Friday, January 30, 2009


I have been thinking a lot about heaven.  I have asked many of my friends their opinions on heaven...what does it look like?  Do we instantly meet up with our loved ones?  Are we walking around in our bodies?  Is there an actual place we all live?  I know there are glimpses into what heaven is like in the Bible, and I know there have been people who have died and come back and described it.  Everyone talks about the light, the feeling of warmth... But now, more than ever, I find myself wondering exactly where Webb is.  There is no one in heaven he has met.  Zac and I have grandparents there, but none of them knew Webb.  I know they have managed to find him if there is a way, but I often wonder....who is Webb with in heaven?  Because Webb dying before us was such an unnatural progression, I never really thought about it before now.  You always think about heaven as the place you'll go and see all those who have gone before you : grandparents, great grandparents, never really think about your child going before you.  I know in my soul that Webb is ok, that there must be a special place for children in heaven because Jesus so loved the little children.  But who is taking care of him?  After all, I am his mother, and I'd like to know.  I wonder if he can see us, or check in on us?  I wonder if he'll "be there" when Bo graduates from high school or Whit gets married.  I wonder if I'll feel him, really and truly feel him during all those moments when my heart is aching for him to be there.  I hope so.  It seems there is such a thin little veil separating us from the spiritual world.  I always believed in heaven, but now I feel a strong sense of having to know what it is.  I am his is not natural for your child to be somewhere away from you in a place you've never seen.  I am his mother...I should know where he is at all times.  I beg God every night to hold him close, to keep him safe.  Yet I know there is no such thing as being scared in heaven.  I understand he is in a place of no pain, a place where we would all like to be.  That does bring me comfort, but it is not what my heart wants today.  I want him here.  With me, with his father, with his brothers.  I want to be taking care of him still...he's just a baby!  I am his mother!!  I do not understand this plan.  I never will.  God is going to have to hear these questions out of me for the rest of my life on Earth (and probably for the first few days I am in heaven, if He'll listen).  I hate being separated from my child.  That is what is so hard about this entire thing.  I am longing to be with Webb, but to do that I would to have to leave Bo and Whit.  It is just not natural to separate a mother from her child.  I used to hate to be away from them for more than a couple hours.  It is unbearable to think about not being with one for 50 or more years.  My faith gets me through the days and nights, and I think, what if we did not have this promise of heaven, of eternity?  Well, then there would be nothing.  God does promise us eternity and he does promise to never leave us.  How would we survive if we didn't have those promises?          

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I am all poured out like water, and all of my bones are out of joint.  My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.  - Psalm 22:14-15

I have found such comfort in the Psalms throughout this past month, and I read this verse almost every night.  It reminds me how truly physical grieving is.  I have experienced back ache, head ache, of course heart ache, and I have a hard time feeling anything some days.  Most of the time, I feel like God ripped my heart right out of my chest when He took my baby.  Why did He even give me such a precious gift if He was only going to take it away in 18 months?  This pain - it is so unbelievable and unbearable, it is hard to imagine anything good will become of it.  

Zac and I were ordered to go on a "date night" by Dr. Gil.  We trouped off to our favorite restaurant and ate our favorite dishes.  We tried to avoid talking about Webb at first, but then we started talking about how much fun we had on our beach trip with him in August and how much he loved his yellow football we got him in the gift shop.  And we talked about how we loved the way he would put his arms in the air and say "Up," in such a clear, perfect voice when he wanted to be held.  And we talked carefully about the hospital and our three awful days there.  I find it hard to imagine there will be a time when we don't talk about Webb, and this brings me comfort because I know we'll never treat him as though he did not exist.  However hard it is to talk about, no matter how much the ache in our hearts resounds at the mention of these memories, to forget him would be even more painful.  So we will not.

