MY VOICE
February 2005 - or the past two angst-filled weeks, I've been slowly and methodically amassing materials
about Andrew and Jarrett's accident on March 3, 2003 and subsequent deaths.  I'm approaching the
two-year anniversary with a mix of trepidation and anxiety because my shock of the first year has finally
worn off.  The common axiom that "time heals all wounds" is only partially correct.  It does lessen the
intense, gut-wrenching anguish but the deep, emotional scar still exists along with an all-encompassing,
overwhelming sadness that never goes away.

The sadness and the silence co-exist now in an uneasy alliance in our home that was once filled with
laughter and noise.  They'd drop their gigantic shoes at the door and clomp up and down the stairs
sounding like baby elephants while the phone would ring, music and TV blared, video games cheeping
and chirping in the distant background.  Constant bantering - joking, laughing, cajoling and arguing to the
point of fisticuffs....  Now, it's quiet.  That's the one thing I noticed immediately and still do - the
silence....it's deadly quiet.  So quiet, you can actually hear yourself think.  All I can think is "Why?" and
"Where are they?"

All those years before they died, I knew where they were.  Even a well-paying job in downtown Chicago
couldn't lure me away from my babies.  For their entire lives, I stayed home with Andrew and Jarrett.  We
played, read books, sang songs, threw balls, built castles, caught fish, ran with the wind, swam with the
fishes and had lots and lots of fun.  When they got older, I drove them to various practices, went to their
games, played at being a coach, took Jarrett to the skate parks and took Andrew to the golf courses.  
Through it all, I must confess that I worried.  I worried a lot about every real or imagined hurt.  Now, the
only worry I have is "Where are my sons?"  "Where did they go?"  "Are they okay?"  "Why didn't they leave
me a note with a smiley face on it?"
* * *
Jarrett, Donna, Andrew (nice smile, dude) and Bob - Christmas 1989
February 2006 - The preceding paragraphs were written a year ago.  This year, I don't have to go through
all of the newspaper articles because I already did it last year.  Of course, I'll read them again because I have
to poke at the scab before someone else does!  That was referenced in the article
The Myth of Getting Over
It which is on the Remembering 2006 page.  It's kind of amazing to me lately that when I need something to
help me, it appears serendipitously seemingly out of nowhere.  But, I know where it comes from - those
saintly boys - Andrew and Jarrett!!

At a Compassionate Friends meeting the other night, someone said that she didn't know WHERE her child
was now.  See, that's still the hard part.  You can say they're in heaven or hell or the Other Side or wherever,
but WHERE is that?  That's the part I can't reconcile.  That's the part that demands me to have faith that they
went back where they came from - baby heaven?  I'm one of those people who have to see it to believe it
and I'm not even from Missouri.  The Show Me State, yes.  Jarrett was definitely the "prove it to me" type of
person.  Always, always, always...

When Jarrett was in middle school, he read a book called,
Mick Harte was Here.  It's about a middle school
girl coming to terms with the death of her brother who is killed riding his bicycle home from school (wasn't
wearing a helmet).  It deals with his sister's grief in a very realistic way.  While Jarrett was reading it, he said,
"This is a really good book, Mom.  You should read it."  So, I did.  An amazing book.  One part I particularly
remember is when the sister went back to school after the funeral, and the principal said that she was sorry
that she had "lost her brother."  In her mind, she's saying, "He's not lost.  He's dead.  He's in the cemetery.  
He's not lost, I know right where he is.  I saw them bury him."  It just drove home the point that people don't
always know what to say.  Maybe that's why they avoid us...

Someone said that there are certain things you shouldn't say to a grieving parent.  I can't recall anything that
ever offended me, but then I did spend years and years with Andrew and Jarrett - the champions of
irreverence.  Nothing was out of bounds for them.  It makes me laugh to think of them arguing with me.  Of
course, I was the one who taught them how to speak English in the first place!  duh, Mom.  That makes me
laugh.  Laughing is good.  And remember this, Jarrett was the "funniest kid ever!"
*  *  *
Andrew & Jarrett - Forever in my heart
Jarrett, Donna, Andrew, Bob at Ju-Rin on February 15, 2003