Monday, January 21, 2013

What You See is Not What You Get


A week of hacking coughs, chills, general malaise, and time spent communing with the couch, leaves me on the road to recovery yet still weakened emotionally. My brain was too foggy to do much writing,  so I did a lot of tv watching instead.

And by watching, I mean judging and railing and growing increasingly despondent. You see, big doses of reality tv tend to put me in a snit. When I'm in a snit, I get a certain look on my face and am apt to say ungenerous things or let bitterness take root, which I know is not healthy. Other common times these snits occur are when we're out and about and I see a child in a dangerous situation, such as a four year old standing on the headrest and hanging out of her her dad's jeep sunroof while he does donuts in a gravel parking lot. You know, stuff like that.

Margaret will see my eyes widen and will look at me and say, "Don't say it Mom..." Which means, don't say with the deepest of annoyingly melodramatic sighs, "He is putting her life in danger, and yet that little girl will be fine. Just fine!" And it's not that I'm saying I want harm to come to the little girl, or any of the kids I see doing crazy-ass shit on a daily basis, I just want our boy back.

Reality tv on my sick bed gave me FAR MORE than my normal exposure level of people behaving badly. I got to see dance moms fighting with each other, while their little girls got screamed at by a megalomaniac dance teacher. I got to see Kardashians, who could do so much good in the world with all of their resources, yet they just kept on being Kardashians. I saw parents either beating up on their children or neglecting them entirely on one of those new nanny shows. Sigh. Rail. Repeat. Try to pluck the bitter seedling poking through the earth saying, "Why Jack?"

Six days in, I dug out our family home movies and began watching those instead. Which was almost more than I could take. We've seen short clips of the kids taken from our cameras and phones, so I thought I could handle the movies. But these were hours-long recordings of birthdays and snow days and random Wednesdays and Christmases in such slow, real time, that only a parent and the children in the movies could ever want to watch them. I had not seen most of these moments since the time that we lived them.

The adorable movies gave me so much more than the many photos I've pored over for the last year have.  Little voices. Earnest looks, hearty laughs and naked jumping on the bed (kids only). Slobber, bath time, scavenger hunts, serious discussions about "twains," and a sibling relationship that was so close I am still unable to describe it.

And much like with reality tv, I just couldn't stop watching. I laughed so much, but I could feel my heart break again.

For there was that regular missing and yearning, that every parent has upon watching the baby fat disappear and hearing "lello" eventually turn to "yellow." Of onesies giving way to corduroys to sports uniforms and eventually cargo shorts.  It's misery, that tick ticking of the clock even though it brings with it fewer crusty noses, much-needed time for Mommy, and greater independence for the little ones, which should be our goal as we raise citizens of the world. We really do miss it when it's gone.

I'm not trying to romanticize baby and toddlerhood. Heck no. The out of style scrunchie on my wrist, baggy misshapen clothes, and slightly crazy look in my eyes in a lot of those movies hinted at sleep deprivation and long, long (did I say long???) days at home with the kids. We miss it, we miss their little selves, but we know that hard, precious time was but a  moment, a step. A step that got us here. And here is where they are supposed to be now, even if it means facial hair, smelly shoes, and a big dose of 'tude.

Except when through terrible evil, baffling circumstances, or a loving God's inscrutable plan, "HERE" is not where they are any more.

And we are left with movies and memories, and most days, hope.

.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heartbreakingly beautiful writing as always, Anna.
Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

(I have been home with the flu too and daytime tv is just dreadful!)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post -- a message i needed to hear today for sure. Thank you. Watching the videos was very brave --knowing the range and intensity of the emotions of doing so.

Me too -- sick at home. HGTV is my usual go-to, but even they seem to feel like they need programs with annoyingly staged ungracious homeowners to feign conflict and drama. bleh. I hope you're feeling better soon and off the couch!

the Hawks said...

Oh dear Anna, it's all just so wrong. As you know, we're still in the toddler stage with one and baby stage with another, and I read your thoughts and I think about what Jack must have been like as I watch my son, watch him be so close to his sister. It's amazing how Jack is revealed in your words. And I don't understand it either; it's much else than bad things happening to good people, it's an ache so much deeper, because you know (better than most, I'm afraid) that this is not the way it should be.

