As I went that night, through the light, I was promised that I’d never forget your sight.


That I could visit from time to time, to be by your side when you needed some light.


Many were there, even those I’d not met, to help me over and ease my fright.


Now that I’m here, I understand why, my role on your place was so testing to my soul.


My priorities are straight; I have many things to do, we all work very hard to help all of you.


Some take our advice and listen to their heart, Intuition, as you call it, just trying to do what’s right.




April 1999




A very special soul was he, he came from heaven to witness it all,


He chose a life with many courses, some of danger and others of passion.


A struggling farm boy who knew the wild, he learned to live off the land so grand.


Cows to milk and fields to seed, he walked a mile to watch T.V.


Memories of childhood he adored, the tractor rides, and hillsides to climb.


He seemed to always bump his head; he had more scars than a Viet Nam Vet.


He shared his heart with others, who cried,


And carried their burden on his heart so divine.


Many friends he did have, they would give a hand at his command.


With ancestors to watch him, and a special hand to guide him,


His journey would lead him many miles from home.


He kept it a secret; he was not to tell, stripped of his pride, to forget in stride.


He struggled daily to forget the pain, never telling a soul of his pain.


Not the physical pain, or the pain of sorrow, but pain of memories not soon forgotten.


A man of piece, he developed inside,


It is not so easy becoming a self made man, always giving a helping hand,


To those who loved him, they shared in common ground.


Never complaining when he was hurt, never a frown only smiles from within.


For years upon years his hats would collect, never really finding just a right place to rest.


Two weeks ago he hung each one, now they hang, never to be worn by the one.


Before we met, we know that we were one,


We were destine to live the lives, that most everyone would not want.


Growing up we had our paths two perfect our very souls.


You had your road and I had mine, very different, but oh, so close.


You would lead the hard life, with sweat and tears and pain,


Never knowing where your next meal came from, it was very hard the strain.


You were one of the special six, your mother and dad brought into this world,


But you were a very special soul, one who would leave to soon.


Words of wisdom he shared with me, he enriched my life to every degree.


Twenty-two years of my life before him, and twenty-two years we shared together.


He understood where his son had gone,


But in his grief of understanding, he ignored his needs.


Take the month, the day and the year of his birth, add them together; it’s the day of his rest.


I thank God every day you belong to me your sunshine radiates your love above me.


Your unselfishness that you give to others, makes you unique to everyone who wonders.


Your life has been full of happiness and sorrow,


But that is what makes your soul gleam with wonder.


Your body has been through a lot of heartache,


But remember dear it’s your soul that never hinders.


So when you are feeling down and under, please remember that our souls are one together.


A very special thank you to all, To all of Tom’s friends and relation who call.


He will be missed by all who know him. But remember dear friends; he is one within you.


April 1999




June 1998




As whispers in the wind do call, my soul eternally,


Memories of my earthly quest still remain a part of me.


A life cut short, a brief encounter,


To love my family, as all must honor.


Friends of old and recently met,


Your friendship has no boundaries within.


Times of strength, fear and survival,


All a part of earthly encounters.


Please don’t shed a tear for me,


For I am free as free can be.


No more pain, with the last breath I take,


You at my side I hold in my heart for keepsake.


Please cherish the moments I spent with you,


As someday we all will be with you.






Copyright 1998

This poem is about my son Tommy. I started it in court and finished it on the 91 freeway

bumper to bumper traffic on the way to college 2 months after Tommy died. I had a nice

2 1/2 to 3 hr drive each day. And I’m good at writing without looking at my paperwork.



By Deborah Mathews


Your day has come it’s been over a year, the day you took life, from our son so dear.


He was only 15, just starting to bloom, and the coroner admits, he looked twenty-two.


When you ran him down, without foresight, it would have been easier to take if you haden't laughted in our face. 


You smirked at his dad, and joked about me, and said I was afraid of thee.


But as you sit so bleakfully, I don’t hear you laughing at me.


It’s just not so, you should know, you denied it all, and gloated to all.


We made a speech, each one of us, for the DA to recite instead of us.


We didn't feel we needed to say, the things we had been dreading up until that day.


When we arrived, we were quite surprised, to see you dressed in orange and hanging in chains.


Apparently, you were arrested one night, for driving the same way you killed our son that night.


How many lives do you have to take, before your soul realizes you made a mistake.


