Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Time after Time

When a baby is born, you count his age in moments. You can’t believe that in such a short time, life could change so dramatically. You wonder how just a few hours before, life had seemed one way, but now you recognize a permanent, monumental shift. You had always know what love was, but now you experience a CAPACITY to love that makes what came before seem tepid and two dimensional.

At first you count your baby’s age in hours, then days. Eventually, just as you counted your pregnancy in weeks, you shift to weeks. It feels precise. 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks old. It mirrors your baby books about what milestones to expect. This eventually grows impractical and unwieldy, and you switch to months. You can hardly believe that one day, sooner than you think, you’ll be thinking in terms of YEARS in relation to this child’s age. In fact, one day, you’ll probably take his age and use it to figure out how old YOU are.

With a child’s death, this sense of timing, of pace, feels similar. How could Jack have been alive and well mere seconds before I reached the water’s edge? They have been looking for him for hours. Jack has been gone a day! It has been one week since our world fell apart. Two weeks. Three. Could it be a month? Do we switch to months now? But his clothes are still here. His new school shoes he never got to wear sit by the door to his room. He still gets mail for goodness sake!

When we remember in weeks, we think of a Thursday, at 6 pm. When we think in terms of months, we will think of the 8th. Double whammy of pain. Will there really come a time when we mark the passage of time solely in terms of YEARS? What about decades? I believe so. And Jack won’t age, but we will. He will forever be not quite 12 ½.

When your child was young you marked milestones, and although you wished the particularly challenging days away, you somehow hoped to slow the years down, to savor his childhood. And now, with the death of a child, you grieve as the gap between the before/after of your family's history grows ever wider, but at the same time you beg for the years to speed up, because decades without him seem like too, too much.

107 comments:

luv2run said...

Feeling your pain right now with you!!!!!!!!!

TIGHT TIGHT HUG from a stranger!!!!!!

I get the idea of wishing time to go by fast when my two boys were young....to avoid the annoying bottles and diapers....now that they are older, I wish them to be young.
We can do hard things..........you are shear proof of it!!!!!

luv2run

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

My heart goes out to you during this time of acute pain in your lives. Know that you are being held up to the Universal Healing Power.

Sheelagh said...

Today marks the 6th year since our son died at the age of 31, leaving a 2 year old daughter and a 3 week old daughter. He had cancer and we knew he would leave us, but we were so not ready to say goodbye. Yes, you do mark the years eventually, and you do come to remember the good times and the joy in having had him in your life, but you never, never stop loving him and missing him and wishing he were still with you. But the absolute hurt does change - and acceptance comes. His daughters grow and I see him in them. I made a promise to myself to celebrate with all my family right from the start, the holidays and the special days we were together - to give my grandchildren a wonderful childhood as he would want. I write this post from Disney World - where some of our grandchildren are learning about the world at Epcot today. I wish you well in your journey through this grief, and send my utmost sympathy.

Anonymous said...

Anna..I don't know you, but I think about you everyday...Your loss is beyond what anyone should have to endure. My hope for you is that through your writing, you find some small bit of comfort, support, and love. Thank you for sharing your experiences with all of us...My heart opens a bit more with every post I read.

ella said...

We're here Anna, praying for you and your family every single moment, and will continue to do so as the days, weeks, months, yes even years, pass.

(on the subject of mail, my dad, who died in 1994, still gets mail every once in a while. It's maddening.)

The Green Family said...

How curiously true. My heart goes out to you and anyone that has to bear the timeline since the loss of their child.

I want you to know that you've impacted my life and thought it will never ease the pain of your loss, you remind me weekly of all the blessings in our lives and how easily it can all be changed.

Keep writing, keep mourning, keep healing, keep loving.

A Speckled Trout said...

I heard someone say that having their daughter and grandson die suddenly in a horrible car wreck was like having a meteor in their life. A lovely energy of light that streaked across the sky and was there and gone in the blink of an eye. And though she would have loved to have had them around forever, she couldn't believe she got to see that beautiful meteor.

I am so very sorry.

Melanie in NC said...