Yet you end in hope. As David did in all but one of his psalms (ps 88). You are persistent. It is good for us to read.

Not to mention that you used the word "snit"! Ha! Brilliant!

Thinking of you today. And of yours.

Rach said...

I still can't bear to watch videos with Hannah. I just can't do it. To see her there, whole, healthy, happy and so vibrantly alive and then to not have her is such a cruel joke.

I get it. I get watching parents to potentially life-threatening things with their kids and the angst and anger it provokes.

I get watching reality TV and wanting to smack the ever-loving crap out of someone for being so STUPID.

I'm glad you're feeling better physically, Anna. I pray your heart heals a bit as well.

Many hugs.

Jessica Watson said...

We have so few movies of Hadley and yet I still can barely watch them, unless I can stand to be in a trance of grief for the day. I think when I watch videos or see evidence of her life I still wonder if this all really happened and even though I know she is not here on some level I still don't.
I'm glad you had that time to go through the movies but I wish Jack was just as alive now as he was on the screen.

Lisa C said...

Reality TV isn't good for anyone to watch, broadcasting the very worst of society for little minds to believe it's normal to think, act and dress like "them". ~sigh~

You describe a sadness we all go through as parents realizing our children have grown up and left behind the trappings of baby and toddler. I'm so sorry you have to feel grief instead of joy in his milestones now.

The Empress said...

Right.

Hope is what God gives us.

There are those that say God takes away, but I see as God giving. Giving us his shoulder, his arm, his feet to take the steps for us when we can't. He gives us promises, faith. FAITH, that priceless indescribable vessel of all things that pull us through the unlivable.

We are living that now in my family. And is the faith of knowing HE holds our boy, Tomas, in His arms until we are able to do it ourselves, that enables me to live the hour to hour these past two weeks.

Hope.

I love you, Anna.

Jennifer Gafford said...

I understand the "Why Jack?" thinking...felt the same way when I lost my sister. Now four years later I see people who continue to drink and drive and my heart breaks for those families. Why do the drunk drivers continue to nearly always survive and innocent children die?

It's not fair but we can continue to reach out and share our loss, our journey and not only bond with others but educate them too. I hope my blog is helping others as I know yours is. Keep writing, Anna, your writing is beautiful as always.

Hugs, Jennifer

ashley said...

My heart breaks for you, Anna.

~Ashley in Louisiana

Christy said...

Oh my gosh. I don't even have words. I'm living the sleep deprivation baby/toddler hood years right now and you're so right boy oh boy are the days long. But they're all HERE, so how dare I feel sorry for myself. Ugh. I love you and how you write and I just can't stand that Jack isn't HERE. Hugs, loves and prayers dear Anna!!!!

Between Blue and Yellow said...

Just recently found your blog again, after a while. I remember reading about your son right after the accident. He was such a beautiful boy! You are strong and brave to continue on with this blog. I'm sure those videos were hard to watch, but I would probably be watching them everyday, just to feel a little closer to him.

NanaDiana said...

I can't imagine-You are a braver soul than I would be...to pull those videos out and watch them. xo Diana

Geri said...

Thank you so much for writing and sharing this. I too have the "why mine" times, and the times I look at other people who are so blithely disregarding their children (or so it seems) and can be filled with a rage. And then it passes. The grace of God, can't sustain it, whatever it is, thankfully it passes. It is nice to know I am not the only one out there who feels this, though. I so appreciate all your sharings.

Bernice - South Africa said...

You have a way with words that fills my heart with love and my eyes with tears. MAy the warmth of memories shared eventually match the depth of your heartache. Much love to you, your family and Jack.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to all those who have mentioned very sad losses in the comments.

You said that you almost couldn't, but the fact is that you DID. You've mentioned before that watching videos is one of the very hardest things for you, so the fact that you watched quite a few of them, and while feeling lousy, is nothing short of incredible.

Loukia said...