You close your eyes and tilt back your head, you think you’re cool and joke with a skinhead.


The court is full of eager eyes, desolate souls in orange sit bleak. Homicide reins and murder stains, the souls of those in chains.


The D.A.’s and lawyers all wait in haste, for their turn to defend or state their case.


The Judge, he jokes and laughs in wait, for the defendant’s lawyer is late and we can’t wait.


I gaze at you in chains and orange, you glare so cocky with no care.


You sit in wonder of why you are there, because you thought you thought it was a rock you hit. 


We wait for the judge to start, proceedings on the case at heart.


“All the families are here today, this case has drug on too long, we’re not going to wait”,


'He's where?.....In Bakersfield?" The Judge said today


For some reason his priorities just aren't straight". "I do not tolerate contempt of court.


I'll deal with him later in my court"


"Court is posoned until this Monday. (July 5, 2004) I do not tolerate contempt of court. I'll deal with him, later in my court."


I raised my arm quite frantically, to explain to him my uncertainties.


“Hello, your honor, this is my name, I’m the mother of the deceased you see.


I’m a student in College full-time all week, it’s hard for me to leave, but I will if need be”.


“Thank you Deborah, I understand, would you now like to say a few words to the defendant if you can?”


“Oh, my goodness”, I thought to myself, this was unscheduled I’m not ready at heart.


We didn’t plan to speak in court; they requested we write it down, a week in advance before court.


He’s asking me to speak publicly? “Oh gosh, help me, a quick second to think”.


As I slowly turned and focused at you, I immediately decided it was my turn.


The words, they flowed so easily, with uncontrollable thoughts to be.


“I’m doing this for Tommy, not for me, for you took away his right to speak”.


What I said that day was very brief; now let me tell you what Tommy felt at three . . .


What have you done young soul, to me and my family. You killed me that night with no remorse.


You joked and laughed behind my mom and dad’s face.


What were you thinking that night at three, the three of you, joy-riding with glee?


You at the wheel, so cocky and blind, no lights as you drove down Ramon, so stoned out of your mind.


My neck that broke, both legs above knees, cuts and lacerations that did not bleed.


The hemorrhages from the forceful shaking in my head, made it impossible for me to come back a whole man.


The collarbone that holds the frame so strong, broke, shattering the root of my heart.


When you finally realized that you “thought you hit a rock”, you swerved to the left with me still attached.


Shearing the pole completely in half, paint in my stomach, your Monte Carlo imbedded intact.


It puzzled my mother at first at the scene, to see my Dad’s vest I’d wore entangled on top of the phone pole, in the middle of the street.


I’d been wearing it that night, three sodas zipped inside. The force of sudden stop that tossed me so high, ripped of my vest just before I lye.


The instant you hit me, you sideswiped the others, your bumper grabbing hold of Christina’s leg, ripping it under.


As they flew through the air with a cry, you laughed at the rock, that you thought you hit twice.


Christina lay by the road at the fence line, her leg and torso, ripped by your fender.


She lay in wait for help to arrive, not knowing if she’d make it, she started to visualize.


Her visions grew stronger and stronger, with each pint of blood lost under.




I quickly whispered to her mind…It’s not your time, don’t go under.


Ryan also remembered being tossed, what they don’t remember, is being hit by such thunder. 


He does remember landing very hard; it’s a shock to the body, in place of fear.


He yelled for Christina, he could hear her cry, he yelled for me, no response, just a sigh.



Ryan focused his eyes on the car, and yelled out my name. “Tommy! Where are you at?”


He saw you and your brother jump out of the car, and run to the rock that lay lifeless inside.


You turned me over, to see who it was. “He’s dead; let’s get the hell out of here”!


You and your brother fled from the scene, you ran to your friends thinking no one would see.


The third of you three-just happened to stay, he checked on me, and knew it wasn’t my day.


He stayed to give aid to Christina and for that we are grateful.


He yelled at Ryan to run and get help, not knowing Ryan had a broken leg, arm, and a hole in his lung.


As you cowardly hid from the law, my parents were awakened at different times by all.


Dad was awakened at the sound of the crash. He’ll never forget the bike chain winding down after the crash.


He knew from the noise and the lights that went out, it was I that awoke him, just before I screamed.


The first thing he did was check my bed, but I’d carefully placed blankets to rest.


He went to check outside, there it was, helmet and bike.


