Monday, November 28, 2011

In the Woods

So Tim asked me to go on a walk this morning. I was thinking we'd go on the bike path or out in a neighborhood. Instead, he took me to some parkland in our town consisting of deep woods and a creek. We got further and further into the woods, so far that I figured he either wanted to make out with me or murder me and hide the evidence. Turns out he wanted to walk and talk.

As you may know, the past few days have been rough. Thanksgiving? Oh my goodness. That's really all I can say about that.

The bottom line is that while I KNOW Jack is in a better place, and I believe he wants me to share the TRUTH with you, that life does not end when the body does, I want him alive and well and eating tacos in THIS place. MY place. Right now.

One of the things that has sustained us over these weeks as we drive through our town are the royal blue ribbons on trees, schools, mailboxes, cars, and fence posts telling us that our community cares and has not forgotten Jack. The blue ribbons feel like a hug to me each time I see them.

As we walked deeper into the dense woods today I thought, "I hate this so much! What a freakin' waste! Everyone is going to go on with life and forget about Jack. I wish there was a blue ribbon out here." Less than 2 minutes later, I saw this: a deflated royal blue balloon and a ribbon dangling from a tree, right in front of our faces.



Wow. Wow. Wow. Thank you, God. I needed that sign. That love. That hug. Maybe you, sweet friend, need it too. Because this is all so hard.

Harder still because as we twisted and turned this way and that in the woods, we ended up having to cross over the stupid creek no fewer than 4 times. The creek that somehow connects with our shitty neighborhood creek. I was just not ready for that yet.


In a Mars/Venus situation that would seem comical if there were anything funny about seeing a 42 year old woman sobbing through the brambles and underbrush, the very setting that Tim hoped would be peaceful for us was torture for me. Torture. Each twist and bend in the deep, dry creek bed brought horrible images to my mind. I couldn't quit sobbing.


When we had almost stumbled back to civilization, we found the swing Jack and Margaret used to play on when we would take them geocaching down there. The swing, the spooky tunnel with dirty words written inside, and finally, the bike path were all within reach.

I tell you about the ribbon in the middle of the woods to encourage you, just as you have encouraged me by sharing the signs you have seen. The dreams, visions, songs on the radio-- the rainbows and incredible sunsets on numerous Thursday nights at the exact time of the accident.

And we won't feel greedy asking for more signs, more assurance, more comfort will we? No. Because we are sad. And we are slow learners. And God is patient. And so is Jack.

97 comments:

Kim Elkins said...

Still a total stranger to you -still praying fervently for you EVERY day without fail.

helenasc said...

Praying for you many times a day. Also, I am not sure that I ever came back to tell you exactly how many OCC boxes we filled this year. We filled 15 and prayed for you all and thought of Jack as we filled and prayed over each one. Also, we had gotten an Angel Tree angel to purchase a gift for and the little girl asked for a "Creative Play Toy." I had been trying to figure out what that meant for a week. Then yesterday, during worship time at church, I was thinking of you all, and all of a sudden, I just knew. What could be better than a box of Legos. May God bless and comfort you all tonight.

Kim @ A Brush of Whimsy said...

I get it~ KNOWING that Jack is now totally free and unencumbered by THIS place doesn't take away the unspeakable pain and loss that you feel HERE now. You miss your sweet boy. It just sucks, Anna.

Loukia said...

I have shared Jack's story with all my closest friends, friends who hardly even read my blog, and they're moved and changed as much I am. I think about your gdmiky so often, you know, and pray. Every Sunday I make it to church, I reflect and pray. And you've been so strong. Just know, you are in my thoughts. xoxo

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

I think about you and Tim and what it must be like for the 2 of you. I pray your relationship only grows stronger thru this.I mentioned to you that my best friend's son died in an accident 10 years ago. His friends have stayed connected to them. They haven't forgotten her son and I suspect the people around you aren't going to forget Jack. I know I won't!

cheryl @ nefotlak. said...

hugz from way down here. thinking of you guys - lots.(another stranger her too!)
c x.

macmac524 said...

Reading this was particularly sad. I don't have a frame of reference for how much you must miss Jack. The pain you describe, at times, seems excruciating.
I wish you moments of true peace...

P.S. People will not forget Jack... they won't.

Erin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin said...

Anna,
I don't know how you are able to keep breathing through the tears and pain, let alone keep writing -- keep expressing and sharing your heart. Your love for Jack ensures he won't be forgotten by anyone who knows you, and your words ensure he won't be forgotten by anyone who reads you.

Your capacity for love and your ability to express what's in your heart are such beautiful gifts.

Love,
Erin

Melanie in NC said...