For a moment....I had to step away from the computer....You take my breath away with your writing....Many moms that are reading...relate to you...many now...never ever ever want to relate to you...this pain...I am so very very very sorry for this precious loss...sweet sweet Jack. As I read this my baby boy I carry within my womb seemed to jump around as to echo...listen to her words...internalize them....live in this moment...this is all we all have...
My Dad went to heaven 11 years ago when my mom calls the caller ID relays my Dads name...I always say Hi to him....:)
I also wanted to let you know that the day after my Grandma Died...this year :( A crane appeared in my yard and stayed for over 2 1/2 hours and appeared to be just looking in our home...The crane visits often now....:) I love God whispers...hold on to those:)
Grief is a process a very very long process...it cannot be microwaved...and in the end your precious loved one is still no longer here...Those dates and times echo in your heart and you will remember them because scripturally there is a Time to be Born and a Time to Die...Here is the message of HOPE....you will see your Jack again....this is not the end....You will embrace him again...and because of you...and your gift of writing and sharing your Jack and Margaret....one day...after You, Tim, and Margaret..of course! We now all long to meet your precious Jack and thank him for the light he brought to this world, the love he had for the Lord, and his generous spirit...Too short of a life...But man may we all live in such a special way as this young man did! One Day there will be no more tears...no more pain and no more suffering....Lifting you up Anna...you are so precious....

Erika said...

Prayers and hugs from this "don't-really-feel-like-were-strangers" stranger! You write so eloquently about such a painful and sacred time for you and your family. Thank you for blessing my life with your gift of expression and with your faith and love for your children. Thank you for letting so many in on your triumph over tragedy. He WILL be yours FOREVER! I hope the time goes fast enough, but slow enough for you all!

Merri Ann said...

I have been following your posts since that horrible day and have never commented ... I'm a stranger to you and I have had nothing more to offer than what has been said by others ...

But today I needed to tell you that I think of you and your family daily ... every single day ... and I pray for you ... and I wish I could do something to ease your pain ...

Lisa said...

Your pain is palpable. I would love to give you a big hug and if I could, even as a stranger, I would carry some of the pain for you.

Sending prayers, as always, for comfort and strength...

PeachPrenni said...

I get it. I would want the time to speed up too so you can be reconnected with your boy in heaven. I'm sending you love and prayers today. -Annie P.

Brittany..Following my Bliss said...

After just losing my dad very suddenly, I find myself relating to you in so many ways. Losing my dad has been the worst thing I have gone through in my life, but I often say that I believe an even worse pain would be to lose a child. That kind of pain is not even fathomable and I quickly push the thought out of my mind, as if that will protect me from ever having to experience that. I wish it were that simple, but sadly I know it is not. I think about your family often as I struggle through moments daily. I am sorry for your loss and pray that God will continue to give you Grace to see you through.

meghann said...

I think of you & your family every day, and I read here whenever you post something new. And I comment when what you've written so moves me that I am compelled to. This is one of those writings. Your writing is a beautiful tribute to your son. My heart aches for you, every day. I'm holding you close in my heart. xo

Anonymous said...

"God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love." C.S. Lewis

Your beloved son Jack is with his "first love" our eternally loving God. May you feel his warm embrace from above, he still loves you so much and will be waiting for you at the gates of heaven.

Anonymous said...

"God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love." C.S. Lewis

Your beloved son Jack is with his "first love" our eternally loving God. May you feel his warm embrace from above, he still loves you so much and will be waiting for you at the gates of heaven.

Anonymous said...

"God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love." C.S. Lewis

Your beloved son Jack is with his "first love" our eternally loving God. May you feel his warm embrace from above, he still loves you so much and will be waiting for you at the gates of heaven.

Kim said...

I pray that somehow God will continue to give you a bridge between the 'not having him with you in body' but knowing Jack is 'with you' always in spirit.
Prayers.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I never gave this much thought but you explained it perfectly. My heart aches for you and your family. I sit here and think about how your Christmas will be while tears stream down my face. Praying for your comfort and strength. ((HUGS))

Carlyree said...

