Monday, December 5, 2011

Thank You, Tim (the husband formerly known as "Tom")

Many of you have been praying specifically for my marriage.

When you’ve been with someone for 20 years, as Tim and I have, there’s definitely more focus on carpools and sports schedules than on swinging from the chandeliers or eating chocolate covered strawberries. Kids and careers can make couples feel far removed from the giddy love felt when the biggest concern on their minds was how to coordinate costumes for the keg party on Saturday night or whether to choose fondant for a wedding cake. Factor in the trauma of losing your beloved child in a violent, senseless accident, and the damage to a marriage can be irreparable. Tim and I truly appreciate and desire your continued prayers for our marriage.

When I think of the two of us, I realize that except for God, there is no one who loves our two children as much as we do. No one. There is no one else who quite understands just what a loss Jack’s death is to our family, and to the world. This realization, this love, will always be glue to bind us together.

The single most hopeful factor in our marriage right now is that my dear husband does not blame me for the accident. At all. As a blamer myself, I find this astounding. As much as I love Tim, I am afraid that if he had been the one to let the kids go outside in the storm that day, I would have pulled up the car, waved Margaret into the backseat, and said sayonara to him and the dog. I don’t mean to sound flippant, but in a horrific situation like this it is so easy to want to pin blame, as if having someone to blame can help make sense of something so freakin’ senseless.

I know part of the terror so many people feel about Jack’s accident is that it could have happened to anyone. My kids. Your kids. Your grandkids. Kids go out in the rain. Kids are fascinated by creeks...even kids who aren’t big risk-takers and don’t leave their cul de sacs unattended.

But here’s the thing: I know with CERTAINTY that the accident would not have happened on Tim’s watch. I know Tim so well, and there is simply no way he would have let Jack go out that day given the particular circumstances. And Tim would normally have been home to make that call, but because the kids had no activities that night, he was a little later than usual. When the neigbhorhood kids knocked on the door, I made the call.

But Tim doesn't blame me. Not a smidge. Nothing.

I wonder how I could ever look my husband in the eyes knowing he blamed me for what could have been and should have been but is no longer? No more catch in the yard, no more pro baseball games, no more guys' movie nights, no more complicated math or logic puzzles that left Margaret and me saying, “Huh?”

I simply couldn’t. I could not live with the blame, and my subsequent shame. But from Tim, there is no blame. And that makes me love him more today than I ever have before.

As much as I want to blame someone, even if I am that person, I need to accept what I view as the grace Tim is giving me, in the same way I have accepted God’s grace in my life, again and again. And I will accept it. Because in order to be in a relationship, that’s what we both need.

I am absolutely certain Jack would not want our family to implode because of his death. He would not want us to try to prove how much we love and miss him by clinging to self-blame, recrimination, or even rumination over the maddening timeline of the accident.

So Tim is following nature, his instincts, by not blaming me at all. And I am going against my nature, my instincts, by not blaming myself. I hope this will honor Jack's memory and bolster our marriage in the process, because Jack loved us, and he loved this family.

87 comments:

Cindy said...

Thank you for helping me to see another way that God is revealing himself to you and Tim. Will continue to pray. Much love to all of you!

Cheryl said...

It never occurred to me that you would blame yourself. Ever. It was a sad, senseless accident. And you're right, clinging to personal blame and continually hating oneself does not change the reality or honor your son's memory at all. It makes things toxic. You and Tim are so blessed to have each other and your faith. Wishing you strength and peace Anna. xo

luv2run said...

Love reading this post!

No one is to blame! NO ONE!!!!

I heard , hope, and a bit of peace in your writing tonight!

luv2run

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

oh i feel the same way as you do- i know i would be quick to point my finger if i were not the one who happened to be home. it's our nature i think as mothers though- how hard it is to impart that grace onto someone. tim is a strong man.

Lisa said...

Such a powerful post. It is a testament to your faith, marriage, and shared love of your son. Hugs for you...and continued prayers.

Anonymous said...

