Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

From our house to yours...

Poor Margaret feels sick and will be staying in from Trick or Treating. I'll try to get her to put on her Pillow Pet costume for you! Adorable.
**********

This past week was pretty brutal with all of the storm preparation and anticipation. I don't tell you this to complain, but to thank you for the prayers and good thoughts you sent our way. It was a very heavy time, and your concern helped us feel less alone.

The good news is that most of the Northern Virginia area was spared major damage unlike the Outer Banks, New York, and New Jersey.

The bad news is I experienced a lot of grief and anger and flashbacks for the better part of the week.

It was so hard to believe that with all of the advance warning and preparation this week we did not even lose power for a second, while on the day of Jack's accident the power went out, and roads and bridges were flooded, yet schools and businesses continued as usual, and we did not have any warning about how dangerous the situation had become until it was too late. And don't even get me started on the shitty little (empty) creek I saw this weekend.

We really are grateful to be safe and dry.

But we're still grappling with the big questions, and probably will be for a long time.

My love and prayers are with those families who lost dear ones during this storm, and for those of you who are dealing with the aftermath in both big and small ways.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this is comforting or not, but I thought of you today. I saw a HUGE blue bird right outside my window...to me a rare bird. I had never seen one like this. I went to get my camera to take a picture and he was gone. I live in your town but you don't know me. I read your blog, see you around and pray for you often, especially in the past few days as this storm has come through and your family has been in my thoughts. Thanks for honestly sharing your grief and know that you are being lifted up in prayer.

Ellen aka Ellie said...

Thanks for checking in. You're never far from my thoughts, rain or shine.

Anne said...

Hugs to you all! We continue to pray for you all!What a beautiful photo of you three!
xx
Anne

Shell Flower said...

When I saw all the news and advance warning about this storm, I thought of Jack and your family. I know it sucks and it isn't fair that you didn't get the warning you needed, but maybe Jack's story, and others like it helped people realize that these kinds of warnings save lives. It's just another way Jack is helping others, and it seems like he would have liked that. I hope Margaret feels better soon :)

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Thought about you all weekend. But then - I think about you all the time. Sending you so much love. Always.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

You've been on my mind Anna. I knew the images of the past few days would be difficult. It's a funny thing. I don't even know you, but I think about things that might make it harder for you. And I know that every day is hard. But I guess I want so badly to make it easier. I struggle with the big questions too. Hugs to you Anna!

Geri said...

I think this is one of the most beautiful Halloween pictures of a mom and her precious children I have ever seen. Have thought about you a lot the past few days here in Michigan. Continuing prayers being sent your way.
And if you ever figure out the answers to the big questions, please share them with us.

Princess Kate said...

My heart was heavy too through the storm. I prayed extra hard for warmth and comfort through what I know must have been a rough patch. Please know we are all here and will keep you close in our prayers.

I hope Margaret feels better soon. We were in Haymarket this past weekend and I saw a Jack ribbon on the back of a car.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts of your family are never far from me. Still thinking of what to write about how Jack influenced my family. Coming soon to an inbox near you.
Sandie brown

Kim Poncin said...

Precious photo. My boys loved Thomas. I was absolutely praying for you all during the storm. Your family is loved by this one.

Jill said...

Thinking of you my love ... and hoping M feels better soon. Yes, it was a crappy week indeed. Even my in-laws who were stuck here for the storm thought about you! xxx

ella said...

I think about your family every single day - I'm sorry the last several days have been especially tough.

Love you all. xoxo

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

You have been in my thoughts, sending up "flare prayers" for you and Tim and Margaret this past week. When friends told me about the huge amounts of rain and flooding, I kept sending up those flare prayers.
You are not forgotten.

Anonymous said...

It's painful to know that you're suffering because you're working so diligently, courageously, and creatively through your grief. You're making every effort, and then a storm comes your way.

I have every confidence that you're going to be a Mrs. Davidson, thriving, not just surviving, but you've been through so much, and I'm very sorry. Words seem so inadequate. May God bless you.

PS Hope Margaret feels better soon.





Masala Chica said...

A thought of you will arise as I hold my son and I think, do we have enough pictures? Anna had so many pictures - I never take pictures. I think of you when I am going through something painful with the kids and I think of jack and his spirit in my thoughts lightens the moods.

Mainly i think of your strength. Just just because this is another storm, but because you have been continually rebuilding no matter how much you may have wanted to curl in a ball and be or just neglect other things. You have continued to be there for Margaret and not just wallow in grief. Which is likely what I would have done.

I think of you because rarely do I know/meet women with as much love within them that can also communicate the power and intensity of that love without meaningless platitudes. Everyone here writing? We all want you to heal? And we want to know that Jack is in a better place. We may not always have the answers but the one thing you are stuck with is that we are not leaving unless you force me out.

