Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ch-ch-ch Changes





Dear Jack,

It feels like you’ve been gone forever. I crane my neck as I sit here at my desk, imagining what it would sound like to have you run down our wooden stairs and out the kitchen door again, but I come up empty. So much has changed here, in HUGE ways, yes, but even in the mundane, everyday details.

Did you notice we have a King size bed now? After years of insisting we needed a King, I just went out and bought one. Yep, and that’s a TV on the wall. C-razy. Of course it’s hooked up to Netflix, not cable YET, but baby steps, dude, baby steps. I’ve always wanted to curl up with the whole fam and watch a movie in bed, which we can do now, but there’s an empty spot. A glaringly empty spot without you.

Oh, and that’s an old fashioned hot air popper from the thrift shop on the kitchen counter. Have you ever seen one of those? Totally 80’s, I know. We're having fun with it and I think you would like it even better than the microwave popcorn we ate each night in the summer.

Our family TV shows have switched from Merlin, Man vs. Wild, and America’s Got Talent to Cupcake Wars, Chopped, and American Pickers. I think you would get a kick out of these shows, just like you liked watching The Next Great Baker last year. It seems like every episode of Man vs. Wild has a perilous river scene, so that’s out for us right now. I’ve gravitated a bit more into your space on the couch, under Great Grandma Jackson’s blanket, but it still feels so weird not to have you next to me. I loved the way you would let me wrap my arms around you like a pretzel and squeeze your guts out as we sat together. Sometimes I close my eyes and pretend that you are there, but it doesn’t really work. Do you remember the last movie we watched as a family, two nights before the accident? Yep, “Anne Frank.”

The basement is pretty empty, too, now that you, Margaret, and your friends aren’t playing that car game down there. In fact, it’s rare to have kids over at all. I haven’t been on the treadmill down there since the day before the accident. It reminds me too much of you, because when I exercised last summer I’d watch that show, “Lie to Me,” and I know the premise intrigued you. I told you all about the man who could tell if people were lying just noticing their facial expressions. You would be at my desk at the top of the stairs on the computer and would poke your head down on occasion to ask me a question and peek at what I was watching. I also think about how I couldn’t use the treadmill on that last, horrible day after school because we had no electricity. No stinkin’ electricity. But I didn’t mind at the time because we were having fun together, laughing and talking.

Dad is running all the time now! He and Auntie talk about running gear and training and heart rates and hydration, which I find oh so boring. After knowing Daddy for 20 years, I find it weird to see him with a whole new hobby, but I know it is helping keep him going at this point. He misses you so much. Oh, and another thing, Jack. Daddy is leaving the toilet seat up! Seriously! What do you think about that? Do you think he is doing it to show some pent-up hostility, or do you think he’s just being forgetful? Is it totally inappropriate that I’m talking to you about this, Jack? “Totes Inapprops” as Marg would say. That phrase is new, too.

My interests have changed. I haven’t picked up a single piece of furniture from someone’s trash pile, or spray painted anything since the accident. I do try to go to the thrift shop every month or so, but nothing there sparks my interest anymore. When I pass the row of khaki pants I have to stop myself from checking to see if any will fit you for your school uniform. And the puzzle aisle? Is not my friend.

I’ve thought about writing a book, Jack, called “Things I Used to Give a S*** About” because so many of my former interests seem so empty now. I know you hoped I’d become a big-time blogger because of my decorating and refinishing projects, but that’s not exactly how it is working out. I have a ton of amazing readers and they are reading about you, our family, God, and grief as we try to make sense of the craziness of what has happened. They pray for us and support us every day.

Oh, and Jack? I guess you now know that I cuss. Can’t believe I did so well hiding it from you for 12 ½ years. There was that one time when you were 2 ½ and that guy stood up in the middle of the road in front of our car and I yelled the “S” word, but I did a pretty good job convincing you I really meant “Sit!” as in "sit down!" Ummm, you did believe me, right?

I just seem to feel like cussing an awful lot right now. I know that in addition to having perfect grammar, an extensive vocabulary, and impeccable dental hygiene, you did not have a very foul mouth, Jack, and for that I am grateful. "Butt and sucks" were the worst you said, even though we got on your case about it. Now those words just aren't cutting it for your old momma, let me tell you.
Our fridge is different too. You and I could power through a little tub of hummus with our Wheat Thins after school each day, but Margaret doesn’t like it. Same with Baby Bell and Yoplait. I find myself throwing out a lot of food, which is weird, because it’s not like you were a big eater in the first place. It’s just hard to stop buying the usual, and to plan for 3 instead of 4.

The kids still play outside in the neighborhood, but that has changed, too. The trail of kids in and out of our house has dried up, and a couple of your friends are now riding snazzy go-carts up and down the driveway. I’m guessing you would have thought that was a lot of fun, but I don’t know for sure. I do know that the sound of the go-carts makes me feel like throwing up. Or throwing something. Or both.