We still have such a long, winding road ahead of us, but Bo and Whit are the glue that is keeping us together.  Whit is growing up so much every day, and while he still looks just like his twin, he is starting to do things and say things and get to a stage Webb never got to.  What would Webb be doing and saying today?  It breaks my heart to think of this, but in the same moment I thank God we have Whit to give us a glimpse into what he would have been.  I know our wounds will never fully heal, but we will get through this.  We have to.  And while Webb is waiting for us, I hope he inspires us to be better people and parents than we ever thought possible.  That is the legacy his little soul can leave.  So while I know our reward will be to spend eternity with him, I only hope when I get there he is proud of the person I became after he left us.  That is what keeps me from going over the edge, that and the promise I will hold him in my arms again one day.  I have a feeling when I get to heaven I won't let Webb out of my arms for a very, very long time.     

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Yesterday marked one month since Webb' death.  It was a day filled with tears and why asking and physical pain inside my body.  The weight on my chest pushed harder than usual.  I felt times of despair and panic.  And then, last night, something sort of shifted in me and I was ok.  Not great, but ok.  Bo and Whit made us laugh, we all ate together and watched a movie, and for one second we could glimpse "normal."  It wasn't much, and I am not sure I liked our new normal, but it was at least a sign that the pain and emptiness may one day subside.

Yesterday I read in one of my books that about a little boy who was very, very sick with cancer  entered into remission.  His parents made the comment that they knew he was alive because of all the prayers he had received.  It was a "miracle."  The prayers "worked."  Well, we had people all across the United States and it seemed like everyone in Atlanta, praying for Webb when he was in the hospital.  Why didn't ours work?  Why didn't we didn't we get our miracle?  It couldn't possibly be that the prayers for the other child were more powerful, more "compelling?"  I do believe in the power of prayer, but why does God answer some and not others?  That is a question I realize people have been asking for centuries.  I know we still have to pray and keep praying, but at times like these it seems almost powerless to do so.  God certainly could have given us our miracle if he had wanted to, but he didn't.  If he couldn't have kept Webb alive, then that means He is powerless, which we know is not true.  I have to believe there is a deeper reason for us not getting our miracle, possibly so Webb did not have to endure the months and pain of treatment (which I am so thankful he did not), but I am still perplexed about the power of prayer.  I believe in it, but for the first time, I am confused about it.  I am reminded as I read my Scripture that God allowed His own Son great suffering and death for a greater reason.  He surely does not want us to suffer, especially His own Son, so there has to be more to it than him picking and choosing what prayers to answer.  I pray that as I continue to read His Word, I will ask Him for understanding on that issue.   That said, please continue to pray for our strength, peace and unity during what still is a devastating time for us.  I have learned that although the thing we were praying most for (Webb's life) did not happen, the closeness we feel to God and each other must be due to all of the prayers.    

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I have had a hard time thinking of what to write lately.  It seems I have no words to describe this latest state I am in.  Sometime during or after Webb's hospital stay, I started taking anti-anxiety pills before I went to sleep.  Never during the day, just at night after the kids went to bed.  I have no clue if they helped or not, I just took them because I was scared not to.  Yesterday, I made up my mind not to take them anymore on a regular basis.  So I have not taken one pill since Friday night.  I slept about 3 hours last night and have been anxious all day, but I am going to hold out a little longer.  I have no desire to become dependent on pills on top of everything else.  However, I find myself feeling particularly on edge, weepy and fearful.  Is it because I have anxiety that the pills no longer take away?  Is it the latest in my grieving?  Who knows.  

Lately, I find myself aching for the future instead of the past.  I wonder how I will describe Webb to Whit, who will certainly always be curious about how he would have turned out if he had known his twin brother.  I am sad for all the things Webb will never do, like ride a bike, go to kindergarten or get married.  And I am starting to fear losing someone else that I love.  I find myself pleading with God to not let anything happen to Zac, Bo or Whit, begging Him not to put me through another heartbreak.  I am still just as confused as I was a few weeks ago about why some people are spared this type of pain and others go through even more suffering than I.  