After reading many of your blogs, I am struck on a regular basis how similar we are. (i.e. I have since forgiven him, but it took me a long time to stop blaming my husband for harming our toddler after he fell out of the jog stroller during a short walk around our house because he wasn't buckled in.) So I completely understand why you would blame yourself and this has been one of my prayers -- for you not to blame yourself and for Tim not to blame you either. It absolutely could have happened to anyone. I have prayed this so much for you and Tim, and your post today is so heartwarming, so hopeful. It's no wonder Jack was such an inspiring and loved boy -- he had you and Tim guiding him and showing him what love truly is. And you're showing me, too. Wishing you peace, blessings, and many more prayers to come.

Aimee said...

Oh Anna..... I too, would have said, "Go for it!" and witnessed my kids faces lite up with joy as they flew out the door! They are kids, let the play/dance in the rain!! I know I never would have thought that they could be in danger playing outside with their friends.

Let's see, there are multiple people we could blame in this senseless unfortunate tragic accident and it could have been anyone of Jack's friends that could have been swept away as well.

I can't imagine what it's like to lose your own child but I do know that I would also be trying to reverse time if I did. :( I wish I could take all your pain/hurt away and fill your empty nest up with love & happiness.

You're very lucky to have a wise and handsome hubby by your side, just as he is to have a beautiful wife and wonderful mommy!!

New Mom said...

Ok so I have this weird connection that popped up while I was reading today's post. We are the bride of Christ and unlike you in your situation, we DID cause Jesus' death, and God does not even hold that against us! You are both truly Christ-like in choosing not to place blame, but instead to offer grace and mercy. "For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs" Zephaniah 3:17. Thanks for writing.

Stimey said...

This is such an honest, true post. I thank Tim as well. And I really do hope that you don't blame yourself, because what you say, that it could happen to anyone, is so true. You could never have known, you could never have thought, you couldn't have had in that moment the hindsight you see now. No one is to blame, and it is terrible and so wrong that it happened, but I am so glad that you are able to be close and love each other. You are a truly amazing family—all four of you, and you have all of my love.

Erin said...

I relate so much to your words. I allowed my 17 year old son to go on a hike, which turned out to be on a treacherous trail, and he fell to his death. My husband has never ever blamed me. 5 1/2 years has passed since our sons accident, and we have been married for 26 years, Your words about knowing that your husband is the only other person who knows the magnitude of loss from Jack's death, are so poignant to me--- I have thought that very thing so many times. I also worry about the day when I might have to bury my husband--- the thought is so much worse now. He said to me one day, "If I lose you, no one will understand how I miss James. I will be so lonely" It is a brutal journey... and so awful to watch your family go through it at the same time. I pray you will find the continued strength and courage to keep getting up each day. To keep breathing. Time doesn't heal the wound of losing a child... but it helps us feel less like we are moving away from our beloved sons, and more like we are moving toward them. I pray for your solace...

Heidi said...

You're right - it's instinctive to blame yourself and there's just something about mothers...we are wracked with guilt from day one. There is no reason for blame here, though. I, along with many parents, would have sent the kids out. You aren't alone.
Tim sounds like one of the good ones and so are you. I'm so, so glad you're drawing strength from each other and sticking together.

Carrie said...

As a new reader I always wondered if it was Tim or Tom :)
I am so glad that you have the ability to recognize that you are lucky to have such a wonderful husband.
Actually, I am fairly certain you are lucky to have each other.

The Empress said...

I am guilty of thinking I'd do the same:

I would blame.

Oh, I would.

That is the honesty of this post, that brings out the honesty in me.

You have a one in a million man.

NanaDiana said...

I would blame. That is the humaness in most of us. I think it is by the grace of God that Tim doesn't blame you...that he understands that Moms are human..that we are all just a inch away from tragedy at any given moment.

I am praying for your whole family any time your name crosses my mind...because I know how hard death is on a family. Losing a grandchild helps me understand your pain....on a different level.

God bless you - and keep you- and protect you- as you go into this first Christmas without your son by your side. xo Diana

Anonymous said...

