Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Untitled





We'll talk. We'll talk about the regrets and what-ifs and the senses of foreboding. We'll talk about an ache so deep that it can't be named. We'll talk about the excruciating pain of looking at neighborhood kids playing outside my window today, on a day that is impossibly, infuriationgly sunny. And the feeling that I want to hug those kids so tightly, or scream at them because they are alive and my kid is dead. Or both. We'll talk about backpacks still on hooks and clothes in the laundry basket and favorite foods in the fridge. We'll talk about how my kids' blog names were different from their real names so no one would come murder us in our beds. We'll talk about how I really don't give a shit about that now. We'll talk about news cameras. We'll talk about neigbhors holding us up when we couldn't stand. But for today, my friends, when THERE ARE NO WORDS, I'll share with you what I read at Jack's service yesterday. Because, though spread far and wide, though we may not have met in person, you ARE my friends, my people. And when I was speaking in the church, I was speaking to you too. I love you.

"It’s impossible to sum up what Jack meant to us, and I know you understand that. Some of you knew him from school days where he was lively and fun and, if rumors are correct, where he may have driven at least one preschool teacher into early retirement. Some knew him through church, scouts and baseball, where he was quiet and reserved. Many of you are family and friends, who were able to see other sides to him, and some of you never had the chance to meet Jack at all. Thank you to those who have shared Jack stories with us. Please keep them coming.

Now we’d like to share a tiny bit of what he was like with us, in our family, in our HOME.

Jack was a witty, creative, sensitive and loving son. He loved the rituals of family life, whether it was holiday traditions such as going on a poem scavenger hunt to find his “big” present each Christmas, eating our annual Christmas Eve lunch at Chevy’s Mexican restaurant, staying until the very, very, very end of the Halloween Parade no matter the weather, or enjoying ice cream for breakfast on the first snow day of the year.

But he also enjoyed the simple, everyday rituals of family life such as always sitting in the same place in the balcony Sundays at church (POINT TO BALCONY), and discussing the Yankees box scores in the paper with his dad each morning. He loved the four of us squeezed together on the couch, our dog Shadow at our feet, as we watched our favorite shows. On weekends at dinner he would just say, “Tonight?” which was shorthand for “What are we going to do together tonight?” Jack loved this family. When he asked whether he could do something that we didn’t want him to, we just said, “That’s not what Donaldsons do.” And he didn’t argue about it. Not once.

You already know Jack’s passion was Legos, but he also enjoyed board games, doodling, logic puzzles, hot wheels cars and using his imagination to create clever games with his little sister. Those of you from school, fondly remember the games he made up just for YOU, and the strange, new words and phrases he introduced into your vocabulary like STEBE and “What the Johnny?” Thank you for letting Jack be Jack. He loved you.

You will hear a lot today in conversations about how funny Jack was, and he did keep us laughing at home, but you may be surprised to hear he was not a natural clown or even an optimist. Jack faced personal challenges that made certain situations quite difficult for him. Sometimes he wanted to be a more happy- go-lucky kid, like those he saw around him. I’ll never forget when he said to me, “Mom, “I know I’m a glass half-empty kind of guy, but I’m trying to be more glass half-full.” And he never quit trying.

I remember telling him, when he was very upset about something, “Your emotions may seem too powerful to you, and that is hard, but they are part of what makes you YOU. I love you, I love the way you are made, and I am proud to be your mom.” During these times of struggle he never said, “Why me?” but instead leaned on his special verse from the Bible, “Nothing is Impossible With God.”

Jack loved his neighborhood, and was a homebody at heart. We decided to cancel our pool membership because Jack just couldn’t be bothered with going ALL THE WAY across town to the pool. When his dad and I talked of getting a new house someday, Jack said we shouldn’t, because we could never find a neighborhood as nice as ours. His happiest memories this summer were playing with the neighborhood kids and his sister, whether it was soccer in the Smith’s yard, playing Manhunt at night, having lemonade stands, or swimming in the neighbors’ pools. I think he would be proud of how our neighborhood has come together to show so much love to our broken little family during this horrible week.

Jack was a great big brother to Margaret. One of his favorite things about our annual beach trip was getting to share a room with her. He thought she was cool. He appreciated how she wasn’t a “girly girl” and would gladly play pretty much whatever he dictated. They had very different, yet complimentary personalities—vivacious Margaret and more serious Jack, a little like their Mom and Dad, you know?

Often, when he wanted to see if someone in the neighborhood could play, he brought Margaret out as a scout to do the talking for him. She also tried to help keep him organized by helping him turn in permission slips that otherwise would have sat in his backpack for a month. I think they knew each other better than most siblings do. Margaret was constantly giving Jack unsolicited advice about his hair. Speaking of hair, let’s pause to remember Jack’s great head of hair. Margaret and I liked for him to keep it short, so we could always see that cute little part in the front that we called “Jack’s Floop.”

We were so happy to have the kids in the same school so they could be together and share those memories. It’s something that helped keep our family close. We were looking forward to 2 more years with them together at school. This year I asked if Jack would tutor Margaret in Latin. I offered to pay him $1 to tutor her, and pay her $1 to PUT UP with him as a tutor.

The most tender part of the day for Jack and his dad was their evening catch in the yard when they talked about his Lego creations, their fantasy baseball team, and the Yankees.

The most tender part of the day for Jack and me was bedtime, when we would snuggle in the dark. This is when he would open up and really talk about important issues. Each night, whether it had been a great day or a hard day, ended with my telling Jack how much we loved him and how very proud we were to be his parents.

And we were, ALWAYS-- he was so quirky, and tender and gentle toward us. The whole family got excited about what Jack was excited about, whether it was playing Macbeth in the school play, or trying to predict who would win America’s Got Talent.

Our time with Jack was too, too short, but I’d like to tell you a story about some bonus time I got with Jack that I cherished. One summer I was driving Jack to camp in Pennsylvania. When we pulled up at the gates, there was no one there. NO ONE. I looked at Jack and I was about to cry, because I had gotten the day wrong! He gave me a HUGE smile—a cross between “my mom is a nutcase” and “hey, this is pretty cool!” We got to spend a day and ½ hanging out in a little Pennsylvania town together, having rare one on one time, and we even went to Frank Llyod Wright’s Fallingwater, a dream for Jack, the budding architect. Bonus time. Precious time.

You’ve heard that Jack was a deep thinker. He wondered about a lot of things. In fact, as a five year old he said the first thing he would ask God when he died was why the heck He created mosquitoes. I think he knows now. The rest of us will just have to wait.

I want to tell you that the concept of eternity scared Jack. It just seemed, well, a little too long to him. Then, 2 years ago at summer camp, he had a conversation with his counselor. They discussed heaven and eternity in a way that helped Jack to stop being afraid. In fact, he was excited about heaven! He didn’t understand why people were afraid to die because he truly believed that there was no better place.

Sometimes at funerals, people tend to portray the person who died as perfect. Jack, who consistently insisted on the truth, would not have approved. We would all agree that Jack was NOT a perfect person, nor are you, nor am I. We do not have to be. But we do know Jack was an amazing, generous, gentle, loving child who blessed our lives and was the PERFECT son for this family.

Our handsome Jack, our sweet boy, died in a tragic, senseless accident. We all wish we could turn back the clock. Our hearts are breaking for what could have been.

But you know what? We truly believe our homebody Jack is HOME now, in a better HOME than any of us could ever imagine."






For more about the service, please see my friend Glennon's blog.