We haven’t had any snow, except for about an inch one Saturday morning. I was amazed at how many green saucer sleds like the one you used to have littered the yards around our house. They reminded me of all of the fun times we had in the snow, like when I almost slammed into the mailbox when Mrs. H and I decided to sled down her hill, or during the blizzard when you, Margaret, Daddy and I went night sledding in the street and Shadow kept jumping on top of us. For some reason, the kids are sledding behind the houses this year, right near the pathetic, empty creek bed. Needless to say, I don’t see sledding in my future. Shadow wandered near the creek a few weeks ago and I couldn't walk down there to get her back.

Your classmates come to my car each day to give me hugs in the pick-up line. I try to make sure I have Shadow with me so they can pet her as we talk. I hope they don’t feel weird talking to me. They seem to have more freedom than you all did in 6th grade, and I miss that for you. I really love your class, and when I see the kids, and how they care for and look out for each other, I can’t help placing you there with them and imagining what entering your teens would have been like with such quality friends.

Speaking of friends, you might be surprised to see that Daddy and I are hanging out with some new people, whether we didn’t know them before or have just gotten to know them better. You would be AMAZED at how many people have reached out to befriend us and comfort us in so many ways since your accident. We are also meeting other parents whose children have died.

So there are a lot of changes. A lot going on. Even this computer is different. How often did you say we needed a new computer, since mine kept crashing whenever you tried to use it? On Christmas morning, when I opened the box and saw a new laptop from Daddy, I felt a sinking feeling rather than gratefulness, because it felt like just one more way I was leaving you
behind.

Change is hard, Jack, but we're doing it. I hope you are as proud of us as we are of you.

I miss you so much.

Love, Mom

140 comments:

Jen G. said...

Oh sweet Anna, no words. Just tears for you. Thank you for sharing your heart...

Anonymous said...

I've been quietly lurking and reading your posts for some time now. I've been crying for you and crying with you for all these months. If my pain over your loss is still so real I can only imagine yours. Hugs from me and all the others lurking quietly behind our computer screens and praying for you and your family. Take care.

Anonymous said...

That is so sweet of Jack's friends to give you love. When I was in the 6th grade I lost a friend of mine and the pain was like nothing I had ever felt as a child. I wish I would've made more of an effort to reach out to his parents after the accident, I know they probably would've appreciated that.

Jen said...

My mom started cussing when my step-dad died a few years ago. It always makes us laugh - and dammit, sometimes we just need to laugh.

Still praying for you :-)

Red79 said...

Oh Anna - I can only imagine how difficult that was to write to Jack, I cried through the reading the writing I'm sure was so much harder. I continue to follow your blog and greive for you and your family. I can't pretend to know what you are going through, but your writing gives a little better understanding. You all remain in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing. Take Care.

Ross said...

I'm so sorry that there is so much pain! I know I don't know your family but I will keep you in prayer.

Kathy Fisher said...

My son is Jack's age and I think about a boy I never knew every day when I pick mine up from school. Jack is, and has been, in my heart since that day some months ago, as have the three of you. Sending love and hugs from Florida.

Japolina said...

Change is always hard. Thinking of you

The Empress said...

Oh, Anna.


just..

Oh, Anna.

Patricia said...

Beautiful words.....so heartfelt. Jack is smiling down at the changes...No matter how much changes in your lives, he will always be there, with you all....

sdjhae said...

all I can say is I wish I could hug you and hope you can feel God's Shalom.
Jen

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

oh anna, this one just totally got me today. and i think you should write a book- you write so well and when i read i hear your voice. you are so raw and authentic... and i think you would have a lot to say. thinking of you.

Child of God said...

Hi Anna,
I am glad to hear that you are meeting up with other parents that are grieving the loss of a child. This will help. I did notice while reading there is a touch of softness to your writing. This too is good, very good.
The pain is deep and you will never leave Jack, ever. He will always be a part of you. You are who you are today because of your two children, your husband and of course God.

Praying for you often.
<><

Anonymous said...

Hugs.....big hugs to you. Praying for you still.

mariann said...

Dear Anna -- You are such an amazing and brave woman. And I know you would give anything not to have to be. Prayers -- (((hugs))) Mariann

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,
I stumbled across your blog a couple weeks ago...and now I can't stop reading. I only have one child. She's 4 and she's the center of my universe. We've tried to have more children...but after 4 miscarriages and two failed attempts at IVF (with no true diagnosis of infertility), I'm being forced to realize this must not be God's plan for our family.

I love my daughter deeply but I live in constant fear of death. Sometimes I feel paralyzed by that fear. I try very hard not to turn down invitations to travel or go out with friends, but I find it very difficult to say yes - particularly if the invitation requires a plane ride or an overnight stay. In fact, even letting her go to the grocery store with my husband (her daddy), causes some anxiety. It's not only her death that worries me, but my own. If she were to die - you might as well just check me into a looney bin. If I were to die, I know a little bit of her would too and the suffering she would endure...well, I can't even think about that.

Tomorrow I have to fly to Philadelphia for work. I'm pretty good at getting out of travel - but this one has to be done. I've been having minor panic attacks daily as the trip comes closer.