Groggy as one awakens, he didn’t realize it was the old bike that wasn’t with me. 


My quad broke, as I’d hit a rock that broke the frame, so I borrowed sisters quad, that the other’s rode that night.


Ryan’s bike I rode and it had no light, so I wore a fire department light intact on my baseball hat.


There were question by authority that we also had no lights, but proof was shown from my light found half crushed on site.


Two other’s saw the light switch on, mom and an employee of the fire department that night.


The quad was also with a light, one was burnt and the other one bright.


If we had seen you in the night, you surely would have had a light.


If you had been watching the road with bright eyes, your head would not have been scrunched below the wheel that night.


Dad took off in his truck, around the block twice with a flashlight, to try and find just what took the lights out that night.


He was looking for a reason, I tried to tell him, but he did not hear.


It didn’t occur to me that I was no longer here.


The second time around the block he saw a light, so he followed the light that shown red in the night.


The officer said, “There’s been a crash, we need first aid Chief, go see if there’s help at the station.”


The officer didn’t realize at that point, who lay lifeless on the cold pavement. He sent dad on his way to get help. Not realizing time was his cushion.


He was an officer of strength who had walked the mile, to serve his fellow man.


He witnessed the ambush of his fellow comrades, as he lay in wait for gunfire to cease. Now at the scene of a fatal crash I the middle of a cool summer breeze.


Unbenounced to him whose lives were involved, he’d soon realize his part in it all.


Not realizing that the one who lie, he’d seen as a child at seven and eight, when he and mom worked together at the station.


In the meantime, mom was awaken by horns honking from the east and the west.


One was the woman who assaulted me one day, inaccurate accusations she backed with a taser, honking at uncles to awaken him and the others.


Ryan’s mom was in our drive, yelling and honking, “Debbie, come quickly, Tommy and Ryan have been in a terrible accident”.


“Lights were out, had to get dressed, put on my pants seams out instead of in.


Through on my flip-flops and reached through the dark to find my way to my son who awaits”.


That was it, mom's dreadful thoughts, of being awaken so suddenly in the middle of the night.


As she walked though the room, I told Mom to take her time, it was too late, I was gone by 3:35.


the others left as she drove down slowly, headlights flashing, coming her way. They were telling her to stop they had something to say.


“Are you Debbie? Don’t go down, you just can’t”! “I must” mom said, “My son’s down there”.


She turned the corner at the flashing lights and there was the officer that sent dad the other way for aid.


Reality hit as she saw one lay, first aid she was given to save her leg.


Mom asked where was I, she was given a reply that dimmed her eye.


The Sergeant said, “You must go around, electrical is blocking the road, it’s too dangerous”


Mom patiently drove to the other side, just to have C.H.P. tell her to not cross the line.


It seemed an eternity for mom to wait, not knowing who was where.


Flashing lights meant no haste and somehow she knew I was in need of no care.


Her eyes cut through the dark with uncontrollable anticipation.


“Let me through” she yelled, “Let me find him”!


“We can’t let you though just yet, we’re waiting, hold on be patient just yet!


Mom was furious at their ignorance, how dare they judge her intuition.


Dad finally returned, he walked to the site. Silhouette shinning through the thick of the night.


Both of them met in unison at my side, as dad cringed when he saw my body so tight.


“Oh God”, she said as she yelled at me…Mom knelt by my side and held me tight.


“I told you this would happen”. Relatives tried to pull her off, she said…”Don’t touch me, just give me thought”.


As she starred at me in solitude, she wondered why I looked so whole.


No blood was shed, no visible signs, no signs of struggle just peace of mind.


Mom, Dad, Michelle. . .”I just want you to know, that when we go, it’s always our time in our chart of life.


Two weeks prior (to his dealth) the message came to thought, and I shared it with Dad on an evening we talked.


Remember Mom, the day that I couldn’t maintain, when we were driving together to town?


I had an awful feeling of fright just being in a car with too many around.


My soul had already planned on exiting that night. I just didn’t know that I’d turn that corner on that particular evening’s glow.


It is only deep in our heart and our mind that we know it’s so.


I never would have turned left on Sullivan if destiny hadn’t been whispering to me through the wind that night. 


I had a choice and the choice was mine, you remember…


I told you so. That if I should die, before my time, I won’t come back, if I’m not a whole man.


And the dream you had when I was a child, of the vehicle that ran me down in the middle of the night?