And I don't want to have to show you my kung fu moves, Anna. That would be embarrassing for all of us.

Love you.
Kiran

Deb said...

happy halloween to you too, and i'm sorry margaret doesn't feel well. :( hopefully her friends will share their candy!

i'm so sorry that the regular stress of a storm must always conjure the worst memories for you. i thought of you and your family often through the duration of it.

not forgetting Jack in this "second year."

A Speckled Trout said...

That boy............so cute. Hope Margaret feels better soon. I thought about you these last few days with a mix of fear and worry. I'm sorry it was such an emotional sucker punch.

Beth said...

Thought of you today as I tried taking a picture of myself with the kids in their costumes. It didn't work so well (iPhone, not enough light), but I did try. Thank you :)

Glad you got through this storm, both physically and emotionally. Thank you for continuing to share how you're feeling!

Did you make Margaret's costume?

Laura said...

Thinking of you.
Praying for you.
Always and forever.
xoxo

Anonymous said...

I have commented here before. My town is in NY and my. neighbors son died on Monday. He and another boy were killed from Hurricane Sandys wrath. He was 11 and also named Jack. I instantly thought of you and even this morning I watched 2 beautiful birds land on my deck and thought of the 2 Jacks together. May God watch over them and bring you and this family some comfort.

Bluebird49 said...

Of course, you are grappling, Anna. And you will be, perhaps for the rest of your life. You just never have a child with the idea that you will lost him during your lifetime. Our children are supposed to take care of our funeral arrangements--not the opposite..
I'm glad you didn't get a bad storm this time--compared to the others who lost lives and property--still, even with that good news, it doesn't lessen the hurt and anger of losing Jack. It can't. Some days, nothing can help...except feeling the loving kindness of others, and leaning on the everlasting arms of God. Sometimes, just feeling the numbness we felt in the earlier days would be nice to feel again. Now the "real reality" has definitely set in---we have to feel what we feel at the time. Nobody can tell us what we should be feeling at any particular time--it just must come and hopefully go soon, like the winds of time. From anger, to hurt, to panic, to darkness, and finally to light again.
To light, Anna!
Love, Sherry's mom

yourfriendrobin said...

What a hard thing to have to bear. It's impossible to understand why things like this happen. I'm sorry you have to go through all the memories again.

Kathleen said...

As the storm started on Monday I thought of you when I suggested to my son that he go out to play in the rain before he was stuck in the house. And then I paused trying to think of any dangers I needed to warn him of. He didn't go and I didn't force him. Instead I said a prayer for Jack and you and your family.

Japolina said...

Thinking about you. My son had that same Thomas Costume when he was 2 or 3. I saw a little Thomas the train out last night and it was so sweet.

xoxo

Kara said...

So sorry Margaret is feeling yucky. Hope she's better today. :)
I have had you all on my mind for the last two weeks with all the storm talk. I will be sending some extra prayers up for you that those flashbacks will ease up. I was driving down the road earlier in the week and was thinking about you, your family, and Jack. I'm sure there was a song on that reminds me of you. Anyway, I felt this surge of anger that Jack died, that children die. I raged at God for a bit, cried a little, and then I thought about you and realized that I cannot even fathom the depths of your despair, or the moments of anger. I know you will not be overtaken because your love is so much bigger than those other feelings. Just remember that perseverance does not have to be pretty. Praying for you all today.

Amy said...

I thought of you often and prayed for peace for you, Tim, and Margaret.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anna-its been months since I posted. Just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that your precious son is not forgotten. Our family will do a special prayer for you and your family tonight.
Falls Church neighbor

Arnebya said...

I thought of you as the rain continued to pour. I won't say it here, but I cussed a lot. A lot. At the wrongness of it all. At all who were being affected by this storm, at all the devastation, lives lost, and right back to you. I wish I had wonderful, inspirational words to offer, I do. Yet, I don't. I am thinking of you often, though, and hope Margaret is feeling better soon.

Anonymous said...

I also live in your town and you were in my thoughts constantly during the storm and yesterday during Halloween. We ate at a local pizza joint on Tuesday night and while I was there, there was a little boy who looked so much like Jack that it was startling. I saw him in the faces of all the boys in costume yesterday as well. His presence was just everywhere. I don't know much about what happens after we die, but personal experiences I've had in life have taught me to pay attention to such things. He must have been a big fan of Halloween during his life :)

Lady Jennie said...

That stupid empty creek. That makes me mad too - how when there's warning, everything is fine and when there is no warning at all, the result is disastrous.