I used to marvel at how blessed my life was.  A wonderful husband, three precious children.  I used to feel so full...and now I feel such emptiness.  I try to tell myself, I still have the wonderful husband, and I still have Bo and Whit, and that does make me feel a little better, but I also know we are all forever changed.  How long with this empty feeling stay in my heart?  When will I be able to get through one minute without seeing all I have lost?  I have often thought I will look back at this time in my life and feel something more than sadness.  I hope one day I will fully appreciate the closeness I now feel to God and the intense feeling of unconditional love that has been showered on my family by everyone in our lives.  But right now, I still feel emptiness more than anything else.  And that is something only God can fix.  I know I  have to walk through this pain, but it is so hard to move with such a heavy weight on my heart.      

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Same

In "A Grief Observed," C.S. Lewis wrote: "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear."  He was right.  It is not that I am always afraid (although I do have fears which are the subject of another day, another entry, ) I just have the sensation of fear at all times.  I wake up with a nervousness in my stomach that does not go away, and my heart races until I calm myself palms are sweaty and I have an extreme sense of thirst.  Isn't that strange?  How fear makes you thirsty?  In the hospital I must have drunk a gallon of water a day.  It is such a disconcerting feeling, having fear of your own feelings, which is, I guess, what that sensation I feel means.  I know what it is like to be anxious, to be panicky, to be sick, all in one emotion...that is pretty scary.  Maybe that's why it is such a fearful sensation that constantly resides in my soul.

Today, I am starting to come to the realization we will never be the "same."  Obviously, you think to yourselves.  But I don't mean that as literally as it seems.  Clearly, we will always have a precious soul missing from our family, and for that reason alone, we will never be the same.  I was aware of that the minute we left the hospital.  No, what I am talking about is a different, deeper kind of "same."  I will never be the same wife or mother after going what I've been through.  I hope and pray I come out of this a better wife and mother for I know what it means to have loved and lost.  I also know it is just as easy to go the other way and close myself off and resent my children and husband.  But that path seems, even in my cloudy vision for the future, one I definitely want to stray from, so I am doing everything my strength will allow to make sure that does not happen.  Although I feel like the same Ashley - I still love chicken burritos, a good bath and a great pair of shoes - I am not the same Ashley I was before having and losing Webb.  Although I still love the same music, the same people, enjoy good company and have managed to maintain a scintilla of a sense of humor, inside, I realize I am a very changed person.  I suspect I will just keep changing and evolving as God sees fit.  Last night, after much prayer, which basically just said "Lord, please help me," over and over, God and I decided I would get through this tragedy and be myself, but a better person for it.  I know I (we) will have to work at it, but that is what I want and that is what Zac and my children need.  

I realized I have been avoiding the twins' room.  Well, I go into it everyday, obviously, because it is still Whit's room, and I see the things in the room many, many times in a day.  But I have been avoiding actually "seeing" the room.  Today, while Zac bathed the boys and I went to get Whit's pajamas, I started absorbing just a small part of the big part that is missing from that room.  I looked at Webb's monogrammed overalls he never got to wear and the ones he wore on Bo's birthday.  I picked up his jacket and held it close to my face for just a second.  And then, I stood over his empty crib, gripped the rails, and sobbed real "out loud" sobs for the first time in a long time.  It's the crib he and Whit shared until they were 4 months old.  He lay in it several hours a day for the past 18 months, and it was the place where I put him pretty much the last time I saw him conscious.  That crib is hard for me.  But I know it is just a physical thing, and I know when we are ready, it will be removed, but I cannot do it yet.  Right now, I still need that crib next to Whit's for some reason.  There are countless things I have not put up, partly because he and Whit were so intertwined, it doesn't make much sense to pack up Webb's things, because, really, they shared most of what they had.  One day I will be strong enough and time will pass enough where putting up the crib and baby clothes will be a natural evolution.  Whit will soon be out of this stage altogether, and all the clothes will have to be moved.  I keep telling myself that is why I haven't put some things away, put the truth is, it is just too painful right now to do that.  It seems too severe, too "final."  

Thank you for praying for us and for letting me pour my soul out to you everyday.  It may seem like such a public way to document a private journey, but it is helping.  Bit by bit, word by word, it is helping.           

