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:

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Amy J. said...

As parents we have no greater purpose than to bring our children into relationship with the Lord. Today, your greatest parenting accomplishment is your greatest comfort. Though you had to cross this finish line far too soon, well done, good and faithful servant. Well done.

melissa said...

Anna - everything that your friend's blog said about your friend Glennon's blog is absolutely true. I truly believe my life was changed by hearing you speak. I have more to say, but will send it separately.

Naomi said...

Anna - came to you for the first time today through Miss Mustard Seed. Sitting here crying for you all, complete strangers. These human experiences connect us all. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I believe like you that Jack is home.

Erika said...

Anna and family- I am another stranger who came across your blog. I have scarcely been able to think of anything else since I heard about your sons passing. God must have sent his angels to help you write that tribute to your son...it was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us all. I just wanted to say that I have been praying for heavens hands to hold you and your family right now. I see you have a beautiful strong faith, but when its hard to breath because of the pain, please know that the love of even strangers like me is real. We are all brothers and sisters of an all loving Father in heaven. Sending all my sympathy, love, faith and prayers! You may find some common ground or comfort through this blog I follow. http://www.agoodgrief.com/

From Tracie said...

This is such a beautiful tribute to your son.

I'm praying for you and your family.

Erin said...

You have been a blessing to so many over the years through your blog - sharing your life, your family and your humor. I've always appreciated your wonderful writing and pure honesty in all situations. You are an amazing woman. I only hope that we - your friends - can lift you up in constant prayer and that you will feel our love around you. Jack was a blessing.

PsycChicMegaWatts said...

Thank you for reminding us all to be thankful. You're amazing. I'm praying for you. And I haven't prayed in a long, long time.

Love from Canada.

Scary Mommy said...

Sending you so much cyber love. That was just beautiful.

Kristy said...

Anna, my heart is breaking for you. Your precious family will be in my prayers.

MK Gregory said...

I am so sorry. I think of you every single day, and have said countless prayers. It doesn't bring him back to you, but I hope that somehow you'll feel the love that's pouring out from so many people and can find comfort.
So much love to you and your sweet family,
MK

Brianne said...

I'm so sorry Anna. Sending you love and support because I'm afraid I have no words. *hugs*

Jenni Schuneman Aiello said...

Anna, thank you for posting your words about Jack and for letting others to peek into your family life. What fun family traditions your family has created! I continue to pray for you and your family. During my darkest days I was comforted with Lamentations 3:21-23, "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Praying for peace, comfort, hope and mercies abundant each morning for you, T and M.

Joni said...

Anna, You are such an amazing woman. My heart aches for you. The courage you show is down right incredible. I cried buckets after reading your post. I wish I could wrap you up in my arms. I am praying for you and your family. Much love Anna. The tribute to your son shows what a great mom you are. ~Joni

Wombat Central said...

Thank you for sharing your sweet, beautiful boy with us. He sounds like someone my boy would have loved to have built Lego creations with. May these notes from friends old and new fill your heart with love and healing hugs.

barb said...

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to get to "know" your sweet boy! You and your family are in our prayers!

Dead Cow Girl said...

I'm so very sorry. I could not even imagine.

Anonymous said...

We have never met, but as a soon-to-be mother, my heart breaks for you and your family. Nobody should ever have to endure such a devastating loss. It is truly a testament to you and to your son that you are handling this all with such grace and openness - and love. I pray that the happy memories of Jack will carry you all through the darkest times, and that you will again be able to find joy in your lives. You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers - as you have been since the moment I read the news online.

A Speckled Trout said...

How very proud this boy of yours must be of his mama.

Kristie Jackson said...

Anna, As Pastor Pete said on Monday your faith and grace and love for Jack "buoyed" hundreds upon hundreds. I was so grateful to be there. I wrote in my own blog that it is a day I will never forget -- we witnessed a miracle, a faith lived out in a way that had only one explanation: Divine Grace. I am praying hard for you every day, and for your whole family. And I'll keep praying.

Tamara said...

Anna, I have enjoyed your blog for some time in my RSS feeder and must delurk to give you my deep regrets and saddness for the loss of your son.

THERE ARE NO WORDS.

I lost my fiancee in a tragic drowning just four months ago... The world is never, ever going to be the same without our loved ones.

I am so, so sorry. So sorry.

Leah C said...

As you said, there are no words... just a simple prayer and my deepest, heartfelt condolences to you & your family.

But your words, your loving tribute to your son...so very beautiful. Thank you for opening up your heart and sharing your love for Jack with all of us.

Masala Chica said...

I grieve for you anna. sending you all the love i have in my heart and wishing i had had the honor to meet jack. ashburn is not far and i hope at some point i can hug you face to face. love, kiran

Suzan said...

My sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved son. May God grant you peace in this most sorrowful time.

Kim Elkins said...

I have shared your story with my friends. You have people all over Nashville, Tn praying for your family. He was, simply, a beautiful boy on the inside and out.

lostandforgotten said...

That was absolutely beautiful what a great summary of the kind of boy that he was. Thank you for sharing more of your intimate stories with us. You are right, he's in a much better place now and he's solved that much debated question of what are mosquitoes about!

bonzo said...

Anna,

I am filled with brokenhearted sorrow over the loss of your boy. Our family has been grieving alongside yours since learning the news. I am also filled with more awe and admiration than I have ever known over the words you spoke and the way that you spoke them. Your bravery - standing up there, showing up here - is just...I don't know what it is. Any words that try to say what it is sound trifling and small. It is unspeakably and breathtakingly bright. I know you may not feel brave or bright, and you don't always have to BE those things because you already ARE those things.

I love you.

bonzo

molly said...

I am so so sorry for your loss. I was led here by another blog and wanted to reach out. I know there are no words that can accurately express my sadness and confusion over your son's passing. But your words, well, I haven't even been reading your blog and I feel like I already know your family and Jack and have been reading for years. This is tragic. Absolutely heartbreaking to read as a mother of two sons. We all live in bubbles where we think it will never happen to us. But it can and Jack's life and death were not in vain.

Keep writing. Come here to this space and share. You are a beautiful writer and I want to read more.

Hillarie said...

Oh Anna, my heart aches for you and your family. There are no words except that I will keep you all in my thoughts.

Hillarie

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

anna, i am still praying for you all, keeping you in my heart. my heart aches so much for you right now. and no words i or any one else has can fill the void or ease the loss, but the love of friends, faces known and unknown, can certainly help you feel stronger and more able. i hope that you know you can write here and we will all listen and all be the support you need when you need it. much love to you.

lori said...