Renewing my prayers for the battle to be won in the mind and heart.

Love you

Skye Harmony said...

I thought of your family a lot during the storm. I am glad you are safe, but so sorry for the sad emotions Sandy stirred up. I'm glad you still feel the support of your readers and your community. Jack continues to have an impact on many, many people. Hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

I have definitely been thinking about you during all of this devastation. It's unreal out there.

Feel better, Margaret!

love,
jbhat

Theresa O said...

Definitely thought of you, and SO feeling for you with all the mixed emotions...completely and more than understandable..and truly it pisses us all off...because I know there isn't one person on this blog or a friend, family member or a complete stranger for that matter that wouldn't want to change that devastating day for you and give you back your Jack. Every night I tuck Zach in (yes at the age of 11, I still do, ha!), I think of you and Jack. I always give Zach an extra kiss - sort of like a kiss from you to Jack, if that makes any sense!!

Praying for you continously!!!

Amanda said...

I thought of you, quite a bit during the storm warnings and preparation. The best laid plans...we can never really prepare for what is in store for us can we? My daughter (12) was in a major accident this summer and we weren't so sure she would make it. You were on my mind then, in fact, your story helped keep me strong when I wasn't sure how. Thank you. I am sorry that you have a story to make others stronger, but I thank you for being raw and real and for sharing. God Bless You.

Recovering Church Lady said...

Thought of you and wished that things were different for your family.

Lisa said...

I thought of your family earlier this week. Glad you were all safe...and sorry for your heartache and grief.

heidi said...

I woke up yesterday morning to you on my mind. And I prayed. Thinking of you Anna so, so much.

OSMA said...

Anna, l was mystified at how we never so much as lost power with this super storm. My heart was with yours while I prepared for the power outages that somehow never happened here after all. So many unanswered questions that are unjustifiably cruel on this side of the tapestry. If only words could heal, prayers could fix, and love could explain.

xoxoxo

Hoping Margaret is feeling better soon. She is welcome to put on that PillowPet costume and come ring our bell, we still candy. And I'm having a hard time not face diving into it.

xoxo

Joey said...

Dear Anna.

Normally, I can feel a depth of compassion for others in response to their pain and grief, yet remain clear that it is their pain, their grief, not mine. Empathy. Normally, I can empathize. For months, without writing words about it, I have empathized with you, Tim, and Margaret over the death of Jack. I am so very sorry that you lost a sacred child, that Margaret lost her brother and her day-top-day role as "sister," and that countless others lost a beloved family relative, community member, and friend. I tell you this so you know that "one more person" is out here, lovingly holding you and your family, caring very, very deeply, and silently offering healing thoughts.

But I also tell you this because lately, especially as the Sandy storm approached then crashed into this coast of the continent, my 'normal' has shifted from empathy to a body full of sympathetic grief, anger, and irritability. Lately, as I've thought about the losses that I and my fellow Mamas and Sisters and friends-on-the-planet are struggling with, I have slipped from empathy into sympathy. I have worried about others (you/me) getting swallowed up by their (your/my) pain, and I have disconnected from my faith in their (your/my) resiliency. In that slipperiness, I feel uncertain and scared.

And so, I've been checking your blog regularly over the last few days, looking for evidence that you are ok. I've been waiting for confirmation that you and your family are surviving this wave of grief that the storm has undoubtedly crashed over you. And, truth be told, I've been hoping for YOU to write something that would make ME feel better.

Tonight, I read those few words of confirmation I'd been waiting for. 'Yes, we're here, hurting, but surviving, coping, putting one foot in front of the other,' you said. 'Yes, this is shitty and I am angry,' you said, 'and yes, I am some version of ok.' That's what I heard when I read your October 31st entry, and I felt a small bit of the reassurance that I'd been hoping for, followed by a small bit of shame and regret - because it is NOT your job to make me comfortable, for goodness sake! And it is absolutely ok for you to be absolutely not ok.

But I wanted to hear that no matter how hard it is to do so, you are weathering your storm, Anna. I wanted that badly, and I'm guessing it's because if you say you are, and if you say you can, then it's easier for me to believe that I am, and I can, too. This turbulence inside of me, this sorrow and anger and fear that seems to be taking up SO MUCH SPACE, this is my storm. Small and insignificant in comparison to many of the shitty situations that I could be dealing with, indeed, but mine. A part of me. And I need to acknowledge it and accept it. I need to cry its (my) tears and feel its (my) fury, and welcome it (me) with the same compassion, understanding, patience, tolerance, trust, and resiliency that is plentiful when I normally, empathically, greet the suffering of others.