So sweet of your husband to want to take you away....to whisper...to connect..to find healing for his Anna...and his own gaping hole...lifes pathway...full of twists..turns...lovely...and at times just so deeply tragic...I am so glad you saw that blue ribbon...the Lord hears us He knows us from our deepest chambers...The beautiful blessing is also that you are noticing the whispers of love of validation...and there will be many many more...continue to look for those whispers...they are really just for you....because you are the daughter of a King...
"The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18
Daily thinking of you and yours...Daily lifting you up my sister in Christ....

simply brookes: said...

i don't know you, but i do know your story. my family knows your story. i read your blog entrys as they are written. i am praying for you. i am rooting for you. i am cheering you on as you walk through this chapter. God is with you and us as we are on this journey with you in a strange way.
thank you for sharing with us. your husband is a good man.
love the blue 'ribbon' sign you got deep in the woods...know you are enveloped in His love.
let God fill you with his presence.

Anonymous said...

My heart aches for you. Jack and all the things you have shared and we as a community of blog readers have learnt from him will not be forgotten.
love in christ, mandy

Mrs. E said...

I didn't even know Jack, and yet I will never forget him. I can't. Your words have touched me deeply. I'm a mom. I "get" how enormous our love is for our children. And all I can think..."there, but for the grace of God." I pray I will die before either of my girls--and I pray for you and for lots of blue ribbons in your life. Jack, if you're listening-- lots of blue ribbon reminders!

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

My son's good friend died suddenly in 2007, Mac thinks about him every day.

His mother's fear that we forget about him will never happen.

Just last night I was talking with one of my "tutoring moms" about Jack.

So there. No forgetting.

And on the way home, I thought a lot about Tim and your marriage, and I decided to pray you stay together and grow stronger.

My son's friend's dad started his eulogy that way, he turned to his wife and said that Brandon's death would not end their marriage.

It is where your family begins.

Jack Donaldson.
Brandon Kitchens.

Names that will stir my tears and make me smile for the rest of my life.

It's okay to feel selfish. Yep, Heaven, yada yada yada. Nope not here. It sucks. (And I hate that word.)

Ellen said...

Many years ago my mother prayed a desperate prayer that God would reveal himself to her. She then set about busying herself by cleaning out a closet. The very first box she opened contained books and the book on the very top was entitled GOD REVEALS HIMSELF. I was just a little girl when she shared that story with our family but 40 yrs, later it continues to remind me that God is a personal God. He knows every detail of our lives and cares deeply about them. He promises to never leave us to walk through the difficulties of life alone. You are so often on my mind and heart and I pray for you as the Lord brings you to mind. I'm praying the Lord continues to provide vivid reminders that He has not forgotten your circumstances; you are not walking this path alone. He is right there beside you.

You asked early on for prayers for your marriage to remain strong under such tremendous grief and I've been praying that for you. And for Margaret too.

Lisa said...

I think about Jack and you, Tim and Margaret everyday. Just last night at the holiday stroll when Santa came down on the truck, I started to cry because I was thinking of Jack. Not all the shopping to do, but Jack. Thank you for sharing, I love reading your blog.

Leslie said...

Back in 2008, my wonderful friend Kristen said "Oh, you're starting a blog? You should read my former teacher's blog, she's SO awesome!" I started reading it that day, and knew I'd keep reading it as long as you wrote. Just last night, I suppose a few hours before you were thinking this morning about how people will forget, I said to myself, Hmmm, I will "know" Anna, Tim Jack and Margaret for the rest of my life. There will never be a time when I don't think of them. Never. There will never be a time when I've forgotten that Jack told the ump in a baseball game that he didn't quite touch the other kid. There will never be a time that his simple and profound show of integrity won't make me desire to stay in check as well. This really was what I was thinking, hours before you were hoping people wouldn't forget.

I am a stranger to you, yet there won't be a time when I don't mourn your son with you, or feel joy that he was saved and is with the Lord and this life is the blink of an eye and we will be there, too, that there is hope in Christ.

When I was 17, a friend died tragically on a hiking trip we were on. I'm now 35, and I still pray for his mom and dad, his twin sister, his little brother. I pray for them and think of them and think of the wonderful things about their son, and I'm still very deeply affected by this loss. Maybe even more as I've aged, because I can understand the love his parents had for him. People don't forget.

More importantly, in 18 years, I've never stopped praying. Never! And this is without any reminders, any blog posts, anything at all. I've always prayed. I'm sure their pain is much different now, but I sure hope it's in part because of the prayers over the years. I know I am not the only one who has prayed for the past 18 years.

I can't believe you would write a post that includes lines about encouraging us. Oh Anna, thank you! I hate thanking you for a post, but thank you!

I am praying for peace for you and Tim and Margaret, and some sort of divine understanding for you all.

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

that is amazing. just amazing- all these signs you receive.... they can't heal you, but they can certainly let you know you are loved and not forgotten and neither is jack.

Lindsay said...