I have no words strong enough to comfort, but I send continual prayers.

KM @ This Plate is Full said...

Anna & Family -I do not know you or your family, & Ive never seen your blog before but I am shedding tears.
I pray that god will touch your hearts to ease the pain.
All our love and support!
KM Family @ This PLate is Full

meghan said...

Anna:

Glennon brought me to your blog. I have spent hours, looking at your pictures, reading about your family, and crying for your loss. When I look at your children's faces, and read your eulogy, it is hard to believe the earth is still rotating on it axis. Almost insulting. We don't know each other, but my heart has grown a little pocket of love and grief just for you and I promise to check in often.

Linda Marie said...

My heart aches deeply for you. I wish I could reach out and hug the daylights out of you and your family. You will be in my prayers.

AC said...

Your tribute was beautiful. I hope you & your family can find comfort in those around you who support you. Thinking of you and sending prayers your way.

Jacquie said...

Dear Anna, I came across your blog and it broke my heart to read about your loss.You have been in my thoughts and prayers ever since.

Becky said...

Anna, Tim, and Margaret, the Houston family is lifting you up in prayer and will continue to in the hours, days, weeks, months, and years ahead. We will remember your Jack.

JD was especially blessed by your words at the memorial. He appreciated you sharing about Jack wanting to become more of a glass half-full kind of guy. JD thought that if Jack worked at that than maybe he could work on that as well. (He also struggles with being a glass half-empty kind of kid.) Thank you for sharing Jack with us through your words on Monday. We were blessed.

RottenMom said...

What am amazing legacy your beautiful boy has left behind. And what a beautiful tribute you wrote for him. I will continue to keep you and your family in my heart and continue to pray for you.

angi said...

Beautiful. Sending prayers of faith, love and peace to you and your family.

wholetthishappen said...

Hi Anna,

I'm a monkee, too, and I just needed to tell you that I've been dreaming about Jack. Weird? I dream out the things that are big on my heart. Just sending you lots of hugs and love and strength and prayers. Loads of people have commented how strong you are, and I just wanted to say that I cannot even pretend to understand what you are experiencing, but I am so proud of you. Even when you aren't strong, we are here, loving, sharing, and holding.

Tova

Miss Gracie's House said...

Anna and all,
I, too, have been a reader and not a commenter...
I am so sorry for your loss...my heart aches for you and the days to come. There are NO words of mine that are adequate...only HIS words...with God all things are possible. I will be praying for you and am thankful that you have such sweet memories.
Rene

Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here goofing off online looking at various design blogs when I came across your story from Miss Mustard Seed. I'm so sorry! My heart is breaking for you. But really there are no words. Please know that you and your family will be in my prayers.

nancy said...

Anna, I am a long time reader. Thank you for sharing your son Jack with us. Truly a beautiful tribute to him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Rebecca said...

Anna - Thank you for sharing your beautiful words about your wonderful son with us who didn't have a chance to meet him in person. I will always remember him and you and have you both (and your family) in my thoughts.

Your strength and your faith are inspiring.

I am wrapping arms around you and holding you tight from here and hoping that you feel my love and support.

Jamie said...

Such a beautiful tribute to your darling boy. It's a testament to God's grace that you found the strength to write and say these words, and I'm grateful and humbled to read them. I didn't know Jack, but from your words, I know that the world was a better place for having him in it. Thank you, Anna. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Anna, a long-removed college acquaintance here. You were lovely and gracious and classy and kind and funny back in the day... and clearly those qualities have only magnified and multiplied in the ensuing years.

I cannot express how sorry I am for your family. I love what Amy J. said on 9/15 at 7:24. You crossed that finish line far too soon, but what an accomplishment.

Much love.

Barbatthebeach said...

I cried for you, your family, and especially for your beautiful son. My thoughts are with you and I have been hugging my children a little tighter since reading your horribly unfair and tragic story. I am so sorry for your loss.

Whitney said...

I am also a stranger to you but your story has touched my heart. Your son is beautiful and after reading your post, he is just as beautiful on the inside. I am sending lots of prayers your way. May you find peace as you remember your sweet baby.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Your words have truly touched me in this moment, I'm weeping for you. I am sorry that I am just meeting you in these circumstances, it seems you are a friend to so many people I know, and we all wish we could do more than something "virtual", but I am praying, may amazing peace to carry and hold you close.

Steph

Heather B said...

Anna - I am praying for you and your family every day. My heart is absolutely broken and I know nothing that I (a stranger) say can offer you solace. But please know that I'm thinking of you and your beautiful family, and sending lots of love your way.

Anonymous said...

Annay,

I wanted to tell you that I somehow linked through the computer to find an audio version of the service. I heard your beautiful words from your own voice. It must have been very difficult for you, but I know how important speaking on behalf of your family must have been for you too.

I hope you and your husband and your daughter are finding moments of peace as you grieve.

I wish I was one of your "casserole people" and able to be there for you in person. Since I am not, please accept a virtual {{squeezy hug}}. I just love you.

jbhat

gretchen from lifenut said...

Anna, thank you for sharing the words you spoke about your Jack. I am so, so sorry.

moosh in indy. said...

Former stranger here, but you have taken a place in my heart ever since I heard of Jack.
Strangers no more and your family will always have a special place in my heart.
Margaret? You will see your brother again. Make sure you don't do anything in this life to disappoint your big brother, it may be heaven but you'll still hear about it. xo

mrscravitz said...

Thank you Anna for sharing Jack in this time of life that does not make much sense right now. My thoughts, heart and prayers are with you daily.

Alecia said...

You and your family are in my prayers. Sending lots of love during this difficult time.

Someone once told me that pain doesn't come into your life alone, it comes with Gods Grace. I hope you can feel God's Grace soon.

Anonymous said...

Anna,

You are so brave and true. What a wonderful mother you are. What a profoundly moving tribute to your precious son. Thank you for sharing this. My heart is so heavy for yours. I'm still praying for you and yours, sweet Anna.

Tons of Love,
Miss Molly

vawriter said...

Anna, I must confess I backed away for awhile, after I prayed--and cried. I could not stand to imagine your pain. But here I am again, praying and crying, and ohsograteful that you have been sustained by the One who stays beside us even when the pain is unbearable. Especially then.Blessings, dear girl.

Ligonier Camp said...

we are praying for your sweet family--everyone at camp is. i know jack was a great kid. grace and great peace

suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter} said...

anna, there are no adequate words. know that you are surrounded by great love and prayer. our camp community aches with you.

Nichole@40daysof said...

Anna,

I clicked on your blog several times this week, but had no idea what had happened. I'm in tears for you and have no idea what to say. I'll be praying.

vawriter said...