396 comments:

1 – 200 of 396   Newer›   Newest»
Rachel said...

Oh Anna! I'm a stranger to you but I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. It's hard to be strong through the pain - you're doing an amazing job from what I see. This tribute to your son is beautiful! I, too, have lost a child (albeit at birth) and I think it must be harder (at least at the beginning) to have 9? years of memories. Eventually, (maybe even now?) the memories will comfort. I have no memories - only a few lifeless photos. Your home must take on a new normal and I pray that God will comfort you and ease your pain in this very dark valley. Sending you a virtual hug ~Rachel

Leslie said...

We are praying, every day, more times than I can count, we are praying for you. Our entire families from here in VA to PA and WV and friends in TN are praying, too. We can't do anything without thinking of you and praying some more. We won't stop - I really mean that.

60 toes said...

Thank you for sharing your son with us all. I love getting to know him through you. I am a first born as well and can totally relate to his emotional side, although I am a little more outgoing. I struggle with the glass half-empty view on life. I have learned something through Jack.

I have to ask did Jack go to SB2W? If so, I love that place and my kids love it. If not, I am sure the camp he goes to is equally amazing.

Your family continues to be in my prayers...

NanaDiana said...

I am at work and just opened this up (shouldn't have) but, as a Mother-and grandmother, my heart aches for you and your loss. I wish I could wave a magic wand and take away all your pain...and your daughter's pain...the whole family's pain...because that is what Moms want to do...they want to fix everything for everyone. Sometimes there just are no worldly fixes, are there? God bless you- I wish I had known your son...he sounds like a boy a Nana would love! Hugs- Diana

Kirsten said...

Beautiful Anna. What a perfect tribute to your darling son. I haven't stopped thinking of you or praying for you and your family. Sending you tons of love.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Beautiful! I don't know how you did this but I know God was with you and gave you all these precious words to speak about your Jack. My heart aches with you and my prayers are for you comfort and strength.

My children are 32 and 30. I have always prayed for God to take me first so I would never have to know your pain. Then when I was in Bible study I questioned this prayer of mine. If Heaven is this wonderful why wouldn't I want them to go? He is with God now and I am sure he is happy to have the mosquitoe question answered. ((HUGS))

Julie said...

There are no words to say regarding your deeply moving tribute to your son. What a gift you have given us though, introducing him to us. I don't know you, but I have read your blog. You are in my thoughts every, single day. God Bless you and your family.

Julie

PM Taylor said...

Sending continued love and prayers. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute.

Best;
PMT

threeloudkids said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. Sounds like he was a amazing person. I don't know how you were able to be clear minded enough to write this- but it is beautiful, it really tells us how great of a kid he was. Im incredibly for your loss. Biggest hugs. <3

Issas Crazy World said...

This was beautiful Anna. Thank you for sharing it with us. Hugs to you all.

gorillabuns said...

My son died when he was four months old.

I understand the pain. Everyone's else's crap is just that. crap. you want to scream and yell at people who complain that their child is bugging them or that they didn't get much sleep the night before.

You would give anything to have that child bugging you again.

Jessica {Team Rasler} said...

This is beautiful. I don't know how you could get through reading it aloud, because I couldn't even read it silently without breaking down. I'm praying for all of you through this horrific time now and especially for six weeks and six months and six years from now when the reminders will come up unexpectedly and sting again.

Beverly @ The Buzz said...

My heart hurts for you. About 5 1/2 years ago, I was in your shoes. I understand the pain and unbelief you're going through. One thing I remember from the days just after is the feeling of strength and comfort I got from knowing how many people were praying for me. I truly felt that support and love. Please know that even though we've never met, I'm here for you. Because I know.

Chibi said...

I'm so, so very sorry for your loss. Sending love and prayers to you all.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I was honored to bear witness to this. It was beautiful. And you know I have always felt honored to call you my friend.

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

I didn't know. This was beautiful and I'm crying and I loved your son through the way you wrote about him and now I love him even more after reading this. I'm so sorry this happened.. Sending you a lot of love and prayer from us XOXOXOXOXOXO

Jenn said...

I can't imagine the feelings that must be surrounding you and your family right now, but I am praying for you. I think about you all the time and say a prayer for you every time I do. I'm so happy to read that your son knew all about God and heaven and was so unafraid about it all. What you wrote and said is so beautiful. God bless. xoxo

Megan Lauriana said...

Anna,

Still praying for you and your family every day. What a beautiful tribute to your awesome little boy.

Always,

Megan

Michelle said...

Anna,
I've followed your blog for a few years and have enjoyed your candid stories and family adventures. I enjoy the yearly photos you take of your kids before they head off to their first day of school and have mentally told myself to do the same with any future kids I'll have. Today's post really shook me up, and your tribute to your beautiful son is both heartbreaking and inspiring. Thank you for sharing it with us. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

- Michelle (Toronto, Canada)

Stimey said...

I hate so much that you have to talk about these things. You spoke so beautifully and so comfortingly on Monday, but I wish you'd never had to write those words about your beautiful son. I am here for anything I can do for you. For now, I send all of my love.

Krystyn said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss and I will be praying for you and your family.

Diana Taylor said...

I am in Texas right now, with tears streaming down my face.....a stranger to you and your family.....I am praying for you and your family and all who knew and now know of your precious son. I only came across your blog a couple of days before the tragedy and I thought what a beautiful family.....and now I still think what a beautiful family. Nothing, nothing, nothing can take that away from you. He was, is and always will be your son. Thank you for honoring him with your voice at his service. And I know you will continue to honor him and mother him with precious stories and memories for his sister and you and your husband. Scream when you want, laugh when you can!

Keetha said...

I am so sorry. I am praying for you and all your family. I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

May my prayers and all the other prayers for your family comfort you at such a difficult time.

Aimee Olivo said...

I am another stranger (with mutual friends) with tears in my eyes. You and your family have been on my mind and in my heart daily. I am praying for all of you.

Captain Poolie said...

I too am a stranger here, brought here via another journalist. Words cannot say what I wish I could say. I am so very sorry. Peace and blessings to your family.

Sherry Carr-Smith said...

You have been so generous to take the time to share Jack with us right now. I am sorry this is how I met your wonderful boy. Continued prayers for you and your family.

Sokphal said...

Thank you for sharing this. It is bringing tears to my eyes, but I can't cry because I'm at work. Your family is constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

Chris said...

So intimate, honest, tender and beautiful. Thank you for allowing us to know and love Jack more fully. I'm crying with you right now. My boys, my husband, and I continue to pray. xo

BeFriending Faith said...

So so beautiful. Thanks for sharing and showing us the power of motherhood. I'm squeezing my boys extra extra tight these days.

I'm praying often for you and your family. Much love goes out to you.

-Holly

mosey (kim) said...

I had to keep coming back to get through this whole beautiful, inspiring tribute to your son. I just can't comprehend a loss like this, and the fact that you were able to celebrate his life in such a peaceful manner. You are and forever will be the perfect mother for both your children.

Christy said...

Oh Anna, this is an amazing tribute to your lovely Jack. I seriously can't get you out of my mind. I am praying for you constantly. I have never prayed so hard in my life. I wish I wasn't so pregnant so I could hop in my car and come down there and hug you and help take care of all of you. xoxoxo

Jill said...

Reading these words is powerful, but hearing you speak them aloud on Monday with such poise and elegance was breathtaking.