I wish I could something, anything... but right now I feel very sad and upset for you and I feel your pain and I can't even bear watching movies of my children when they were younger, because even that hurts me because of how quickly time passes and how and why and all these things... and so... I'm just sorry. And know that you're amazing and strong and such a wonderful mother to your children. And you'll all be together again one day. Love to you. xoxo

Miss Stewart and Students said...

I didn't have a video camera when my son was small. But I still have my (grown) son.

What a blessing, though painful at times, those recordings are for you. I'm so glad you watched those instead of the knucklehead TV you mentioned.

Perspective is a bitch, ain't it?

However, even if you shared yours with some of the folks you mentioned, they wouldn't get it. I don't get it. It would be a lie to say I do.

But I feel what I can for you. Love.

Arnebya said...

It IS inscrutable, His plan. I wish it didn't include a life without your Jack in it, really I do. I wish other "lucky to have them" people weren't such assholes with their kids. I can't take reality tv at all so I don't bother. But I get what you mean: it's something looking in on others' lives when they have so much they could be doing and yet...

I wish His plan was different.

Anonymous said...

I think that it's too hard and painful to notice how careless other people are with their children, when you are/ were so very careful and watchful. But carefulness was the particular quality of your love -- a wonderful quality -- it should not be taken as proof of anything beyond the beautiful and eager nature of your love. Others may be more careless but it doesn't mean they love their children less. They may simply have less faith in the practices of extreme carefulness. They may know at a gut level that even if they shelter their kids to a maximal degree, the kid could, in the space of a day, still contract some common flu, get unusually ill and depart. And in some sense, they know the truth. You loved your son wonderfully, but you were not able to protect him for the simple reason that in reality, no one is able to protect their children. Let go and let God.

Meredith Self said...

Watching those videos seems like an incredibly brave act, Anna. All the joy and all the pain there to experience. I'd love to see them! ABC's in french, eh? Jack is really something. Did M watch any with you?

Love you!

carolyn said...

I am so sorry for the incredible grief you have had to bear and also so grateful to you for sharing it. Every time I read one of your posts I hug my children more tightly. I remind myself that Pinterest will still be there after they go to bed but that this might be that last day they will still agree to play a game of Uno with me or tell me endless knock knock jokes and arrange my priorities accordingly. I often include you and your bravery in sharing your story in my prayers of gratitude and I often think of you when a read a Psalm of reorientation and healing.

I am also grateful we don't have cable and have no access to reality tv -- I stayed in a hotel with cable without the kiddos this summer, and I was alternately sickened and enraged at the unbelievable shit people air that glorifies competition, anger, stupidy and hopelessness. I said a lot of bad words to the people on the screen -- but somehow I still kept channel surfing and watching these shows.

OSMA said...

I take "pull myself together" breaks when reading your posts and give pause to let things soak in. Staying with you, with your words, is such small homage to your experience but I do it because I cannot stand that you, and readers here leaving love & support in the face of their own losses, must feel such sorrow and bear the one thing a mother should not ever have to bear. I wish it never was a reality for any mother. I hate so so so very much that it is yours.

Jack est un tres beau garçon.

xoxo

Jamie said...

Oh my gosh, I'm sorry!

Anonymous said...

Anna- Just came across your blog recently and couldn't help but read the posts about your beloved Jack. To know the Lord as he did at such a young age and possess such wisdom is remarkable. My prayers are with you & your family.

" May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with HOPE by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT." Romans15:26

Julia said...

That was from deep in your soul. I miss your boy...glad you were brave enough to visit him in the videos.

Auntie Mip said...

Dear Anna,

This post is so honest and beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. It called to my mind two very recent experiences, both centered around the death of my brother 42 years ago.

The first was my mom and I sitting around chatting about how she did it. You see, my brother died after a very protracted fight with leukemia. It was before bone marrow transplant, it was before most of the chemotherapies we readily have available to day. I know this because I grew up to be a pediatric bone marrow transplant nurse. Anyway, he suffered. And he left behind a devastated family and friends when he died. I have absolutely no memory of my mother grieving and I stand in awe of this. I am not saying she did anything right or wrong but in the years when I first have memory I remember the death ofmy brother and I have no memory of my mom, my parents suffering. She did it all in silence and that makes me ache for her. So I asked her how she did it? When did she grieve? What hurt the most? We had such a precious conversation. One thing she shared with me was the day my brother's best friend graduated from HS, college and then the wedding invite arrived were the hardest. These were daggers through her heart because she did not reach these milestones with him. it was a good moment. I know that all these years later it does her mama heart good that we all still talk about David.