Anna, do you find comfort in music? If so,explore John and Anne Barbour's songs. They travel with the Graham Crusade and lost a beloved daughter to leukemia several years ago. Anne wrote "My Hope" soon afterwards,and "That City" after that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Zd-853VIAY

I have met them and sung in a choir that backed them on this song. I hope their music speaks words of comfort.

Brenna @ Almost All The Truth said...

I am also a stranger to you, but am so touched by your words and your experience. I just needed to leave a comment so that you can see how even now your Jack is leaving his impact on the world. Hugs to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry about your loss! You don't know me but I feel like I know you through what you shared of your son. I remember the day I heard about him on the news I felt really sad and couldn't help but think of him and you. I just want you to know there are people out in the world who think of you and pray for your family. ((hugs))

Sara B said...

I know I've already commented but I had to share.

I'm a Klove listener out of Lexington Kentucky, having found your blog from a tweet chain of love...anyway today I was listening to Klove in the car on my way to the grocery, I was half listening to the music, half praying and praising God for this beautiful sunshiny day. My thoughts floated to you ad my eyes filled with tears of compassion. The tears fell to outright sobbs as I thought of the young man I never knew until he was gone, but had the opportunity to learn of him through your candid stories you shared with the world.

"It's not fair God" I cried. I stormed him with all the things I can't understand about situations like this. Why a child who is loved beyond measure when others suffer endlessly and would be far better off in heaven? Why must a mother lose a child she loves while another ignores her children? Why is this life never fair. Poor sweet Jack...

My throat ached from the tears. As I attempted to calm myself I turned the radio up to drown out my thoughts...

"Almighty God, the great I am
Immovable rock, omnipotent, powerful, awesome Lord
Victorious warrior, commanding King of Kings
Mighty conqueror, and the only time
the only time I ever saw Him run..."

I saw it then, I felt it so deeply, while the loss of your precious boy brought us all to our knees, rocked our world and had us grasping for anything to stop the hurt, God was running.

God was running towards Jack.

"Was when He ran to me, He took me in His arms
Held my head to His chest, said “My son’s come home again”
Lifted my face, wiped the tears from my eyes
With forgiveness in His voice He said,
“Son do you know I still love you?”
He caught me by surprise when God ran"

I don't know what his camp counselor told him that day he asked about heaven, and shared his fears, but I imagine it must have went something like this...

"He's gonna run to you, take you in his arms
Hold your head to his chest and say "my son's come home again." "

...And, I'm pretty darn certain the boy knows why God made misquitoes.

I'm praying. My heart is so broken for you in your loss. I'm so glad we serve a God who ran to him.

Julie O'D said...

Anna, I'm a good friend of your neighbor Tristan. My husband & I are so, so sorry for your family's loss. We were both surprised by how much this news upset us since we don't know you personally, but as parents of four young kids, our hearts are broken for you. Your family will continue to be in our prayers.

Red Couch Recipes said...

What a beautiful tribute to a great son. I am so sorry for your loss and will ask our Father who loves us all to watch over your family and console you in your loss. Joni

Susan said...

Dear Anna. I don't know which post was sweeter your own...or your dear blog friend's with whom I completely agree. You are a hero. A pillar of strength that I know I could not be.
He was so very beautiful - and your description of him makes me think he and my boy would have gotten along famously.
You have made me want to hug my own children tighter every day and appreciate them and our time together more.
My sincerest condolences to you and your lovely family.

Arlene said...

Hi Anna,

I just found out about your blog from a very good friend of mine in Vienna. Do you remember this summer when I came into the bookstore after church looking for a CD and a journal? I used to go to VPC but we moved back to Canada. It was wonderful to have a chat with you then. I finally settled on the journal with the poem, Footprints in the Sand on the cover. I'm sure that you are very familiar with this poem. Very appropriate when we all have big challenges in our lives. I just wanted to say how heartbroken I was to hear about the loss of your beautiful son, Jack. I remember seeing him at VPC when he was a little boy. As a parent, I can only imagine what you are going through today and I wish that I could bring back your Jack for you. It's comforting to know that you all have a strong faith but even so, it's hard to accept the reality of the situation on earth. Barb B. from VPC sent me the link to Jack's funeral. My son and I both listened to it. It was so inspiring and such a tribute to Jack. You simply amazed me when you got up and spoke about your sweet boy and did not break down once!! I don't know how you did that except that God was helping you to keep composure. I think that I would have dissolved into tears halfway through. You are a strong lady, Anna. How eloquently and honestly you recounted your memories of your treasured son! I shed many tears listening to your words and the words of his classmate, principal and his uncle. I was so inspired by Jack's funeral that I posted the link on my Facebook page. I hope that you don't mind me sharing it. It might help someone else to have hope and to get their priorities straight. I sent you a card on the day of Jack's funeral but I hadn't heard the service yet, so I just had to drop you a line and let you know that I have been thinking of you and praying for you and your family as you mourn the loss of Jack.

God bless you and comfort you,
Love, Arlene

Kim said...

There are so many hundreds of people thinking of you and praying for you whenever we think about or do just about anything. May that knowledge bring whatever small comfort it may.

Tami said...

What a beautiful young man! And your words are beautiful, too. You and your family are in the prayers of me and my family, even though we've never met. I can not imagine a greater pain than what you are suffering. I praise God that you are able to know where Jack is and can look forward to seeing him again. God bless you all.

Lyndsay said...

What beautiful words. You and your family remain in my prayers.

Marydon said...

The mother of an angel son, Sean, 3 yr. old ... died so needlessly. We screamed, yelled, stomped thru it all ... the pain was insurmountable, tearing apart our lives & marriage (tho later we remarried).

My heart breaks for you, sweetie.

My eyes are filled with tears for you & prayers for your precious angel son, Anna. What a fabulous tribute ... how you found the strength to write this, I do not know, but sure admire you.

Pain never subsides, it just gets gently tucked in a corner of your heart & soul forever ... God bless you all, I will continue to remember you all in prayers.

Hugs,
Marydon

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

I just want you to know that you and your precious family are constantly in my thoughts....I have no words....and I know you are hurting...I am hurting for a stranger I have never met before this. I pray that you each can find some peace in God and in each other.

Jenn said...

Thinking of you every single morning and every single night. You and your family...please know and continue to know always that you are very loved. xo

Emily said...

You gave a beautiful tribute to your son. What a bright and handsome young man. You and your family continue to be in my thoughts.

Gigi said...

I am also a stranger to you; and can only hope that the words of a stranger will bring you some comfort.