For whatever it is worth (and I'm sure, it's not much), your blog has helped me in ways I can't even describe. After reading about that awful, awful night - I realized that I can stress, worry, panic over plane rides, car accidents, fires, kidnappings and a whole slew of predictable tragedies...but I can't plan on that stupid, irrelevant, insignificant creek. As much as I think I have control over some events - I can't control them all. This realization has brought me some peace and calmness and I think of Jack every time I feel the panic rise.

Words are not enough to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I think of you and your family often and I'm constantly praying for all of you. I can't imagine (even though I read your blog every day now) how deep and omnipresent your pain and suffering must be. Jack was a handsome, loving, smart, and witty boy. Your loss and the loss of all that knew him, is tremendous. If I (a total stranger) can feel your pain, well, I just can't imagine....

God Bless.

That gentleman's lady said...

Hugs to you.

Writing to them after gone is strange in some ways, but in some ways it is for us as well, isn't it? A way to acknowledge time.

There are a lot more proud of you out here. I can tell :)

oliveoyl64 said...

your post today brought tears, but also laughter when I saw the pic of the "chip duck lips". That is the crazy sh*t my family would do to entertain each other.

I don't know if I were in your shoes if I could share my grief as you do. I have so many blogs bookmarked, but if I can only read a few, yours is on the top every time.

I say write the book, "Things I used to give a sh*t about". I would buy it!

Anonymous said...

No words, just tears and love. You are amazing for sharing this F__king awful journey with us. In my prayers always.

Mrs. E said...

There are no words. The treadmill got to me the most. All I can think is that you aren't leaving Jack behind, you are taking him with you- in your hearts. Praying for you.

Jen said...

I lost my 14 yr old son Nicholas in a jet ski accident on 11/27/11. If I can ever lend an ear or offer you the support of another mom who is traveling this impossibly hard path with you, please don't hesitate to contact me. You are in my thoughts and prayers every day.

Meredith Self said...

Dear Jack,
I am loving your mom every single day in many ways. I know it's peanuts compared to the love you share/d. Just want you to know my heart is stretching. And your mom rocks!
Meredith

Oh. And what a great book and title!

Geri said...

@Jen, I am so sorry about your son. The son we lost in 2009 was Nicholas also.

Anna, oh Anna. Sweet Anna. I wrote letters to Nick too, haven't in a while. And when my hubby suggested we get a big screen TV about 6 mos. after he died, I screamed "NO! Nick always wanted us to get one, and if he isn't here to enjoy it, we can't either". (Of course, that changed, and we have one now, and sometimes i still look at it and think "nick would so love this").

you touch my heart, dear lady. your whole family does. (and I say here, here to the cussing!).

Please keep writing. For you, and for us.

Stimey said...

Change is hard in the best of times. I would think your Jack would be very proud of you. Love to you.

Chrisy said...

You continue to amaze me. *crying* xo

Kim said...

reading is like a punch to my gut. can only imagine what it feels like to write. again, thank you for keeping it real. keep on.
prayers, prayers and more prayers.

Anonymous said...

Writing is very healing Anna. Jack was such a blessed boy.
You have alot of offer others.
You have taught me to enjoy what is in front of me now.
xo
Joyce

S. Taylor said...

I love Jack and I love you! Amazing how powerful your writing has been - I truly feel you have been a friend forever and we have never met.
Still praying in Michigan.
Hugs

A Speckled Trout said...

You know that saying "God is in the details"? Writing the details of your days without Jack seemed to have God all over it. Peace, writer girl.

Laura said...

Dear Jack,
Your Mom is amazing.
Love, Laura

Princess Kate said...

My heart just aches for you Anna. As a mom, I just want to hug you and shield you from ALL of this and I can't. It breaks my heart to see you in so much pain. I'm praying all the time that peace finds you.

The Mommy Therapy said...

I save your posts to read after my children have gone to bed. I do this not only so I don't have to explain at length about why I am crying at the computer, but also because I want to focus fully on everything you write.

I continue to pray for you and your family and think of Jack, and you, in the most random of times. I was near a creek bed the other day though and I made my friend stop and pray for you guys...forever changing the way I think of any creek too.


Keep writing, it's so amazing.

Anonymous said...

You are so brave to put your heart on the page and I am in awe of your courage to try and move forward in life no matter how difficult that is. I admire your honesty with yourself and with your readers - you sound so damn(!) psychologically healthy despite your intense pain and grief! I think my favorite line was how you and your daughter and husband are "having fun" with the new popcorn machine. SO nice to read that. I hope you are as proud of yourself as your readers are of you.
My mom passed away a month ago and I can relate to that physically sick feeling when it hits you so hard. It is literally gut wrenching with physical pangs. I hope for you those feelings are a way of releasing grief and that over time they somehow hurt less. I hope.

Susan said...

I can't stop crying reading this post. And picturing your Jack listening in heaven.
I don't know this for sure. But I see it. I do.
He was so sweet. So, so sweet.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I think writing letters to Jack is a good thing Anna! Thinking of you every single day!

Marguerite said...

Anna,

I come here every day to "check in" (Margaret's air quotes make me laugh) on you and your family and hope that knowing that there are so many, many people praying for your family every day gives you some comfort. You are truly inspiring and I bet Jack is so proud.

Leah C said...

Oh dear Anna. Words fail me now. Hugs and prayers...

