Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rare Bird, Part 3

At the end of 6th grade, Jack's class had dinner at the Olive Garden. The highlight of the evening came when the parents read a "charge" they had written for their child. Tim and I took turns reading ours to Jack as we stood in front of the group, each with a hand on Jack's shoulder. We got choked up, of course. There's a lot of inside information in it, that only Jack's classmates will understand, but Tim suggested you might like to read it anyway, especially since our friend wrote that beautiful poem, Rara Avis, for us a few weeks ago:

"Jack, we remember the day we dropped you off in 1st grade, a shy 6 year old kid coming to a brand-new school. Even though you were sad to leave your other school, you grew to love DCS.

Each year we would say you could stay as long as the school didn’t move. I wonder if the main reason DCS never found a new location was the strength of one boy’s prayers.

From day one, you excelled at your schoolwork, teaching us more than a thing or two along the way.

You particularly enjoyed the chance to be creative with special projects. If they could incorporate legos, drawing, or acting, even better.

Some highlights included:
The Vine Snake
The Hill of Difficulty
The Hobbit Map and Paper
And of course, playing Edmund and Macbeth.

Non-academic highlights included:
Cricket races on the playground
Challenging your classmates to “The Game” in which they had to travel the world to figure out where something was hidden
AND developing a private language between you and your classmates.
Hello? Who is Stebe?

You grew a lot during these years, dealing well with personal challenges. When we think about you, Jack, we realize you are one of the strongest people we know.

God has given you gifts, academically, spiritually and creatively.

We pray, as you go forward into middle school, that you will strive for excellence, not because God wants you to be perfect, but because He wants the BEST LIFE FOR YOU and wants you to use your gifts for His work.

That includes putting in full effort, and respecting your teachers, your fellow students and yourself enough to make great choices.

God wants people to see there are many facets to you—not just an entertaining guy—but also someone who is bright, someone who stands up for what he believes in, someone who OVERCOMES obstacles, and someone who has a heart for God and people.

We hope you will continue to share with us what is going on in your life, and if we don’t understand at first, that you won’t give up.

It reminds me of the cardinals we witnessed hatch and fly away this week. Their parents were with them every bit of the way, protecting them, providing for them, and encouraging them. This is what we want to do for you.

As the fledglings found their wings and flew away, you said, “They just grow up so fast.”

So true.

Jack, parenting you is an honor and a privilege, and we know the day is coming soon when you’ll be flying on your own.

When things get hard, and they will, please remember:

Nothing is impossible with God.

We are proud of you, Jack, and we love you very much."


Anonymous said...

That's lovely. It must have made Jack feel so very special.

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

I can't help but think about what wonderful parents the 2 of you are!

luv2run said...

You are an AMAZING writer!!!!!!

I really am fortunate to have had you bump into my life because I am learning so much from you and your beautful Jack!!!


Rach said...

This is beautiful. I'm sure Jack was beyond touched by your words. What wonderful parents to write such beautiful words.

What a handsome boy he is.

I continue to hold you in my heart and prayers. Please know I've been where you are.

Hugs to you and your precious family.

Mrs. E said...

It is the lost potential that gets to me every time I visit. We all lost something, but you've made my faith grow.

NanaDiana said...

A beautiful tribute to a beautiful child. Painful to read at the moment but full of glorious love for your Jack! xo Diana

Anonymous said...

((hugs)) from Australia

Lindsay said...

just beautiful words...thank you for writing and sharing.
praying and praying for you, tim, and margaret.

Meredith Self said...

Lovely. So lovely. How wonderful you and Tim had this opportunity to let Jack know so many specific (and profound) ways you love him.

Ouch. So ouch. Missing him so. Thank Tim for encouraging you to share it. Sending you so much love. I'm so sorry for the loss you are experiencing.

Wow. So wow. Yet another bird story revealed.

Anonymous said...