I cannot begin to imagine the pain and sorrow you are feeling; but know that I care. Know that all of us, strangers or not, are keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Anna, I don't know you but I am heartbroken for your priceless loss!
Your beautiful son... your tribute to him has deeply touched me. What a darling child. I am without the words to comfort or express my deep sadness for you!
I am praying for you. May God give you strength.
With tenderness!
Yvonne

Lilia said...

Anna, I am very sorry for your loss. I know how that feels. I will be praying for your family and you. I am so sorry.

Lilia

Jeanie said...

What a lovely tribute to your handsome son. Although I didn't know him, or you, I have a feeling he would like what you had to say. I hope peaceful days come your way soon. Blessings.

A Mother's Thoughts said...

You are truely a pillar!! God looks down and smiles. You housed and taught and loved the way that the Lord God Almighty wanted you to! You are an inspiration. And you will have days where you will be upset with God for taking your son at such a young age, but like you said, he is Home now. You did well. Hugs to you and your family.

Lynn

Barbara said...

I live on the other end of Vienna, but I found you through the law-momma blog, who lives where, Macon? I remember seeing the ticker on the news about a Vienna boy and my heart stuck in my throat when I thought about all the boys in my life ( I have 2 sons and their 50 thousand friends who tromp through my house) and the terror that it could have been any one of them. But it wasn't one of them, and that doesn't make it any less terrible. You lost your son, and it's just unfathomable how you survive that, except that you do. Maybe that's the miracle? Does God give you the strength? To stand, to walk, to breathe in and out? To get through one day and stumble into the next? To believe that we'll all see each other again someplace else, even if we're robbed of precious time together here? My heart aches for you and your family. It could have been anyone's child, anyone's son, that gray day. Another in a long tired line of gray days. Made pitch black in a moment. My children will pray for yours this Friday when we light our candles. Please know that on the other end of town there will be a light in a window sending our prayers to heaven and our love to you.

Emmy said...

What a beautiful tribute! I don't know how you did it- I think I would be crumbled in a ball never able to make it through that at the funeral. You are strong and amazing. He sounds like a remarkable boy. And seriously, what are the point of Mosquitos?

Lynn said...

Wow! Anna that is a beautiful tribute from a loving mother! You are in my thoughts and prayers!
Lynn

mssharealot said...

I hate crying at the computer. But I am crying for you (the ugly cry too) on my end of the web. He sounds like an amazing young man. I will keep praying, there is nothing else that will even begin to help. I can't wait to meet him in Heaven.

Pamma said...

I hear you.
~Pam

Debbie said...

Praying for you, crying with you, questioning with you, but BELIEVING with you that all things are possible with God! You will smile again. Not because you forget, but because you remember what an amazing angel you had for a short time.

Much comfort from Georgia~
Debbie

Ann Skjei Brumbaugh said...

Anna, I always admired your when I was a year or two behind you in our high school youth group. I'm so sorry to hear about your terrible loss. I will be praying for you and reading your blog to check in on you.

Stefanie said...

Anna, I found your blog through another blogger, and wanted you to know that my heart goes out to you and your family. I have been thinking of you all since I heard the news. Your tribute to your son is nothing short of amazing. I am so sorry for your grief and sadness, and wish you and your family peace.

Cathy said...

I believe there are no words I could write to provide you any measure of comfort. Your tribute is absolutely gorgeous and I cannot fathom the strength required of you to stand up and say it. You are a woman of grace. I am so very sorry for you and your family's loss.

Junie said...

Thank you, Anna, for sharing those memories of Jack with us.

I pray for continued strength and comfort for you and your family and I hold all of you close in my thoughts.

the mama bird diaries said...

Oh Anna. My heart is just aching for you and your family. That was a beautiful tribute to your son. xo

Winnie said...

We've never met, but my son is the same age and my heart just breaks for you. Despite the unimaginable pain you must feel, your words are very beautiful and uplifting...I am enveloping you and your family in a big virtual hug.

Erin said...

Anna and family,

I know no words could ever take away the pain, but my prayers are with you. I pray that you feel God's peace around you. Like your son, I try to be a glass half full type of person, and so many times it's a struggle. I try and remember that God said to call to Him and He will bring peace... He never fails. Your love for your children is clear in your posts. I know your son went to his true home knowing the blessing of a mother that will love him always.

Cara Slevin said...

Dear Anna -
I'm at a loss of words for your painful loss and powerful strength. Although I never had the good fortune of meeting your sweet Jack, I am numb with sadness for you and your family. Your loving tribute to Jack is amazing and inspirational. My mom speaks so much of you and how loving your family is. I am truly sorry for all that you are going through. I will continue to pray for you!

Adriane said...

Still thinking of you and your precious Jack. He sounds like an absolutely amazing soul.

Quart said...

Anna, my heart has been hurting for you and your family all week. Your tribute to Jack is so beautiful, and I am amazed that you were able to deliver it with such poise. I am not a religious person, but this week i have thought much about your faith and Jack's faith and I have been inspired. Much love to you, Tim and Margaret.

jen said...

my heart aches for you & your family as you bravely make your way into this new path. hugs, friend. xoxo

Anonymous said...

I don't know who you are but I just stumbled upon your blog and this was the first entry I read. You must have been sent by God to show me to appreciate my children. I had just put my two year old to sleep after a long struggle putting her to sleep, all the while thinking to myself, impatiently, when will she go to sleep. Reading your entry, makes me want to go in and hug my daughter and apologize to her for being impatient and to cherish what I have. I'm truly sorry for your loss and while I didn't know your son, what you so eloquently wrote made me understand what a wonderful child he was. You were blessed to have him. I pray that God helps you in this time of need. God bless you and your family. God Bless wonderful, sweet Jack as he is smiling down upon you. Thank you Jack for also opening my eyes.

Kristin said...

Dear Anna, I am at a loss for words after reading the beautiful tribute to your son Jack. I am heartbroken and praying for your strength. He is an angel and he will be by your side forever. I believe in the power of prayer. It will keep you going and help you to put one foot in front of the other every day. It helped me when my daughter Kate passed away 4 years ago, and it continues to help every day. Accept the outpouring of love and support from your family and friends. The love of God is working through them to sustain you and comfort you. God Bless you.

Diane said...

Oh Anna,

I ache for you. My mom lost my brother Billy when he was 14 in a tragic accident (before I was born), and to this day...42 years later...we all know that he is still with her. In some ways, he is more present, more one with her...and more responsible for her peace...than the rest of us are, the other 8 children she raised with love who have married and had children and don't always have the time to sit with her the way Billy always does. The way Jack will always spend time with you. I have faith that the love will eclipse the pain. Reading your eulogy to him, I believe it may have already begun to.