I don't have adequate words to describe how moved I am by your writing or to thank you for the much needed perspective you have granted me. I cannot imagine the horror of losing a child. It is most definitely the worst pain there is to endure. By sharing your grief with the world, though, I believe you are doing something quite amazing and profoundly inspirational. I think of you and your family daily, and I know your son is watching over you proudly.

Theresa O said...

Think of you every day and always wishing there was something, just something I could do to rewind time, and change this, make it never have happened.

The world is praying for you - each and every day. And our hearts weep for you. But Jack is around you....Jacks Thiftstore playlist... just tells & says it all. And what a great gift from him to comfort you at the times you desperately need it.

God Bless.

Anonymous said...

How hard it must be for you have to stay here and keep on living with part of your heart already in Heaven. I work at JMU and Pres. Rose issued this as part of a message he sent out in today [JMU has had a number of sudden/accidental deaths in the past month].

Per Linwood Rose: [This was past onto him after his mother passed away]---It is attributed to Henry Scott Holland, professor of divinity, Oxford University. It offered inspiration and comfort to me. Perhaps it will do the same for you.
“Death is nothing at all – I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always used. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without the ghost of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant… There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you – for an interval – somewhere near just around the corner. All is well.”
Grace and peace be with you and Tim and Margaret.

Meredith Self said...

What a beautiful post and observation of the ways we mark time and monumental shifts.

Sending so much love as you also touch the timeless essence and timeless capacity to love.

xo

Stimey said...

Sending you love, Anna.

M. said...

Anna-
This was one of the hardest for me to read so far. As of this morning at 8:37 I switched from days to weeks, as Henry is one week old today. I continue to think and pray for you. I will always remember that day just 2 months before the day Henry was born. I hope the counting gets easier over time for you.

geri said...

dear anna, thank you for sharing your story, your journey, your sweet son with us. whenever i read one of your posts, i find myself nodding my head, yes, yes, yes (and may i say i love that you cuss sometimes, when i saw the picture of the creek bed what i said out loud was 'that pissy little thing?', instead of shitty). then i scroll down to a picture of jack and say hi, you don't know me, but i feel like i kind of know you, hope you are enjoying heaven, but i find myself then shaking my head, when i see that sweet face, no, no, no. your writing is truly priceless. thank you again for sharing. cannot express how sorry i am that you lost your dear, sweet, precious son.

New Mom said...

Is it crazy that I sometimes feel like we're already in heaven now? If a lifetime for God lasts only for a blink of an eye, then according to God's time, we are already with Him... we just haven't caught up yet! I pray this for your family: May the good times slow down, and the hard times speed up, and may you feel a sense of the heavenly worship you are already taking part in. And as always, Thank you, Lord, for Jack.

Laura said...

I grew up in Vienna and went to Marshall...am friends with Allie and Brooke Lee. Please know that I think of you often and send many loving thoughts your way! And I wish I had gotten to meet Jack-- what a sweet and special person.

Princess Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Princess Kate said...

My son asked me this morning why I am so sad about Jack's passing (we pray for Jack and your family nightly) and I told him that the loss of a child is the most painful experience in life. I then went on to share with him how Jack is living still in all of us. He has made our family hug harder, listen deeper, enjoy more fully, and believe in God more strongly. He's making a difference Anna. I know it doesn't stop the pain but I hope it gives you some comfort.

SouthLakesMom said...

My friend's son has a "wasting disease". He's a bright active 3 year old now, but probably won't live past 20. It's a different kind of pain -- counting every minute but having to live in days, weeks, years -- planning for a future without him. I'm not sure what's worse, the suddenness of Jack being ripped from your lives or the watching a child slowly fail. It sucks both ways.

Your words are so powerful, Anna, and the feelings you share here have such power to direct people's eyes towards the things that really matter.

And I love the jacked-up cell phone. Truly.

Prayers...especially over these upcoming holidays. They will be hard. You and Tim and Margaret will be lifted.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Sending all of you love. This is so damn hard.

Leslie said...