Another bird had no idea how poignant those words would become. Remember what you said to your son, "When things get hard, and they will, please remember: Nothing is impossible with God."
We've never met, but I feel honored to read your blog, learn about your son and hopefully, just hopefully, become a more engaged and present parent because of it. Please add "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion to your reading list - maybe in several months or even a year you'll be ready for it, but I thought I'd pass on the recommendation.
Wishing you love and comfort with your husband and daughter.

darcie said...

How lucky Jack was to have you as parents~

thank you for sharing...

ella said...

I wonder how many children are fortunate enough to know how much their parents love and support them. I smile when I think of you reading this to Jack, and him knowing without a shadow of a doubt how precious he was to his family. Tears still, yes, but this definitely warmed my heart and put a smile on my face, as I hope it did yours.

(And that hair! I absolutely adore the last two pictures you've posted.)

Pam@OurAdventuresInHomeImprovement said...

Wow, what a gift you gave him to know how much he was loved for exactly who he was.

Your posts are incredible. Thanks for sharing.

Take care,

prenni5 said...

Wow! You and Tim are such great parents! Role models for the rest of us really. I am learning so much from reading your Blog. Thank you for sharing with us Anna--thank you so much for all the insight and all the lessons. Blessings & Love! -Annie P

Vodka Mom said...

and I now firmly believe that you, and those you love, will be able to walk the path you are now on. Yes, it isn't the path you WANT, or the path you chose, but you will walk it with your heads held high and with love in your hearts.

Cause you are incredible people.

Anonymous said...

You are amazing. Every post knocks the wind out of me- not just from your loss, but from the desperate hope that I can be one tenth the mom you are.

K-Mom said...

Anna - I have never posted on a blog before, despite often wanting to comment here, as any words just seemed trivial. I have been so touched by your story and believe that your journey, along with your courage to share it with everyone here, has a higher purpose. I have to share what happened to me last night as I was driving over "the bridge" on my way into town. As unbelievable as it sounds, and I swear this is God's honest truth, as I came to the bridge I turned my car radio station to my classic rock selection and the song "Free Bird" started playing. If you know the song, you will understand why the first words had me in chills and tears all the way home. I also have wanted to let you know for some time that I have pictures of the beautiful sky one week after the accident, not sure if you would want them or how I would get them to you, just wanted you to know that I took them because I too believe that it was a sign from Jack to you, Tim and Margaret. Peace to all of you.

Anonymous said...

Jack's eyes exude so much warmth and kindness. You, Tim and Margaret made it so easy for him to love his family.

Unknown said...

So glad you shared such loving words! I can only imagine how much you all miss Jack. I have a brown eyed boy and every night at bed I sing him a lullaby called "Little Wings." I have thought of you often at bedtime as I'm tucking him in, and most especially when I sing this song. Sometimes, as I sing, tears run down my cheeks simply imagining your pain. Still, overall, what overwhelms me the most is your love for one another. I pray that my family has that same experience and that all of my children know the kind of love that yours do. The chorus of the lullaby goes, "Wings, little wings, wings in the wink of an eye. Soon your little wings will be big enough to fly." Thinking of your rare bird again tonight at bedtime and lifting you all up to the Healer.

Susie - Walking Butterfly said...

What a beautiful affirmation, your gift of these words to him must have meant so much and surely gave him confidence and strength. And now they can do the same for you. Praying for you all.

Stimey said...

It is wonderful that Jack knew so explicitly how proud you were of him and how much you loved him. This is beautiful.

Vegan Eden said...

I agree, Jack totally knew he was completely and utterly adored by his family..

Erin said...

You and Tim are so totally PRESENT for your children and it's clear that Jack never, not for a single second, had doubts about your love, devotion and respect for him as a person. I hope you find solace in knowing that Jack KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was LOVED and cherished by you both. Wonderful, wonderful parents.