It wasn’t you Mom that drove the car like the fears in your dream that made you cringe with fright.


A dream it was, but the vision was clear, it was the one who killed me that night,


but you were seeing through his eyes in dream.


We choose another, who needed to learn, lessons of strength to better him as a man.


His life was shattering, he needed to slow down. This is why he was chosen to run me down.


It wasn’t his first and it won’t be his last, his lessons in life keep coming with despair.


And in turn, I was chosen to help him, in his life, and he also was chosen to touch many lives.


For this wasn’t the first involvement with a loss. It also happened very similar back in 1989.


Some will take heed, and others won’t.


Unfortunately he has not learned and his life will continue to bring grief to many more.


They do not realize it is so, until it’s time for their soul to go.


And if they haven’t learned here in time, they’ll come back to do it all over one more time.


Forgiveness is a very hard lesson to learn. But I want you to know, that I have forgiven his soul.


We are all here for many different lessons, whatever they may be, we must take heed for if you don’t,


you’ll do nothing but hurt your soul.


And when it’s too late you can’t turn back, what you've done in your life in embedded within the cells of your soul.


And until you learn each lesson in your lives, you’ll repeat each one until it is done.


His repetitive actions are not coincidental, the problem here is he’s not learned the first one.


Over and over time will tell if he truly learned from any of his actions.


That night of pain Mom, you touched my lips, my head and my hair, to make sure if I was dead.


I felt so bad for you and dad, I wish I could take back your night of fright.


But the choice was mine, I could have stayed, but like I told you, if I wasn't a man I wouldn't stay.


A lifetime of confinement without movement to play was not my idea of life filled with grace.


Unable to laugh, unable to run, unable to ride in the hills that I loved.  


My sister arrived later at the scene. Awakened she was, from a deep-deep sleep.


Mom saw her coming and went to her side. My sister cried “Is that Tommy at the side”?


I’ll never forget her shrieks in the night,


you could cut the thick air with her terrifying fright as she screamed at the top of her lungs in all sight.


Many months it would be before she would sleep, not wanting to be awakened with more news to weep.


The site of impact was carefully picked. To remind those of accusing words the blame they placed on innocent ears.


A cross my uncle made so caringly, he placed at the scene where I lay.


Stolen in the night the cross of white, tossed at the entrance of the cemetery.


The cross was retrieved and placed again at the scene but stolen again by the same and never to be seen.


Your guilty conscious will retain, the pain you caused the families in pain.


Four months had passed since you stole the cross; my mom still wished you a fine Christmas and continues.





Wings of white that soar through twilight

Grace the lives of those in fright

Tradition has it as one must fear

The white winged beauty that appears so near

Messenger of wisdom sought, love, weather, birth and death

Native voice would often speak, of owl’s intention that followed deep

Future holds what’s in the mind, of any soul who’s thoughts run wild

Superstition and fascination, all within the mind of creation

Messenger of love or death, is it fate or is it myth

Thoughts run deep in the minds of soul

Give me strength to hold my own


White owl seen in my sight

Eight-twenty-three, nineteen hundred and ninety seven

Presents it’s self on Fields road one night

Swooping down from high above

Leading me north on my way home

No sense of fear is felt, peaceful reassurance near

What’s this messenger here to say, the day before my child’s life is gone

Several months will have gone, six months shy of twenty-four

Again, appears another owl swooping down within same longitude

White owl seen in my sight

Four-fifteen, nineteen hundred and ninety nine

Back again to lead me home, wise owl here to reassure

And again owl was right; another left my side of life

Coincidence or was it fate, owl checks in to state my fate


Time’s gone by and I survive, but now owl’s back to state his fact

In the night I dream of owl, not in front like all before

He swoops behind me as I drive, presenting him-self to my side

On my right he glides at height, as I look he peeks to look inside


Past encounters were their souls and now he’s back to guide me through.

As I believe what I have seen, a Tribal friend agrees with me.




Copyright by Debbie Mathews August 20, 2002 4:00 a.m.




   Then: 1999 after Tom died                           Summer 2007



My Daughter & Grandson

2 months prior to Tom dying he felt his grandson's little

spirit sitting next to him on the couch.


I'm so glad they both had a chance to spend time together in spirit

prior to my grandson being born two months after my husband died.

My grandson's been our gift from God

He has the biggest heart - Full of Love.

He's my handsome Man!