I can't begin to fathom your heartache, Anna, and it's SO NOT FAIR. I just hope and pray you and Tim can keep on keepin' on together and that your marriage will somehow be strengthened in the midst of this unimaginable tragedy. God hears your cries and I have to believe that He will continue to show you signs from sweet Jack. I don't know you guys, but rest assured, there's NO WAY, NO HOW, I'll ever forget Jack or you all. Prayers for more signs from God/Jack and just even a moment or two of peace somehow. LOVE LOVE LOVE to you all.

Rach said...

Please know, even though he is no longer physically with you, Jack will not be forgotten. I won't forget your beautiful baby. I promise.

I'm so glad you had signs. I don't have them as frequently anymore. But, whenever I need one, there it is.

My prayers continue for you all.
Warm hugs,
Rach

Lady Jennie said...

Your well of sadness is very deep. I'm praying you keep getting signs and wonders to be able to climb out.

Marinka said...

You know that I'm not a religious person, a heathen, practically (note to self: look up "heathen") but your writing is driving me to prayer. Constantly.

I pray for you every day. Throughout the day. Sending so much love and peace your way.

Mrs Changstein said...

I was reading today, Oswald Chambers, and I had such a clear picture. Jack & you hugging in heaven. And then, behind him, came a whole 'herd' of people who came and thanked you. Thanked you for suffering, and writing about it and allowing God to use you. Because of your obedience - your willingness to share this journey - they are there too. I know that it's cold comfort right now, but know our Lord will continue to be faithful. He never fails...even when it looks like He does.

Kara said...

I'm so sorry that you are, a will always be, surrounded by reminders of your loss. I am thrilled, though, that you have just as many reminders of the Lord's love for you and your family. It truly is encouraging for me. I suppose that even as you heal you, Tim, and Margaret will always be Without Jack, yet I know that each of you will also shine for the Lord. Thank you for being vulnerable and real, and for continuing to struggle though it all. I'm going to hang a royal blue ribbon on our Christmas tree in honor of your brown-eyed boy, in honor of the love you have for him, and in honor the Lord's love for all of us.

p.s. that creek's name should probably be on the maps as "Shitty Creek"

Anonymous said...

It's okay to be furious and want Jack here, now. What happened to Jack, to you, isn't right, isn't fair and you are completely justified in kicking and screaming all you need for as long as you need. Seriously, it's okay.

It's okay to say to family, friends, anyone, "let's talk about Jack now". We don't forget, I swear to you, we don't forget a single moment.

Love and hugs from the aunt of a brown-eyed boy 9 years further down the road than you.

Jori said...

I will never forget him. It is so obvious that Jack is so special. I came across an old journal entry for my great great grandmother. She was a Swedish immigrant. Her husband died young, and left her with 7 children. Before he passed she asked him to come to her, after his death to let her know he was okay. For many weeks he didn't come. Finally she went out very early in the morning to gather eggs. He was standing by the fence. She asked why he didn't come sooner. He said that her sorrow was too great, and she couldn't have handled seeing him. He told her in the spirit world they were happy, but very busy. He said missionary work was going on. He told her about being reunited with loved ones that had gone on before him. She started to tell him about what was going on with her and the children. He stopped her and said that he knew what was happening with the family as well as she did. He told her he had to go,but asked if she would like to see him in his true form. She said he became bright and full of light. She wrote, it was so glorious she could barely look at him. After that he was gone. This experience made it possible for her to endure. I know Jack is in the same glorious state, and sends love to his precious family. Many prayers to you sweet Anna.

Pamela said...

I'll never forget Jack. I don't even think it's possible. He is so deep in my heart and I've never even met him. But I love him through all that I've learned about him from you. God put him, and you and Tim and Margaret, in all of our hearts forever.

Dinosaur Mommy said...

I'm a complete stranger to you, but I've been following your story for about a month now. I thought about you guys this weekend, a lot. Praying for all of you - every day.

Anonymous said...

Those sunsets and rainbows are beautiful. I will never forget Jack either. I think of him and you and Tim and Margaret every single day. Sometimes only once a day and sometimes several times throughout the day. Sometimes I find myself crying out of nowhere thinking of how unfair it is that he is gone. I know that 10,20,30 years from now I still will not forget his sweet face and the joy he brought to so many in his short life.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I believe that people who have left us can send signs to let us know that they're not "gone". When I was in high school, a boy I knew committed suicide. That night, everyone gathered in the current party spot - talking, crying, consoling and acting out the way teenagers do. It was a large field at the bottom of a hill. And almost every night I had ever been there over the past few years, it was so dark that often flash lights were necessary to see more than five feet in front of you. That night you could see all the way across the field to the tree line where it ended. The trees were so full of lightning bugs, that it looked like dusk, not 11pm. In all of the summer nights I spent hanging out in that field, I never saw anything like it.

I'm so glad you are getting signs of Jack's presence. He is always with you. I believe that with all my heart.

luv2run said...