The other moment came when over Christmas she put out all our Santa pictures from when my siblings and I were little. The Christmas before David died my two sisters and I are wide eyed with wonder and Christmas joy. The following Christmas,I kid you not, our eyes are dead! It hit me like a ton of bricks and I burst into tears. It has been 42 years and I felt this sick feeling in my gut. Your mention of the relationship between Jack and Margaret made me think of this. I was unusually close to David because I was the youngest and when he was sick from chemo and all the big kids were out playing, David and I played games together on the couch. These are such good memories!

I offer you these moments not to bring you more pain. On the contrary! It occurred to me after reading this that it might be worth sharing that we have survived and thrived despite this most unbearable loss. That we grieved with hope ever day and with the grace of our God we knew and know great joy! We will be a family again. It will never be soon enough, but it will be! And so will you!

I pray for your family every day Anna!

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Anonymous said...

@Auntie Mip, I'm so sorry for your loss, and appreciate your deep peace that you have through God. Thank you for your work as a nurse.

Anonymous said...

When I opened your post--my first thought was what a stunningly, beautiful family. Gorgeous.

Those early childhood videos are heartbreaking to watch. I can't imagine what it must be like to see Jack 'live' again. We recently watched an old wedding video in which many of the relatives are no longer with us. It was so bittersweet. I think---how naive we were because we didn't know what was coming down the road.

I think it is wonderful that you have so many pictures, so many videos, so many momentos from Jack's life. I can be a failure in that department---perpetually forgetting to document.

I don't really know what to say--except that I am so very sorry. I still think about you and your family quite often and I check in here at least once a week. You make me laugh through tears and provide hope. All the best, NoVa Mom Jen

Anonymous said...

I have been following you for about a year. Your writing is so raw and invites me in. God's plans can be inscrutable, but was Jack's accident God's Plan for him? God's plan for any and all of us is this: that we come to know Him and love HIm and accept His love for us. It seems to me that this happened for Jack. We live in a broken world that can be full of heartache. And if we bring our heartache to Him, God can turn them into something good. (Romans 8:28) Blessings to you as you remember and heal.

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Anonymous said...

You guys are so beautiful, it hurts. Photo frame family. Good for you, for being so brave to watch those videos. Does it feel good in a way, to dive into your grief sometimes, after you've been doing "better" for a while? I know it will never really be "better", but I have felt in the past that sometimes it just feels good to give into the sadness for a while (maybe cathartic is the better word), and maybe that's really what you needed at that moment.

People these days don't grieve the way they used to, for example in the Bible. Wailing, gnashing teeth, tearing clothes, all was very normal. Can't help thinking we are missing something.

Hugs,
Beth

Marinka said...

I cried at my desk reading about "twains." Oh, my friend. I so wish I could make it better for you. (And yes, why can't the Kardashians be more charitable?)

Debby@Just Breathe said...

(((HUGS)))

Anonymous said...

Ahh... so you took the deep dive into the home movies. That was very brave. You're right, there are people out there who, it seems to us in our pain and grief, haven't had ONE bad thing happen to them. Then they complain about their dental work or pedicure or something and you just want to scream at them. But you don't. Of course it's not fair. But do you think those people would be here, helping others with their writing like you are, if something bad happened to them? I don't think so Anna. Love, Coach Jess

Anonymous said...

Oh Anna I really feel for you and wish I could give you a hug right now:) You show such grace and strength when dealing with the most heartbreaking things.
I was in tears after just watching some old videos of my two who will be 17 and 14 this year. I told my husband that time is just moving way too fast. I sometimes wish I could just go back in time and cuddle and kiss them when they still wanted lots of them.
But I also feel that watching the videos made that time real. That those memories only belong to us. That even the most ordinary things were precious because they included the most important people in our lives. No one or no thing can take those away from us.
I still wish that Jack could be here in person for you to kiss and cuddle even if he might think he's too old for it:)
Always thinking of you Anna...