I offer you a verse, and a poem I wrote in response to it.

Only Son

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." John 3: 16
*****
So many believers love these words
but I mostly hear in it, echoes
of the story I hate
from the Old Testament
when God tests Abraham--
asks him to make the ultimate sacrifice
not himself,
but his son,
just to see if he would obey.
I hate that God asks such a cruel thing
but he comes out looking like the good guy
in the nick of time so
it's Abraham's answer I hate more,
I hate that Abraham answers
with his knife.

If that's faith you can have it
and leave me to shield
my son.
If you want him you'll have to take him
over my dead body.

How can he call himself a parent
and put a cause--
even his salvation--even ours--
ahead of the life
of a child, the life of his child,
the life of
His only son?

So it got me to thinking
that
as much as I hate that story,
God must have hated it more
knowing he'd be the one with the knife
soon enough.

As much as I hate that story,
that's as much as God loves
the world.


Praying for you and your family, Anna.
--Diane

Kara said...

I just read of your son and I can't imagine the hurt your family is going through. There are no words... Just know that families all over the country are thinking of you.

Gina said...

Anna,

I don't know you, but I haven't been able to get your family off my mind. I just needed to tell you how hard I am praying for you, your husband, your daughter, and your extended family. Your friend Glennon wrote a beautiful tribute to you. The eulogy you gave with grace and superhuman strength is a testament to your faith and your resolve to continue mothering Jack. There are no words I can give any of you to help, but please know that I ache for you and I'm praying.

Anonymous said...

We have friends in common but I've never met you. Yet, I find myself suffering with you. Tears for Jack and this terrible tragedy. My heart aches for you. Yet, I know you will go on for the sake of your beautiful daughter. Time will heal and your memories of Jack will shine like a light - always. May God heal your pain and suffering.

Gina said...

Anna,

I don't know you, but I haven't been able to get your family out of my mind. I want you to know that I have been praying for all of you. Your friend Glennon wrote a wonderful tribute to you. The eulogy you gave with such grace, unfathomable dignity, and what had to be superhuman strength is a testament to your faith and your resolve to continue mothering Jack. I know there are no words I can give you. Please know that I've been deeply touched by your family and will continue to pray for you.

Melanie said...

Anna,

Yes, I am honored to be called your friend and I feel even more honored that you shared Jack with us. It's lovely getting to know about him. What a sweet boy!

You and your family are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. I am in full admiration of your strength and grace and faith during this time. Wishing you continuous peace and comfort.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I love you so much and I felt we were all on very sacred ground during Jack's service. Thank you for speaking for God about your and His baby Jack.
Love always from your sister from Georgia.

Anonymous said...

I listened to your son's entire service even though I don't even know you. I felt I had to. I was so moved and I just felt such compassion and love for you. I'm a mother and I cannot even imagine your grief. I am so very sorry. You are and will continue to be in my prayers.

Kristen

BearShe Cottage said...

I am soooo sorry about your son. Reading about him was a reminder that life should be cherished everyday. I know your family knows God and that's where he is. God takes care of his children. My sisters son , my nephew, died in a car accident at 17 years old. His life was short and we had alot of days of asking why too. We don't have the answer yet as to why but we know that God holds his hand in heaven and we will see him once again someday. You and your family are in my prayers.

eedavig said...

Anna, I don't know you but heard about your sweet Jack from a family friend. My heart aches as I read your beautiful tribute to your Jack. What a lucky little boy to have you as his mom. You said he is home-in a room full of legos building creations with Jesus- imagine that! I also know that thinking of that doesn't take away your daily pain. All I can say is God bless you, keep you so close you, your husband, and daughter feel Him everyday as you walk through this as a family. I am so sorry - I wish you didn't have to go through this. You are amazing-God is so proud of you and your family. Love, Erin

Lauren said...

I am terribly sorry for you loss. I will pray for your family and for your son. I hope you and your family can be comforted by the fact that your son had faith, and you helped him get there.

Very Bloggy Beth said...

You don't know me, but I am so, so sorry for your loss. If there were something a complete stranger on the opposite side of the country could do to make you feel better, I would do it. As a mother, I can't imagine how your heart must ache. I pray you can find peace.

Cheryl S. said...

Dear Anna, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet son. My heart breaks for you and your family. Your beautiful tribute was so well written - thank you for sharing his life with us. I hope you find peace and comfort in the coming days... hugs, Cheryl

Gallamore West said...

You don't know me Anna, but I just read your blog and my heart hurts so much for you. Your Jack was an amazing kid, and your tribute to him is beautiful. I am praying for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories with Jack with us.

Anonymous said...

Words cannot describe how sorry I am. I cry for you. My heart aches for you. I feel for your loss. What a beautiful boy! I miss Jack even if I didn't know him. Pray you and your family will be better everyday.

Hugs,
Anna
New York, NY

Nicole said...

Like many others, I found you and your blog because of your tragic loss. You remind me so much my my favorite sisters, my best friends, the kind of woman I still think I could grow up to be. Your grace and faith are so inspirational. And the rest of you is amazing as well. I can't even find the words for what my heart is saying but I want you to know that another random mother in Texas is praying for you and your family. I hope my prayers contribute some measure to your peace. I don't know you, but I love you.

Deb said...

After reading this I heard this song on the radio and though of you. You are in our prayers.

Blessings by Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Transcribed by lyricshall.com
'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching(s) of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Anonymous said...

Anna, although we have never met, I know you through friends. Thank you for sharing - what a beautiful tribute for your precious Jack. I am praying for you and your family every day, and will continue. My heart just aches for you!

Sweet Tea said...

I came here after reading Beverly's Blog.
Your Jack was a very handsome boy - great photo.
As one mother to another, my heart aches for you.
I'm very, very sorry and very, very, sad for your family.

Anonymous said...

Praying that you feel our Heavenly Father wrapping His mighty arms around you, holding you closer than ever- today, and for the days to come.

Sodermoto said...

After reading your speech, your words are beautiful. I am so sorry to hear about Jack. He truly seemed like an old soul, full of wisdom. While I do not know your family in the 'real world', through your writing you have given me a very detailed impression of the wonderful boy he was. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful eulogy. I really admire your show of love and strength in the face of this event - truly a mother's worst nightmare. I wish I knew what on earth to write. Just know that people that you've never met care so deeply about you and what you're going through. xxx

Anonymous said...

Anna, thank you for sharing your son with us. We continue to pray for your family.

Lady Jennie said...