I always feel like a I'm at a loss for words because we dont know each other! Even so, there are people like me who really love learning more about Jack and your life. Your perspective of life helps people like me make more sense and understanding in my/their life. I am appreciative of that...though I would do anything to bring Jack back for you so we dont benefit from your perspective....believe me, I wish you never had to experience this ulimate form of pain and loss. I do appreciate you opening up and letting us see your way through life.
Hugs from a stranger!

Thank you for your writtings!

luv2run

Meredith Self said...

Holding that space of grace and love that remembers even while it lives with the present moment. Jack is forever in my heart now. He lives there.

I used to ask for signs over and over, too....and sometimes still do. :-)

Theresa O said...

No way, No how - Jack will NEVER be forgotten. Your beautiful family will never be forgotten. And Prayers are always being said for each of you. The signs that you hear/see, make me smile and cry. It is truly AMAZING! Jack is walking with you. No doubt about that. Many hugs.

Anonymous said...

We've never met, but we share some of the same friends. I just wanted you to know how much of an impact you and your family has made on my life. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of you. I pray for comfort for you, Margaret and Tim. But I also think of what a wonderful mother you are. I find myself questioning myself with my own children..."what would Anna do or say?" I even say "my butt" in my head when hearing my kids argue! Jack has made such an impact on my life and those of my children. We will never forget..... Please keep writing.

Denise said...

Breathe taking!!! and heart throbn.

IrishRN07 said...

Oh, if I could ease your family's suffering just a little bit. I am going to Michael's to buy the biggest flippin' blue ribbon I can find!

Anonymous said...

Forget me not
My little one
You have left us too soon
Though my body can no longer hold you
I hold you forever in my heart
As precious and beautiful as this flower caught in time
A mother's love does not forget.
~Unknown
I'm putn me a Blue Ribbon also...

Anonymous said...

Forget me not
My little one
You have left us too soon
Though my body can no longer hold you
I hold you forever in my heart
As precious and beautiful as this flower caught in time
A mother's love does not forget.
~Unknown
I'm putn me a Blue Ribbon also...

The Carens Clan said...

God knows the stregth of your love for Jack & knows you need all these signs to continue on, and although He, for some reason, needed Jack in Heaven with Him... it's as if He is trying to send these signs to comfort you, let you know that He is taking special care of Jack, & that you will be with him again. Continuing to pray everyday for you ....
Mandy

Windy said...

Just wanted to let you know, I think of Jack everyday. It's usually just a quick thought of him as I drive, or work, or jog. I feel happy that he randomly just pops in my mind.Your family is in my prayers.

Leah C said...

I sit here, staring at my computer, trying to find the words to comfort you...and I'm at a loss...your loss is just too great. But know this, dear Anna, that your sweet Jack will never be forgotten. Hugs and prayers, as always.

Michelle said...

I too am going to put a blue ribbon on our Christmas tree here in Ashburn. Also going to get my parents, in Vienna, to put a blue ribbon on their mailbox or tree so that if you drive by you can feel another hug from someone who hurts for you.

Kelly R said...

Please know that so many people from all over are lifting you up in prayers daily. I will never forget your family! You have made such an impact on my life. I wish so much that you were not going through this and is was possible to go back to that horrible day and change the outcome. I know that if we allow God to use our pain he will work through us to touch people and do his will. He does have a plan for you and your family Anna and although it does not make sense now he will answer it all for you in heaven. Your sweet boy knows his plan now and by continuing to put one foot in front of the other and allowing yourself to be volunerable and honest you are Working as his servant and for that you will one day be rewarded in a great way. You are always in my prayers. I can honestly say that you have helped me to become a prayer warrior for God. I have never prayed more in my life than I have for you and your family since September. I am grateful to you for that. I am so sorry for your unimaginable loss and pray that God continues to give you love and hugs through signs and that you are able to always feel your baby's spirit close to your heart.
Kelly
xo

Anonymous said...

There will be a big blue ribbon on our Christmas tree in Massachusetts, too. Come January, I'll store it with our most precious ornaments. Our paths did not cross in this life, but Jack will forever have a place on our tree and in my heart. Thank you for sharing your beautiful boy with us. We will remember.

lindsay said...

Anna, I also feel I know your family, and can say with certainty that I will never forget Jack. My dear friend's sister died of cancer about 10 years ago, and her (the sister's) greatest fear was that she would be forgotten. My last memory of her is from a holiday dinner after which she and I talked while loading the dishwasher. And in her memory, I think of her with a smile each time the dishwasher and I have a date. Likewise, I will think of Jack every time I see a handsome brown-eyed boy. Every single time. For as long as I'm here.

L said...

So thankful for the ribbon, and all the other ways God's love (and Jack's) reaches out when we need it. And thankful that you share it here so we can all feel it, too. Thankful for you readers who call yourselves strangers. You are not strangers, though!

Renee said...

No worries, as I will never forget Jack and your family will always be in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

All of these loving comments bring me to tears just as much as your own words do. There is so much love here.