This whole post makes perfect sense. I am so very sorry, Anna. I am SO VERY SORRY.

Praying for you, Tim and Margaret every single day.

setzer said...

Your stories are a true inspiration to all who read. You Anna are a blessing to others through your posts. I also keep updated through your dear friend Cynthia, my dear neighbor here in Greensboro. You are always in my prayers. I know it will not get easier, but you will get stronger!!!!!!! Constantly in my prsyers!!!

Anonymous said...

Your words are so powerful. I can almost taste how much you miss him.

I don't know about time. It is slow when you are a child and fast when you are an adult, but with crazy stops and starts. Jack's accident has thrown everything out of whack for all of you. Thank you for explaining it to us.

love,
jbhat

Molly D said...

My heart aches for you, Anna. You're such a beautiful writer, and there is no doubt in my mind when I read what you've written about Jack just how much he was loved.

IrishRN07 said...

Here's a thought: If there is no time in heaven, no one there is waiting. So while you are experiencing every agonizing moment without him, Jack is not missing you... because you are already there with him.

Anonymous said...

my heart hurts so badly for you Anna... i just spent a few minutes writing this and that only to delete what i said... none of what i say or anyone else for that matter can help you... when all you want is your boy back to snuggle. time does heal; the pain remains for a life time. your daughter is beautiful - she looks just like Jack. my heart hurts for you - wishing you strength in the mos to come..xoxo Patty

Rach said...

Very eloquently and poignantly written. You explained it perfectly.

Hugs and prayers,
Rach

DawnGes said...

Time is of the essence.

Praying, longing, pondering... Anna, you are loved.

Pam said...

Just so you know, a heart can break for someone unknown and far-away....

Terri said...

You write so eloquently, Anna. You have a real gift. And instead of crawling into bed and pulling the covers over your head, you bravely get up and face each day. Each painful day... I pray that that awfully heavy burden eases a bit for you. The holidays are quickly approaching and I know you will have a rough time. This will be my first Christmas without my mom and I dread what is usually my favorite time of year. Hugs to you, my friend.

NanaDiana said...

I cannot imagine what you are going through now that the Holidays are so near. God bless you- xo Diana

Pamela said...

My heart will never stop breaking for you. I check your blog every day. Reading your words and learning more about your wonderful Jack makes me see God, and hope, and eternity.

Beverly @ The Buzz said...

It's been 5 1/2 years since my daughter died. Whenever I hear a date, I immediately think "that was before Shana died" or "that was after Shana died". Every time. I wonder if there'll come a time when I don't do that.

Anonymous said...

Never have I ever wished so much that I could take the heartache away from someone and carry it myself.

irene kane said...

And, God has no measure of time. Neither does your sweet Jack. It is us mortals that are burdened and limited by space and time! For all we know, we are all already with our loved ones gone before us.... We just don't know it.... God bless!

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

I remember the night after my mom's death I said to a friend, "I'm never going to see my mom again, how will I live." (Of course, now I know I will see her again, but you know what I meant.)

It's been 20 years this month without a mom. Twenty. That is stunning.

I understand it's different and much deeper to lose a child. Please don't ever think I'm saying it's equal, but I also know you know losing a parent is impactful also.

When Mac was small, I knew that if he died, I would be lost. You have Margaret to hold you to earth.

Michelle said...

I found myself hugging my laptop, as if I could somehow send a friend's healing touch through my wireless network. I know that won't work, but I do know that my prayer might, so know that you are prayed for, dear sister in Christ.

margaret said...

Hi Anna, I wish I could e-mail this to you because a blog comment seems somewhat improper. But I don't know how to do that, so here goes. I think of you often, and my thoughts have gone to you and your family every time I've heard this song by Josh Garrels called "Flood Waters". I just wanted to share it with you because it's really a remarkable song and so pertinent. God bless you.

http://joshgarrels.bandcamp.com/track/flood-waters?permalink

Anonymous said...

just watched Modern Family and there was a quick reference to a Paul Simon song. I looked it up and immediately thought of you and this post, especially the line about a "course of a lifetime" as that was what you were talking about today. Sending virtual hugs. Here are the lyrics:

No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away
Oh
Little darling of mine.

