I Wonder

I wonder what he would have been like at 29? What kind of job would he have had, and where would he be living? I wonder if his eyes are the same blue as his dad’s.

I think these are just a few of the questions a parent has for the child who has died. I always wanted the best for my son, and I wanted him to be happy and content in his life. I wanted for him to love life, even though life was a bitch at that moment in time. Now after 5+ years that he’s been gone, I still wonder all of these things.

Suicide is tragic! Families are affected, friends are affected, and yet no one really knows how to talk about it. I’m not ashamed that it happened in my immediate family, not at all. Heck, if you look at family history, you will see 2 great grandfathers both committed suicide. Then on the other side there was some mental illness in the family, BUT no one ever talked about it. Why is that? I wish someone would have said something, but back then it wasn’t done. You didn’t talk about mental health at all. It was labeled as shameful and goodness knows we don’t air out our dirty laundry.

Maybe it’s time to air out all of the dirty laundry in our families. Get it out in the open and seriously discuss it and at least try to prevent it from continuing in the family.

I will always wonder what Dylan would be like today. I miss that boy/man so much. He didn’t have a lot of happiness in his life after Annie divorced him at 22. Then his Dad was killed in action in Iraq, and I don’t think he thought he could ever live up to his dad’s expectations. The funny thing is, his dad’s only expectation for Dylan was that he finish something. That’s all his dad wanted him to do. Whether it be school, or some project. It didn’t matter. Well I guess he actually did finish something. He didn’t have to stay on this earth and he made sure that was done.

Am I mad? No, not really. I do feel cheated out of a life I wanted to know, and see grow into the man I know he could have been. Being cheated isn’t any fun, and very few people totally understand. Maybe I screwed up and didn’t see the signs, but considering I didn’t know the signs and no one told me what to look for I guess I didn’t screw up.

I wonder if only we had known what was going on in that head of his what would be different. I love you bubba1262446_10201537932268304_932767209_o.


Twinkle in His Eye


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.

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.