I LOVE the idea of putting a blue ribbon on our tree. We will do that too here in Seattle.

I HATE that f%&$ing creek, Anna. In fact, I find myself looking with fearful animosity at the two near our own home. They used to be charming, and now I hate them. I think, though, that I also have a newfound respect, for them. I am sorry you had to pass through the one on your walk with Tim, but really hope that the resulting sobbing was cathartic.

I also strongly hope that you and Tim are okay and that you continue to love and support and be forgiving of and patient with one another. I know you are being all those good things for Margaret.

love,
jbhat

mia said...

I wish there was some way to share your burden. No parent should need to endure this pain... I am so sad:( hugs and prayers everyday!!!

Bfiles said...

just want you to know that I follow your blog and grieve with you. wishing some comfort for your family.

Aimee said...

That must have been one difficult memorable walk you had, but good therapy at the same time.

I can tell you this, Jack will never be forgotten. I'm a complete stranger, and not one day goes by that I don't think of him as I'm driving over that bridge to a fro work. :(

Jack is still around, looking down at us, wanting us all to be strong for him. :)

DawnGes said...

A blue ribbon on our Christmas tree for Jack and for you. xoxoxox

Lou said...

Anonymous said...

I love this idea - we'll be putting a blue ribbon on our tree in honor of your Jack.

Fueled by coffee and Coke Zero....... said...

Madison, Eden and Michael will be putting blue ribbons on our Christmas tree and outside we will put a blue ribbon on our wreath.

And, Anna, Jack will NEVER be forgotten by our family, and I daresay by anyone who ever met him. As we drive around town and we see blue ribbons, my kids comment on them, mention Jack, and you and your family are always in our prayers. Much love -- Mariann

LauraBeth said...

Anna... You know that my house/yard and car have been decked out with blue ribbons for a while now. What you don't know (and I didn't remember to mention to you on Sunday night when we were talking about our Christmas trees) is that, this year, I bought a new ornament in memory of your Jack. It is a shimmering, sparkly blue bird. I bought it, and carefully placed it near the top of our tree near the star. It is a very special bird... Jack is a very special boy. And every year from here on out, that blue bird will perch in my Christmas tree for your Jack.

Jack - and you, Tim, and Margaret - won't be forgotten by me. You and your family are always in my prayers. Sending you (((((hugs)))))

Beth said...

Anna, I am so glad that Tim is wanting to walk and talk with you. I sincerely hope you don't stop connecting in that way, even though this time it was really difficult to be out there with your emotions! I feel like God is telling you "you are on the right track!" When He provides these signs when you need them most. It must be so hard, especially at the holidays, to wonder how people are going on with their lives. I am hoping the wave of grief subsides a little, very soon. We won't forget about Jack - is it possible to miss someone you've never met?

Julie said...

Pray every single day.

Lisa said...

I truly believe in signs. I do. They often pop up when we need them most. Cherish them...

And please know that Jack will never be forgotten. He was a charming boy, at least from what I've read, and you keep his memory alive with every word you write.

My oldest son reminds me in so many ways of your Jack. And when I look at my son, not a day goes by that I don't think of Jack and your family.

Praying for your family. Always.

Anonymous said...

I could so see my husband doing the same thing.. Taking me for a walk in the woods to help and me crying the whole time.. I know he would do it out of love and at the same time not getting it, but I would love him even more for the trying. I am glad that you got the blue ribbon ballon.

I am a friend of a friend who has been reading your blog since that night when I tried to make it home to my kids who were playing outside in the rain and heard on the radio about a 12 year old boy and I tried to drive faster. My heart cried as I drove. I was one of those cars who could not get on Lawyers because it was closed and ended up being one of the last car on west ox before they closed that road too. It was scary night, but I don't need to tell you that.

What I feel I must tell you is I have children, that I now smell. And when I smell my 12 year old, even after soccer practice, I tell him of your Jack and he lets me hug him and smell him. Yes, it is true I have started smelling my children even after soccer - just them not their cleats.

So thanks to Jack - I smell my kids more and I hug them more (at home only).

I never knew Jack and well I don't know you.. You are just a friends friend. But now I know that I will never ever ever forget JACK. Why... because well I read your post...and I am different and now my children will be different... I know this is not want you want you want him home eating tacos and not changing the life of a person you don't know.

But..you and your love of Jack and Margaret and Tim has changed me. In my heart of hearts I wish this was a bad dream, but since it is not I wish you peace.

Kara.k.O said...

Anna, thank you for continuing to share your pain and God's "hugs" with us! I tell you all the time...but want to say again; I soooo love you and your family! We, too, are decorating this year w/ blue ribbons. (of course you know Miss Krissy wouldn't have it any other way!) We won't forget Jack...you guys have impacted our lives more than you know. Praying, praying, praying! kara

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

Anna,
I'll be thinking of you over Christmas. I can't imagine how difficult it will be, missing your son. I pray that you and your family will continue to find some small measure of peace through the loving gestures of your friends and family.