Recovering Church Lady said...

It really makes no sense does it? I recall my Mom always telling me that "life is not fair, don't expect it to be." But we still do. I find myself measuring and comparing situations and trying to figure out the formula that God (?) or fate uses in our lives. No formula can be found.

Your beautiful heart hangs on to hope. That is really all the control you have, choosing to hang on to hope, and you are doing it. What a courageous woman you are. I continue to hold you up to the Father and say, "Please be with her today Lord."
Susie

Anonymous said...

It is nearly, if not totally, impossible to understand the whys and wherefores of the crippling tragedy that you must deal with every single day. I am sooo sorry for the pain that you and your family have to bear, and the lack of answers, the complete UNFAIRNESS of it all. You are one of the few blogs that I follow and I wish that I could just do SOMETHING.. But I want you to know..that YOU are weaving, with words, and intuitiveness,and a beautiful soul, a beautiful place here on this blog that is reaching so many people. I know that Jack is smiling on his Mom right now. It is so hard to understand, but we all will someday, and we will all be with the ones we love again. Roxann

Sherri Newman said...

I am sitting in my bed after a sudden need to go into Joshua's room. Those same thoughts and melancholy hit me right in the face. Would his room look like this? no longer a toddler, but not quite a teenager. Would he be shaving? I am there with you in those moments. I'm so glad you have those precious videos. Sending you hugs my dear friend! Sherri

Kara said...

Oh, gosh, the wondering always of 'Why Jack?'. Just ugh. And reality t.v. Blech. Yet, when I'm sick that's the junk I watch, too.

I've had the unshakable feeling lately that it's all going too fast. Our last one is three, our oldest is getting ready to be 15 and I am plagued with fear that I didn't enjoy the older kids' toddler years enough. Your perspective adds a new layer to all of that, and I'm sure I'll be mulling this for days. You write so, so beautifully.

So brave of you to watch the videos. The pain must have been the beautiful kind. Keep hanging on to that hope.

Meghan said...

In the fourth week of life with two, one nearly 22 months, the other not yet one month, I am so grateful for your words. My mind and body are tired, and my hair is crunchy with sour breast milk spit-up. Thank you for reminding me that I'll miss the littleness of my Littles as the days pass. They are, right now, a slice of heaven that they won't ever be again, and our reality (anyone's reality) is never promised beyond this "now."

Love to you, Anna. Your memories, your life (then and now) are beautiful. Your perspective invaluable. Thank you.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I think that you and I probably very similar in fundamental ways and so I know exactly what you mean by saying ungenerous things and letting bitterness take root.

We always thought if we just did things RIGHT it would turn out RIGHT and instead it turned out so WRONG. As always, that you create beautiful writing from your intense pain stuns me. I wish you had your boy.

Hetrick family said...

You write so beautifully of a pain I hope I never experience. But you help me tighten seat belts, kiss boo boos, and enjoy the spills messes and frustrations that I am blessed to experience.
(No joke, as I was commenting my 3 year old came upstairs covered in paint. Because of you..I laughed.)

Anonymous said...

You are so brave and so strong. I found your blog a few months ago and read your story about your sweet baby boy. I have a 13 year old boy who even at 13 is still my baby boy. Boys are such different creatures than girls (I have one of those too! lol) But I know you know that. So easy going and love their mommas so much. It is a bond that I didn't see coming. I worried about having a boy because WHAT would we have in common? But that was so silly and I want you to know that it is because of your story that I always hold him for that extra second, kiss him just one more peck or stop what I'm doing to listen to his stories of Star Wars or Hot Wheels! I’ve always known that accidents can happen and a loved one could be taken away however your story has just touched me so much. I even told my son about the accident one night when he asked me to lay in bed with him to cuddle and talk and we just laid there crying. I don’t know why I haven’t posted in all this these months but your words tonight of “I just want our boy back” absolutely broke my heart. My heart aches for you. Please know that I think of you often but also that I think of Jack often.