Hugging you and Tim and Margaret again and again. Love you lady. Xxx

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Praise be to God that through your heartache he strengthens you. All glory to our Heavenly King that he sent his Holy Spirit to speak to Jack through you and your husband and Margaret and that counselor and dozens or maybe hundreds of other people. And thanks be to Jesus that Jack touched the hearts of so many by being such a true - not flawless but instead AUTHENTIC - child of God.

Anna you're among friends and if you ever doubt any one of us can understand how you feel, always remember that He does.

(((hugs)))

anymommy said...

I already loved you all through your words, Anna, but this tribute touches so deeply on all that made your son who he was. I'll treasure this piece of him you have shared with us. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Trennia said...

(((HUGS)))
Thank you for sharing your sweet son with us...praying for your family.

Julie (Ohio) said...

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. You are an amazing woman and an inspiration to all. God Bless you and may he wrap his arms around you through this most difficult time.

Brooke said...

I hadn't read your blog until someone posted about the news of your son. I am just so broken-hearted for you and your family. As mothers, this is our biggest fear I think, to lose our children, particularly in a senseless accident.

You sound like an incredibly loving mother who appreciates her children for what they are as opposed to what you think they should be. That is very admirable.

I'm glad you have a community to help hold you up. You, your family, and your beautiful son will be in my thoughts.

K A B L O O E Y said...

You amaze me. This is the most wonderful portrait I can imagine, created at the most difficult time I can imagine. I cannot thank you enough for letting me know your wonderful boy more fully by sharing this with your readers. What an amazing kid your raised, Anna. He always wanted to go to Fallingwater? He looked forward to sharing a room with his little sister? He was a homebody who conquered his fear of the eternal and made peace with the idea of heaven? You raised up an old soul, didn't you? All my love.

Emily said...

I live in Ellicott City. My name is Emily. I am thinking about you and your family.

Love,
From Tales of Fruit and Cake

Loukia said...

I am moved beyond words, with your words, as a loving mother to your sweet child. He'll always be with you. Always. And you have so many wonderful memories to cherish. An you will be together again one day. That's what I think about often. How people have lost their love ones, WILL be together again. And that will be the best day ever. Much love and prayers with you and your family. Always.

The Empress said...

In time, I'll be able to talk to you more, how I have a Jack, too.

But, for now, this is your space.

I plan on being here, to listen, for as long as you need us.

Beautiful words, Anna.

kirstin & jordan said...

Anna, I love it that you shared this here. Since I don't know you (or Jack) i *real life*, I love having the glimpse into his life, and even into your life as a family.
I will keep praying and praying, friend.

Holly said...

Praying for your family.

bonda84 said...

I came here via Charlotte from mypixieblog. Being a mom myself I don't even want to think about what you and your family are going through. Here is a favorite quote of mine that helps me through things:
"Its possible to go on, no matter how impossible it seems, and in that time, the grief...lessens. It may not go away completely, but after a while it's not so overwhelming"- Nicholas Sparks

Thank you for sharing your son with all of us.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I'm so sorry for your loss! I've been a long time follower of your blog and especially loved the stories of your children. I'll be praying for you and your family!

Manic Mommy said...

What a beautiful eulogy to your boy. Please know that even strangers are holding your hand and sharing your grief.

Johnsons of Haymarket said...

Anna, what a beautiful tribute to your beautiful boy. I wish I could have met him on this earth. Thank you for sharing this with us. I am a better person and a better mother since I have heard the news. I look at my children differently and cherish them a bit more. Thank you for helping me to put my own life in perspective. I pray that your sorrow lessens with each passing day and that Margaret is coping with all of this. Forever praying for all of you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking time to share with us during your most difficult time.
Like I have said before...Jack will never be forgotten by those he never met face to face but heart to heart.
My thoughts have been with you since I heard of this and will continue to be with you and your family.

Wendi said...

This is beautiful, Anna.

Robin | Farewell, Stranger said...

Every time I read something from or about you, or about Jack, I hold my breath. Senseless and tragic, you're right. Always thinking about you.

Jennifer said...

Anna, I do not have the words to express how sorry I am. But you are an absolutely beautiful person and an amazing writer. I read very few blogs but have been reading your blog for years. (I've always told my husband I wished I could live near you and be your BFF. I relate to everything you write, so thank you for that). Yesterday, I read every one of the blog posts linked to Kate's blog. I loved Momastery's post about you speaking at Jack's service. You are my hero! "And help me Mother like Anna does".

Scottish Lass said...

Such a vivid picture of your son - thanks for sharing.
I am glad that you know he is home, safe until you are together again.

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking of you, Tim, & Margaret all day today. I'm so grateful you posted what you spoke i've been wanting to share with Lauren and Anna. I know it will speak to their hearts the way it spoke to mine. <3 Doreen

Lenette Sparacino said...

Like so many others, I learned about your loss on Twitter. I wanted to just let you know that I am praying for your family. I thank God for this aspect of social media, how it can bring so many people together and send so much love and so many prayers.

Mary said...

This is the first time I've visited your blog. Words can't describe how sorry I am for you. I will remember you and your family in my prayers.

RebeccaNYC said...

sending you love

BarnMaven said...

Your family is in my prayers. Your tribute to Jack is beautiful, I can tell from your words what a special kid he was, how very much he is loved, and how much he loved his family.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I started praying for your family the minute I heard the news report. Then, I read the Wahington Post article and knew you'd survive because of Jack's faith in heaven. Missing him will seem unbearable sometimes, but knowing he's safe on God's lap will get you through. I wish I'd known Jack.

May God bless you all and give you peace, dear Anna.

artee4Him said...

I don't know you, but we have a mutual friend, Paula P. I have not stopped praying for you since I heard about Jack. I am carrying you and your family in my heart and on a mat, laying you at Jesus' feet. I am incredibly grateful for the grace Christ is pouring into you and the hope you carry knowing you will see Jack again one day. I am so, so sorry for your loss. Thank you for choosing to be a light.

Ruhiyyih Rose said...

Anna, I am a longtime reader (blurker really - horrible at commenting thanks to a poor connection at work...) but I wanted to comment today so say how terribly sorry I am. I have always loved your writing and your love for your family and just there are no words. I hope all of the other "blurkers" out there come out and say how much your posts have meant. I have roared with laughter on so many of them.

I have another blog I read, The Monkey, the Bit and the Bean http://hannahandlily.blogspot.com that I think would be great to reach out to. Rach lost her five year old daughter in 2007.

Our prayers are with you!

btw - the word verification on this is "his ma". You are, always.

Julie said...

I can't even begin to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I also made the mistake of opening and reading at work, but I don't really care about mascara right now. What an absolutely incredible tribute to an amazing boy. I wish you peace, piece by piece.

EatPlayLove said...

Thank you for sharing Anna. Beautiful words. You've been in my constant thoughts, sending you a huge warm embrace... ps you'd be proud of me, I updated the finished kitchen project pictures!

jenny said...

I will continue to pray for you and your family during this time. I'm so very sorry.

Lisa said...