Anonymous said...

Anna-

I've been a lurker for the past few months, crying through each of your posts, and often when I'm no where near my computer.

I have a Jack, too. He's 5 years old, and seems so much like your Jack (he even looks a bit like him). He loves Legos, loves his family (especially his two little sisters), is curious, yet cautious and is just a good boy. I love him to pieces, like you do yours, and can't imagine the pain and loss you are suffering.

Although we don't know each other, I think of you frequently throughout the day and remind myself to be more patient, more understanding and more appreciative of the gifts I've been given.

mgh said...

Oh, Anna, it still hurts so so much. No words.

Stefanie said...

Anna, this post breaks my heart. More than ever, it makes me realize what you've lost. My own son is 13 1/2, and this post just drives it home how much you must miss Jack and just how painful it must be to move forward. It's all those little things. You just keep taking those baby steps, and we'll be here for you. Really.

Aimee said...

Lots of tears with some laughter after reading your beautiful blog entry. You're amazing. My thoughts and prayers continue, always.

Lisa said...

I have written letters to my mom several times since she died in 2010. It helps me so much. I hope writing to your dear son helps you heal, too. I just know Jack is looking down and smiling on you all.

NanaDiana said...

I read every word. What a perfect, loving letter to your son...a testament of what he meant to you and what he still means to you...and, ultimately, what he will always mean to you. God bless you- xo Diana

BeFriending Faith said...

Praying for you each and every day.

Such losses should not be born alone. So glad you've found us to share Jack with during this time.

It seems silly to say it, but Thank You.

60 toes said...

What a special letter.
I am sitting here in tears.

Thank you for sharing Jack with so many who never even met him. I love seeing pictures of him, what a great looking kid. :)

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I hate change.

And I think you should write a book. Maybe not yet...but someday.

I love you.

Kelly said...

Anna, I pray for you and your family often. How lucky Jack was to have you as a Mom....God Bless You.

Heidi said...

I'm with Alexandra. There aren't words and I'm still hugging you. Oh, my heart. And, oh, your heart.

Anonymous said...

I only know you through your blog but feel that I've known you personally for a life time. This post made me cry. I'm so sorry for you.

IrishRN07 said...

Hey, if cussing helps I'm all for it dammit. Did you read Tina Fey's Bossy Pants? There's a line in there where she describes someone as (and excuse me if I don't get this quote exactly right): "Swearing like a trucker with a corneal paper cut." So many laugh out loud moments in that book. I listened to it in my car, just driving around town doing errands. I think people looked at me funny laughing so hard in my car alone. If you haven't read it I highly recommend it, especially in audio format.
Your letter is beautiful. I hope writing it, and knowing so many are reading and crying with you helps to heal your indescribably painful wound.
-Maureen
PS: I'm sure Jack must be proud of all of you. How could he not?

Anonymous said...

I cry and cry for you, and like others can not imagine the level of YOUR sadness. I hate it so f-ing much, since we are cussing today. xo

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

SO Jack now knows you swear. Big deal. If he knows you swear, he also knows how gigantic an impact he's having on so many people (such as myself) who are living fuller, more present, more charitable lives since your mom told us so much about you. The circumstances were horrible, but I am becoming a better mom to my daughter because of the lessons you and your family have taught me.

Anonymous said...

Anna~
You know how to write. And every word breaks my heart.
Jill

kate said...

My heart hurts so badly for you... that part about the space in the bed just about killed me. I think about your family daily and pray for you just as often.
Kate D.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,

That was very hard to read. My mascara'd tears are running down my face. As a parent none of us EVER want to imagine being in this situation. It is our greatest fear.
The emptiness and longing you so eloquently write about makes me realise how grateful I need to be for my children. Your story also teaches me I have to let go and not live in fear - things can happen at any time.

Always thinking of you Anna....

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

Oh Anna, my heart is breaking for you. I wish Jack could witness all these changes firsthand, but I like to think that he is witnessing them from above.

Pamela said...

Praying for you

Suzanne said...

I found your blog a few weeks before the accident (we have mutual friends who reposted on Facebook). Just when I was wondering if this Christian woman from Virginia and a (somewhat) sassy New England Unitarian were going to sustain a long-term relationship Jack died. And there we became the same. Mothers. Wives. Friends. And your pain became mine. Thank you for guiding me and teaching me how to show love and anger all at the same time. While my loss is not that of a child it hurts nonetheless less and you are a beacon. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna, we don't know each other, but I have been reading your blog and feel as though I've gotten to know you. I wanted to thank you so much for being unbelievably honest about your feelings during this time in your life. My friends lost their young son in a tragic accident this past month. Your blog has helped me to understand what may be going on in their minds - hers especially. I know we all process grief differently, but there are similarities also, especially for those that have lost a child so tragically and unexpectedly. Thank you for helping me help her. I don't think she is at a point where she is able to communicate much about anything. I am holding you and your family in my thoughts. Thank you.

Erin said...