Anna, I call my husband the "professional blamer" b/c he finds a way to blame someone else for any little thing that does not go to plan or his way. I like to think it is not his fault since he comes from a long line of blamers. I will have him read this in hopes that he sees what letting go can do for a relationship. I am SO thankful that you addressed this part of the tragedy since it has been weighing on my mind so much, wondering how the two of you are doing as a couple. I am in awe of you, and your words help me be a better mother every day in some way, helping me choose patience over a harsh word. I don't always make the right choice, but you and Jack have changed the way I parent. Hugs xo

Anonymous said...

thank the LORD you have each other. i can totally relate to your post. i can find myself blaming my husband when i can't find something! i am convinced that he put it somewhere and that is the reason i can't find it. he is not like this in the least...it's like he never even thinks that i could be the reason for things not working out for him. your post was a wonderful and loving tribute to the love you share in such a tragic circumstance. AMEN, may it only deepen. prayers and love to you all!

Victoria said...

Just read one of the comments about how over time you're not moving away from Jack but towards him. What an amazing truth.
I always think with blame - how far could you go? When my grandmother was killed last year my mother blamed herself as she was the reason my grandmother was where she was. But it was the week I had said I would have her to stay with us and then we decided to go see her a month later instead. Does that make it my fault? Blame here is too easy - it's part of the lies we are told and it's not part of God's truth in our lives.
My heart breaks with you at every post, every sign that reminds me of you all. But you also spur me on. You remind me of how greatly we are loved. And what we have to look forward to.

IrishRN07 said...

Thank you for sharing such a powerful illustration of grace. You and Tim are in my prayers.

Kirsten said...

This is really beautiful Anna.

Erin said...

Oh sweet Anna. That was so beautifully said ... Jack would NOT want your marriage - his family - to implode because of his death. You need each other more than ever right now and it's wonderful that you are both able to keep turning towards each other in your grief rather than away.
Love,
Erin

Shauna said...

You randomly come to mind and I pray. Now I will specifically pray for your marriage. Grace is amazing. I was just thinking today that it will take me a life time to wrap my brain around the scandalous grace of God.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. It made me think and I know it will stay with me.


Kristen

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

Yep, I'm a blamer. Self-blamer, that is. When ever something goes wrong with my kids, after my immediate worry about my child comes an equally immediate worry about whether or not my husband will find fault with me for allowing it to happen. "it" being... kids getting sick, being in an accident, being in trouble, etc. I think it comes from that nagging guilt that we never lay down, as mothers. We carry it with us forever, taking on all the responsibility of raising a child but never accepting the praise when our child turns out so well.

Okay... I think I'm off topic now... but you are a blessing to your husband and God truly found a good helpmate in you for Tim.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned in an earlier post that 12 weeks has passed, unsure of how you would make it through week 13. This 12 week mark may be a milestone in your healing process. First, unless Tim hacked your blog, I believe that you posted your first brief and humorous non-tragedy related entry. Then, this post about Tim's grace and love and how the two of you are embracing each other instead of turning away from each other has a sense of peace and comfort. This is wonderful! The most important thing that I have learned about grief is that at some point you realize that it is okay to take a baby step away from the grief, if only for a brief moment. It does not diminish the honor or love that you feel for your loved one, but just the opposite. Take these baby steps when you are able and focus the healing energy that you will be given on your beautiful daughter and loving husband. Praying always for your healing, comfort and peace.

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

There just are no words. I can't explain why but I think of you guys. And I think of these kinds of things, blame, sadness, what it's like to have Christmas for you now, your relationship, Margaret and how she is dealing with all of this... just all of it. I wish I was as good with words as you are. I am crying and trying to think of what I want to say. I have worried what blame would do to you and prayed for peace for you. Our kid stumps their toe and we can find a way to make it out fault. You are so right on with your thoughts, blame isn't what Jack or God would want for you. You're a brave woman Anna, and I know you don't think so and maybe that isn't the right word but I admire you. Many would have done far less. In all this darkness you continue to keep your eye on the light! Gracious and loving God, thank you for Anna, Tim and Margaret. We lift them up and ask that you continue to carry them thru this time in their lives, please continue to strengthen them and surround them with people who love and support them. Lead and guide those that care for them so that we can be your hands and feet and heart. They have been an amazing example of your love and grace and many have been touched by them. Only you can give them the peace and comfort that they so badly need. In Jesus name we pray, Amen. Anna I am just in awe of your family, thank you for sharing with us. Blessings dear one.