A Speckled Trout said...

I had a dear friend who died of ovarian cancer. I was her Tuesday girl.......taking her to appointments every week until she had to start making herself ready for her last trip. It was the honor and heartbreak of my life to be asked to do this.

Like Jack, I think of her every day and it has been five years. Forgetting would be like failing to notice the stars in the sky.

Erica & Betsy said...

Sitting here in tears... again... for someone I don't know who lost a son that I didn't know. Thank you for reminding me to kiss my baby girl. I think of you often. Please God, let me never forget to cherish every moment.

Love to you,
Erica

ALI said...

I'm on a path. One that has been prodding at me for a while now, but only after Jack's death did I feel a door being opened for me to explore.

God is working in ways you cannot begin to imagine or dream.

One of the ways I'm starting on this journey is the calling to read Karen Kingsbury's Sept 11 series.

DH & I had issues trying to conceive our son. Our marriage suffered, and at times, I feel we are still at the point we were on the day we found out I was pregnant. On the verge of splitting. Other days, I feel his love & know we are just as strong as we were before we started trying.

I'm starting to realize - those strong days are God revealing to me my hope for our marriage is not in vain. Margaret needs you two too much for any other alternative.

Hugs & prayers.

Jack is not forgotten, he is someone I want my son to grow to emulate.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog since that terrible night when a friend referred me. On my car ride home my son's basketball practice last night I was pondering your latest post and how your "signs" were similar to mine since my mom died. When I need a sign and ask, I usually get one. So I was asking for a sign to me for you. While flipping radio stations, I came upon a religious discussion which caught my attention. Relative to the season, it was a discussion of how Mary was chosen to bring baby Jesus to this earth. I don't typically listen to these shows on the radio as they seem a bit impersonal, but I had a feeling that I needed to listen. Two quotes immediately showed themselves as the "signs" I was asking for. The first was Mary's "Let it be" and the second was of course "With God nothing is impossible" Thanks Jack

The Green Family said...

I haven't forgotten ....

Gwajsgras said...

Your sweet jack isn't just gone Anna. He's watching over you and trying to help you cope. When my Mom died I wanted to die too, but I began noticing just these types of "strange cases of uncanny timing". Small connections that seem to suggest my Mom was trying to soothe my desperate misery. I've been collecting these stories ever since and will share one with you....

My friend Nancy told me this story about her Dad. It was about a year before he died that Nancy's dad lost his cherished wedding band. The band he had worn his entire marriage. It devastated him and he tore the house apart looking for it for months and months (the family trying to help him make his peace with the loss and let it go), finally giving up in frustration and buying another. He died very suddenly the following year and the family was wrecked. They all flew to New England for the funeral and were gathered at Nancy's childhood home for the wake. Nancy was milling around aimlessly when her toddler daughter approached her , clearly rolling something around in her mouth. Nancy was well aware of choking hazards by this time and held her hand under her daughters mouth and demanded she spit it out. Her daughter spit her fathers wedding band out into Nancy's waiting hand. Nancy was stunned and began gently asking her daughter who wasn't even 2 at the time, where she had gotten it? She followed her daughter across the kitchen where her daughter began pointing up to the kitchen counter. Nancy figured she didn't understand the question and kept trying to redirect the little girl. Her daughter remained absolutely adamant that she had gotten it off the counter.
Some will say that the little girl either didn't know where she had gotten it, didn't understand the question, or was afraid of getting in trouble. After hearing, and beginning to collect these stories, I firmly believe she found that ring on the counter. I also firmly believe your sweet Jack is not just gone. He is watching over you and trying to help you cope.
I think of you often and pray this story has helped ease, if only a little bit, your raging, furious broken heart.

Anonymous said...

Another stranger, praying for you fervently down the road in Arlington.

Rebecca said...

We have not met, but you commented on a post I wrote on Momastary about my son and finding our "perfect" over a year ago. I have not stopped thinking about Jack and your family since I first heard about the accident. I pray for you all continually and I promise you something, I will NEVER forget Jack. I promise, never, ever. I look at my 5 year old son and I think about Jack. I try to be even more present with my children, and I think about Jack. I promise you, the world may seem like it is going on with out you, but it is not. We are caring Jack with us. I am inspired by him and by you. That will live on forever, I will never forget him, please know I am one of many who feel the same way. The blue ribbons may someday fade away, but his life and impact will not.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure this is going to be a very popular post here, but here goes. While I, like others, relate to the total devastating heart-break you are experiencing, I also relate to young Margaret. I was eleven when my dad died after a short illness. My mom was totally devastated by the loss of her soul mate and entered a level of depression that I have never experienced before in my short life. Suddenly, rules that were in place before were lifted, attention that had previously be paid by both parents was gone, I was allowed to do things that were not in line with our family values all in a way to try to make up for the loss of my father and/or my mom's inability to cope with his death. As I entered my pre-teens, I took FULL advantage of this. What my mom couldn't comprehend was that while I could deal with my dad being dead and gone (while she could not), what I couldn't deal with was the loss of my mom as I knew her and she was still right there in front of me. She dealt with things much differently and did not talk to anyone about what she was feeling. Keep writing and processing. Focus the energy that you can pull from yourself every day on Margaret and Tim. Wishing you comfort and peace every day.

