Ethan Jamason doesn’t like to talk about it.
Finding his 2-year-old sister face down in the tub when he was 10 years old.
Instead, the now-13-year-old balances a Fidget Spinner on his nose and talks about his love of dance through a shiny-braced smile.
He doesn’t like to remember that day three years ago, either.
Learning the woman he considered a second mother had tried to kill him.
Instead, he focuses on remembering lines for his role in a local production of “West Side Story.”
Ethan doesn’t like to think of his baby sister too much, either. It’s too hard sometimes.
This coming from the boy who a police chief and communities called incredibly brave for calling 911 to get help that Memorial Day weekend in 2014.
Instead, he’s thinking about this summer where he’ll spend weeks at a prestigious arts camp studying what he loves: acting and dance.
It’s been nearly three years since Jupiter police say Kimberly Lucas drowned her 2-year-old daughter, Elliana, in a bathtub and attempted to kill her son, Ethan, and herself by overdosing on Xanax on May 26, 2014. Her suicide note blamed her actions on Jacquelyn Jamason, her then-separated partner and the biological mother to Elliana and Ethan. On that day, Ethan, then 10, woke up drowsy from the drugs, found his sister unresponsive in the bathtub and called 911.
Last week, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Charles Burton set a Sept. 14 trial date for jurors to start their process in the death-penalty case. Lucas is charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder.
Instead of attending court hearings and keeping track of motions, Ethan is memorizing lines and dance numbers.
“Every day I think about coming here, so I don’t really think about other stuff,” he said about the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.
Since he was 8-years-old, he’s been at the Maltz attending classes, taking part in its Youth Touring Company, which performs at everything from festivals to retirement homes. This month, Ethan was one of the Jets in its production of “West Side Story.”
He said he leaves everything at the door. Only positivity is allowed in.
“I just don’t really talk about it too much,” Ethan said about the death of his sister. “Every day when I come in here, I just let it go.”
He keeps busy as a seventh- grader at Bak Middle School of the Arts, he’ll audition for Dreyfoos School of the Arts in the winter and he hopes to become an actor in film and on the stage. This summer he’ll be one of 2,500 students from across the world selected for the Interlochen Arts Camp in northern Michigan, a six -week camp that’s had notable alumni such as Josh Groban and Ed Helms.
When the distractions of school and performing aren’t enough, he has one of his closest friends to lean on: Ginger, a red-golden retriever.
“I got Ginger before Ellie (was born). I basically grew up with Ginger,” Ethan said. “(Everything) we’ve gone through, Ginger has gone through it, too. I feel like Ginger is a way to get back sometimes.”
Jacquelyn Jamason said she and Ethan have tried to lead as normal a life as possible these last three years, knowing they could be called to court at any moment. As she’s gone through her grief in her own way, she said she’s so proud and amazed by how Ethan has shined through it all.
“It’s difficult on Ethan because he tells me he just wants to be a normal kid. He wants to be anonymous,” she said.
But with photos of their little Ellie in their home, it’s hard not to think about what could have been. Though she said Ethan doesn’t like to talk about her, they can’t stop certain things from making them remember her.
“She’d be 5 1/2 right now, so I think about what would she be interested in. What would she be doing right now? Would she be fighting her brother for attention because she loved to sing and dance too?”
As she continues to manage her grief, balance work as a counselor and keep track of court dates, her main focus remains Ethan.
“I think that once trial is over, Ethan and I can finally have more peace, and not put it behind us, but look to the future.”