What a beautiful soul your Jack is.

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

Beautiful, Anna.

j & shea said...

anna, my heart goes out to you & your family. i have no way to comfort you, so instead i offer prayers. i pray that God will allow your family to find comfort & peace, as only He can.

Anonymous said...

I haven't any words for you; but please know that you are all in my thoughts. I can only hope that, in some very small way, my thoughts and condolences help.
Catherine

Wendy said...

Beautiful words for your beautiful son.

I have walked with many families as they said goodbye to their child far sooner than they ever hoped or dreamed for during my years as a funeral director's assistant.

I am so sorry for the death of your son.

Praying for your family.

~ Wendy

the new girl said...

I've been following your story and when I think about it, I want to float into space, away from a world where such a thing can happen.

There is incredible love for you and your family here. It's so easy to say the wrong thing when there are just no words that will work. At the risk of offending, though, I'm wishing you moments of peace amid this horrible time and hoping they will grow longer and fuller with time.

Anita @ Cedar Hill Ranch said...

Oh Anna, Anna, this is so incredibly tragic. My heart breaks for you. What a very handsome young man. I am still stunned that he is gone from this earth. You must feel so empty and lonely. I loved your moving and beautiful tribute to your son. I still can't believe all of this. It is so much to take in. Praying for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Hi, thinking and praying for you and your family. Julie

Pattie said...

Anna...I am so sorry to read of the loss of your son. I can not imagine what you and your family are going through. My prayers are with you. God Bless.
Pattie

Cara said...

I will pray for you and your family from New Jersey. Mothers of sons are special because we always worry something could happen to them. Your speech was beautiful and son is proud of you.

Katrina Jackson said...

I am in tears. What a beautiful tribute to your son. I hope you find continued strength at this time and more comfort than you need to get up every day. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family...and my deepest condolences. Take care.

MommaKiss said...

I've read and read an have not known what to say. My little brother died much too young, much too soon...he was 17. As his sister just 2 years older, it was an unbelievable loss. As I read this, I have some sense of what my mother may have been feeling. Losing a child - that's just not supposed to be the way. Your son is beautiful, peace to your family.

Reenie said...

Beautiful....thank you for sharing Jack with us. My continued thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

What a touching tribute to your son. He sounds like such an amazing boy. I read your friend Glennon's blog, you also sound like a beautiful person too! I don't know you, I happened on your blog last week from Miss Mustard Seed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

With love from San Diego

Heather said...

Still thinking of your family every day, Anna.

Rachel said...

Beautiful words. As a mother I can only imagine the grief you feel. I will keep you in my prayers. Your son sounds like an amazing boy. I'm sure he was equally proud to be your son.

Love,
~Rachel

Sarah B. SMITH said...

I heard about your story from my childhood friend, Carrie Dennis. Her husband grew up in that same neighborhood. I am truely sorry for your lost, and I can't ever say I understand, but I can hard for your family for strength, and peace from God. My mother is in heaven, and I know her and Jack are just having the best time. I know that might not be helpful, but he is HOME. We will see our love ones again when Jesus comes back.

Sarah B. SMITH said...

*I can pray for your family.. sorry I didn't realize I spelled hard and not pray like I wanted too.

citymouse said...

I wish I had words to write that would take away some of your pain, but I don't. I do however, know that our God is a God of love, comfort and grace. My prayer is that you solace in Him. Please know that there are countless people who are praying for your family and believing for peace to rule in your lives.

Meg said...

Beautiful tribute to your son. My heart aches for all of you. Thoughts and prayers for peace in your lives.

Two-Ones said...

I don't know you, just recently found your blog, but am inspired by your strength and courage and inspiration to so many during this tragically sad time for your sweet family. I had to respond and just wanted to reach out and let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and may God Bless your beautiful family.

Mel said...

Anna, This is a beautiful tribute to a very special boy. I think about you everyday and pray for peace and ease of heartache for you, Tim, and your daughter. Love and hugs, Melanie

Anonymous said...

From one mother to another, all I can say is that you are in my thoughts, though we are strangers to each other. May the power of all of our prayers for you and your family give you the strength and courage you need at this time. God Bless your family.

Debbie said...

That was the most gorgeous tribute to anyone I have ever read, and I am heartbroken that it had to be written. Anna, you don't know me, and I didn't know of you at all before Avitable's link to your blog last week, but if God is who I think He is, you can feel the love and support from the other side of the Rockies, coming your way.

I don't have the link from a long-ago entry on my own blog handy, but it's called "Of Miracles and Miracle Whip", on my own mother's passing, and the amazing sign I know was Sent just for me. Keep your eyes open for it, and your chin up. Love and prayers to you, every moment I can think of it.

Mrs. P Vega said...

Anna, my husband and I do not have any kids and, to be honest, I'm terrified to have them because I do not believe I'm strong enough to survive a loss as great as the one you have just endured. However, you have just inspired me. You just made me realize that beautiful creatures are destined to come into our lives and some leave earlier than others but, none-the-less, they were here, they inspired us and they will forever live in our hearts.

I'm so so so incredibly sorry for your loss. I am sending you all of my love, strength and prayers.

The Bipolar Diva said...

As a mom that's not only lost a child, but one that's watched my daughter, my baby girl, lose her child as well I've only skimmed this. I need to come back to read more. I did read that you believe your son is now HOME! What joyous knowledge. While our loss is never ending we can take comfort in the fact that our babies are indeed HOME and what a glorious home that is. Much love to you and your family.

Teri

Anonymous said...

wow. your love and grace are inspiring.

i think of you all often and wish you peace...

kitty said...

I don't know you.But I am so sad.My heart breaks for you.I know that your heart aches more than I can ever imagine.I am a Mom too.And I cannot imagine what you are going through.Please know you are ALL LOVED.We will pray for you and your family and all who knew your wonderful son.I pray that your heart will heal in knowing he is with his savior.I know Jack is looking down on you all.He is with you in spirit.He will always be with you.((((((HUGS))))))))

Rob said...

I don't know what a blog is, or how they work (needless to say, I've never left a comment on one) ... what's more, we don't know you, and you don't know us ... I only know that my younger sister taught a class of Jack's for a couple days, & in a heartfelt email, asked for prayers and sent your link. I read ...

No words - only silence - (although I type) - I have no words.

My response to Caren, after reading what you wrote, and the raw emotion of your glorious pre-amble was only:

… sigh, … sigh, … ugh, … sigh, …, tears, … smiles, … sigh …

Based upon your themes of faith, I'm sure you've heard of P.Yancey, and your words forced me to re-read (from "The Bible Jesus Read"), some final sections labeled: Do I Matter?, Does God Care? and Why Doesn't God Act?