Anna, my heart is so heavy for you. It's a heaviness that I'm not used to...and I all I know to do is pray. It's amazing to me (really, really amazing) how God can give us a heart for someone we've never even met. Your words have touched my life in way that I cannot even process right now. I pray for you and your family daily.
Hugs and Peace from NC,
Erin

Lisa said...

Tears are just flowing down my face.....

Renee said...

Anna, I am certain you are not leaving Jack behind, he is with you every step of the way. He is steering you in the direction you need to be going, helping you navigate through this awful time. Keep writing to him, keep changing and do not worry, for when the day comes to be reunited with him in Heaven, he will be so proud of you.

Cindy S said...

So beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your heart from the inside out to us.

Julie B. said...

I so wish that I had words to say to comfort you. I don't. But prayers are being sent your way.
xo

Mynde said...

I would imagine his pride is huge. Afterall, we was blessed with such an awesome family.

Still praying for you all.

ella said...

I believe Jack hears your words, and would love nothing more than to give you a great big hug and let you know he's okay. These little changes...things that seem so inconsequential...they certainly must be the hardest.
Love and hugs and prayers to you....

Anonymous said...

I sit here with tears and puffy eyes. I, too, have been following your story. Sometimes, I wish we were friends so that I could give you a HUGE hug. I know that wouldn't be enough. I am glad you have a great network of support. I am also amazed at how well you know your children. It inspires me to be a better mom. Always praying for you all!

Formerly known as Frau said...

((hugs)) Anna
Changes suck they really do ....but it also means you are living and Jack would want that.

Anonymous said...

I wrote letters to my (then) husband all through our long drawn out divorce. It was SO helpful and therapeutic. I ended up sending them to a friend to read (b/c THAT made me feel better too) so I completely get why you wrote this. I am so so sorry for your loss and grief. Just keep at what you are doing, feeling the feelings, processing, talking, dreaming, crying. I lost someone at the same time that you lost Jack, and it has been both a long time AND feels just like yesterday. You COULD write a whole book written in this manner, letters to Jack. I bet a LOT of people would read it, for a lot lot lot of reasons. Take care ~Karen

Becky said...

I couldn't even get through this whole post without crying so hard I couldn't see my screen.

Words can't describe my sorrow for you.

This was really beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I can imagine how the changes make you feel bad, as though you are moving on, but you are just living as best you can and Jack knows this and wants to see you happy. I know he is sending you hugs and love and we are too. I've always thought that you could write a book if you chose to. Your honesty and the rawness of your words help all of us in so many ways. I think of you and Jack every day and I pray that you and you family find peace.

Sheri said...

Sitting here staring at the empty comment box trying to think of what to say. But there are no words. Just my love and prayers coming to you every day. I so admire your strength, honesty, and generosity in sharing him with us. What an amazing mom you are.

Lady Jennie said...

I feel so so sad.

Amanda said...

Thank you for your blogs and posts - your rawness rings a truth that only my heart can feel. I don't know you, but I love you as a fellow mother and woman.

I am praying "all the way" from Leesburg for you and your family.

Amanda said...

Thank you for your blogs and posts - your rawness rings a truth that only my heart can feel. I don't know you, but I love you as a fellow mother and woman.

I am praying "all the way" from Leesburg for you and your family.

Christy said...

Oh my god Anna I can't stop crying. I love you.

Leslie said...

Oh Anna, I am so sorry. I've been beyond "praying" for a while now. I BEG the Lord for things on your behalf.

You are loved, Tim is, Margaret is and Jack is.

I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

My heart aches for you and your family. Prayers.

Theresa O said...

Speechless, with lots of tears.
Always thinking of you.
Your writing continues to amaze me. What a beautiful letter. Thanks for sharing with us all.

New Mom said...

I feel strange commenting when this is such a special letter to Jack... it feels so sacred. And in fact, I already wrote a comment yesterday and hit "publish" and it didn't go through so then I wondered if it was a sign that I really shouldn't comment! But of course that doesn't stop dumb ol' me. It is at once heart-wrenching and a blessing to read this letter and to witness the love you share. I am convinced that Jack is still feeling your love and even loving you back as he spends time with Jesus, where Love, Joy and Peace abound! And how I wish and continue to pray that you could feel Jack so tangibly and in a way that brings comfort.

Mama Mary said...

Change is hard, and he is proud. So very proud. Continued love and light, through the change and pain. xo

Anonymous said...

Anna, I am so sorry that this is your reality.

Sending hugs, support, and hopes for peace for you and yours.
Claire

L said...

Love you so much.

bonzo said...

Big, never-ending hugs to you, Anna. (heart hurting, swelling, bursting, breaking)

Stacy said...

I follow your blog with an aching heart for you and your family.

Kling said...

I'm a friend of Glennon's sister, and I got to "know" you through your comments on Momastery before Jack's accident. I think of you and your family often... big hugs.

Laura said...

Just stopping back in to let you know that I have had “Totes Inapprops” stuck in my head all day. Your daughter is a gem.

Anonymous said...

God is with you and He loves you more than you know, Don't be strong. Be weak before God and let him be strong. Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Cuss if you want! It helps release!

Michelle said...

Proud of you...and gonna keep praying.

Anonymous said...

