Twinkle in His Eye

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Twinkle in His Eye

Robb Needham

I received this from Michael Reagan who does portraits of the fallen. Well I wasn’t expecting this picture, but I’m certainly happy that I received this one. This is by far the best portrait of Robb I have and I absolutely love it. It looks exactly like him, so much so it’s a bit scary, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

On September 20, 2013 it will be 7 years since Robb was killed in action over in Iraq. Seven years I have been a widow, and it still seems it all happened just yesterday. I’ve done a lot since Robb’s death. I was able to go to Liberia, not once but twice and minister there. Liberia will always be a special place for me. It’s where I learned that just because someone is a muslim, doesn’t mean they are the bad guys. The second time in Liberia I was asked to teach a seminar for teachers, so I taught various methods that can be used in a classroom. Basically I taught the book “Methods that Matter” by Harvey Daniels. I had a lot of fun, and I hope some of the teachers learned a thing or two.

18 months later, Dylan, our only son committed suicide. Talk about a double wammi. Dylan’s death was so hard on me and I know it was extremely difficult for Robi, our only daughter. It was a very difficult time in our lives. We survived and Robi now is extremely happy and doing very well.

It’s been a rough road, but a road that needed to be driven. I know, you think I’m nuts for saying that. Well I believe there are times in your life when you road won’t be fun, it won’t be smooth, and it certainly will bring you grief. I think I’ve had my share and hopefully I’m done. At least I’m praying that I am. But I have a more clear understanding of grief and how it can devastate a person, or it can bring out the best in a person. I’ve seen both with other people I’ve met who have experienced a death from the war on terror.

I wonder what is next in my life. I certainly don’t have a clue, but I wish I did.

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Not Again

Alex and My Dylan

Dylan Needham & Alex Hess

As I was walking to class today I came across a woman that I’ve known for a very long time. She witnessed my two kids as they grew up. We said the normal hello’s, how are you doing etc. Then she asked me, “how are the kids?”  I knew immediately she didn’t know about Dylan. First thing I thought was -oh shit, not again-.  I keep wondering how long this will go on when people don’t know that Dylan died on March 3, 2008! How much longer will this continue.  I’m coming up on 4 years that Dylan has been gone from us, and it still blows me away. I can’t believe he’s really gone still, but I know it in my heart. That probably doesn’t make much sense, but I know what I mean. When this happens I don’t cry, but I do get a little miffted at Dylan and at the person asking.  I wish I really knew the reason why Dylan felt the need to commit suicide. Was it his ex-wife’s remarriage? Was it his own dad’s death in Iraq? What was it about, what caused him to do that to us. I know Robi misses him and the kids talk about Uncle D when ever they see his picture. I just wish he was here so I didn’t have to tell anyone else he’s no longer with us.