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My Christmas letter

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I know many of you have prayed for our family as we took this awful journey this year. I just thought I would share what I sent out in our cards.





Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1







I have sent a Christmas letter for what seems like forever. I have sent pictures of my kids and shared stories. Here I sit thinking about what to write this year. Part of me wants to hide and never write another letter again. Then there is the part of me that is so happy to look back and remember good times. The truth is that I am broken. My family is broken. Timmy is not here and it hurts more than anything I could ever begin to express in words. I don’t know why this happened and I don’t know how we get through, but somehow we do. I can still get up every day and know that I have an amazing life. I have a husband that has stood by me for 24 years. He loves me even if we aren’t lovey dovey all the time. I have wonderful kids. Each one of them has given me something so special. I have the best mom that is always there for me. All of this shows me that somehow we can get through. HOW? I don’t know. Each and every morning I wake up and the first thought in my mind is that my Timmy is gone. It takes my breath away. Then I hear him in my mind say “Go take care of those kids! Get your freaking butt out of that bed and go do what you are best at. Do for them what you did for me!†So, my day begins. It looks fairly similar to my days before he was gone. The only thing that is missing is many phone calls and messages from him. I don’t have my talks with Timmy about EVERYTHING. I miss our talks. Something happened and I don’t know when it did – Timmy became my best friend. He became somebody that I could tell anything to and he didn’t judge me for it. I miss him and I don’t think I will ever be whole again. I don’t see that as a possibility. I just have to try my very best to give my kids as much of me as I can and hope they have as happy of a life as he did.

Savannah is doing the best she can. I worry about how she is always trying to take care of me. I have good days where I am fine, but I also have days where it seems my tears will not end. On those days, it is my sweet girl that is quick to hold me tight and tell me how much she loves me. I wish I could take it all away from her and she could go back to an easy world where all is well. I can’t though. I do the best I can and let her know that I love her with all of my heart. There is a song called God Gave Me You that reminds me of her. When she isn’t holding her momma together she is trying to be a teenager even though she is only 12. She loves texting and hanging out with her friends. She can sing any song that is on the radio and does it with joy! She loves all the babies in our lives and I can see she will be a great momma one day. I broke down and let her wear eyeliner this year. She was supposed to wait until she was 13. Then I realized that eyeliner is a tiny little thing in the whole world of things she could be wanting. So, I gave in and I will admit... I think she looks beautiful with it on. The scary thing is that I see her growing into a young woman so quickly. I can close my eyes and see her all grown up. I pray she will stay close to me and that she will become my best friend too. I have been soaking in the little things and time with her.

Sebastian – oh my Sebastian. He is 6 years old now. He wears me out! He is so complex. Nothing simple about him. He is a computer junkie. He knows more about it than I do. He basically taught himself to read and do math. I can’t keep up with him. He has a huge personality. When he is happy – he is really happy. When he is mad – really mad! His brain just keeps moving all the time. He looks like Timmy only he is a skinny minny. I sometimes call him Timmy just because my mind takes me back. I don’t know what the world holds for him, but I do know he will be determined to find out. I find myself thinking back to when we decided to have one last baby. I was so sad from Debi’s death. Tim was searching for anything to ease my pain and his idea was a baby. I never really thought much about the fact that I had 2 boys and a girl until now. Sebastian doesn’t replace Timmy, but he gives me hope that I will have another young man in my life some day. I loved the man Timmy became and I long for that again. I am so thankful that we had just one more baby. I hold him in my lap and hug him tight. I kiss all over his face and tell him how much I love him. My heart hurts so much that he will not know his brother and his young memory will not keep with him. I believe that he was sent to us to heal the hurt of loss. He is a gift even if it comes as a torrential ball of energy.