All I know is.... I will always miss my Jack and long for him.
All I know is.... one minute I'm together and the next I'm falling apart.
All I know is.... my heart hurts all the time and it has never felt whole since the day he died.
All I know is.... the tears won't stop filling up my eyes, soaking my pillows or staining my face.
All I know is.... I "Really Really" miss him.
All I know is.....it hurts ALL the time.
All I know is.....I want him back.
All I know is.....sometimes I want him so badly, that I want to go to him.
All I know is.... there is no greater ache in this world than my child dying.
All I know is.....I love him, even in death, I love him so much.
All I know is.....

Marley C. said...

Daily, I check for your new posts and in some way hope that the sadness and heartbreak I feel when I think of Jack in some small way lessens yours. Is there any part of you that feels the grief and sadness have lessened at all? I can't imagine how people "get over" and "move on" when tragedy like this strikes. Do you think they just get more numb or more used to the new "normal?" Is there ever a second when your heart doesn't just ache?

I think about you a lot and pray for some reprieve from your pain. My heart will soar when you are able to look at pictures of Jack with joy and gladness instead of bittersweet memories and what-ifs...it has to happen...one day. All the love you have for Jack MUST evolve into something good. It just HAS to. Until that day, we will wait patiently with you, listening and praying.

Amber aka: AmBam, Amborghini, Ambular, BerBer, and Bambi said...

I've been reading your blog for as long as I can remember, and I just wanted to say thank you. Your story has given me more faith in God that a lifetime of religion ever could. I think of you often.

Kelly R said...

Always always always praying for you Anna!! I hate change too and can not imagine how hard all these changes must be. You are so brave to lean right into your grief. God will guide your path sweet Anna.
xoxo

Michele said...

Continuing to lift up your family in prayer. Loved reading your memories of times with Jack. I cry every time I read your posts...for your loss, for your pain, for your marriage and for Margaret. God bless you!

Rach said...

New chapters started in the book of "Life After Jack" are hard. So many changes feel so strange without your sweet boy. I'm sorry.

Many prayers and hugs,
Rach

Anne said...

My heart aches for you all.I am so heartbroken over this.Weird I don't even know you but it breaks my heart.I continue to pray for you all.And yes Jack would be very proud of you all.So hard to go on.But I am sure he would want you to.That does not mean for one second that you will forget him.We know that no matter what he will ALWAYS be in your hearts.May God continue to watch over you all.

Meredith Self said...

rereading this beautiful letter today, Anna. Really love. Really lovely.

It's clear what a special relationship you and Jack have/had in how pure you talk to each other.

Salvimom said...

This brought me to tears. I don't ever know what to write, because so many others write so many beautiful things. But I am always compelled to send even a teensy bit of love-wealth your way, so I will repeat the same as before. You are strong, love, and this mommy who you have never met (and may never meet) loves you, prays for you, and wraps good thoughts and positivity around you and your beautiful family. Oh, and change is effin hard, but keep striving mama.

Ury
Seattle, WA

Cindy said...

Love you so much, Anna.

Anonymous said...

crying my eyes out and so grateful to read your letter... my heart hurts so badly right now. thank you for sharing Jack's life.. his spirit lives on...xo Patty

Recovering Church Lady said...

Oh God, please be with my amazing friend today. :(

Ann Imig said...

I'm so glad to see 102 comments here and 91 on your last post. I'm so glad you're still being lifted up and held and heard.

You've been on my mind recently for the fact that it IS starting to feel like a long time (and yet a blink).

Finally, I'm glad you're taking care of yourself in small ways--the bed, the TV--even the cursing. Life IS completely different, and I think it's great that you're allowing yourself some flexibility.

Love and continued prayers and hope,
Ann

The Kitchen Pixie said...

Love to you, Anna. There is so much I want to say here, and so little of it really means anything except that I think of you and your family - all 4 of you - often. Thank you for sharing Jack. Thank you for writing to him and about him. Thank you for letting us know, love, and miss him with you.

Shell Flower said...

Crying for you all over again. I wish I could help carry some of that weight. And now my friend has lost her son and she's only at the beginning, yet so are you, and it's so intense. Beautiful letter. Know that you are helping people, which Jack would totally approve of.

Okay, and 'totes inapprops' is freaking hilarious. I'm so glad you have that funny girl around.

anymommy said...

I love you, Anna, and your whole family and I can't imagine how it hurts to change a single thing since Jack died. A million hugs.

Auntie Mip said...

Oh Anna,

I wept big, salty tears as I read your letter to Jack. It was so breathtakingly beautiful! It was so breathtakingly sad. And Jack is proud that you are making changes, that you are moving. I won't say moving on or forward because I don't believe it requires a direction. The fact that you are moving is enough and Jack is so proud of that.

There are going to be so many more moments that will break your heart into a thousand pieces. Especially as Jack's friends grow and achieve and dream. I know because I watched my mama. Quite recently dear friends of my parents welcomed their sons first grandchild, their first great grandchild. My mom cried and cried. At first I didn't get it. But then it hit me. You see this new father was my brother's very best friend. And he was married. He is a father. And now a grandfather at 50. All these years later(my brother died at 7 1/2) and it still knocked the wind out of her.