Praying for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Anna - I've thought of you so often this past week. And shed many a tear, just thinking of your loss. I am not a mother, but I have a wonderful family, and my greatest loss so far is losing my Dad. Oh how I loved my Dad. I was a Daddies little girl, and proud of it, even as a grown woman. We were two peas in a pod. And then he got sick. One day we were celebrating family visits, and a month later he was gone. That still seems insane. So your son being a wonderul healthy boy going back to school one day and gone the next seems even more insane. I remember after my Dad died, one of my friends, who had lost her own Dad a year earlier, said it doesn't get better. People will lie and tell you it does, but it doesn't. Well, it's been three years the end of this month, and it has gotten better. Not the same. Not right. Not how it should be. Not how I want it to be. But I don't cry as much now. Anna - You are strong and brave. You don't probably think so right now. But you are. Somehow you will go on. Somehow. Lean on your friends and family. When they offer help - they mean it. Call them. The blogging world - bloggers and blog readers like me - wish we could fix this and make you feel better. We can't. But we can be hear to listen, if writing helps you, we are hear to read. Virtual hugs dear Anna. Janice

Kristen's mom said...

I, too am a stranger.
Jack was truly an amazing child.
I often wonder if it isn't the most noble and valiant children that God needs. Every child, whose path I have crossed, that has passed away are that way. Being a cancer mom, I have the sore task of saying goodbye to many friends. I have noticed that the children are the most amazing children I have ever met, and it seems Jack is no exception. I have learned a lot these past 13 months since Kristen went to heaven. I have many spiritual stories to share. I can tell you that Jack is not far from you. He will continue to be your light in the darkness. His light will continue to shine through you.

Four in Costa Rica said...

Dearest Anna,

I first learned about your family through our mutual friend Gail and have read your blog on occasion over the last several months. When she told me about the death of your beautiful boy, I was shocked and extremely saddened. Today I have felt comfort in knowing that Jack did not live just as your child, but God's child as well. Truly my sadness is for those left here with broken hearts, but not for Jack, because I have faith that he is happy in the loving arms of his Father. As you said, he is home, and he will wait patiently for you. What a blessing is God's promise that if we believe in the redeeming grace of his Son, our time on this Earth is just the blink of an eye. Meanwhile, Jack's short life and his faith in the Lord are a witness to many, and surely his life will continue to positively impact many others for years to come. What a special legacy from your child.

Your tribute is so heartfelt. No doubt Jack was a beloved young man. I will continue to pray for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your precious son with all of us.

God bless you,
Christine

Sherri said...

Anna, my heart is with you after reading this. You could have been writing about my own son, or any of our sons for that matter.

But your words told Jack's story like nobody else could have. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Marcela said...

He sounds absolutely perfect, and I know he is home....

Thinking of you, your family and Jack, and sending good thoughts your way.

kristena said...

I am praying for you, everday. That the pain will get easier, but his memory stays alive. He seems like a wonderful child and, as a monther myself, I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through. Your tribute was amazing and well said.

PeachPrenni said...

Anna,
I've been checking your Blog every day to see if you'd written yet. I was both excited and also bracing myself when I saw that you'd written today. I could feel all the words you spoke..I felt them deep in my heart. I ache for you. I wish I lived down the street. I would come sit with you--just sit with you and be quiet. I would cry if you were crying and tell you funny stories if you needed to laugh and remind you over and over again that you're not alone. But..I'm stuck here in Georgia so I will just send you all my love across the internet. I Blogged about you today. peachprenni.blogspot.com
-Annie

Anonymous said...

Love and prayers to you, Tom, Margaret, and Shadow. Thank you for sharing your son (and all of your family) with us in this space.

vanessa said...

Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful and honest tribute about your son. You have been in my thoughts and prayers everyday here in Austin,Tx. Just wondering if Jack was a Pisces? He sure sounds like me as a child and as a 36 year old woman...
My grandmother lost two sons and she would always say that it was the hardest thing she ever faced, that it was ok to cry at anytime, and that she could not stay depressed because she had to live on and be strong for the sake of her other children...

Mediterrangirl said...

Anna, I wrote earlier to tell you that was at the memorial, even though I don't know you. I am mother of a 5-yr old boy and live in Vienna. I just couldn't stay home but wanted to be there with all your community. What I experienced when you talked about Jack is beyond words. I was crying till then - and then you spoke. It was a miracle. I saw God in you. If there is a more gracious, strong and inspired mother, I have not seen it to date. Please know that we are here for you; your family is in our heart and prayers.

Anonymous said...

just found your blog and was shocked and the post. i was expecting ...decorating advice, maybe? colors? and then i read about your pain and want to reach out and offer... what? there is nothing i can do to make it better, yet how i wish i could. hold on to friends, husband, Margaret; my old boss, who'd lost a child, once said that time never healed her--just put a crust on the wound that, on oaccasion, would get picked and the feelings would rush back in. i hope your pain finds a place to go, eventually, so you could smile at your daughter.

Karen G said...

What beautiful children. Like everyone else here, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.
Your anecdote about the Latin tutoring really captures the relationahip between siblings.
Your family's loss is so hard to comprehend; however I hope that you continue to draw from your faith. And, that your son is watching over you, and learning all about mosquitos and etc., until you meet again.

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you and your family.

Michellle said...

I am another that only knows you through your blog. My heart breaks for you, and, I wish I would have said this sooner, let you know that I have been thinking of your family and praying for you all. The first time I saw a picture of your Jack, could tell he was an intelligent, adventurous, and mischievous young man. I will keep praying for your family in the days to come.

Headless Mom said...

Thank you for posting this. He sounds a lot like my oldest son.

I love you, Anna. I'm proud to call you my friend, and I am still praying for you. I know God is holding you; I hope you continue to feel it.

SouthLakesMom said...

Lindy told me a story about doing "car loading" duty with Jack in line. She made it her job to teach him a new Latin vocabulary word each time he was in her 'slot'. He made it his job to come up with words that she couldn't possibly know the Latin word for.

So she taught him the word for "grasshopper".

Love you, Anna

Anonymous said...

Extending my sincerest condolences through tears. Thank you for sharing Jack's story with all of us in blogville. What an amazing boy. He sounds a lot like my 3 yr old, Joe. I will hug my boys extra tight tonight. Peace to you.

ZippyChix4 said...

Anna, that is such a lovely tribute to your son. It was beautifully written and you are such an amazing mother for being able to share such beautiful thoughts during this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you; may your strength continue so that you can be there for your beautiful daughter and your husband.

HeatherWasHere said...

I've been silently following your blog and thus your family for about a year now. I want to tell you I have had a prayer in my heart for your family since I read the news. God bless you and grant you peace.

Mouthy Housewife said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lisa said...

Sending you and your husband and your daughter and your son in heaven much love.
Lisa

Mouthy Housewife said...

Anna, this is beautiful. I'm honored to have read it. Thank you for sharing with us.

I think and pray for you every day. Throughout the day. xo

Erin said...

Anna - you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I listenened to your poised, eloquent, beautiful tribute to your son online and am in absolute awe of you. I can't begin to imagine your pain and grief but Glennon is right that you are an example of what it means to be a mother with a captial M, through the good and the unimaginable.

Tonya said...

I don't know you but have read your blog and then I heard about Jack. I'm so sorry. I wish I could find words that would help in some way but as a mother myself I know that that is impossible. Please know that there are so many of us crying for you and for your son. And sending our prayers.

amanda said...

I have walked through the valley with our closest friends... they lost their little boy, firstborn, to a terrible disease. I know there is NOTHING that will help, and nothing anyone can say. I just want to say that you are in our thoughts. We are remembering Jack with you and holding you all in all the light we can find.

Carolyn...Online said...