Tim is well... getting up every single day and breathing in and out. He grieves differently than I do. I need to talk and share lots of stories. He needs to not think about it to get through. He joined a bowling league and has gotten busier with friends. Something he has not really ever done before. We have a fantastic friend that literally built his garage for him. Dave is like an angel here on earth. There are not enough thank you’s in the world for what he has done to help my husband. These days, Tim putters around his garage and has been drawing tattoos that remind him of Timmy. He hurts in a quiet way, but I know it is there. It is always there. He does the best he can to love the kids we have and enjoy the time with them. We have spent a lot of time in silence these past few months. Sometimes I think we should talk, but then I realize that just sitting quietly with each other is sometimes all we need to do. Tim was a 17 year old boy that asked me to give him a family. In some crazy turn of events, I said yes. The next thing I knew I was 16 and having a baby. A beautiful baby boy name Timmy II. Tim loved him with all of his heart and sometimes it is just too painful to think about a world without him. So, we sit quietly and just breathe in and out.

I am keeping busy with homeschooling. I have been set in motion to starting our own homeschool yearbook. We have just begun, but I am excited about it. I am even toying with the idea of starting a homeschool co-op next year. These years with my kids are short. Tim and I both wanted Timmy to have the best memories of friends and growing up. I think he did and now we want to make sure the other two have as much or more good times. Timmy’s friends that he had were the best gift. I can’t tell you how much love I have been given by all of them. I want to make sure the other two have every option to make the best of friends. That is my job and I take it very seriously! =) I will keep moving ahead with the help of some very amazing homeschool moms. I don’t know what I would do without all the friends I have from IL to FL to SC and lots of places in between. God sent me the most amazing people to surround me with love. They have held me together with love and prayer. I am forever grateful.

I know for some this letter will make them sad or make them cry. I don’t mean to. I just try to share an honest side of my heart. I love so many people in this world and I love to know what is important in their lives. This is our life. Good or bad, it is our life. We have been given it for a reason – a reason that I don’t understand, but one that I hope I will have an answer to some day. Right now, I am pretty angry with God. That may not be popular, but it is truthful. I believe God is big enough to understand that. I haven’t lost faith, but I have been shaken. I don’t see things quite as clearly as before. Or maybe I do, but just in a new way. Some moments, I think I will not be able to live another 40 years without my child. The next I tell myself that I just have to live today or this minute. 40 years will worry about itself. Until then, I will listen to Timmy’s voice in my mind. I will honor his memory and take good care of my kids. I will speak of him Every. Single. Day. until I take my last breath. I will teach my kids that their brother was a kind and loving person that gave so much more in his 21 years than many people ever give in a lifetime. I will try to remember to love my family as if they may not be here tomorrow because I know all too well that may be the truth. Savannah and I came up with the idea to always wear Timmy’s Jack Skelton hat in our family pictures. It is a reminder that he is always with us and never, ever forgotten! Don’t be angry over the silly stuff, talk to your kids. You may not like what they tell you, but that is not the point. Be there for them no matter what. I always said I didn’t want to “miss it†and I don’t think I did with Timmy. I don’t plan to miss it with my other two either. Give the people you love a hug and TELL THEM you love them.




In memory of my sweet and wonderful Timmy 3.5.89 to 5.14.10








Until I see you again... I love you and miss you more than any words can say.



Edited by Kari C in SC
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Beautiful, Kari. I just got finished reading Mary Beth Chapman's book, Choosing to SEE, and I thought of you and how difficult it must be for you. I pray for you often and would recommend this book if you haven't already read it. I can't say it will make your grief go away but it might help to hear another woman's story of grief after the tragic loss of a child. :grouphug: and many prayers.

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Beautiful, Kari. I just got finished reading Mary Beth Chapman's book, Choosing to SEE, and I thought of you and how difficult it must be for you. I pray for you often and would recommend this book if you haven't already read it. I can't say it will make your grief go away but it might help to hear another woman's story of grief after the tragic loss of a child. :grouphug: and many prayers.


Somebody put this book in my mailbox. I did enjoy it. More the beginning and middle than the end. The end was too close to my own pain.

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