I have peace regarding the answer to those questions (in terms of God's love & sovereignty), but I am at a loss regarding your loss.

So, now I'll return to no more words, 'cause if we knew each other I would hope to be what Job's friends were to him, during the first seven days, before they opened their mouths.

I have nothing more to offer (Job 13:15a, II Cor 4:8-9, Isaiah 41:10). I'll pray, but I'll also cry.

Alison@Mama Wants This said...

Your beautiful words and tribute to your son brought tears to my eyes.

I'm so very, very sorry for your loss. I hope that the support of not just your immediate family, friends and community, but that of the blog world, brings you some comfort.

Tara said...

Anna--I'm so very sorry. He was a beautiful boy. There are no words. Thinking of you from blogland.

Tara
http://www.dothesekidsmakemelookcrazy.com

Anonymous said...

I have never been so touched by someone I've never met. I'm hoping for strength for you, but hoping you also don't have to always be strong. I lost many friends in high school and felt so sorry for THEM. Now I realize that the true pain lies in the ones they leave behind....the first day I became a mother, I finally cried for all the mothers, fathers, siblings. I understood their love and couldn't begin to comprehend their pain. All I can do is think of you, pray for you, and continue to do so. Your life, your grace, your loss, Jack's life, and my profound sorrow for Margaret as well will stay with me forever.

Anonymous said...

I am so deeply sorry for you and your family. I have been following your blog for about a year. You are incredible person and an inspiration. I promise to pray for you and your family each day. I am a total stranger to you, but feel so deeply for you and your family. From one mother to another, I am just so truly sorry for your loss. What a wonderful tribute to him. Your gift or writing is amazing. Your honestly is too. Bless each one of you.

Mama MOE said...

I am so very sorry for the loss of your son. You have given the world a chance to 'meet' your him through your beautiful tribute - and we are all better for it. With much love and prayers, Julia

Kim @ A Brush of Whimsy said...

I loved the part when you said Jack would take Margaret with him so she could ask friends to play. So precious. Thank you, Anna, for sharing Jack with us.

Lisa said...

I've started to write several times but haven't been able to find the words. I came here from another blog, like many. I am heartbroken for you. From the mother of another 12 year old boy who loves legos, reading and can be quiet and reserved... please know that you are in my prayers. I read your tributes and look at my son and see many similarities and my heart breaks. But know that reading your tributes and your story has shown me that I need to do better at treasuring those qualities.
Praying for you from Texas.

Sherri said...

God Bless you and your family. I am so,so sorry for your loss.

Blogmeisters said...

I've been praying for you and your family ever since I heard from Glennon about Jack's accident. So many of us are praying for you; hoping to hold even a small part of your grief so that it doesn't swallow you up. Your strength is amazing. And I'm glad you have a strong church community and family to lean on when you're not feeling so strong. Much love to you all from a friend in New Hampshire. -- Peace, Jenn

Charlotte said...

What a beautiful tribute to your son. I think of you often and hope that God gives you the strength to carry on for your daughter, and for yourselves. It sounds to me you have a wonderful, loving family and a very supportive community of friends around you. Use them. And we are here whenever you need us, too.

XOXO and great big *HUGS* your way.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a vivid picture you've painted of your beloved son. Again, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a vivid picture you've painted of your beloved son. Again, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Lynn said...

I am over from Vodka Mom. I have been thinking of you and your family since Sunday, when I found out about your beautiful son's passing.
Although I haven't lost a child of mine, I do know what your home and life is like now. First hand.

http://itsajulything.blogspot.com/2009/02/here-is-bobbys-story-by-lynn-van.html

I know what it is like to crawl through these days. Taking his toothbrush out of the family holder on the sink, and the other little painful acts you must perform, the fist in the gut that comes when you aren't expecting it, so sorry. So so sorry. Praying for you.

The Skirts said...

Anna, I am so sorry for your family's loss. I've never commented before, but I've been reading for a while, and you and your family are very much in my thoughts and prayers.

Katie @ Cayenne Paper said...

Anna,
My heart is breaking for you. You are an amazing woman (even though I've never met you personally, I know this from your words) and I am thankful that God is always there shining through even during the most terrible tragedies. I know this is hard to believe right now, but hope that you know that is what Jack wants you to understand. He is no longer afraid, knows why mosquitoes were created (which is one thing I really want to know!), and is in the only place where he can always build the most elaborate creations out of Legos - from the Legos that always fit and never creep up on him in the dark while barefoot. :)

A beautiful Eskimo proverb:
“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”

This is exactly why God has given you ridiculously sunny days after this awful storm-- to show you those stars every night!

Katie T.

livefromhanford said...

I was directed to your blog from a relative and friend tweeting a prayer request for your family. Since then i have read about your family and the loss of your precious son.

My son died at 16 in a car accident. I know the depth of your sorrow and the indescribable presence and peace that God can provide. I also know about the days that follow.

I have prayed and will continue to pray for you, your husband and your daughter. My heart goes out to you all. Kathy

alexandra said...

What a beautiful tribute. I couldn't get through it without a faceful of tears. Your faith is inspiring and I think of you guys every day.

emily said...

Anna. There are no words. I am praying for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I love you and your family and I don't even know you, thought we have mutual friends. May God watch over you.
Love,
A Neighbor

Theresa said...

Was too chicken before now to look at the blog but I am so glad you posted the tribute from the memorial service.
When my friends tentatively asked me "How'd it go?", my answer was "Beautiful, tragic, inspiring. My friend spoke and she was magnificent." Truly I say to you, Jack would be proud. I know I am.

DiVaughn said...

We don't know each other. I've never come across your blog before following the link on the Stimeyland Facebook page. But my heart just breaks for you & Tim & Margaret. Deus vos benedicant. Or maybe: Benedicamus Domino.

{darlene} said...

weeping and praying for you, a woman I have never met, even in blogland. but you are a mother. and I ache terribly for you. I will not stop praying, dear one.

Jacqueline said...

Anna, I too am a stranger to you but a friend in the blogworld. How beautiful your tribute to your son. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute. What a sweet and tender boy, who had faith in God and is now in a better place. Your faith will carry you through the hard times, the ache and pain. May you feel him close. You are amazing and I am so glad blog friends told me to come and read your wonderful tribute.

for a different kind of girl said...

I've been offline for a few days and just getting to see you again. Even though I've not been around, I've been thinking of you and your family every day. The other day I was thinking of your nightly ritual of letting your children know how proud you are to be their parent, thinking about how I should start telling my sons that. We can show them, but having them hear it is powerful.