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Last Night

So the last two days have been hard.  Two of the hardest yet.  I think Zac being gone truly took some strength out of me, because all I have wanted to do is cry and sleep.  He is back now, and I already feel a sense of balance returning.  It still feels so unbelievable that Webb is gone, and it seems the further away I get from December 26, the worse it gets.  I have felt God so much in the past month, in a very real way.  I have always heard people talk about how the Lord speaks to them, and I always thought He spoke to me too, in the way that certain situations would pan out, or in the way I would become convinced of an outcome after I prayed about it and had an answer.  But this is the first time I have actually heard God's voice in my ear, and it is truly magical.  The night Webb had his surgery, which was 1 hour after we found out he had a fist-sized brain tumor, Zac and I lay in the chair together outside his room and clung to one another and I prayed, almost a constant chant, for God to give me strength and guidance.  As clear as a bell in my head, He said, "Sleep."  And I closed my eyes because He told me to.  Granted, it was only an hour of sleep, but it was the only thing I could do at the time.  And God knew what he outcome would be and had been preparing me for months, so really "sleep" was the only thing that possibly made sense at the time.  I wonder why it takes such a tragedy for us to hear the Lord sometimes.  Is he just more present when we are in despair, or do we not listen hard enough when things are going well?  I think it might be a little of both.  

One thing that has depressed me this week is how easy is seems to have 2 children.  I never knew what it was like to only have 2, and I literally crave the chaos and the six feet and three little voices I heard daily.  It seems so empty without Webb; it's amazing how much he filled the room.  I keep remembering the night before we went to the hospital, our last night the 5 of us were together:  we went to Roasters in Sandy Springs, and the boys were so good as they always are in restaurants, and a lady came up to Zac and me and told us how pleasant and well-behaved our children were and how we should be so proud of ourselves.  We looked at each other in shock because we were always so busy trying to keep them quiet and occupied, we never really noticed how that was appreciated by strangers.  We went home and Zac lay on the floor while all three climbed all over him - their favorite game.  We had no clue Webb was as sick as the next day revealed he was.  What a perfectly, ordinary night that now is etched in our brains for the rest of our lives as the "last night."  All things considered, it was a pretty good last night.

I often think that God is sort of carrying us along right now, and every once in a while, He puts us down to see if we can walk alone.  Sometimes we take a few steps, but most times it is just too much and He has to pick us back up again.  Tomorrow it will be one month since we took Webb to the emergency room.  The fact we are still alive after one month is more than I thought possible.  Please continue to pray for us.  We need the prayers so very, very much, maybe even more than before.  We are so lucky to have so many people who are praying for us, the people we know and love the most and those of you we have never even met.  I hope if our story teaches you anything, it is to live life like it's always your "last night."  I know that seems cliche, but truly the small things, the money problems, the little annoyances you have with your spouse and your children, they mean nothing.  If there is something you are doing or have done you want to stop or take back, now is the time.  Nothing matters more than family.  We are lucky that our last night with Webb was a good one where we were all together, doing something totally ordinary and spending time together.  While you pray for us, I will pray for all of you that you are able to see your family and what they mean to you in the wake of our tragedy.      

