Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Almost Wordless Post: One Year Ago Today...
...we took the kids to Winston-Salem for the first time to show them where Tim and I met. We stayed with dear friends in Greensboro, saw a Wake Forest basketball game, and went geocaching. We showed the kids the exact spot where we met and 5 years later got engaged. Then we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant.
I realized today that I never put the pics in our 2010 album because it had already been sent to myPublisher, yet I forgot to put them in this year's album too. It was such a great trip for the four of us. So hard to believe how much things have changed. I guess I'll make prints of some of these pictures eventually, but for now I wanted to share them with you.
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was the restaurant la carretta's by any chance? my husband and i both went to wake forest! crazy small world.
i think it is so wonderful that you got to share with jack and margaret where you met and were engaged. that is truly special.
What a beautiful setting to meet and get engaged, and this is where it all began... :) 2 wonderful kids as a result! So happy Margaret & Jack got to visit your happy place together, makes it so much more meaningful.
Wonderful family fotos! Jack's handsome smile will never be forgotten. :)
love love these photos...thank you SO much for sharing with us. what special memories of cherished time spent together as a family.
praying for you all and sending lots of love this holiday season...may God grant you peaceful moments in His presence.
Anna, What a beautiful family. It is so special that your kids got to go to those places and learn about how you and Tim met and fell in love. Thank you for continuing to share Jack and your family with us. There will always be people here who want to hear you "talk" about Jack. Getting to know more about how you are feeling and what you are thinking helps us, as we follow you on this path. Sending you and your family prayers for peace.
It looks like it was a wonderful trip, the pictures are so cute.
Your are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish it didn't have to be this way for you. ((HUGS))
Beautiful photos. My thoughts go out to you this holiday season.
Great photos. I'm glad you have those memories. I think about you every day.
Thank you, Anna for sharing your journey with us.
Thank you for being real and deeply honest and not holding back the your emotions. You are teaching me how to grieve well.
Interestingly, today we went to lunch at Chevy's for the first time. My daughter Rachel, who faithfully reads your blog commented, "Mom, this where Jack's family always ate on Christmas Eve!" And I instantly knew what Jack she was speaking about. You see, she talks about Jack and what you have written in your blog related to him and your family quite often.
I have been amazed at how much your writing about Jack has impacted my 18 year old Rachel. She has been away from home for the first time this fall at college. Rachel graduated from Ad Fontes Academy last June and we are very familiar with Dominion and consider it our "sister" school. When word came to our school community about Jack's death I texted Rachel to pray for your family. Later that week, we were sent a copy of the tribute you read about Jack at his funeral with a link to your blog. I sent it to Rachel at school, not knowing if she would read it or not, but praying she would. She was struggling to own her Christian faith with being away from home, when so many around her seemed to be walking through their college life just fine without Christ.
Rachel did read your tribute and not long after that when we were talking on the phone, she told me how she was following your blog daily and how much she has gleaned from your writings. I truly believe God has used your words to teach my daughter some powerful lessons about how to walk through suffering as a follower of Christ. Thank you Anna.
Thank you for not holding back and for being real with us. Thank you for talking about Jack and sharing pictures of your family and showing and teaching my daughter what a mother's love for her children is like.
You guys are all so beautiful..I think about you EVERY day for some reason or another yet I have never met you. I wish I could give you a hug. xoxo
such a beautiful family. I have a new grandson, Jackson, his mommy calls him Jack. I think of you and your son every day.
A friend of mine posted a link to your blog and I've not been able to stop reading.
I lost my brother in May 2010 to an automobile accident. So many of the thoughts you've shared were mine at one time and I just wanted to thank you for baring your soul.
At times, I feel like I'm alone but I begin to talk out loud to him. Next time I do, I'll let him know about Jack. See if he can look out for him up there. From what I've read, they have a lot in common. Maybe they can catch a Yankees game next season.
In this world, I offer an ear whenever you need it. Although with your presence in the digital world I'm certain an ear isn't hard to come by.
Beautiful memories to cherish forever. Lovely pictures, Anna. I am thinking about your family this holiday season, a lot. You're in my thoughts and prayers, always, and I mean it. I shed a tear every day for your Jack.