That was a beautiful tribute! Thank you for sharing it. I'm so sorry he had to beat you to heaven. Your family is in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

May you find some peace. All the very best to you and your family. Please forgive the unsolicited advice but, if you can, please don't let this awful tragedy alienate you from your husband and your daughter. May you all stay close. I'm so very sorry about poor Jack. I'm so very sorry for the pain you're facing. I'm shocked at how one's normality can turn on its head, just like that. It's incomprehensible. I'm so very sorry. May you and the people who surround you find some peace; you deserve it. What an amazing speech you wrote. It was beautiful. Jack and your family and friends are so lucky to have you. I'll be thinking of you. Lots of love, from England.

BJ said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. You and your family will remain in my thoughts. Please continue to let us know your beautiful son through your words.

SUEB0B said...

The days may seem an eternity without him, but I believe when we see each other again, it will be like the blink of an eye. Holding you in my heart.

Kris Amoroso Sallade said...

Anna,
That was beautiful tribute! Just wanted to let you know that even very old friends are thinking about and praying for your family. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers now and in the month and years to come.
Kris

Catherine Dabels said...

There is lots of comfort in knowing and believing a lost loved one is home. It's hard though when we know we are still here, missing them.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Ann Imig said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Anna. You are incredibly generous with your memories of Jack, and I know people will be with you in return.

They are all gifts. Each and every one.

I'm so honored to read this.

Midwest Cottage and Finds! said...

what an amazing family you have. I am having both my daughters read your blog to gain some in site from you. I cannot tell you how many prayers i have said for you and your family. may God comfort you in what is the most difficult time any mother could face.
chris

Shana said...

Anna, that was so beautiful. Know that you are being held close by so many near and far.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful boy....


John Lennon

Stay strong, Jack's light has touched
hundreds of strangers all over the world,
you are NOT alone. Our tears fall silently,
yet so sincerely.

Anonymous said...

I am a stranger to you.. but have read your blog for a very long time. At first when I was reading tonight I had no clue who you were talking about (since I knew Jack as Jake) then I realized. My heart is breaking for your family. I find it amazing what you are able to do with your words, and these words hit me the hardest. Praying for you and your family. All my Love ~Alix

Roxanne said...

I am sitting here as all moms who read this with tears in my eyes and my heart heavy with pain for you and your family and pray that God has His angels surrounding you with love.Your beautiful letter of love was felt deeply and I will keep you in my prayers. Roxanne

Meesh said...

I know you don't know me, but your post brought me to tears. I am sorry for your loss. Many prayers and as someone said "virtual" hugs your way. Thank you for sharing your son with us!! God bless!

Bon said...

echoing all that is here. my heart aches for you. that was an extraordinary tribute. he was a beautiful, beautiful boy.

i am so very sorry. abiding with you in these hard, hard days.

Julia said...

I sat down to read your blog after a long day at work. I check on you about once a week or so. The thought that was going through my mind was "I need to laugh and Anna always makes me laugh."

I feel like I've been kicked in the gut...I can't even imagine how you and your family must feel.

I am so so sorry and so very sad for you and your family. Jack had a fun mom and it was apparent to all of us that he was loved and cared for.

Julia

xoxo, Julia

Mommy Mo said...

OH, how I wish I knew your Jack. I don't know what to say. May God envelope you with peace and love and grace, just as did and still does.

Lisa, Austin TX

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing, Anna! I am a fellow monkee and loved reading your words. That was an amazing tribute to your son.

Ann-Marie J said...

There are no words. Yet, your words are powerful because they are raw with honest pain and earnest joy. Your tribute to Jack has just begun.

Thank you for mothering us through your immeasurable maternal loss. How paradoxical.

Peace be with you.

Heidi said...

What an honor to read your words. Thank you for sharing them with us. Thank you for sharing Jack with us. I remember reading that story about you and Jack in Pennsylvania.

You're incredible and I'm honored to know you here in this space.

Angie said...

My heart is with you. I am saying prayers for you and the deep sadness you are feeling. Please know that you are loved and held up by many. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers every day.

Cox Family said...

"And today, in whatever situation you find yourself, when you may be thinking as Kathy did, and as I sometimes do, “This is NOT the life I signed up for,” remember that you are never alone."......You are surrounded by love :)

Law Momma said...

I don't know you, Anna, but I ache for you and pray for you and your family everyday. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful tribute to your beautiful son.

Lisa G. in CT said...

Anna - I think i'd read your blog once or twice before this. Please know you, and your husband and Margaret are in many prayers daily. I cry for you, and thank you for sharing your Jack with us. What a beautiful boy. Of course there are no words - I wish it wasn't so. May the Lord hold you close.....

Vodka Mom said...

oh Anna. You are an amazing mother, wife, and person. I admire you- and I send you prayers and love. Lots and lots of love.


xxx

Kristina P. said...

Anna, he was clearly such a an amazing, loved young man. My heart breaks with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Sending love, hugs and prayers to your family from Alabama. xo

clara said...

I followed a random tweet here. I'm so, so sorry. My heart breaks for you and your family. May your son rest in peace.

LauraC said...

More and more tears running down my cheeks. I have been praying constantly for you, Tom (Tim), and Molly (Margaret), for Jack's friends, esp. the neighbors he was playing with. And by constant, I mean literally almost every hour. I pray that God would wrap his arms around you, that you would feel him, he would comfort you and lift you up. I pray that he would give you peace, when there is no peace, no possible words, that you would feel his peace that passes understanding and description. I wish so much there was something I could do, but the only thing is pray. So I do.

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

I know if I lived near you, I would have been there to honor you all. Instead, I stood in my school computer lab while my kids tested and thought of you all. Somehow I knew, Anna, that you would be speaking. I knew you would have to. I would feel the same way. We are moms.

Selfishly I wanted to see the service, be a part of the service, because I needed to grieve with you in person. I've been praying, I've been sharing your story, I've been crying. You are on my mind all the time. I hope you feel all of us feeling for you. Wishing we could take this on with you in a way that would truly soothe your hearts.

My son is 25, and I know he would have been friends with Jack--had they been born in the same time and place. I'm going to ask him to read this, to see in your love for Jack the things I love about Mac. You spoke so personally, but also for so many mothers. I thank you.

I think of your mom talking with Jack, and that makes me smile. Big.

And Margaret, I'm thinking of you still. You will always have a brother. You will never be an only child. Sometimes, when you're not sure what to do, ask yourself, "What would Jack tell me to do?" and then just like you always did, think then, "Now, should I listen to him or my heart?" ;)

As for the other Yankee fan in the house, my heart goes out to you. Remember that feeling of his throw into your catch.

When my son's great friend Brandon died, his father stood to speak at the funeral. His first thought was a promise to his wife that this would not end their marriage, that their family would bond more encompassing the hurt, grief and loss. I am praying that this draws you closer, tighter.

Feel His grip.

Jayme said...

I'm smiling through my tears, imagining what an extraordinary boy he was. Love and prayers to everyone who will miss him.

Tom Patras said...