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

Your ending to this post is a prayer to which I can only, write, say and think,"Amen."

Stefanie said...

Oh, man, Anna, this has definitely been on my mind because I, like you, would be looking for blame. And I would be going over in my head, again and again, the choices I made that "caused" this to happen. But here's the thing: we can't always know which choices, in any given moment, are the ones that can lead to catastrophe. We just can't. And a million other times, those seemingly inconsequential choices will be just that: completely benign.

I'm so glad you have Tim, and God, to hold you up through this. I appreciate the clarity of your writing, and continue to think of you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

What a wonderful testament to a loving couple and what comfort it must provide Jack to know his loving family continues to strenghthen the same love and care they always showered on him.

Lady Jennie said...

I don't quite know how to formulate my words, but I am happy that there is only the extension of grace and mercy - towards each other, towards yourselves - in your marriage. It shouldn't be any other way. Blame has no place there.

Joan said...

Anna,

Intent is all, I believe. Your intent was to allow your children the joy of playing in the rain. You could not have guessed that the boys would go to the creek bed and that Jack would step in.

I do appreciate how you feel, though. I still remember, 27 years later, driving along with my first-born in her car seat, and thinking that if I had an accident and anything happened to her I did not think my marriage could go on.

Once she did have an accident that was my fault. I had allowed her to go on a slide after a birthday party and she had dress shoes rather than sneakers on and she fell and broke her arm. I was really stupid but fortunately the consequence was temporary.

I ache for you and your wonderful family but please know this was one of those "s___ happens" events that could not have been predicted. You could not anticipate or control it.

But you can control how you respond to it, and that you are doing magnificently. You have been an inspiration to untold many.

Blessings to you for your openness, your loving, your writing, and for having chosen such a wonderful man who so appreciates the wonderful you.

-- Joan in PA

Orangies Attic said...

My daughter fell off the top of a slide when she was two and broke her arm, my husband was waiting at the bottom to catch her on her slide down... he was so upset with himself because he thought he should have been behind her, and all I could say was "you couldn't be at BOTH ends of the slide"... remember, you couldn't be at both ends of the slide, Anna.

Anonymous said...

Oh, sweetie - how our hearts ache for you..

no blame...none, none, none. NO ONE is to blame!

I'm glad you are reaching out and holding to that TRUTH,and I will continue to pray that you hang on to it.

I'll be praying for you and especially your marriage and family relationships daily - it is such a privilege that you allow us to do that for you...
I just wanted to say, too - I love seeing the pictures of Jack and Tim together - their resemblance is uncanny. And such kind eyes they both have....

Love and prayers...
Lisa G. in CT

Lady Courtney said...

The Lord is always working in your life, God's will and Grace. Always praying for you and your family!!

Rach said...

I was terrified my husband would blame me and I swear to you, my first words to him were, "You're going to blame me and hate me and we're going to get divorced."

He never, not once, ever, has blamed me. I blamed myself for a long long time and it took that much longer for me to forgive myself and allow that accidents DO happen--which was just what he said. He also said he would never divorce me, that it wasn't my fault.

We weathered a very bad storm and have come through it all the stronger for having done so. I too realized that he was the only other human who loved our girl as much as I and only he could understand what I was going through.

The difficult part for me was that men and women tend to grieve so differently. I was (and still am) very vocal about my grief, whereas Brien is very internal and introspective. It was most helpful for me when he would TALK to me.

I have no idea why I'm rambling so much in your comments. I guess it's simply because reading your posts takes me back four years. So much of what you write sounds like things I have--or could have--written.

My heart aches for you so much, knowing the path you are traveling, and desperately wishing you weren't. My prayers do continue for you. For you and Tim, and for your sweet girl. I pray you find a modicum of peace as the Holidays approach.