Lisa said...

Hugs...I can only imagine how viewing those old videos must have been.

Anonymous said...

The other night during prayers my young boy Sam made a special prayer for Jack: "God if you don't mind and have some time could you please play some music that Jack likes to listen to while hes in Heaven. Thank you"
We often think of your family and Jack. God bless you all and your family. Jack was such a special boy.
Falls Church neighbor

Hillary said...

Reality TV gets me in a snit, too. I was going to comment on and on about how I feel about it...

But then you took us to your home movies, and it made me cry. The days at home are long when they're little, but as you reminded us, the years fly by.

You shine God's love through your writing, and how grateful we are. I am so sorry for the loss of your Jack, Anna. Though you don't know me, I thank you for sharing your journey and your faith.

Melanie said...

So true. So true and so beautiful.

As always, you share your heart with all its honesty and I love it. In your joy, in your pain, you inspire me. You truly give me hope.

Those videos, those memories are proof of a life well-lived and well-loved for Jack and that, to me, is the best thing of all. I can picture him looking down on you from heaven and saying: "Thank you, Mom, thank you for the life I got to live with you."

anymommy said...

I'm so glad you write like this because sometimes I feel alone in my longing for something that I held in my hand yesterday. I see the hope, Anna, but I understand the bitter questions. I wanted to watch him grow with you too.

mgh said...

I hope you are finally feeling MUCH better. One of my girls has been home all week. We stuck with netflix episodes... we can't even take the commercials... it is so easy to be distracted from what is important and truly real in life.
Real life is hard... its brutiful... even in all the confusion your blog helps me to feel like I understand just a little bit better. Love you.

Ann Imig said...

Sending you love and understanding. I'm glad you have those videos and felt strong enough to watch them.

Melissa said...

I found your blog recently and my heart is broken for you. Wanted you to know that people you dont know are thinking of you when it gets to those though days!

Hajra said...

I logged on to your blog,when another blogger mentioned your loss on her blog,....I am so sorry ,with tears running down my face,I type this,I am a mother of a 14 year old and 9 month old boy,I can't even begin to feel your loss,I wish I could say I feel your pain,I can't,...but I do know that there is a painful lump in my heart rite now,May Allah give you and yours strength,amen.your beautifull Jack will be in my prayers.lots of love and prayers for you.Hajra

ellen said...

I always say "the Kardashians have no story" (and they don't). There is no substance to them.

You have a story and I appreciate you sharing it. Your comment about the sibling relationship of your kids is sweet.

Wendy F said...

My husband sat next to Bryce Harper on a plane ( my reaction- Who??) I soon found out that he is a famous baseball player for the Washington Nationals. My husband got his autograph for our kids- he signed his name, and on the bottom he wrote Luke 1:37. I immediately thought of Jack. I may not know who Bryce Harper is- but I "know" Jack, and I think of him, and your beautiful family and pray for healing and peace.

Anonymous said...

Keeping your family in my prayers. I also had the flu recently, and though I was okay after four or five days, it took two weeks to be back to normal. Hope you are feeling better.

Vodka Mom said...

oh, Anna.



claire plante said...

Anna,

Reality TV is so depressing I agree - I actually just try to pretend it doesn't exist. Otherwise I get too depressed about our country. But then I also realize, in my day to day real life, that even though these shows are on, the majority of us aren't like that. Or so I hope. And then around it goes - best to just deny! Like so much of what you write about, it is a matter of focusing on what is good and right and then there is not as much room for the cynicism.

You are so brave and inspiring. Thanks for the gift of your writing.

I hope you are feeling better!

Love and prayers to you as always.

Love,
Claire

Sue @ Laundry for Six said...

Beautiful post, Anna. Such a cycle of bitter and sweet. I'm glad you were able to watch the movies, but can only imagine the sadness that they bring also.

Your commenters are wise - I'm sobbing reading your post and the stories in the comments. (Except for the guy offering Hot Girls. Must have been the Kardashian reference.)

Anonymous said...

I can't remember if you said you are writing a book. You should. Your words are so moving.