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Real World

For the past two days, we have been dabbling in the "real world."  Zac left on a short hunting trip with his family that had been planned for months.  He debated going, but Zac is better when he's got something to do, so away he went.  Yesterday, I met one of my favorite people for lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant, which felt great, even though I barely tasted what used to be my favorite food.  Last night, my best friends from college took me to dinner at an actual restaurant.  At times, I felt completely tuned out, but they did a good job of supplying pleasant, hilarious and real company, as usual.  I am so blessed to have these girls.   This morning, I woke up and took Bo to his first day back at school.  For the first time, I had on work out clothes like the other moms who drop their kids off, and I wasn't balancing my Blackberry in one hand and cell phone in the other.  But I did have a knot in my stomach and tears in my eyes as my precious first born left my warm little nest and went into the cold world.  He did great for those three hours.  I did okay.  After we got home from picking him up, I looked at Jamelle and said, "I'm tired," and went to sleep for the next 5 hours.  Perhaps I am not ready for the real world.  For the first time in my life, my mental strength is exhausted and I have a hard time remembering who I have talked to, what notes I have written and what I have done each day.  I cannot sleep at night with Zac gone, so today I am particularly "out of it." My children are the only reason I  got out of bed at all.  While I enjoy hearing what everyone is doing, I am having a difficult time focusing on the outside world and even imagining being a part of it again.  I know it is going to take small steps, and I know I will take all the steps I can until I am "living" again.  I keep thinking, the first time I crave a meal or have a desire to go shopping, I will know I am getting back to myself.  So far, neither food nor clothes appeal to me, so those of you who know me, know it must be bad. :)  I want to be a part of the real world, but I can't yet figure out how there is a world without Webb.  So, as today ends, I will take my bath, say my prayers, put my children to bed and, from the outside, appear to be normal.  But inside, I am anything but, and it hurts.  It's a very real, persistent pain and all those things I am doing are called "going through the motions."  But I suppose going through the motions will one day turn into living again in the real world.  And it makes me sad that I must develop a life that works without Webb, but I know I don't have to do it all today.  Today I am still the mom that lost her child.  But one day I pray I will not be known as day I hope to be known simply as a woman who is a good mother that has gone through many struggles but come out on top.  One day I hope the hospital and the funeral are painful memories I can barely conjure up instead of the movie that plays in the background of my mind all day long.  My fear is that the farther away I get from the painful memories, the farther away I get from the pleasant memories I have of Webb.  And then the words Dr. Gil has told me a million times since this happen ring in my ears "You choose what you remember, and you choose what you forget."  I cannot wait until I can choose to push those painful memories aside.  And for all of you in the real world, I cannot wait to be healthy enough to join you again.  

Monday, January 19, 2009


I have always been fascinated with psychics, dreams and spirits.  Not in a sacrilegious way, just in a curious way...especially because I have always felt like I have a "sixth sense."  I can often sense when my loved ones are going through something, and sometimes my dreams are outright eerie the way they come true.  So I do believe that certain people have the gift of reading psyches, which is why, in August I stumbled into a psychic's office while Zac and I were vacationing in Aspen.  I gave her my watch to hold, and after a moment, she looked at me and told me, in a nutshell, I was very sad, inconsolably sad, and I would be taking a leave of absence from work.  She also told me I loved my children passionately and said, "you have 2 children, right?"  I told her, "No, I have 3," and she looked at me quizzically, almost unbelieving and replied, "Hmmmm."  I left thinking she was crazy and extremely inaccurate.  I wasn't sad at all.  I had 3 children, not 2.   I loved my job...why in the world would I take a leave of absence??  Four months later, everything she said is now true.  

Zac and I saw Dr. M today, who is a very smart, religious psychologist and a person we have visited with before, and I told him about my experience with the psychic.  He smiled a knowing smile and said I must be very in touch with my "Self," because that psychic was not just able to see my future, but she saw through to my inner psyche, which was preparing me for what was to come.  To him, that also explains why I had a strange, obsessive fear of losing a child and became almost panicky the last few months before Webb's death when I was away from my children.  I asked him who he thought prepared our inner selves for these fateful moments, and he said it is certainly God, but some people just have a better sense of His preparations.  What a bizarre concept.  I am not saying I entirely believe that theory, but it something to think about...needless to say, I won't be visiting any psychics again anytime soon just in case.

Today, after talking with Dr. M and spending the rest of the day with Bo and Whit, I am feeling rather exhausted.  Grief is a taxing emotion.  Like I told Dr. M, I feel like my mind is like the scanner on the radio, and I never know on which feeling it will stop.  One hour, I am deeply sad, the next, angry as hell, the next calm and hopeful.  Today has been a day of constant scanning.  

I reread my devotional for December 28, the day of Webb's funeral, because, like my dreams, my devotional entries are eerily on point most of the time.  That entry was no exception.  It talked about the 23rd Psalm and David learning that no matter how dark the way is, the Lord is there to guide us.  It is far better to walk through the valley with God than stand on the mountaintop alone.  He doesn't always light the path ahead, but promises to be there in the darkness.  It also had this line, which I find very poignant at this time: " You get to know the Lord by going through storms with Him."  So maybe the purpose of all of this is to know God better.  Maybe after hitting rock bottom and turning our souls inside out, we will know God better than we ever have before, better than we could have ever imagined.  While that certainly does not make Webb's death any easier to swallow, it is a thought that brings me peace.  I want to know everything about the Lord who will be watching over my red haired boy until I see him again.   And I can't think of any relationship more important or worth strengthening than the one we have with God.  So while my mind scans to that thought, I am again calm and hopeful.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Walking through the Valley....