Hugs to you,
Rach

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I remember when we talked about this and how I have the reverse in my marriage. So I see all of his from Tim's point of view. I can't imagine how blame could ever come into it. And yes - there is no one else else in the world who could ever understand how you are feeling the way that he does. He's a wonderful man. And you deserve nothing less.

Julie B. said...

Once again I am brought to tears by your words. I am amazed at the strong relationship that it appears you and Tim have with each other in your 20 year marriage.

I am going through a divorce as we speak. The pressures of a special needs child and the flippant way that we both dismissed each other in order to deal with the situation we had been given with our son; we simply didn't fight through it. We let it fight us. And it won.

And I can see the sunshine after the rain; being divorced even. But I am still amazed at couples such as you and Tim --who face something that other mothers cannot even fathom and yet cling tighter and tighter to each other. It is something to be commended. Please know that your marriage and your words strengthen and inspire those of us who couldn't have been as strong. And for that, I'd like to thank you. It gives me the hope that I can one day believe in marriage again.

ella said...

Tim's a keeper, that's for sure. Despite the fact that you're NOT to blame, it'd be too easy to go there in an effort to make sense of things.

Much love to you both.

Beth said...

I am so glad that you have Tim. What a gem. I have specifically been praying for your marriage, because I have pictured myself in the same situation, and was not sure how I would do. I am a total blamer, and I think I would let those feelings about myself seep into my marriage. But you are not. Yet another way you guys are providing a wonderful example of grace to the rest of us imperfect humans. Thank you.
Still praying!

Leah C said...

I'm a worrier and a self-blamer, but it's really rather fruitless, isn't it? Oh Anna, my heart aches for you...and every time you write your beautiful, honest, true words...it makes me wish I could turn the clock back. Hold onto each other, you & Tim, just as you have been. Hugs and prayers...

Meredith Self said...

20 years. That's a lot of sharing, a lot of partnership. That's a lot of life. And a lot of loss, too. Continued prayers for you in all aspects of your life as it unfolds, Anna.

I'm grateful for Tim's complete and total (and accurate) absence of blame. May his perspective on this wear off on you more and more. :)

Meredith Self said...

20 years. That's a lot of sharing, a lot of partnership. That's a lot of life. And a lot of loss, too. Continued prayers for you in all aspects of your life as it unfolds, Anna.

I'm grateful for Tim's complete and total (and accurate) absence of blame. May his perspective on this wear off on you more and more. :)

Leslie said...

WOW. I remember your post about the 70s party you and Tim threw in college when you first started dating. That picture of you two - how perfectly gorgeous. I thank GOD that the couple in that picture has not shared a superficial love, but that something much deeper and much more beautiful has rooted through the years.

I love that this is the family Jack was born into! I love that he would have been embarrassed but probably would've laughed at your last post and said, "Whew. Now THAT'S my mom!" I love that he can take solace in the fact that his family is the strongest and 'funnest' and cutest and will continue to love and laugh and cry together. You all make the Lord, and Jack, proud.

I pray also for the mommas commenting here that have suffered loss as well. And I prayed right along with 'Laura at Ms Smarty Pants" above.

I pray that the Lord blesses you and Tim daily with new stores of strength and renewed hope. What an AMAZING girl Margaret will continue to grow into with your examples of real love.

Marinka said...

You posted a while ago "I am your worst nightmare."

But you know, Anna, you are an inspiration. And so is Tom. I mean, Tim.

I look forward to your posts every day, and I'm learning a lot.

xo

Erin said...

I was looking at my 17 month old daughter early this morning and thought of Jack.
What a beautiful post. I will continue pray for you and your husband. As others wrote, no one is to blame, but I identify with your tendancy - very human.

I will be forever grateful for your son whom I did not know. I have been in a place of anger and ingratitude for months now and your words about your son and what made him the boy he was reminded me that I am here to love and be loved. Not to accumulate money and things, nor to judge others. Sending you a big blue-ribbon hug from Boston. -e

Missy @ It's A Ray Thing said...