I can't for the life of me
Remember a sadder day
I know they say let it be
But it just don't work out that way
And the course of the lifetimes runs
Over and over again.
No I would not give...

I just can't believe it's go
Though it seems strange to say
I never been laid so low
In such a mysterious way
And the course of a lifetime runs
Over and over again.

But I would not give...

Oh
The mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away
Oh the mother and child reunion
Is only a moment away.

Aimee said...

I can only imagine how painful it is to lose a child. :( You just never know whose next in line to succomb such a horrific tragic accident like sweet Jack's. :( Breaks my heart. If only we had a crystal ball.

I really like the way you write and express yourself, Jack sure has one amazing momma! :)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Your loss has given you an eloquence that I know you would relinquish in a flash to have Jack back; I believe your beautiful writing and insights are bringing comfort to others who have experienced a loss.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and your family everyday...praying....lifting you up....hoping the pain fades. My heart breaks for your loss and how much you miss your beautiful boy. I'm so sorry Anna. Know that you are loved - even by a stranger! xxoo

Julie B. said...

Maybe it's inappropriate; maybe it's not. But one of my dearest friends (whom I've never met in real life, but through her blog and Facebook, I've come to admire beyond words) writes her heart out about her dear Conner. Conner lost his fight with Cystic Fybrosis last year at the way too young age of seven. His mom, Sarah, writes about it so eloquently on her blog. I couldnt help but think maybe it would provide you with "you're not alone" at the very least.

My heart goes out to you. In ways I'm not sure I've let my heart feel for someone since Sarah touched my heart. And I get the feeling Jack would've liked Conner, too. So maybe by sharing Sarah's blog, you will feel a bit of comfort I'm the community (that no one wants to be a part of), but that can be full of beautiful moments if one has to endure such complete and total devastation. I wish I knew why. I don't have a clue. I just know Who holds it all in His hands.

www.notsobrightandshiny.blogspot.com

(Sarah's blog)

My prayers continue to be with you, Anna, as you face what all of us can never imagine. I am so so so sorry it happened to Jack. And to you.

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

You articulate your feelings so well, I can't help but wonder if some day you will be able to help others who will go thru what you are. Continuing to lift you all up!

Kim @ A Brush of Whimsy said...

Hugs, Anna.

The Empress said...

Oh, dear Anna:

I can't even imagine what this feels like. I know you try hard with words, but I don't think anyone can give a voice to the pain you must feel.

I am so sorry. This is an unbelievable loss and pivotal moment in your life.

Patricia said...

Words that usually come so easily to me, are no where to be found now. How to comfort a Mother with such pain - we (Mothers) can all understand and feel your deep, wrenching pain in our hearts also. Your dear son Jack is in our Heavenly Father's strong embrace, and one day you will all be together again....Know you have many praying for you, and trying to share this grief and pain you feel.....

Mediterrangirl said...

My mother heart is breaking with yours Anna. Sending you and your family love an prayers.

Penelope Swithinbank said...

Thank you for your openness and honesty. A year ago I saw a car sweep my 90 year old mother away in its path and it has been a hard twelve months of learning to live without her. What you write speaks to my heart - and my heart goes out to you in your pain too.
- Penelope
www.ministriesbydesign.org

ALI said...

Hugs & prayers.

Heidi said...

I've been catching up and thinking how your blog is a resting place. I don't know if it is for you, but I suspect it is for the many people that visit here. There is such honesty and grace here. Thank you, thank you for writing - for sharing your heart here.

mia said...

Anna, I wish there was some way to help carry your burden..... I continue to pray for you and your family... I hope you find some joy on your trip to L.A.

Hugs, mia

kimberwidmer said...

You are so poetically eloquent. And you changed your "about me." :(
Praying for you and hoping that you and M have the time of your lives at the AMAs. I hope it is a time where you both can forget your cares, get caught up in the moment and will have forever to cherish memories.
Love you, friend!

mgh said...