Chrisy said...

I stare at photos of Jack. Stare. His beautiful face makes me smile, then I cry. I've not had the privilege of meeting you or your family in person. I still can't believe he's gone.

If I ever get to meet you, I'll wear a royal blue ribbon, shirt, hat, eye shadow . . . something. Jack, you, Tim, Margaret -- you're all touching so many. I won't forget your precious boy. XO

Nomads By Nature said...

Please email me at nomadsbynatureatyahoodotcom. I have a picture to send you - one that was taken this same day. We were out of town on the road and after thinking about you and your family especially, this popped up in front of me. I had a camera and think you would love the result.

Hang in there, Anna. You and your family are hugged in prayer from so many, many who never knew you or your precious Jack, but are getting to know you through your writing. I know I will never forget your son. The path of grief and healing that you are on touches my heart personally.

And I agree with Kara, if that creek doesn't have an official name, start calling it Shitty Creek.

Junie said...

We will go on with our lives but Jack is not forgotten. Sometimes we will be glad we are going forward to meet him. More often, I think, we will be sad that we are moving ahead without him.

But Jack is not forgotten. I think about him.

I think about you, too, and your family. And I pray for all of you.

Anonymous said...

We are praying often for you and your family. Jack's death is truly awful, and though we are glad you will see him again someday, we can only imagine how painfully awful it is to live each day without him. We will continue to pray for the Lord's sustaining grace for you all, and we will not forget Jack.

Much love to you and your family,

Your cousin Emily R

Anonymous said...

Countless hugs from Australia.

xoxox

Karen said...

Anna, we continue to weep with you daily my friend! The good news is we are in good company...Jesus wept at Lazarus' grave. Jesus felt Mary's grief even though he knew his coming miracle would change that. Christ's humanity allows him to comfort us now through his Holy Spirit...he relates to our pain. Jesus also grieved because He knew that many in the future would reject Him and his ability to bring them ultimate victory over sin. This is not saying that as believers we are free from sin, but we can strive against sin with the Holy Spirit and most importantly Jesus' blood allows us to be seen sinless and holy. I'm praising God that in our grief, God leads us to signs that provide rest and comfort like the ribbon you found. I am also praying that many reading this will know that you and Jack are "their sign" to take care of their own spiritual health and that of their children. In our fallen world, the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God through our Lord Jesus Christ is victory over death...eternal life!

Patricia said...

This post is so beautiful, so incredibly uplifting and so deeply sad and painful - all at the same time.....The third comment down, Kim at a Brush of Whimsy, said it so perfectly - Jack is free and unencumbered, but at the same time, you and your dear family, are feeling so much pain, and so much hurt. I can only voice what the others have said - I have been , and will continue to pray for you and your family to try to find the strength to get through all of this. But I have to say that I have never seen such incredible strength coming from any human being - you are an amazing person.

Meredith from A Mother Seeking said...

What a beautiful post. I don't know you and I didn't know Jack, but I read your blog regularly because you and Jack and your story have touched me.

It's been 7 months since I Iost my dad to cancer and some days it does feel like the world has moved on, but I am stuck. However, I get these little signs too at the right times. There's no time limit or span... it's our own personal process.

Thinking of you!


Meredith From A Mother Seeking Come find me on my blog, A Mother Seeking...

bonzo said...

I will never forget Jack. Never ever ever.

bonzo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I never have Blogged until now.God is using use in a Great and Mighty way! I'm sorry it's from your pain though. May I? You hav probably have already been told this but,You really need to write a BOOK because people need your messsage of faith and strenght after a tragedy, and your writn is over the top good like Karen Kingsberry or Francine Rivers. Not rushn you, just plantn a seed! I know you still hav alot to work through and healn to. But you can really put ppl right where u r. I will never forget Jack or your family, and I pray for ya'll all the time. Just out of the blue u run through my mind and I just stop n pray right there for ya'll. And I think you should call ur book Rarebird.

Anonymous said...

Jack loves you so much and is waiting for you.

Anonymous said...

Anna,
I have not commented before because I know there is nothing I,a total stranger, can say to make it better. I can't take away your pain or turn back time and fix everything but, I can assure you that I will never forget Jack. I don't know why you and your family have touched me so. Maybe because we are the same age and seem to have similar personalities. Maybe because I have a Lego loving boy who is always the one to "do the right thing". Or maybe because your beautiful and honest writing goes right to my heart and addresses my greatest love, my son and my greatest fear, losing him. This is the one thing I know I can do for you to help ease you fear of people forgetting your son. I will remember Jack and often think of him and the rest of your family. Hopefully, knowing that there are many of us, most of whom you have never met, who will never forget your beautiful Jack brings you just a tiny amount of comfort. Big Hugs to you from an unknown friend in Georgia!!