I've been following along since the accident. I almost feel like an intruder. but I can't help myself. I feel as though I know you through your writing and my heart and prayers truly go out to you and your precious family. I'm glad you wrote this post today. I had worried that either of you would place blame- not doing this tells me so much about your characters. Your words are so honest. Peace and hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

A three cord strand is not easily broken! I praise God that you both can lean on each other without blame and lean on our loving Lord. I'm also praying for all those reading your blog that they would be inspired to see God through his son, Jesus, the source of your strength. We don't know when our "flood" will come...it is time to build on our unchanging Rock...all other foundations are sand and will be washed away. Still praying for your marriage -- keep leaning on our Lord!

Anonymous said...

We all love your family too! There is so much to admire about each one of you :)

Pamela said...

You're amazing, my dear Anna.

Anonymous said...

Prayers for you continue...for your marriage ties to remain strong, for healing and for a closeness to God only those who suffer loss can know. God knew the time and date and second that Jack would depart earth to enter the kingdom. Blame will hopefully never be a part of that journey when remembered here on earth. (hugs)

Marcela said...

Keeping you in my thoughts today...

Patricia said...

It was inspiring to read your post, once again. Your husband sounds like an amazing, strong man - but no one is to blame here, especially not a loving mother such as you. This was a horrible tragedy, and act of Mother Nature that not one single person can be blamed for....you must not blame yourself at all.

Kim @ A Brush of Whimsy said...

You may be right, that the accident might not have happened if Tim had been there, but I hope you remind yourself how much fun Jack and Margaret have had on your watch~ and I'm guessing it's quite a bit! I'm the same way~ letting my kids slide down the stairs in their sleeping bags and an array of other things my husband would never allow because of what might happen. I know you wish you could redo that horrible day, but just remember that your only thought for those moments were for Jack and Margaret to have fun. Mostly all of us mothers (and dads) allow things DAILY that, later when we think about it, realize perhaps we didn't use our best judgement. 99% of the time, we may grimace when we think about whatever it was, forgive ourselves and move on. The only difference between you and me is I didn't have to suffer for it. I wish you didn't have to.

Anonymous said...

Your family will rebuild, it will take time; however you and Tim are blessed to have such a strong foundation of love and that will serve you well down this road of recovery. Your family remains in our prayers each night. May God bless Jack, Tim, Margaret and his dearest mother Anna.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tim.

Momastery said...

Just love you, Sister. Thanks for being.

Love, G

Anonymous said...

I bought a blue bird ornament and hung it on our Christmas tree today in loving memory of your Jack. A boy I never met crosses my mind every day. Bless you and your family.

Susan said...

Don't you ever blame yourself. Ever.
Or that sweet husband of yours - what a blessing he is.
Thinking of you often. xo

Jendy said...

Amen! Wow.
PS...you know what they say about a catastrophe; a catastrophe is when a series of events go wrong. The series unfolds in a way that one single change in that chain reaction wouldn't be enough to cause a different outcome. Consequently, attempts to lay blame would be futile.
I love you. I love that you love and honor your family and yourself the way you do.

Kelly said...

You are not responsible for this terrible accident. But I understand the need to blame and would probably do the same. I've been thinking a lot about all the other people involved in this...the mother whose backyard the children were playing in, the boys who were laughing? Do they feel the weight of blame? And Margaret? So often children feel that they have caused an event to happen - a death, an accident, an illness - and place the blame at their own feet. Magical thinking. I hope that Margaret does not carry that load.

Jess said...

My sister, Rach, has commented here before about her own loss of our sweet Hannah.

I've never commented here because as I've watched my sister and brother in law grieve, all the things I would have thought that would have been important to say really wouldn't have been all that significant in the grand scheme of things. No matter how much empathy is poured out it cannot ever really *know* what it is like to lose a beloved child.

The most amazing thing I've witnessed from the two of them is their commitment to each other, no matter what. Brien has never blamed Rachael (as well he shouldn't) and Rachael has never allowed her grief to affect the solidity of her marriage. That commitment is sacred and as important as continuing to be a stellar parent to her living children.