Hi Anna, this is Tom Patras (Susan Robinson's husband). Thank you for sharing your beautiful tribute to Jack. I didn't know Jack, yet I feel like I did. What an amazing, loving, and gifted child! Although I've never lost a child, I lost my two closest friends in a tragic accident in High School. I've experienced the dark shadow of the valley of death. Yet, I've also experienced God's love and grace cradle me in moments when I could barely breath, when the tears seemed to flood out of me from some never ending resevoir deep inside, and my heart felt like it was going to explode from the pain. In those moments, I just wanted to be home with Jesus and my friends. As time passed, I began to experience God slowly lifting me out of the pit of despair and restoring my joy. All the emotions of the grieving process gave way to the wonderful memories of my time with my friends. The pain never completely goes away, but it does get easier. I pray that Jesus surrounds you with His amazing love, that you hear His voice softly assuring you that your precious boy is safe and more full of life than ever. I pray you sense all the prayers that are being lifted up for you and your family. I pray that your heart rejoices over the time you had with Jack and the beautiful memories he gave you. My heart aches for you Anna, but I know that my God is able to supply all your needs. Hold onto Him as He is holding on to you!

Metamorphosis of Me said...

Anna, I am in tears after reading your post. I am in tears because the loss your family is feeling is excruciating, yet your ability to write and speak such beautiful words powerfully as his mother is amazing. My heart aches for you and your family. I will pray earnestly for God to grant peace and comfort to all of you. We have never met, but know that prayers are taking place for you.

Cait said...

I follow Marinka on twitter, and so I clicked the link she posted. I am so sorry to hear about your loss, but what a great kid he was! I'd like it if you could pass on a message to Margaret. My older sister passed away 4 years ago. She was 2 years and 2 days older than I, and the idea that I am now older than she will ever be is very surreal. It's hard to be the one left behind, especially because my sister is the one person that I would turn to when bad news hit.

It does get easier. The hurt goes away and the memories start to come back as welcome reminders. There will come a day when you can remember something about Jack and laugh. He'd love that, I'm sure. Just as I know that my sister is laughing in heaven each time I remember tucking my pet caterpillars into her bed in the bunks we shared...

I'll keep you and your family in my prayers.

Jen said...

Anna, my heart goes out to you and your beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your inspiring words with us. Your Jack sounds like a very special boy and I can see that he has a very special mother. Your friend Glennon's tribute to you is spot-on. Please know that I am thinking of you in this time of grief and praying for healing and happiness for your family in the future. May our Heavenly Father comfort and bless you.

Jessica said...

I've been following your blog for a couple of years, and it's become one of the few blogs I check daily. I have to say, it was your adorable, spunky children who drew me in. Wish there was some way to be there for you and your family at this time of unimaginable sorrow. Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts with us, and for sharing Jack with us over the years. Please know that I'm thinking of you, Tim, Margaret, and Jack often and fondly.

Jennifer said...

Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your precious child. Please know you are in the thoughts and prayers of so many mothers and fathers who wish we could help ease your pain. I wish you peace in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. You will remain in my prayers.
Jenni

Jennifer said...

Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your precious child. Please know you are in the thoughts and prayers of so many mothers and fathers who wish we could help ease your pain. I wish you peace in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. You will remain in my prayers.
Jenni

kim@superchyc said...

I've been extremely saddened by your loss since I read about what happened last week. I read your words from Jack's service and it touched me in the deepest place imaginable, as I, too, have a 12 y/o son. I spent alot of extra time tonight hugging my child tight and will end by saying this. It does seem that you were blessed with an amazing young boy for 12 years, as he was equally blessed with an wonderfully loving mother. My prayers are with you and all who loved Jack.

Jennifer said...

Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your precious child. Please know you are in the thoughts and prayers of so many mothers and fathers who wish we could help ease your pain. I wish you peace in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. You will remain in my prayers.
Jenni

Lexilooo said...

this is really beautiful, and I am praying for you and your family.

Kerry said...

I think any words I could find would be insufficient. Yours for your precious son were beautiful. From one mom to another, you have my love and prayers.

OSMA said...

Anna, I am local to you in NoVa. Though we have never met, I am moved beyond words by your journey. I feel so honored to read these words you spoke about your Jack. (I too have a sensitive boy who loves God and thinks very deeply for his age.) Jack's light shines thoroughly and completely through you and your stories about him. It is a gift to learn and understand his heart through your words. May you all find comfort and closeness by talking about him often and sharing his unique and tender soul with us here. We are all listening and better for being in this space with you. Much love from another NoVa mama, always.

Jendy said...

You took my breath away with your courage and strength to stand up, walk to the altar, face a sea of weeping mourners and share your most treasured personal and private moments that you, Tim, Jack and Margaret shared. I don't know if you heard it, but there was a collective gasp as you rose from the pew and took the altar. No one was prepared for what would follow. Mike said (and has repeated several times) that it was the most incredible thing he has ever witnessed in his life. I shared a link to your blog and Glennon's blog with some friends because I, and everyone in that church, was awestruck and others need to hear your message. Here is what people are saying:
"Prayers and blessings to you and all your family - what an inspiration Tim and Anna are";
"truly inspirational";
"My heart goes out to you and your family";
"What an incredible family. I know that Jack is looking down on them and is so proud";
"It was beautiful and inspiring tribute to her son Jack."
"They must be remarkable people."
"The Mom sounds like she is amazing!"
"Please know that I am thinking about Tim and Anna's family every day.";
Love you.

Shelley said...

Anna, I wish I had the perfect words to help you and your family through this awful time, but all I know to do is pray. Please know that I am keeping you and your family in my thoughts and close to my heart. I am so very, very sorry.

Sara B said...

I never knew you until a twitter chain sent me to your site. I've weeped as I've read your stories, "watched" you live and share these beautiful children you have.

I want so badly to hug you and hold you and do SOMETHING to make this better. I've grown to love your honest and humble spirit. I want to "hear" you laugh again. I want to tell you this is not the end.

I want to be able to make it go away, to bring that sweet, beautiful boy of yours back but I can't.

I don't know if it helps, but you are loved, so very much. You, Tom and Margaret will be in my prayers.

(I'm asking why...I'm clinging to the hope of the Lord and asking why God, why Jack. I'm so sorry Anna. I'm sorry.)

Kensi said...

I don't know you and had never read your blog until I saw a prayer request for you and your family. I would like to send to you my sincerest condolences on the loss of your precious son. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Pip said...

Thinking of you and your family every day - sending you love and hope with my prayers. Thankyou for sharing your precious memories and mother-love. I hope you find comfort in faith and the communities (touchable and online) that care so deeply for you.

Jana said...

I, too, am a stranger led here by others blogs & tweets. I think your words about Jack are so beautiful. I have two children (my daughter is 5 and my son is 2 1/2) and what you said about your family and your relationship with Jack & Margaret and between the two of them is what I truly hope for. He had a great gift in that.

mary kathryn @ mathews family happenings said...

praying that you'll feel God's loving arms wrapped around you. Praying for your sweet daughter. Praying for your husband. Just praying.

(a fellow blogger and sister in Christ)

MaryBeth said...

Anna,
Thank you so much for sharing with us about your lovely boy.
He sounds so much like my oldest son when he was that age.
You have lost so much - I am so sorry.
I share your faith and joy that your precious son is truely home.
You and your family are in my prayers.
We all hurt for you, just wish we could take your pain.
Blessings

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. So very sorry for your loss...our family will be praying for yours. God Bless.

Lori Dyan said...

I don't know you, Anna. And I don't go to church or pray. But since hearing of your tragic loss from the empress, I have been praying for you and your beautiful family. I have a son who sounds a lot like Jack. You've inspired me to be a better mother to him. I'm so very sorry that you have to endure this horrible pain. Much love to you...

Jen said...

What beautiful words and what a wonderful person Jack must have been to be around. I wish for peace for you and your family in this devastating time.

Shannon Sieff said...