Anonymous said...

"Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped into the next room. Whatever we were to each other: that we are still. Call me by my familiar name. Speak to me in the way in which you always did. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort. Life means ...all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of your mind--because I am out of your sight? I am but waiting for you, or an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before---only better, infinitely happier and forever. We will all be one together with Christ." Attributed to Canon Henry Scott-Holland (taken from the Mass of Christian Burial Book by M. Garvey)

Praying for you always. Your beloved son will never be forgotten.

Heidi said...

I won't forget. Much, much love to you and Tim and Margaret and Jack.

Anonymous said...

http://www.hellogrief.org/what-doesnt-kill-me-makes-me-stronger-2/

I heard of this camp for children today who have lost loved ones today.... I thought I would pass it on in case you ever felt it was needed. I don't know you....but I cry for your loss...and I understand the words that you write. Praying for you and your family. ~~Gainesville, VA

Jill said...

Still thinking of you every single day, What happened is completely unfair and so difficult to believe. Lots of love and a big hug to you, mama.

PS And as further proof of the unfairness, the word verification I just filled out to post this was "unfarite," which to me resembles UNFAIR. xxooxo

Ann Imig said...

Prayers for many many many more blue ribbons.

Cris said...

I am new to your site. Stumbled upon it by chance in searching for other bloggers to connect with. I have been so taken in by your strength and sadness, your wit and wisdom, your love and loneliness...your grit and grief at this time in working through Jack's sudden move back to a familiar home. Although I have never been in your shoes, I feel with you...all those writing here, feel it too. The love, care, and concern is palatable, even via the written word. It is heart warming to say the least. It just further instills what I have come to understand, and believe: WE ARE Family! You ache, we ache...you laugh, we laugh....you grieve, we grieve.....you heal, we heal; and we don't need to know each other personally, or have time under the belt, to be a "member."
Prayers and blessings for what every
you and your family stand in need of...

slyepw said...

I will pray that God will continue to show you signs of His love everywhere you turn!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I think the blue ribbons on trees is a beautiful remembrance for Jack. I want to decorate my small norfold pine tree in front with blue bows for Christmas in honor of Jack.

ster said...

this part of your writing made me cry. because it's SO honest. and SO heartfelt. and OF COURSE, it's how you feel. it's how ANY of us would feel.
"The bottom line is that while I KNOW Jack is in a better place, and I believe he wants me to share the TRUTH with you, that life does not end when the body does, I want him alive and well and eating tacos in THIS place. MY place. Right now."

WE ARE STILL LIVING AND SO WE WANT THE ONES WE LOVE TO BE LIVING WITH US TOO! it's "selfish," but right now, while we're in this body, we're selfish beings.

one of my most favorite quotes is; "You don't have a Soul. You ARE a Soul. You have a body."

it's a rational fear to be scared that people will forget about him. but they won't. just because their lives are moving on, or continuing, they will never forget him. i lost 3 friends within a 5 year span- that was over 13 years ago, and i've never forgotten them. never. just doesn't happen.

thank you for continuing to write about your grief, your life, and how your days are continuing. i am drawn by your writings.... the way you express yourself with such composure and rational thoughts.

you should start writing a book - or at least keep track with the date and details of all the SIGNS you get from jack. would be a neat thing to maybe one day publish, or keep. you never know- maybe you'll start hearing him talk to you in your head, like that one mom did. she wrote a book called "stephen lives" after her 15 year old killed himself. tragic, awful, heartbreaking, but also beautiful at the same time- the messages he shared through her.

i always feel liek my comments start out so well to you and then they take a crappy ass turn. EVERY.FUCKING.TIME. i'm sorry. lol

Shell Flower said...

Jack speaks to you through those signs when you need them. I am so glad you saw the ribbon. It was a big hug from Jack. We won't forget him! Every time I see Legos I think of him :)

PeachPrenni said...

I am grateful for the walk you took in the woods with Tim. Time spent together is so important right now. I am grateful that you can share your feelings..all of them, your anger, your outrage, your brokenness. I am mostly grateful though for the signs Jack sent you. He's always there Anna. Always. Loving you. -Annie P.

Shanda said...

This is my first time to your blog and first time hearing your heartbreaking story. I am praying peace and comfort over you for this Christmas season: something that can only come from God. I pray God continues to send you signs that he loves you, and Jack and that He is here for you

lcarpenter80 said...

I came across you and your blog and your story...and I wanted to share with you a book a friend of mine wrote after the sudden death of her son. It's called "The Reason" by Sally Grablick. She self-published and I hope it might bring you another perspective and path of hope.