I live very close to you (I'm in NoVA) and I heard about Jack via local people who know your family. People seem more likely to share when they know a family has personally suffered a loss of a beautiful, special, loved child. I also read about it on a message board for homeschoolers that is international (Well Trained Mind) shortly after the accident. I had no idea that my sister would ever learn of your loss and that it would become so personal to me as well.

I am a convert to Catholicism. I have had the misfortune of knowing a few children who have passed away since our family lost Hannah. Every single week, without fail, I have lit candles for those children after I've prayed to Mary to mother them in heaven. Jack is now part of those weekly prayers.

Hannah, Jack, Ben and Carson - you are all loved and missed.

the mama bird diaries said...

What a beautiful, powerful post. I'm so glad the three of you have each other. xo

Ann Imig said...

I relate to this as a recovering blamer-in-marriage.

I heard some of the most beautiful choral music tonight at my Dad's chorus' annual Tudor dinners. He's been singing in them for 40 years, and we've gone ever since I can remember. Tonight I heard one of the most beautiful compositions yet, and you know who I thought of? Jack.

Love and continued grace.

Ann

Julia said...

To blame you would mean you did it on purpose. But it was a freak accident. You let your son go out and play in the rain. And the usually low creek was swollen from the torrential downpour. And the strong currents couldn't be seen. All an accident. I hope you and Tim stay strong. For Margaret...for you and for Tim. But mostly for Jack.

xoxo, Julia

Jill said...

Anna~
I wish that I could email you directly. As I read your post last night and reflected on it again tonight I got an idea. A book idea. The idea is my gift to you but I don't know how to contact you. I wish that I did.

Mama Mary said...

Your words continue to speak to me and move me, Anna. I have a similarly forgiving husband yet I don't think I am the same way. It is difficult to see that in ourselves. But I am so happy that there is no blame and only love shining some light in this darkness, for you, Tim & Margaret. May you continue to have God and each other for strength.

Pseudo said...

When I read your posts, my heart swells.

Dawn said...

And Jack still loves you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Praise God for your marriage! I've been praying specifically for your marriage and will continue - may God tie you and Tim together with his strong bonds of love. Praise God that he has opened your eyes and heart so wide to see his hand in your life. Love, comfort, hope - may these be with you each and every day. Thank you for sharing so humbly and honestly. You make me re-think how to be a mom and help me love my own children better.

Anonymous said...

Alot of marriages are defined by major milestones in life such as kids successes like winning a soccer tournament, a graduation, and even big wedding anniversary celebrations/gift exchanges. It is evident to me that your relationship with Tim did not hinge on a series of major events but a continuous flow of smaller but no less significant daily interactions. And for that same reason no major event (even one so horrendous as this) will break that bond. God bless you and your family.

Chantel Hull said...

Hi Anna,

Every time I hear "Good Life" by One Republic I think of you, your family and Jack and I say a heartfelt prayer to God for you all. I also cry. I'm so sorry for your loss and if there was anything I could do to make it hurt less I would. I know you don't know me, but I feel like I know you. I feel like Tim is just like my husband and Jack is what I expect my 15 month old son to be like when he gets older. Anyway, I too believe you will see Jack again one day and that Jesus is holding him tight. I pray that time heals your very raw wounds... but know that you are in a girl's prayers in PA.

Love you,
Chantel

Anna See said...

Jill- If you would like to email me, my address is aninchofgrayATyahoo.com

Love, Anna

Debby@Just Breathe said...

It was an accident. Tim knows deep within his heart that you are not to blame for this. ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

Hearing this makes me unbearably happy. I'm so glad you and Tim have the strength and wisdom to live this life right.

love,
jbhat

Lynne Griffin said...

Anna,
I know in my heart of hearts that if I were in your place, I would have a very difficult time NOT blaming myself. I, too, am a blamer. I also know, without any doubt in my mind, that my husband would NEVER blame me.
You are so brave to meet this all head-on and not try to hide behind anything. I've always admired you, and so wish that you did not have to go thru this at all!
Thank you for your inspiration, your example, your honor of Jack and your family.

Anonymous said...

Hold tight Anna - we love you.