I only know u all from afar, my son was a year below Jak in siuts. I think you are an amazing and strong mother. As I said I really don't know you but hope to get to know you soon, tears and hugs

From the Kitchen said...

Anna: I've only found you in a time of great sorrow for you. I am a native Virginian and was distressed when I heard that a young boy had lost his life in a flooded creek in Vienna. I felt so very sad. And then I read a blog that led me to you. I cannot begin to tell you how very sorry I am. I can tell you that I am amazed by your strength in the honoring of your precious boy. May God, and those about you and in the blogging world, continue to give you strength. I feel that your greatest strength will come in the sweet memories of your heart.

Best,
Bonnie

Getrealmommy said...

That is a beautiful tribute to your son, he sounds like an amazing kid. I think his sweet smile in all the photos melts all of our hearts. I have not experienced this type of loss, but I imagine that the pain will linger after it is no longer in the front your readers minds, but I hope that you will continue to express yourself on your blog, or elsewhere and ask for help/ support when you need it. You cannot do this on your own! Although a stranger, I continue to think of you and your family. My heart goes out to you

sdl said...

It sounds like you were so lucky to have Jack in your life, and he was so lucky to have you and his dad and his sister and his friends. I'm so sorry for your loss. This is a lovely tribute--thank you for sharing it with us.

Maggie, dammit said...

Beautiful words.

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

Anna, What a beautiful tribute! I haven't stopped thinking about you all since I read about this a few days ago. I am just terribly sorry. I am so glad you have a community of friends and a church that will help to lift you up and hold you when you need it. Just know that in the darkest hours when you can't even pray that there are many of us praying for you!

Sasha said...

There is not one single person who has heard of sweet Jack who hasn't ached for you and your family. I had the privilege of hearing you honor your beautiful son on Monday and it was something I will never forget. Meeting you and having you open your arms to me, a total stranger, showed me that you are, and will always be, a MOTHER. Jack's mother.

Holly - The Culture MOm said...

I am a stranger to you, too, but my heart is breaking and I hope I can send you strength and a strong will to go on. For your son who would want you to. For your husband and daughter who need you. For all the live you have ahead of you. I can't imagine the pain you are in, and I hope it lessens everyday.

Elizabeth said...

I am overwhelmed by your honesty, pain and beautiful faith that your beautiful boy is Home. I am praying for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

we don't know one another, but a friend forwarded me your story. i can't imagine your pain. i have printed the picture of your kids and put it in my day planner. i will pray for you all each time i look at it. may the god of all comfort shower you with his grace in the moments, days, months and years ahead.

mindi

Lauren said...

Anna,
I've grown very fond of your blog over the last two years. I always get excited when there is an update, and look forward to the latest craft project or quirky story about your family. I was so shocked and heartbroken to read that you had lost your beloved son. What an unimaginable tragedy. Thinking of you and your family in this very difficult time.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

Clau said...

Anna, I'm terribly sorry for your family's loss. I know that no words can bring comfort, but I hope you can find strength in God to carry on, and cherish close to your hearts all the beautiful, wonderful moments with Jack. I KNOW you guys have an angel watching over you right now. Love (and prayers) from Mexico to you all.

shoshana said...

Anna, I am a mother in NYC who has come across your blog, I have never left a message on any blog I've read (and I get around!) but I am so sad for you that I need to reach out. I am working on this for a while trying to find the right thing to say. What I came up with is that I think you are a great mom who enjoyed her son and appreciated all of him. Someone once told me, it is our job as parents to raise our kids in a way that they can become independent individuals and leave us! It sounds like you were raising him so beautifully and I'm sorry he left so soon.

Thinking of you in New York

Anonymous said...

Your words show that you cherished your son and your family. God bless you all.

Steph said...

what a beautiful tribute to your son. I pray that you feel all God's love for you and your family.

Michele said...

I am stunned! Anna, we met in early June at the "Flea Market" and we spent some time discussing our love for all things vintage. I bought a couple of items from you (wreath and bunk bed ladder), you gave me your card and I have been a fan of your blog ever sense! This evening I could not comprehend what I was seeing on your blog and then it hit me all at once. My heart aches for you and your family, especially Margaret b/c I also lost a sibling when I was a child. I still miss my sister some 45+ years later and envy those that have one but I know that knowing her was a true gift and that brings great comfort. Margaret and you and your husband will take your own personal journey through this awful tragedy. Your faith and knowing that Jack also had such a strong belief will help you all. As time passes, may your memories bring you great comfort. Hugs and prayers...

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

I've thought of you often since we "met". I pray for you often.

I love the rawness of your opening paragraph. Thank you for sharing with us once again.

Lucas, Amber, Levi, and Milo said...

I wish I knew what to say.

with prayers,
Amber

Recovering Church Lady said...

What a beautiful and touching tribute to your son and really to your entire family. Please know that you are in and will be in my prayers for more than just this week. You are one of my favs on here and have been listed on my own blog for a long time. Now when I see your name several times a day, a prayer will go up.

Emily said...

Anna,
You have shown amazing strength in the face of this tragedy. My prayers are for you and your family, and over and over I keep thinking of these lines to a song called Held.

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held....

You've shown that in the midst of all of this pain, you will press on, to continue being there for your husband and daughter. What a dear, wonderful woman you are. I'm so sorry that this is how I've come to read about you. Your friend Glenna said it best; heroic. I've held my children closer this week, let the little things go. And praised God that I may never know a pain like yours. God bless you and your family.

Peajaye said...

Anna,
One of my sisters lost her son, as did my aunt, so I know there are no words. Yet that's all we have right now.
Thank you for sharing at this difficult time - beautiful sentiments expressed.
You mentioned that Jack had been trying to be a glass-half-full kinda person, and that's something my aunt eventually came to say; about how lucky she felt to have had the short time she did with her son. Like a scar, the sorrow never fully went away, but she said it was also a gentle reminder of their time together.
My prayers and thoughts are with you.

Lori said...

Your strength is an inspiration and after reading your eulogy to your precious son, Jack, I believe it is founded in the love that you openly shared as a family. With love, there are no regrets; unfathomable pain of loss, yes. But no regrets.

I find comfort knowing that even if they could, loved ones would not choose to come back to their earthly bodies because their destination is so much better than what they left behind.

Continuing to hold your family in prayer...

Alice said...

I am also a stranger to you and never really read blogs like this. On the day Jack passed, I came across one of your fellow bloggers who wrote about you and it led me to you. Now, I check on you everyday, as if by checking on you, I'm somehow bringing something to you, I don't what. My grief. My condolences. My prayers. My love...To a stranger who is so familiar to me. I've cried looking at the pictures of Jack and Margaret, and reading your words, even before your post today. I'm reading your words from your previous posts as if I'm secretly watching from a window, a beautiful family dance everyday, knowing that the dance will stop, unbeknownst to you all. And my heart cries for you. I too am a mom of a boy and a girl (3yr old twins). Their dynamics and our dance is also a beautiful one. So I cannot imagine the unspeakable pain you are going through. I too have suffered losses of unborn children, and though I did not have the privilege of knowing them, their spirits collided with mine and I am forever changed by their presence and their loss.
A good friend shared a poem with me that has changed the way I think about my experience. It is from a collection of poems by Kahlil Gibran titled The Prophet. The poem is called, "On Joy and Sorrow". It goes like this:

Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed
with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into
your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."

