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Gifts : Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives

The Gifts Outreach program provides complimentary copies of Gifts to organizations which serve parents facing a new diagnosis of Down syndrome for their child, either prenatally or postnatally. We believe that the stories in the book provide a vital companionship and support for such parents.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thinking of Annette on this day, and always.....

I searched for my friend's voice today, as I have missed her. One year ago today Annette passed away from sonovial sarcoma, leaving behind two amazing boys, Kurtis and Ryan, and a wonderful husband, Tom, and a loving sister Lisa, and their amazing Dad. Their wife, mom, grandma, mother-in-law had just passed away one year earlier.

I found it. And I listened, knowing that Nash loves to wrestle too, so that added to my joy of listening to the clip.

Annette, you are so, so missed. I can't log onto the tri21online website anymore knowing you aren't there, it's just not the same.

Just know I always think of you, marvel in how you spent the last 4 months of your life knowing you were leaving us soon, but yet still managed to come down to Indiana and spend that time with us at the TRI21 IRL and DSI Buddy Walk.

I am so, so thankful that Shannon and I traveled to your service, met your family, and brought our Tri21 board's prayers to those that needed it, Shannon's tribute was wonderful.

Know that Lisa is an amazing sister ... wow, she takes my breath away with how she is carrying on your efforts and memory! And know you made such, such a difference in the world. How many can say that?

So in your memory and with our love, I want to reprint Shannon's, our, message:

As I sit down to write this at my computer, how appropriate that I am at the computer, and how ironic that I am at a loss for words. Annette will laugh at this, as will the other people of our group, Trisomy 21 Online Support Group, who have asked me to convey our love for Annette. As an advocate and a mother, friend, mentor, I am rarely short on words. Never short on abbreviations, (LOL , laugh out loud for those of you that aren’t into the computer chat thing). We need new abbreviations today; for weeping out loud, for my heart is aching, for I am feeling the pain of men and women around the world that are grieving.

Yes, I mean around the globe. That is how far Annette’s love, spirit, and kindness have reached. We have known Annette through this online support group for years. As a group, we have shared joys, hugs, milestones, and challenges great and small together. We being, Annette and I, but also our online community, a community so close we would call ourselves sisters. We number in the hundreds. The core of this sisterhood, and sometimes brotherhood, is that each of us received an incredible gift of parenting a child with Trisomy 21, or Down Syndrome. This bond brought Annette and her family all the way down from Canada to a little town in Indiana. Here, many of our group strengthened our friendship, watched our kids run and play, shared the love of our families and the passion for our faith. This was not the only time we were to be blessed with a visit from Annette. Many from our board could share stories just as poignant. She went to great lengths to have fellowship with her kindred spirits. She even pressed through her pain to take one last visit to see many of us in Indianapolis. That visit will remain in our hearts as one of highest highs and most bittersweet goodbyes. I am sure those of you sitting here, celebrating Annette’s life are not surprised to hear these words of Annette’s strength and perseverance through adversity.

Annette, this is our last post to you. The rest of our correspondance will have to be during our moments of prayer and meditation, until we meet again and dance the tootey ta all together. You have fought the good fight. You have cherished the gifts God has bestowed on you. You have lived a well lived life. Rest our friend Annette, we will continue the fight for you. We will use the light of your spirit to guide us. Thank you for sharing your life, passion, family and faith with us. Your friendship has changed our lives. Your gift will not be forgotten. Godspeed on your journey Home Sister Annette.

And Annette asked in her service...yes she did....that we sing this song, In Christ Alone, "and don't sing it whimpy" So let's sing again for her today, and no whimpy voices!

I miss you Annette, lots of love. And Tom, Lisa and family, you are all in our thoughts and prayers.

November 2, 1966 - December 16, 2007


Shelley said...

Having lost my Mother just a few months ago - you are all in my thoughts and prayers tonight. Remarkable people don't ever truly leave us do they?

Lisa said...

Thanks for posting the links Jan...I sat and cried with you this morning watching the boys and listening to Annette...and then really enjoyed listening to the song as well. Many HUGS this day. I'm so glad you and Shannon were able to be there last year!

Kari said...

Beautiful post Jan (Hugs)

Tara Marie said...

Jan ~ and the rest of my sisters.

I'm sitting her crying.....tears of all kinds. Tears of sorrow first off, as Annette went home way too early, tears of love, listening to her voice one more time. Tears of Joy, as I sing 'In Christ Alone'....and it was not whimpy at all [not on key, but not whimpy] and tears of gratitude......for the friendship we all shared because of Annette and the blessing of having her as a part of our journey.

All my love to you Jan....and the rest of sisters. I love you all so dearly.

Shawn said...


Thank you finding the link to Annette's voice. I had to wait until after work because I knew I'd be shedding too many tears. I can sit and reflect more this afternoon how Annette inspired me. Love to you Jan. I know how much you, all of us miss her!

Jeff said...

It's hard to believe it's been that long already. Great post babe!

All 4 My Gals said...

I just posted a tribute too. I can't believe it's been a year. I love you very much honey!

Betsy said...

What a beautiful tribute. That wrestling video brought me to my knees, and I never even met her in person...

You were one of her greatest gifts - as much as you loved her, she loved you back.



Kris said...

Beautiful tribute to our dear friend. Taken too soon and so dearly missed.

Just sending our love to you my friend. Thanks for being here on the journey of life.