This is beautifully written... and, although difficult to read, it is always comforting to me to think of things in terms of counting.
The day I was driving to Virginia for Jack's service, I was amazed by the beautiful sky... and listened to the radio as some reminisced about the anniversary of 9/11. I was thinking about what an incredibly difficult day it was for so many. Whether counting days, months, or years there is surely always a wish to turn back the clock... even if for just one minute.
But I am also so amazed that these moments we count by are used to count the blessings for the time that came before and even the most unlikely blessings in the aftermath.
Anna, my still heart aches. I am still counting with you.

mgh said...

This is beautifully written... and, although difficult to read, it is always comforting to me to think of things in terms of counting.
The day I was driving to Virginia for Jack's service, I was amazed by the beautiful sky... and listened to the radio as some reminisced about the anniversary of 9/11. I was thinking about what an incredibly difficult day it was for so many. Whether counting days, months, or years there is surely always a wish to turn back the clock... even if for just one minute.
But I am also so amazed that these moments we count by are used to count the blessings for the time that came before and even the most unlikely blessings in the aftermath.
Anna, my still heart aches. I am still counting with you.

Dawn said...

I work with families who have lost loved ones in truck crashes. Similar to your loss, they struggle with the sudden, unexpected grief. I have help from Kathleen O'Sullivan who is a grief counselor, and not that I'm saying you need to see one, but she has just started a blog to help some of us get through the holidays. Here it is: http://inthenameofthefire.wordpress.com/ They are short pieces, one each day, help for us that are trying to cope without someone we love during these holiday times. I hope it helps. Hugs to you and the whole family.

Dawn said...

I work with families who have lost loved ones in truck crashes. Similar to your loss, they struggle with the sudden, unexpected grief. I have help from Kathleen O'Sullivan who is a grief counselor, and not that I'm saying you need to see one, but she has just started a blog to help some of us get through the holidays. Here it is: http://inthenameofthefire.wordpress.com/ They are short pieces, one each day, help for us that are trying to cope without someone we love during these holiday times. I hope it helps. Hugs to you and the whole family.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna: Another eloquent, poignant entry. Our family prays for your family every day and every night -- it sounds trite, I know, but we truly ache for you, Tim and Margaret. Continued thoughts and prayers for your little family and travel mercies for you and Margaret -- praying that the two of you make memories! (((hugs))) Mariann Alicea

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through friends & haven't
posted because I feel so inadequate. I've
read many of your back posts & want to tell you
I think about you often. I'm fairly sure you
would have heard of Rich Mullens? He wrote
powerful, prayerful songs. In "If I Stand,"
he sings, "If I stand, let me stand on the promise that You will pull me through. And if I fall let me fall on the grace that first brought me to you...and if I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home." I can't possibly hope any of his songs will help you, but I felt several times that maybe I should post about them. After reading your post tonight I found myself thinking of that song, and how you are "longing for your home" with Jack. You and your family have changed me and I am praying for you. JKMJ

Law Momma said...

I just can not imagine. So I will not try to say anything other than that I'm here... reading... and praying for you.

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

Another post that reads like crystal. How you render your thoughts so precisely and with such beauty, yet without ever dipping into cliche is beyond me. Your posts move me beyond words. The reader who mentioned Mother and Child Reunion struck on a good one -- a beautiful song. Also: my mom lives in the same place I grew up, so her address and phone # have been the same for 50 years. My dad still occasionally gets mail there and when she calls me, the caller ID flashes his name. At first this was bittersweet and kind of shocking, but it turned into a little treat that's been making me smile for nearly 20 years. (my word verification is "prair," I think they just spelled it wrong)

Michelle DeRusha@Graceful said...

This is what I keep coming back to the most often when I think of you and Margaret and Tim (aside from when I am praying for you of course). I just think that a lifetime must feel so long right now. And so I am praying that God is with you every single step of the way, and that you feel and see his presence with you, each minute, hour, week, month, year and decade until you all meet face to face.

Ann Imig said...

Anna this is breathtaking. I feel so honored to read your heart.