Self-empathy. And courage. These are the gifts that you have given me tonight, Anna. I came to your site and read your words, listening for some kind of remedy, and this is what I heard: "I am here, taking care of myself as best I can - and that's what you can do, too."

And I will. I am. I can. Thank you for helping to point me in the right direction, and for making it feel less lonely 'out here' as we Mamas, Sisters, and friends-on-the-planet keep putting one foot in front of the other.

With love and gratitude and the warmest, most empathic hug you can possibly imagine,
xo J.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna.

Normally, I can feel a depth of compassion for others in response to their pain and grief, yet remain clear that it is their pain, their grief, not mine. Empathy. Normally, I can empathize. For months, without writing words about it, I have empathized with you, Tim, and Margaret over the death of Jack. I am so very sorry that you lost a sacred child, that Margaret lost her brother and her day-top-day role as "sister," and that countless others lost a beloved family relative, community member, and friend. I tell you this so you know that "one more person" is out here, lovingly holding you and your family, caring very, very deeply, and silently offering healing thoughts.

But I also tell you this because lately, especially as the Sandy storm approached then crashed into this coast of the continent, my 'normal' has shifted from empathy to a body full of sympathetic grief, anger, and irritability. Lately, as I've thought about the losses that I and my fellow Mamas and Sisters and friends-on-the-planet are struggling with, I have slipped from empathy into sympathy. I have worried about others (you/me) getting swallowed up by their (your/my) pain, and I have disconnected from my faith in their (your/my) resiliency. In that slipperiness, I feel uncertain and scared.

And so, I've been checking your blog regularly over the last few days, looking for evidence that you are ok. I've been waiting for confirmation that you and your family are surviving this wave of grief that the storm has undoubtedly crashed over you. And, truth be told, I've been hoping for YOU to write something that would make ME feel better.

Tonight, I read those few words of confirmation I'd been waiting for. 'Yes, we're here, hurting, but surviving, coping, putting one foot in front of the other,' you said. 'Yes, this is shitty and I am angry,' you said, 'and yes, I am some version of ok.' That's what I heard when I read your October 31st entry, and I felt a small bit of the reassurance that I'd been hoping for, followed by a small bit of shame and regret - because it is NOT your job to make me comfortable, for goodness sake! And it is absolutely ok for you to be absolutely not ok.

But I wanted to hear that no matter how hard it is to do so, you are weathering your storm, Anna. I wanted that badly, and I'm guessing it's because if you say you are, and if you say you can, then it's easier for me to believe that I am, and I can, too. This turbulence inside of me, this sorrow and anger and fear that seems to be taking up SO MUCH SPACE, this is my storm. Small and insignificant in comparison to many of the shitty situations that I could be dealing with, indeed, but mine. A part of me. And I need to acknowledge it and accept it. I need to cry its (my) tears and feel its (my) fury, and welcome it (me) with the same compassion, understanding, patience, tolerance, trust, and resiliency that is plentiful when I normally, empathically, greet the suffering of others.

Self-empathy. And courage. These are the gifts that you have given me tonight, Anna. I came to your site and read your words, listening for some kind of remedy, and this is what I heard: "I am here, taking care of myself as best I can - and that's what you can do, too."

And I will. I am. I can. Thank you for helping to point me in the right direction, and for making it feel less lonely 'out here' as we Mamas, Sisters, and friends-on-the-planet keep putting one foot in front of the other.

With love and gratitude and the warmest, most empathic hug you can possibly imagine,
xo J.

Jamie said...

21 1/2 months later and the big questions are ever present. I don't see that changing until I meet the One with the answers face to face.

Anonymous said...

Um, where's the delete button when I need one? As if what I wrote wasn't long enough to read once, I posted it twice! Sorry. I'm a blog-responder newbie. xo J.

Mrs Changstein said...

Huh. 1:33 am & I can't sleep. If I lived near you, I'd be at the bleepity bleep creek with a whole lot of ReadyMix cement. I mean, ecosystem schmeko-system. Who needs to tp a house when you can concrete a creek??? ;)

Praying for you right now.

helenasc said...

Said a prayer for all of you many time over the days of the storm, and checked the blog. I am glad to see your update, but, as always, so sad that you are all having to go through this horrific loss.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

What a sweet picture. ((HUGS))
Glad you were all safe from the storms. Sorry Margaret isn't feeling well. Hope you can get a picture of her in her costume.
Keeping everyone in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, glad you are all safe and warm, was thinking of you all. One day at a time Anna. Mary in NY

PeachPrenni said...

Anna,
I thought about you so much during that storm. I wondered if it would be creating flashbacks of that terrible time. I'm sorry you went through that. I am grateful that you are safe and dry and with power as I know so many are not!
Love you,
Annie