God bless your broken heart Anna. You have a beautiful family. Jack's always a part of that family. I thank God for a heart and soul designed to stretch and accommodate joy and pain all in the same breath. There will be more pain than joy for a while. But your Margaret, your precious and resillient Margaret will show you the way. I pray Jack finds you in the quiet of night when the presence of his absence is so keen. I pray for so many things...mostly that the promise of Christmas is enough, even for one small moment. When my family (mama, siblings, inlaws, nieces and nephews) go to mass on Christmas Eve we will pray for your family. We will hang Jack's name as an ornament on the remembrance tree so that he is remembered by so many. I know because of my work (Peds oncology RN) and because we lost my brother when he was 7 to leukemia, a mama's greatest fear is that her boy will be forgotten. That no one will remember all his joy and zest and uniqueness...Jack is remembered. He is. God bless you Anna. May you be comforted by an indescribable peace!
What an awesome trip!
Great pictures. So much to love about your family.
Thinking of you every day.
These are wonderful photos! Thank you for sharing them. Hugs to all of you.
What a good looking family!!!!!!!!!
I am totally pmsing this morning and so I am super sappy/sad looking at your beautiful boy!!!!!! UGH...........I think I need a hug!
Love those of you and Tim.
Of course, each one is precious, especially those in front of the crooked church!
So lovely to share that trip with your babies!
Such beautiful pictures!
After NOT having kept up any kind of photo albums, I am now going through all the pics and making some order of it...digitally. Chad's my scanner. It's quite something recalling all these precious moments I'd forgotten about. So glad to have the pics.
Praying for you guys and wishing you a holiday overflowing with love.
The pictures of your kiddos together took my breath away. What beautiful children.
Thank you for sharing with us.
I wish you peace as Christmas draws near. Be gentle with yourself. Continue to embrace your grief (I am the same way) and roll with it.
Many hugs and even more prayers,
Anna, I just drove through your town, as I often do. It looks like Jack's blue ribbons have renewed in some places, and his Christmas tree greets all travelers on that road. It immediately, for me, brings to mind his great smile as well as a prayer for you and Margaret and Tim.
I think you will find this interesting...
Beautiful memories. Love you Anna.
All of these photos are so, so beautiful. Thank you for posting them. And we're praying so much for you.
Fresh pictures of Jack! Thank you for sharing these. I love the one of you and Jack peeking through the armholes of the guy (? the giant? I'm not sure what that's supposed to be!).
Leaning in with you, Anna. We here will always want to hear more about Jack.
Anna, Loukia directed me to your blog. I'm praying for you and your family. My heart, love and thoughts go out to you all.
Such a beautiful, wonderful family. Love seeing these pictures and thankful for this special trip. Love, love, love.
On my computer, I always have to put random letters for the word verification/captcha to get a new one, because it never shows up the first time. Anyway, believe it or not, here's my captcha phrase:
Yep, that's me! XO
Thinking of you, Margaret, Tim & Jack & weeping daily for your pain. You are not alone. Strangers can grieve with you and for you and I DO!! God bless you all. May Jack continue to smile upon you!! He is touching us all through your blog. May God bless you with Peace, Anna!!
You hear so often..live everyday like it is your last...I am so learning this not just hearing it anymore but seeing it because of your Jack and my mom! I am so happy..how can one be so happy for a stranger...I don't know..I just know I am so happy you have so many happy memories of Jack.
I wish you peace this holiday season. I will be with you in thought this weekend.
Love these! Pictures really do say a lot, and these convey such a loving, happy family. Peace to you this weekend.
Came across your blog randomly a few weeks ago. I am so sorry that you have lost Jack on this Earth, as he shines so brightly in your heart and words. Oddly enough, however, when checking your blog today...I live in Winston-Salem.. and know that beautiful Magnolia tree in Reynolda Gardens. Glad you have some photos under it. Peace to you at Christmas.
I have been absent from the internet for a month or so, aside from some Facebook updates, but I think of you and your family daily, and stop to say a prayer for you all. I have read all your recent posts with a mix of happiness and sadness. I'm so glad Margaret got her wonderful moment with Justin Bieber. Even with your wonderful words to describe it all for us, I can only imagine, as a former girl who crushed on a cute performer, how she felt! That post made me smile with happiness, then the post about Jack and finding his dream chart...oh, that one made me cry. But happily! IT was so beautiful, and shows us, again, what a thoughtful, creative son your Jack was. How amazing!