Praying.

the mama bird diaries said...

So beautiful and so heart breaking. xo

Cheryl said...

xo

Kara said...

Your loss is so big, just so big. Lifting you up to the Lord and praying.

Clare said...

Thinking of you today and always. Safe travels to CA!

Anonymous said...

Your journey has a higher purpose and though the last thing that you want is to be chosen to go down this path, your ability to share so openly is immensely important to those who are following you. You have renewed/strengthened the faith of many through your poignant testimony. Peace and comfort to you, Margaret, and Tim.


a ball, some weeds, carrot tops

Anonymous said...

thinking of you and hoping you are able to relax and rest your mind and especially able to enjoy watching Margaret enjoy some fun and happiness. I know coming home will be hard when this trip is over and want to reassure you that everyone is here to support and lift you up at that time. I have read this post several times. Just want to recommend again Joan Didion's book, The Year of Magical Thinking. Not that you are ready or want to read it now, but you may find comfort in it and relate to it when you are ready for it.

Peggy said...

Oh Anna, my heart aches for you!
I have commented once before, but you may not remember or have read it since you have hundreds of followers :) I am a friend of Katie's, the woman who made that inspiring video about Jack and Operation Christmas Child. Well I just wanted you to know that I have shared the video on my blog. Sometimes I feel guilty about blogging about other people without their knowledge. My prayers are with your family.

http://webbmania.blogspot.com/2011/11/operation-christmas-child.html

A Speckled Trout said...

I bet this is what it was like when Jack made his way home. Times a thousand.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB3NPNM4xgo

Julie said...

Mother to mother, so many of us are with you. xoxo

Paige said...

In all my years of internet searching and blog reading I have never posted a comment to a site... not one.
A college friend posted your link (on Face book) a few days after Jack's accident. Reading your story a dread came over me and hasn't left. It's surreal bearing (anonymous) witness to a life that so (seemingly) parallels mine. My 'Jack and Margaret' are 7 and 6 (17 months apart). I've often thought the one true negative of motherhood is the vulnerability that comes with the job. I won't let myself go so far as to TRULY imagine what it would be like to walk in your shoes. I don't know if I've ever heard a story with as many heartbreaking aspects as yours (surely by now you're thanking me for the spirit lift).
I wish I had a creative, inspiring way to say what so many others have said... our hearts ache for your family. Please keep writing to us and for us. You are an inspiration even in your brokenness.
Peace be with you and your family.

P.S. I love the (shaky) video of your children. This simple clip (no offense) truly captured an authentic sibling moment/spirit.

Varda said...

That you can turn your pain into such beauty is a gift to us all. I am hoping that finding words for it eases your heart, too. Hugs from here.

Anonymous said...

Just thinking of you, Tim, and Margaret - and hoping you are enjoying a GREAT time on Margaret's Excellent Adventure.

(Is it weird that I think so often of a family I've never met? Somehow, I don't think so. When, with the click of a mouse, you stumble across a family SO special - - they tend to touch your heart and forever leave their mark. )

Laura

Annie said...

Watching the awards and thinking of you and especially Margaret. And Jack of course.

Jess said...

Thinking of you at the AMAs right now, and hoping Margaret is having a joyful time!

Katie @ Cayenne Paper said...

You never stop loving him and missing him, no matter if it's been only days or many years. But I simply cannot believe that our "Do You Know Jack" project for Operation Christmas Child was not a coincidence. My brother was killed at 16 in a car accident 20 years ago on Nov. 12. I had been praying to God to show me how I could help turn my pain after all these years into something good-- maybe something that could help someone else going through the same sort of pain. And then, I stumbled across a lovely blog called "An Inch of Gray".

God brought us together (or perhaps my Scott and your Jack) and I am proud to report that our church beat our record by turning in 306 boxes this year. Yay, God! ;)

Hugs and love,
Katie

Renee said...

Only a Mother would feel this way and understand what you have written. My heart hurts for you and my mind thinks of you and Jack daily. Looking forward to hearing about your fantastic trip to the awards show and how excited your daughter must of been!