And, as a total side bar, I keep thinking of the line in Princess Bride about how death cannot stop true love ... only delay it a little while. That always pops into my head when I read your posts about Jack. Death has not stopped you from loving your boy with your whole heart ... maybe just changing the way in which you have to love him until you can meet again? Hang in there and keep holding each other tightly!


Unknown said...

He had a richer life in his 12 years, loved and supported, than many have in their whole lives.

Anonymous said...

Still keeping all four of you in my thoughts. I will never forget your story. You're a truly amazing mother, I only hope I can learn from you. Keep going: one step at a time, one day at a time, one minute at a time. We're all with you every step of the way and willing you on.

Anne said...

Jack was so blessed to have such caring and wonderful parents as you too.What a lovely letter.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

This is the kind of thing that makes it hard to see past what might have been. Such a special boy... I love you my beautiful, brave friend.

Annie said...

A mutual friend referred me to your blog. In reading your posts and looking at Jack's face in your photos, I am struck by one monumental thing: in his time on this earth, your son knew to his core that he was loved immensely. Even more importantly, he knows it still. Love doesn't die.

Blessings on you and your family in all of the days ahead.

"You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body."
- C.S. Lewis

Anonymous said...

was just being driven home from the car dealership and the man had the radio playing - a station I wouldn't normally listen to. I was thinking of you and your family and then an old Nelly Furtado song, "I'm like a bird", came on. Goose bumps. The final words really got me:
"It's not that I wanna say goodbye
It's just that every time you try to tell me that you love me
Each and every single day I know
I'm going to have to eventually give you away
And though my love is rare
And though my love is true
Hey I'm just scared
That we may fall through
I'm like a bird, I'll only fly away"

Sending love to you.

purejoy said...

NOTHING is impossible with God.
Thank you Lord, for that blessing.
Praying that He continues to lift you on Eagle's wings. Holding you and comforting you and giving you strength to press on.
Thank you so much for sharing Jack with us so extravagantly.

IrishRN07 said...


vegan eden said...

ps: my twitter is @veganeden
this is really happening!

Anonymous said...

You have no idea how many nuggets of wisdom about parenting and communicating with my kiddos I have been filing away from reading your tributes to Jack. Your are perhaps unintentionally making better, more intentional parents out of so many of us.

The avian theme continues to make me smile and wonder at the mystery of it all.


Leah C said...

Such beautiful, loving is an "honor & privilege" to read them. Hugs & prayers...

TheLab said...

I can't imagine how painful it is to read these things, Anna. So many "encouraging" things to say, but I am sure you know all of those words.

So I'm praying instead for that otherworldly, unimaginable peace that God promises you and Tim and Margaret in scripture.

L said...

Oh wow. Just, wow. Have wanted to hear his "charge" for some time but am kind of glad I am reading it here instead, knowing all that we know now and are still learning about Jack. A rare bird, indeed. Love you so much.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Of course you never imagined Jack flying away so soon but God knew when he would fly. The hardest part of loss, besides missing our loved one so intensely, is having the patience to wait to meet again in Heaven. ((HUGS))

Ann Imig said...

Hello? Who is Stebe?

Made me laugh.

He is devastatingly handsome. Each picture is better than the next.

Thank you for sharing him with us.

susan jakovina said...

You are incredible parents.

IrishRN07 said...

Anna, I heard a song last month soon after hearing the news of the accident. It's a sad song but oh so beautiful. The song is "Colorblind", the version by Scala and Kolacny Brothers from their album "One-Winged Angel". (I got it on itunes) Counting Crows originally recorded it I think but this version is just gorgeous in a tear-your-heart-out kinda way. If it's possible to reminded of someone you never knew, this song reminds me of your Jack.

Nicole said...

Anna, you and Tim are the kind of parents I hope my husband and I can be to our son... I am so in awe of and inspired by you. Lots of love and prayers your way.

Heidi said...

Thank you for this. For all that you're doing and sharing here. You are incredible and inspiring. Your whole family is. Thank you.