Then I read this and I thought of how proud your beautiful Jack would have been to hear the words you spoke. I know you'd rather tell him these types of things every night after a day with him, but how wonderful that he knew you felt these things.

Love you. Love you very much.

Life as Vicki said...

hello Anna,
I just happened onto your blog. I have lost a son and feel your pain. But thankfully, I feel your faith too. Faith is the only thing to get you through. God has sent people to love on you and care for you. But you and your family will have to go this road and everyone needs to let you deal with this trauma on your own terms with God holding you all the way. There will be times that things won't make sense to you or others but, time will heal. I pray for the strength to continue in your faith in God and family, knowing that this season will pass. I pray comfort over all of you and that in that moment when you think you can't rise, that you look up and see that you are not alone and many are praying for you. With compassion for your loss, and joy for your son,

Vicki

Anonymous said...

People all over the world are reading about your beautiful family and your unthinkable pain and in turn praying for you all. Tracey, Ireland

Esther@fleurcottage said...

I'm so sorry!

eggsinarow said...

There are no words to convey my sympathy, but I will let you know what I am doing in Jack's memory: 1) I am going to call my brother today, just to say hi. We aren't that close, but I want to work on being a better sister. 2) I am going to send my 3 year old nephew (age-appropriate) Legos. And 3) Next time I see my mom, I am going to cuddle with her. I am 31. So thank you, Jack. You have already made a difference in this stranger's life.

akgardne said...

May you be wrapped in love and soak up all the comfort possible from those whose hearts are breaking for you at a beautiful life taken far too soon. Your loss ,although not shared by all, is felt by a light gone out much too early. Tears for your sweet boy and your family.

2 Brits, 2 Yanks, 2 Dogs said...

Anna that is such the perfect, beautiful tribute to your son and I have thought about you every day.

From Wallyce: said...

Praying for you and yours... from LA... into eternity. And I'll try not to be impatient about asking God myself about mosquitoes. I can only imagine Jack enjoying the confab time with His Creator. I hurt to imagine your loss... and am thankful there will be a reunion for y'all to come....

Anonymous said...

I am a total stranger to you. But, I think of you often over here in Clarkston, MI. I am praying for you. I am praying that you and your husband and your beautiful daughter find a way to really enjoy life. I can not even imagine your pain and fear as I sit here at work typing this on my lunch hour. You are obviously a strong woman and a wonderful mother. I pray that your guilt goes away and you find peace--you will. I am so sorry for your loss. Jack was such a cutie. Your writing about him is beautiful.

Lara said...

Anna - I, like so many others here, am a stranger to you. I have sobbed with each post about your sweet boy. I have prayed for you each day. My weekly Mommy Bible study is praying for you as well. I am heartbroken that you are having to deal with such agonizing pain. I hurt for Margaret, and for your husband. I know that our God is amazingly awesome, but for Him to strengthen you in the way He has just reminds me of His greatness. You have reminded me that my children aren't really mine, but God's. You have taught me a great lesson through your pain. I feel bad saying it, because I know it might hurt you, but I also want you to know that you are having a positive impact - I am holding my children closer and more often. My prayers are with you from Central Florida.

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

I'm just crying ... I'm so so sorry that this happened to you.

lauren scheuer said...

Thank you, Anna, for creating this picture of your son. What a beautiful and honest tribute from an awesome and passionate mother. I wish you and your family strength and healing.

Shannon@FoxHollowCottage said...

I'm so deeply sorry for your loss.

Sabrina said...

Wow, I love the missionary story. And it's true, your Jack IS being a missionary now without even trying. I'm sitting here crying thinking of my own Jack (Jackson) who is six and my only child and how I'm going to hug him tighter, listen to him more intently, play more Uno Attack and just plain be present with him after reading your blog. I am truly sorry for your loss.

Rachael said...

Dear Precious One, I too am a stranger. My heart rips in two for your family. I lost my brother suddenly in my early 30's and we were very close like your children. I can't even imagine. The loss of a child. Praise the Living God that your son is home and He has a plan for your family. I pray for comfort during the times you don't want to face another moment. And the special call on your lives for going through something so huge.

greeneggsandhamlet said...

Anna, I'm just now catching up on reading your blog so just read the tragic news about your son. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I think you're so brave and so loving and am awed and inspired by the beautiful eulogy you gave at Jack's service. You are a mom through and through and a wonderful one at that.

Robin said...

I know I am late in finding your blog on YHL but I just have to say I am so touched. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers for many many years Anna. Sincerely, Robin

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joyed4 said...

Your son sounds wonderful, and you write about your heartbreaking experience so honestly. I hope that your family continues to heal in whatever ways you can. I applaud your strength and I will pray for your family. I hope your boy visits you in your dreams so that you are able to see his happy face. Thank you for reminding all of us about 'listening' I know that mom's everywhere knew EXACTLY what you meant by that.

Aleyta said...

I found you through momastery. Thank you for being open and honest. It inspires others to talk and communicate and become closer. You are a talented writer and as you said, your son is very proud reading your work from his window in the sky :)

Amy said...

Anna~ I don't know where to begin but somehow I feel as though we are connected.
On November 17th, 2012, around 1:30 in the afternoon, on a beautiful fall day... my husband and our two beautiful daughters, Lauren, 9 and Taylor, 7, were driving home from Lauren's basketball game... when our van was hit broadside by a 19 year old kid drunk and high on drugs... Lauren was killed on impact. Our lives as you know, have been forever changed... We have a huge whole and an integral part of famiy missing...
When I have read some of your posts, especially those describing Jack... Lauren and Jack sound so much a like... She was the most beautiful soul and her smile and laugh could light up an entire room.
I just want to thank you for sharing your story as it helps me through ours... many days, I still feel I am in a fog, but continue to put one foot in front of the other for our 7 year old daughter, Taylor... and for Lauren. We have always taught both our girls that in life and no matter what it is you do... give 110% and Never Give up... we never cared what the score was, the grade, etc... as long as they gave it their all... that was what mattered and we were so proud. Lauren lived this everyday. And for her... we have promised, we will Never Give up... as much as we want to... we will continue on for her.
Thank you and prayers to you and your beautiful family.
Amy

GrahamForeverInMyHeart said...

The world is a poorer place without your Jack. I'm so sorry.
Please tell Margaret how my heart aches for her as well.

Betsy said...

Man, he was a good-looking kid and would have grown up to be such a handsome man. I know your world is darker without him, but I hope it brings you a small measure of comfort to know that people from all over know about, and remember, your boy.

Love,
A stranger in Louisiana

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