PeachPrenni said...

Oh Anna.. You have me in tears again. You write so beautifully and you express yourself as if we're old friends and I'm sitting on the porch having coffee with you as you share. I love you for that. I love the fact that Tim's lack of blame has made you love him even more. I love the fact that you know there could never be another partner who fully understands the depth of your loss like Tim does. Your marriage will grow from this and gain new strength. I love you both and I am praying for your marriage.
Annie P.

ster said...

and so this is exactly WHY things happened... unfolded if you will.. the way in which they did.

so you wouldn't be the one to walk away. you wouldn't leave. and there would be no pin pointing of blame. no fingers jabbing at the other half of your coupledom.

so things happened... with you there and him not.. because it was what needed to happen to keep you intact.

Charlotte said...

Absolutely beautiful and absolutely right. Blame shouldn't enter the picture here. There are things that were just beyond your control that night... and finding something to assign blame to will do nothing but tear you apart.

As always sending many thoughts and prayers to your family. XOXO

Anonymous said...

Anna we live in the neighborhood across from you and have several mutal friends. While we've never met, please know your family is in our prayers everyday and we are proudly displaying our blue ribbons for Jack.

My husband and I lost 3 babies (2 girls and a boy) before we had a living child, and I found on line forums (no blogs back then) a huge comfort and credited them with saving my sanity. I also found comfort in books that described people who had near death expereinces - the book Heaven is Real is one I read recently and loved.

You will have joy again, because that's what Jack and Jesus want for you and your family.

And so you know, even though I'm up and down Lawyers Rd multiple times every day, I never even realized there was a creek there, until that horrible evening in September. I never thought of mentioning it to my kids either. And we are not the only ones who never saw that stupid stream of a water as a threat to our precious ones. Clearly, God has great plans for Jack that He could not accomplish on earth. That can be the only conclusion.

Lisa

Anonymous said...

Anna,

I am elated to read your blog about forgiveness. You chose your life partner so well! 'course, Tim's a lucky guy to be married to you!

Love conquers all! With God, nothing is impossible.

Ann-Marie J

Lisa said...

Very well said <3 God's grace continue to be with all of you

Anonymous said...

Growing up in an emotionally/verbally abusive home self hate/blame have been my best friends most of my life :( As a mother I constantly find ways to blame myself for my "human" inadequacies. Your words are an inspiration to me. I read them and I thank God for the gift of motherhood. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain you and your husband must feel but I hope you know your loss was not in vain. Your son's spirit lives on in your words and their effect on strangers like me.

Anonymous said...

I think of you often Anna. You make me a better person.

sandie said...

I feel certain that most mothers would agree with me here. Many accidents with our children happen right before our eyes, that's why they are called accidents. No-one is to blame. My son, now 43, has Christmas disease (the rarer form of haemophilia)and some of his most spectacular accidents happened at home when I either saw him do it or was in the house with him. Please, please don't put blame on yourself, it's a wasteful emotion. God bless you and your family.

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

Your family will never stop astounding me. Nor will your writing. All my love...

Anonymous said...

Every time I read another post,the questions I have are answered. I'm so glad to hear that you're not blaming yourself and that you're husband's not blaming you. I, like you, would have a hard time not blaming.

Michelle

Gina said...

I hope I am going to be able to communicate my thoughts to relay my point without it coming across completely skewed. I am a mom who has lost a child and I am a self blamer as well. There is just no blame in this situtation. Period. Here is where I hope I can make my point without coming it coming out wrong. The bible says that God alone knows the number of our days and they are already written. For whatever reason, Jack's days were only written for 12 1/2 years. The bible also says that our time on this earth is but a spec of sand on a beach. The thing is that eternity is just that. This is so temporary. The bible also says that precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his saints. Gulp. That is a hard on to swallow but to absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And in his presence is fullness of joy. It sucks hard for those of us left to grieve the loss of our children so much so that it almost feels it will consume us. But our children are with the Lord basking in his love, peace and joy and will never feel the hurts of this world. Thank God this is all only temporary and one day we will see and never be separated again!