A Speckled Trout said...

La vie est faite de petits moments.

Life is made of little moments.......but you already know that.

Lovely and heartbreaking post.

Kari C in SC said...

I, like you, have only watched snippets here and there of my son since passed away. A couple of weeks ago, Groupon was running a special to transfer video tapes to digital. I went to my cabinet and counted 18 Hi-8 tapes. Then I called my mom (she is the keeper of the even older vcr tapes). I asked her to go count how many tapes said Timmy Tape 1, 2, 3, etc. Back then I only had Timmy - so all the tapes were marked for him only. She counted 7. So, I looked up how much it would be to transfer 25 tapes. I would need two of the groupon specials to cover it. I called my husband and I told him that this was what I wanted for my birthday. He asked me if I was sure. I think I could hear the fear in his voice that I would sit for days on end watching them once I had easy access to them. I told him I was sure. Then I sat on my porch for nearly an hour staring at that darn groupon. I was so afraid to hit submit. I am afraid to see my boy grow up before my eyes and then know there is no more tape to watch. I did buy them, but now I need to actually box the tapes up and and mail them. Baby steps. Lots of hugs to you.

ccstell said...

Just met you on this blog (via Momastery), but I have read enough older posts to make me cry and pray. Still crying and praying for you...

Anonymous said...

Anna, you don't know me, but I am sitting here weeping for you and your family. I think God has given me a tiny bit of your burden to bear today. I pray you will feel a little lighter and have a peaceful, easy day. Your Jack is such a lovely boy. Is, not was. God be with you and bless you abundantly for your unwavering faith.

Karen L. said...

Praying for you today especially. Often do pray even if I don't post much.....sometimes I just don't know what to say. It's so hard when what we want will never be, at least this side of glory. "When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61:2

Daila said...

Hi Anna

I am a visitor on your site - I'm not a regular. Glennon led me here. I just want to thank you. Thank you for sharing and thank you for teaching us all to be better friends and lovers to those who have lost those they love. Your words, reflections and your list of what you can do to help others who have lost a loved one have helped me more than you can ever know.

I have a good friend who suddenly lost her husband 1 year ago this Sunday. His birthday is today. He was here and then suddenly he wasn't. This is what I came across today. I shared it with my friend and I thought you might appreciate it too.


I love the dark hours of my being.
My mind deepens into them.
There I can find, as in old letters,
the days of my life, already lived,
and held like a legend, and understood.

Then the knowing comes: I can open
to another life that's wide and timeless.
So I am sometimes like a tree
rustling over a gravesite
and making real the dream
of the one its living roots
embrace: a dream once lost
among sorrows and songs.

I believe this is by Rilke.

Much love,
Daila

Stumbling Towards Perfect said...

Last night we watched a basketball game at Avery's school, where I sat next to a man who was just so hard on his son... So hard. And I walked down to the bathrooms, passing the Art Wall. All these recent pieces of art, but Avery only had 4 projects done. So the teacher, bless her! - rotates Avery's 4 pieces of art so her space doesn't remain empty. I wanted to go back to that man and take him by the collar and say, "You go tell your son how PROUD you are of him and ask to see HIS ART!!" I get so very angry sometimes.

Debbie A said...

Your emotions are so palpable, and to share them is so brave. I cry watching videos of my son, now 24, and I can never imagine your pain, your loss. I am a complete stranger to you, and yet I think of you and your family and your sweet Jack so often. Your book will be amazing. ( The Dose of Reality is how I found you.) Take good care of you.

mia said...

the way you articulate how all moms feel is simply amazing...i am so sorry for your pain sweet Anna:(

My Inner Chick said...

b e a u t i f u l


Sending hugs from MN.

Nicole Yontz said...

Like I mentioned, we are in the throes of potty training and it's horrific, terrible awful, like I need a cocktail at noon bad. But every day I prey to the Lord for perspective and for wisdom. (My dad said never to pay for patience because he will just make it so you get patience the hard way. Lol.) Everyday I can't wait for this phase to be over while wondering where my baby went.

I pray for you too, awesome lady and one of 5 people who reads and comments on my blog. Xoxo

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