I have always believed in God.  I remember being a small child, just as analytical as I am today, and never questioning that there was a God or Christ.  In fact, I would become very confused when I found out about other religions because nothing else made sense.  Today, I wonder why I question literally everything and analyze things to no end, yet I have never questioned something as major as my faith.  Even in the dark days that have made up my weeks since my precious Webb died, I have been ANGRY with God, but I have not questioned that there is a heaven and that my baby is with Jesus Christ.  Finally, after much thought, and talking with a dear friend who has also untimely lost a loved one, I came to a conclusion: I don't want to believe in God and Jesus and Heaven....I have to.  I have to believe that angels came and took Webb to a better place, a place of no pain and no sorrow.  I have to believe that God has him right this minute, because if I can't have him, there is no one else I would trust to have him.  And I have to believe that we will see him again, because if I don't believe in that, I have very little reason to keep going.  

Zac and I were talking today and we realized we have (if we're lucky), about 50 more years to live.  I cannot imagine 50 more days without Webb, let alone 50 more years.  I suspect the next 50 years will bring some great days, but there will always be a huge hole in our hearts.  It frustrates me that we had to lose one of the most important things to us so young.  It panics me to think of losing another child.  While we have always talked about having 4 or 5 children, I cannot imagine taking our chances after knowing what it is like to lose something you love more than yourself.  It is unimaginable to think we can actually lose one of these little gifts from God that we hold closer to our hearts than anything else....and yet we have.  Here we sit, grieving and in total agony because our baby is not with us.

I remember sitting in church, probably at the age of about 10, and the preacher was talking about the 23rd Psalm.  Something he said stuck for some reason, and it has resonated these past few days.  He explained that while we must walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God never said we should dwell in it.  I oftentimes think God had me in all these places and situations like that day in church 20 years ago just to prepare me for this horrible time, because those words from that preacher spoken 20 years ago bring me comfort today.  So while I am walking through the valley, I want to thank all of those who are walking (literally and figuratively) right along with me.  God also knew what he was doing when he gave me to my parents, to Zac and to Zac's family, and to all of my priceless, wonderful friends.  You didn't know you'd being walking this walk with me, but thanks for jumping on the path.  And thanks in advance for not letting me dwell in valley of the shadow of Webb's death.  He would want more out of his mommy, and Bo and Whit deserve the best I can be.   

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Missing Webb

I woke up today and my soul felt sick.  I miss my baby.  Although I have to remind myself of Webb's death every morning, I don't always wake with such a sense of dread.  Today I did.  I miss his dimple and the way the top of his hair curled in crazy directions.  I miss the way he would curl up on my chest and stay there because he knew I loved to cuddle.   I miss his laugh and the way he'd lift his arms in the air and say, "Up," when he wanted to sit with me.  Today when I look at Bo and Whit I see the one that's missing.  I think about all the days ahead, how they will never know Webb and may not even remember him, and I am very, very sad.  I went through about 100 pictures today, starting from the twins' birth, up until a couple weeks before Webb died, just to remind myself of those happy days when I had all three of my sons.  I have heard the expression, "Hanging by a thread," and often that is how I feel.  I find myself obsessing and concentrating on something, anything, but the awful truth...Webb is not coming home.  When I go get Whit up from his nap in a couple hours, Webb's crib will still be empty.  It's almost harder to process now than it was at first...this harsh reality that is now my life.  I watch as everyone else's lives go on and we remain stuck, and I wonder, will it always feel like this?  "No," everyone says, "Time will ease your pain.  You will feel better soon."  I have to believe that is true, but I never thought I would literally need to heal my soul, the deepest part of my heart.  Only God can do it, that much I know.  I am clinging to Him right now, asking him to hold my baby close, asking Him to help ease this physical, resounding pain inside my body.  I would give anything to see Webb's blue eyes again.  In the hospital, I would open them and memorize the color, even though I probably didn't have to because they are identical to Whit's.  But I did.  Did he hear our last words to him?  Can he see us now?  I have so many questions that will never be answered.  This is not fair, I keep thinking.  No one loses their baby....except they do.  Many people feel just as I am feeling, and somehow they are still going on, so there must be a way to do it.  I am so thankful for the people in my life I am close to.  I feel overwhelmed with love as each friend calls, send a card, texts or emails to check on me.  Those people are keeping my head above water right now, and I don't know what I would do if they were not there.  I think many people (including myself before I was in the situation) are afraid of saying the "Wrong" thing or think giving us our space is what we need.  Thank goodness for those of you who have not done that, because I would be lost without you.  I may not answer or respond, but I have felt your love in each of your sweet messages.  Zac and I want to again thank everyone for prayers...we need them now just as much as we did 22 days ago.  I can't believe it's almost been a month.... 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Home Again