These events, these missed milestones will chase you. And you will hurt. But the joy, oh the joy. It will follow you too. Joy that Jack was. Joy that Jack is. Joy that Jack wants for you. I have such complete, solid faith that when you most need it, joy will find you and sustain you through all the changes to come.

God bless your precious family. Thank you God for Jack's precious life.

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

with all my heart prayers and hugs

Robin des10rob@yahoo.com said...

This is a sweet letter Anna. I am sure that Jack is smiling down from heaven over every change for the better, I am sure Jack (just like my mother, who I lost when I was 8) wants nothing more for Margaret, your husbund and you enjoy all that life has to offer. *hugs*

Julie said...

Gosh, I can't seem to swallow this big lump in my throat, and I don't dare blink right now or the office will wonder why accounting is making me cry.

All I can do is send you a virtual hug....

darcie said...

Just popping in to say I'm thinking about you - xxoo

MacMac524 said...

I recently watched a documentary on the impact of technology (social media.etc.) in today's society. 'Experts' on both sides of the issued weighed in and one woman in particular caught my attention. Seems her information feed only delivers bad news. She focused on every negative news story on the subject which seemed to confirm her belief that modern technology is responsible for the vast majority of the world's ills. I'm fairly confident she hasn't read your blog.
To me, there is such power and 'humanness' in a vehicle (your blog) bringing a group of people together for a common goal(s). Because of your powerful, honest words there are a great many souls in this world celebrating Jack's life and hoping to comfort you in his loss.
This post was particularly heartbreaking for me. Your sadness is so profound. I wonder when it will get easier. Many times, after reading your post, I (literally) can't get you off my mind. Yesterday was one of those times. I was driving and a song came on the radio I'd never heard. I think it's called, 'Cry out to Jesus.' It talked about crying out to Jesus when you're hurting and he'll meet you wherever you are. I thought of you, started crying and couldn't stop. To borrow a phrase from Oprah, it was definitely the 'ugly cry.'
Anna, your story and well being has become very important to me. I'm committed, as (is evident) are many others, to walking this journey with you. I pray the thoughts and wishes of so many bring you comfort.
*** For the record, I'm a closet cusser myself. For me, in certain situations, nothing is quite as therapeutic as a good cuss word (or 2).

Anonymous said...

Jack was such a special boy. His light was extinguished way too early. But boy did he ever shine so bright such that even the reminiscing on your blog continue to illuminate all of us to how cherished he was and the impact he had on his family and those around him. I think he is serving as a beacon for all of us now. God bless you Jack!

Kim said...

I read today, and thought of you.
http://humblemusings.com/

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Your letter to Jack filled me with so many emotions. My heart is yours. You are so good at expressing your loss in such a profound way. The pain is so deep and I am so sorry that this is where your life is. Yet I see how God is working in your life and thankful that you have Him in your life. ((HUGS))

Kim @ A Brush of Whimsy said...

Precious, Anna.

Lilia said...

Lifting you up to the Lord. May he continue to cover your family and comfort your hearts. Blessings, Love and Peace.

-L

for a different kind of girl said...

Oh, Anna. I love you, and I think like so many who have come to know you, I love Jack. I wish these changes weren't part of your life, that all of our prayers could change reality. I wish that so much.

the mama bird diaries said...

Oh Anna. Tears are pouring down my face. Why can't I return Jack to you? Sending love.

Jessica {Team Rasler} said...

I wonder if you know how powerful your words are...that you are able to explain how this feels to people who have no clue at all. Who wouldn't understand at first why the Christmas laptop made you sad. I hate that you are going through this, but love the honesty of your writing. I wish I had any comfort at all to give as things change little by little.

Anonymous said...

Some years ago I had a wonderful English teacher who was very passionate about a particular book - Pride and Prejudice. I can recall one lesson in particular where she taught us about the power of letter writing (because, you know, Mr. Darcy had written a quite meaningful letter to Elizabeth, if my memory serves me.) Well, Jane Austen has nothing on you... this letter to your beloved son is so beautiful, so heartfelt, and left me with tears running down my face. It made me believe that one can receive letters anywhere, even in heaven! I pray for you every day. I pray that God floods you with peace, and somehow lets you know that your sweet boy can hear and treasure every word you send him. He has gone ahead, but is not gone; and one day you will meet again! May God give you peace for your broken heart in the days in between.

Masala Chica said...

Baby steps, dude. Baby steps.

It seems to me you are doing more than that. You are taking giant leaps. Of love, of faith and of hope.

Sending my love, Anna.
Kiran

michelle said...

Anna,
When I count my blessings, I count you twice.
xoxo, Michelle

Erica said...

Anna, I have been reading here for awhile. I don't know you personally but we have mutual friends. I just want to let you know that every time I drive by a blue ribbon (there seem to be new ones along my route to work) I send up prayers for you and your family. We have a creek behind our house as well, and I look at it very differently now.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, I too have been lurking and reading your posts since your life changing events with the death of your beautiful son Jack. My hearts bleeds for you and your family. Please know that my continue prayers and hugs for you all are happening daily. One thing I always say to someone who has lost a love one, is "Always reflect on the wonderful and beautiful memories that you have with them". You are doing an excellent job. Love to you all, Liz and her family too. Take care

dusty earth mother said...