I'm always struck by the pictures of Jack at just how Jack was Jack from infancy on, if that makes sense. That same beautiful face and shining eyes he had as a baby seemed to have been there as he grew. We seem to change and look different as we grow, but I see those pictures of Jack as a baby and it's like being able to picture him as he'd look growing up. Maybe it's because your children look so much like the perfect blend of you and Tim, and the photos you share of them with us truly give a glimpse of what wonderful kids you have. Thank you for sharing them with us.
Keeping you close in prayer.
What beautiful memories. Today I was thinking if I could keep you all in my thoughts the whole day and it would ease the pain just a tad, I'd do it. Your life has changed mine! Peace to you all.
Dee from Tennessee
Oh Anna..Thankful you have these priceless memories and at the same time - I know they might be bittersweet. Leaning with you. Jack -- Jack had the most "shining" face -- I am not the wordsmith you are and I'm struggling to find the "exact" word for Jack's face -- just so authetnic - Jack shines through his pic -- his personality is right there!! Jack was and is loved and will always always be beloved.
Anna...I don't know you. I started reading your blog after the horrible day. I don't usually get interested in horrible stories involving children but I keep coming back to your blog to check in. Your writing is so honest.
I can't imagine how difficult this time of year is for you and your family but I think that talking and writing about your grief can only help.
Please know that people that you don't even know are thinking about you and praying for you.
On the way to work today, I saw vibrant blue ribbons all around the area. We are all with you this holiday season and praying for as much joy as you can find and large amounts of peace for your family.
Because of your Jack, two young girls in the Ukraine have received OCC Christmas Shoeboxes.
May the prayers of so many people - in Vienna with our blue ribbons fluttering, and around this globe - bring some comfort and peace to you, Tim, and Margaret this Christmastime.
We love you.
Ah, Reynolda Gardens! And La Carretta, I hadn't thought about that place in forever. Dave and I met & got engaged there too; he proposed in that little garden with the gazebo on the corner of Clover St. & W 4th. Where is that statue you are posing with? I don't recognize it. I was there from 1990-1994 (undergrad) & 1994-1998 (med school). We haven't taken the kids there yet, just Bailey went with me to a football game a couple of years ago. I love this idea of doing the family historic tour. It looks like everyone had a great time. I think my favorite was the picture of Jack at the game. What did he think of the ACC b'ball experience? What a great memory. Go Deacs!
How are you making it?
I think of you so often.
Beautiful, beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing them with us.
You're on my mind and heart like crazy. Love you, thinking of you...
Beautiful. You all look very happy.
It's just not fair.
So last night we're lighting the candles and saying the blessing which ends "who has kept us alive and enabled us to reach this season of life". And my oldest (7) asks if he can add a blessing for "the boy" ( Jack) and "his sister". And I said he could say a prayer, sure. And he asks "even if they aren't jewish?" and I averred that yes, we could say a prayer for Jack and his sister on hanukkah even if they aren't jewish, at which point my 5-y-o pipes up "ESPECIALLY if they aren't jewish, 'cuz otherwise they won't know what to say". So they're looking out for ya :) Then Graham made up a prayer for Jack, telling God that even though he (Jack) won't see this season here, he ( Graham) hopes Jack is enjoying hanukkah "up there". Even if he isn't Jewish. Kids make me laugh and cry at the same time. We're thinking of you every night when we light our candles. And praying God keeps you close and comforts you.
I stumbled across your blog a couple of months ago and was broken hearted when I read what you had gone through...but imagine my surprise just now to see that you were in my hometown last year..seeing you and your family in the Gardens and at WFU was sweet. I am glad that we hold a special place in your hearts.
oh Anna. There are still no words..
Knowing that you have a connection to my town makes your loss so much more hard to digest. Thinking of you all this season and sending my prayers.
Anna-what a truly beautiful family!
On a few occasions I have been shown a photo of somebody and just felt their spirit jump out at me, when I see pictures of Jack that happens. I know that he was an amazing little boy. Please know that you are in my prayers. God Bless.
Just wanted to check in again today and tell you that I'm praying for you all so much.
I'm praying for our Father to wrap His giant arms around each of you, for Him to give you a sense of understanding that seems impossible,
for Him to give you the peace that passes all comprehension,
and to fill you with strength and tell you He really does love you, all of you.
I loved the photos and the trip sounds like it was perfect!! I think it's really cool that you showed your children where you met and got engaged. Such a loving family! And yes--it is very hard to accept how much things have changed in 1 year. Praying for you guys--always! xo
Thought of your family lots during this week. Wishing you moments of peace today.
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