But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at
standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall. (pg.29-30)


The sorrow of my experience has carved into my being. That which once was my greatest joy became my deepest sorrow. I feel my joys and my sorrows more fully and deeply, and I am grateful that this led me to a better understanding of the suffered losses of others, because through that, I find a sense of CONNECTEDNESS...And that connectedness heals! I am so sorry for your earth-shattering loss. I'm glad that you have the Lord and an amazing foundation of faith to turn to in this time of grief. I pray that you will find a sense of "normal" again and continue to live a life of purpose and impact that the Lord has obviously called upon you. You are a blessing to our blog community.
*tight hug* Alice Lam, Houston, TX

Ivy said...

Anna
You dont know me but I've followed your blog for a few years now. I've always thought you are a wonderful person. So creative and so witty. Now I know you are a brave person as well. To be able to say all those wonderful things about your son when your hearts breaking needs courage. I'm so sorry for your loss. You believe in God and I know he'll give you the strength you need in these times. Like you said your beautiful son's gone back to the HOME we all will go one day.

Always in my prayers.
Priya

Manicured Slayer said...

My heart hurts for you, my eyes filled with tears. I am so, so sorry. I know I can't imagine what you are going through.

But I pray for your son's love to shine down on you from Heaven. You can ask for no better guardian angel than one you have loved so dearly and who loved you so much in return. It's the only way I can stand the loss of my beloved grandma.

I'm a stranger, I know. But how I wish there was something, anything, I could do for you.

Still praying.

Varda said...

Oh, Anna, this is such a beautiful tribute to your son. I feel that I know him, you so captured the glowing essence of your son. He now lives on, even more fully, in the hearts and minds of so many of us.

Everyone has left you such lovely words, I don't think I have many more to add, other than that you and your family are in my heart, thoughts, prayers.

slouchy said...

Beautiful, loving tribute.

My thoughts continue to be here, with you and your family. Strength to you.

Holly said...

My prayers and condolences for you and your family. What a wonderful person Jack is.

Amanda said...

Anna,

I too am a stranger but spent many years in Vienna before moving to Loudoun, and lots of our family and friends are there. Your loss is our worst nightmare. You are amazing in your strength; sharing your emotions takes wisdom and courage. I thank you for sharing, while it can't take away your pain, it does cleanse in a way that I just can't describe...you have so many praying for your family and I am sending you much love and hoping that today is bearable - that you are able to live through the fog. Hang in there my sister in Christ and motherhood. You are loved.

Bernadette Geyer said...

You continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. This is a very moving tribute to Jack. It was a lovely service and I'm sorry that I was not able to see you at the reception.

Melissa said...

Absolutely beautiful and heart breaking. Life is so fragile. I only know you through your blog, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about you and your family since I heard this news through the blogging community. Please accept my deepest sympathy. It is obvious, and always has been, how much you cherish and love your children. I pray that one day you will find peace.

LuAnn said...

Anna, you and your beautiful family are in my thoughts and prayers. You are an amazing mother and your strength has been an inspiration to me. I will continue to send you love and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful momma, just beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us, even though you didn't have to. I've been reading your blog for a few years and just couldn't wrap my head around this, and I have been praying for you ever since. Peace.

dearheart said...

Anna - What a beautiful, PERFECT tribute you have written for Jack. Thank you for sharing him with us. I feel honored to hold a bit of him in my heart with you.

Jill said...

So much love to you.

Anonymous said...

Anna,
I am hugging my four children a lot harder today after tearfully reading your tribute to Jack. I am so sorry for your families loss and am in awe of your strength in facing it. What a Mom you are and I hope you find comfort in knowing that even though I didn't know your son, I mourn his loss too.

Christie

R said...

I am so sorry. No parent should experience what you're going through. I see so much of my 10 year old, in Jack. SO much, in the way you describe him, to his demeanor, way of thinking. The first time I saw his picture, I was taken to my boy, even their stature is so much alike. It makes me way to hold on SO tight to my oldest, to appreciate his every pessimistic comment, just because he's here. Lots of love, and so many hugs. I'll keep praying for your family.

Anonymous said...

I haven't stopped thinking about your son since I read this post yesterday. My heart goes out to you, your family, friends, and community. I hope that the prayers and thoughts of strangers like me are of some small comfort to you all at this difficult time.

Becky said...

Oh Anna, this was so beautiful.

Many many hugs to you and your family.

Love,
No Longer A Stranger

Christie A. said...

Anna,

I am hugging my four children harder today after tearfully reading your amazing tribute to Jack. What an awesome son and brother he was. I didn't know Jack but want your family to know that my thoughts are with you and I hope for comfort for you through this difficult time. Thank you for having the strength to share your Jack with us all in such a poignant way and know that your family does not mourn alone.

Love,
Christie

J9 said...

My heart is heavy today. Thank you Anna for sharing your faith during this horrible time.

stellarparenting.com said...

hugs and prayers for all of you

Laura said...

Through my tears I send my thoughts and prayers to you and your family. There are no words. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words.

AmyO said...

What an incredible mother you are, and will always be, to Jack. I am so sorry, and you are so loved.

The White Farmhouse said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to you. I have thought of you often in the last couple of days. Your tribute was a very loving and honest one about a beautiful child. I recently found you and I just can't believe that this has happened. Truly he was one of God's Angels here on earth as he is now. I don't know if I could be as gracious as you are. I would be madder than anything. You are amazing showing as much strength as you are. My wish for you and your family is comfort and peace.

Josie said...

More love. Sending love. Lots and lots of love. I have no good words to say.

falcofamilypictures said...

You are so brave, a true mom. I admire you and the wonderful family you created. I am so very sorry for your loss, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

JMB said...

Words are inadequate. I am a stranger and only know you through your generous sharing on your blog. Regardless, my heart breaks for you and your family. May your inspiring depth of faith and strength continue to support you through your healing. My prayers are with you. God bless.

Allison Zapata said...

So many tears. I'm so sorry. Praying for you and your family all the way from Texas. Praying for strength and peace for all of you. You don't know me, but now I am here for you. Huge hugs and so much love. Xoxo

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

Your Jack sounds just like my Anna, right down to the America's Got Talent winner speculation. I hope that knowing there's someone out here just like him helps you in some way.

I wish you and your family peace, whenever and however that may come.

Lou said...

Anna,

As someone who knows you through your blog and through Momestary and also knows of you through the community but didn't know you were the same person, I feel your introduction was written especially for me today. It means the world to me. It gives me great peace. Thank you. Thank you for taking me out of my messed-up blog corner head. Sending love and prayers to you and your family continually. Squeezes, Lou

Jen said...

i have been back to read this same post at least a dozen times...i am amazed by your faith, strength and courage. anna my heart has not stopped aching for you and your family. i continue to lift you in prayer!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful tribute, Anna.

Jenni said...

I am so sorry for your loss. And I am so glad I found you, via Twitter search. Bless you, friend. Sending you a very sincere cyber-hug.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna, When I was young I was taught the comfort of Julian of Norwich's quotes. They have helped me in times of great need. I'm sure you know them but I wanted to post a couple here and remind you that all of us mothers continue to circle our arms around you and your family.
“Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. Everything passes away except God.”
“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

Paralegal Mom said...

Anna, I have never read you before, but I heard about your story and had to come. I cannot imagine what you and your family are going through. The story you shared of Jack is amazing. I feel like I got to know him through it. Hugs, thoughts, and prayers to you and your family during this time.

Terri said...

I just read your moving tribute to your beautiful son. I have no words. Just know that I am praying for you and your family.

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