Well, we made it home, and I certainly felt all of your prayers as we did it.  Bo walked in the door and immediately went to "work."   This is what he does constantly.  He grabs his tool box and usually his fire hat and sets off hammering things or "fixing" things.  The child's work ethic rivals my daddy's.  He does it for HOURS.  Tonight he told me "I'm going to work.  And Whittie can come with me and Webbie....." he paused and literally got the saddest look on his face..."Webbie can't come, can he?"  "No sweetheart," I answered, tears running down my face.  Why does this three year old have to deal with this?  Why will Whit never know his twin brother?  Why did this happen to us??  In the past three weeks, I've done a lot of "Why asking."  I can't understand how there are people who abuse their children or don't want them and yet have them until they die.  I don't know why there are people who are not nice, who lie, cheat and steal, and yet get the privilege of having healthy children who outlive them.  Zac and I aren't perfect but we LOVE our kids, we love each other, we are GOOD people...why us??   I suppose we may never know the answers to those rhetorical sounding questions.  But in one of the books I am reading about grief, I found three small nuggets of peace for all my why asking:
1.  Jesus does not promise if we lead a good life only good things will happen
2.  God does not pick favorites and allow life to "work out" for those people
3.  God is not evil and did not take Webb to hurt us.  He knows what it is like to lose a son; therefore, he knows EXACTLY how we feel and grieves WITH us.
Whoa.  That's a lot to absorb in one night, but what wonderful, practical thoughts.  That does not mean I will quit my why asking.  It also doesn't mean I won't still question why Webb had to die and why this tragedy befell on MY family and be angry for it.  But it's certainly a start in the right direction.  And right now, that's all we can ask for.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Starting Over

For the past week, we have been in Vail, Colorado starting the dreaded, necessary healing process.  There have been good days and bad days since we've been here.  On one hand, it is amazing to be able to stop our lives and come to such a beautiful place to reflect.  On the other hand, without the daily distractions, my mind is filled with images of the past, the 3 endless days we spent in the hospital, the voices of the doctors and the horrific end result of walking out of Scottish Rite without our baby.  I have shed tears and been almost physically ill from the pain of these memories.  Whit , who is so full of life, will make an expression or laugh just like Webb, and we are in tears again.  Bo keeps asking when Webb is coming home, and we endlessly try to explain to him that he is not, and we he says he doesn't understand, I have to admit I usually tell him I don't understand either.  Tomorrow we are headed back to Atlanta, which will be hard to be surrounded by Webb's things again, the empty crib, his favorite toys, his shoes that I just cannot keep staring at.  I am a big believer in "signs," and since Webb's death I have asked God for something, anything to assure me he has my baby and we will see him again.  I was on the couch, bawling and asking God for this on Monday night, staring blankly at the TV, when all of the sudden the credits to some show started rolling and the first name was "Matthew Webb."  Ok, God, not much, but it's a start!  That night as I slept very soundly, I could almost feel his presence and woke with a smile for the first time in 19 days.