I've thought of you and prayed for you so many times since the accident but this is the first time I've ventured back here. Is it wrong to tell you that I love you? But I do. I'm still praying for you all the time as you live with the loss of your beautiful son.

Elz said...

It's the everyday things that must be the hardest. Peace always.

Lynn said...

Just letting you know I have been here. That I still come by often. Always wonder how your family is doing.

Susan said...

Anna,
I am a Monkee and I have written to you a couple of times I had a son die in 2006. He was only 3 1/2 months old. I did not think at the time that I was going to survive the agonizing sadness and loss and ache in my heart to old my child again. I did not have the faith that I do now or that you have. God is Good, and He will bring good from this. You will feel peace and joy and hope again. I promise. This grief thing must be walked one step, one day at a time. You are healing. Please know I think about you and your husband and your daughter all the time. You are in my prayers daily.
Xo Susie

Just Be Real said...

Anna I came to your blog through Debby. I am deeply touched an moved by your words. My heart goes out to you. Blessings to you dear one.

Dawn said...

You have to know he's SO proud of you all.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Anna. Reading your open letter to Jack simultaneously filled my heart and broke it too. How do you do that? I thought it was just beautiful--frank, funny, sad, hopeful. It's got to be so hard. The day to day. But you are doing it. I know he must be proud of you. All of us are.

I wonder if you have considered, in your writing and thinking about Jack, of perhaps someday writing a novel about him--your imaginings of what his teen and adult years could have been. Just a thought. It might be a way for you to see him grow up.

much love,
jbhat

Gina said...

Anna,

I just came across your blog. I am reading your words at work with tears streaming down my face. I lost my first daughter in 2003 when she was 5 1/2 months old. When I think about that day the shock and the grief and the pain are still very real and alive. Losing my precious baby was so hard and at the time I didn't want to go on living without her but as strange as this may sound I think how much harder to lose an older child. Anna, my heart breaks and bleeds for you. How precious are the promises of God that we WILL one day see our beautiful babies again and hold them forever in heaven.

Wendy said...

I love that Jack's friends come and give you hugs. I wish I could hug you after reading this. I'm praying for you today, Anna. ♥

Anonymous said...

Eeks and ugh. I have absolutely no words for you, Anna. I have a son Jacks age and they are so very, very similar, as I feel you and I are...typing through the tears I have no words of comfort to offer you except a big fat cyber hug and some prayers. I cannot imagine your pain. I hurt for you and we've never met. Ridiculous, huh? Hang in there Mama...you are awesome!

thinking of you and praying,
A Chicago mom

Christina :) said...

oh gracious...i just happened upon your blog today and began to read. i sit here with tears in my eyes...trying not to full on cry. your letter to jack is beautiful! as a mom i "think" i can feel your pain...even though i know i really have no idea what you are going through. i hate that these things happen to real people...that you are having to experience this. i wish i had words of comfort...and i know that there is nothing to say to make things better. bless you sweet sister in Christ!!! may God bless and give you a little bit of peace today.

Jules said...

Brave Anna,

I, like most of the rest, have tears running down my sunday morning face. Both sides.
Your Jack is in our hearts, our souls, our thoughts.

As are beautiful-You, running-Tim & funny-Margaret.

It will not be easy. In fact, my guess is that it is going to seriously suck at moments. Most moments. I sit here & realize that all you've created has been for your family to this point - you need to keep creating, my friend. Jack would love to know that your energy, your creativity...keeps on for his great family. He will always be a part of it, even though he may not be next to you on the couch. Keep creating for your family, & for us.

One moment at a time. One Crunch bar, one lego box cover, one laptop at a time. You can do it.
Telling us about those moments helps you..& it helps us.

Start the book.
I can already see you handing out Crunch bars at your book signing.

In love this morning & with a teary smile for your family,

Jules

PeachPrenni said...

I LOVE that you wrote this letter directly to Jack and I know he received it. I think you should do more of that. (Maybe you do.) I really don't know how you do what you do and by that I mean--just keeping going. You inspire me and I think you are the strongest person I know. Thank you for sharing with us--always. -Annie P.

Stephanie Vadnais said...

Here I am dripping with tears just so incredibly broken for this loss. Your ability to put to words exactly what you're thinking is amazing. When I imagine what you face each day, this is the stuff I wonder about. How do you change things? Ugh, I feel helpless. I want the fact that I cry to somehow ease your pain. Or that I remember to throw up a prayer to somehow lighten this ridiculous burden. I'm so sorry. You are always in my prayers, as is sweet Margaret. I feel stupid telling you that because it just doesn't change what has happened and I think at my core, I kind of think it will. This is the most beautiful letter. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Jamie said...

I'm sorry this comment is so late, but I just found your blog today and have been reading backwards for a while. My son died last January. Nothing is the same. Everything has changed. Friends, hobbies, even foods. It sucks. Big time. Thank you for sharing. For putting words to my thoughts, because honestly, I'm not that great at it. Praying for all of you.