Anonymous said...

Anna, have you considered printing out or forming some sort of blogbook of all the happy memories you have of Jack? Your blog is full of so many stories about him. I'm just thinking that sometime down the line, Margaret may appreciate that. Maybe she'd appreciate it now. When I lost a dear loved one suddenly, unexpectedly and tragically at her age it was so hard to see past their death. So hard. My mother suggested that I try hard to write down the happy memories, the fun times, their ways of talking, words they used, annoying habits even. It helped then and it helps now that I have all these amazing memories preserved.

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

I thought of you guys so much at the awards, someone needed to come and slap the smile off of my face. Thought about how much all of this meant to Margaret, thought about the high you all were on, thought about the 3 of you sitting there and wishing it was 4, thought about you cringing when some of those costumes came out and some of that dancing and thrusting was going on. :) Prayed so hard that Margaret was standing next to the Bieb smiling big with his arm around her in a pic. I hope your adventure was spectacular! And I will be thinking of you all this week and lifting you up! Blessings to you all Anna!

Mason and Lindsey McIntyre said...

I found your blog through another blog I read (Kayla Aimee) and I just wanted you to know that I'm praying for you and your sweet family. I can't even begin to imagine what you're going through and I pray that God's peace be with you this week and in the weeks/months to come. Hope you enjoyed the AMA's and have a great time at the Today Show!

anymommy said...

Oh. I'm just breathless with the beauty of this. And crushed by the sadness that underlies it. I send you so much love every day.

Erin said...

I loved reading your beautiful and achingly sad words. I too have lost a son... i know such feelings. Time is never as it was before. I have been without my adored son for 5 years... I now finally feel as though I am moving toward, rather than away from him. The pain is still raw and terrible at times. But I have been able to find great joy also... when I thought 5 years ago that the stone in my chest would stay just that... a cold stone. I have been "surprised by joy", and I find so much solace in our son's beautiful and happy life. I sense you feel that about your precious Jack's life. May you find moments of solace, and even joy, as you make your way through the brutal first year of grief.

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Anna, I am new to your blog and have just spent the past hour or so reading about what your family has experienced, I am so truly sorry for your loss. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers and in my heart. May you find whatever possible strength to keep moving forward day by day.

rickybollinger said...

i pray to god for anna...


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Anonymous said...

Just felt i should be praying for you now. So i am.
in prayer, mandy

amomwithnails said...

I just found your blog through a link from YoungHouseLove...I live in Charlottesville, and remember hearing your story and my heart breaking and praying for you all. Now I find your blog randomly....I am so glad to keep reading your story and your words. I hope it's helping you in your grief. I will continue to keep you in my prayers and you miss Jack and your heart continues to break. I am so sorry.

amomwithnails said...

Also, if you feel like it, check out my friend's blog: http://www.homes1ck.blogspot.com/
There son died in a drowning accident also. She is a few years further down the road, and could be a huge source of support.

Jen said...

Thinking of you especially this week, when you will mark yet another milestone of grief with your first family Thanksgiving without your sweet Jack. My heart aches to know that - on yet another Thursday evening - you will be considering those things you are thankful for, while at the same time missing terribly one of those things you are MOST thankful for in this life. Love and prayers to your family continually.

Anonymous said...

Your pain is evident, but your faith also comes through so clearly. May that faith hold you up and carry you.
I don't know how you can survive this, or how my friend can survive losing her 3yr old son tragically either - but know that you are surrounded by prayer - all over the world.
Blessings and strength to you.
C.V. in B.C.

Christy said...

Oh Anna, I'm so, so sorry. I'm crying too hard to think of anything comforting. I love you and pray for you all, all the time.

Suburban Correspondent said...

This will be a hard Thanksgiving. I'm sorry. Just keep pedaling, even though it feels that each day you make it through takes you further away from your missing 12-year-old. The only way out is through.

Anonymous said...

Sending love and so so many hugs from Australia

xoxo

AnnMarie J said...

Yeaaaaaaaaaa!!!


How wonderful to know Margaret got her wish!!!