Sunday, January 11, 2009

Terrible Tragedy


I really am at a loss for words. Such conflicting emotions. I am so sad and tired, yet so amazed at the outpouring of love and prayers from friends and people I do not even know from around the world. I haven't said the words out loud and having to type them is almost as bad. Thomas went to heaven Monday, January 5th 2009. I really cannot believe I am writing this, but I have so much to say and I believe it will be of value to Caroline and new baby in years to come. At this point, I am only able to say a few things that I feel I have to write and then I will fill in more details and stories in days, weeks and years to come.
We went to church Sunday January 4th, ate lunch with family and friends, spent the evening watching Planet Earth and playing with Caroline, eating ice cream for dessert, and went to sleep, Thomas woke up to go to school early on Monday morning. He kissed me goodbye, I was still in bed, but awake. He got in the car after getting my love note (for lack of a better description!--see next post,) buckled his seat belt and two minutes later he hit an icy patch on a bridge and went to heaven. I got a call around an hour after the accident telling me to come to the hospital. Another hour later they gave me the news.
First and foremost, I have a peace that Thomas (my devoted, precious husband) is in heaven and he has been able to see the love and events that have been happening this week. God is good. I can still say that and believe in it with all of my being even after the tragedy.
Secondly, I would not be able to type this, get out of bed, play with Caroline or anything for that matter if it was not for the prayers being lifted up by everyone constantly. Please continue to do so for as long as you possibly can.
Just to clear the air a little more...Thomas and I are pregnant. We had not told anyone (except for my sister Becky, and I wasn't supposed to!) because it was so early in our pregnancy. We had planned on sharing the news by having Caroline wear a "big sister" t-shirt to her 2nd birthday party coming up in a few weeks. While at the hospital Monday morning I told the doctors who came to give me an update that I was pregnant because I was desperate for them to do all that they could to save him (I know that they were, but like I said I was desperate.) Apparently others heard me and somehow our special announcement ended up on the TV news for all to hear (I am okay with this now, it allowed more people to pray more specifically, but it did take away the joy of being able to announce it to our friends and family.) A few other things they got wrong in the report-Caroline is 23 months old and I am on a year leave from working at Harp Elementary and most importantly Thomas was using his seatbelt.
I know those of you close to me have heard me talk about this so much--you can skip this paragraph!
We are faithful seatbelt wearers and when the policeman came to talk to me at the hospital that morning that wasn't even a question in my mind, about his use of a seatbelt, so I did not even think to ask him about it. (The policeman did not share with me any details, he was just giving condolences.) I did not find out until the next day from a friend that the television news stations had all reported the false information about the seatbelt not being used. It was like a knife to my heart. My friends went to the car, saw the seat belt still buckled in and where the firemen had cut it off of him. My sister's co-worker's husband was the fireman on the scene who was one of the men who cut off the seatbelt. I say all of this because I know in the past when I heard (which I will never do again) of an accident where a seatbelt was not being used, I might get mad at that person or feel that they should have known better, etc. This can be a lesson for everyone to not believe everything they hear in the media.
I especially did not want Caroline, new baby or any of the thousands of students to think of their Dad, teacher, friend as being irresponsible or reckless. I am coming to a peace about this so please do not think I have any ill feelings toward the police department! They work tirelessly for our safety and I appreciate them all very much. The policeman who visited me that morning had very kind words for me and I could tell he was very broken up about the situation.
I know KNWA and the Morning News ran new stories with the correct information and I am so, so, so, grateful. Please let me know who else you have read or saw that corrected the information so that I can thank them. *I have since heard that all of the stations and newspapers have reported the correct information.*
The thought of trying to come up with words to thank my friends and family for being with me through this is daunting. One day I will have the words. Right now all I can say is simply "THANK YOU!" The constant company, food, calls, texts, and e-mails I treasure. I also appreciate all the help with the house and the "technical" aspects of all that is going on. I may never even know all of the things that were done for us.
I know this sounds silly, but I am also thankful for Facebook, I don't know what I would be doing without it. I read each and every posting that is sent to me or to his "In Memory of Mr. Culp" page set up by his students. Try the link: http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/group.php?gid=48331982233&ref=ts
I love the stories and memories posted there.
His precious students (and faculty): I love you and I know you are hurting so much, too. Let's get through this together to make Mr. Culp proud. You can ask our friends about this, but he never quit talking about you guys. Seriously, all the time. He loves you so.
Please keep in touch, In Christ-Bonnie

81 comments:

  1. I am a long time lurker. I am SO so very sorry for your loss. I will keep you, Caroline and new baby in my prayers. This post is heartbreaking. A harsh reminder to savor each minute we have with our loved ones.

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  2. Bonnie---just as you don't have the "words to say" I don't either. I just want you to know that I have been so broken hearted for you, Caroline, new baby, and your families over the past week. It has been such a reminder of how little control we have in this life, but what a blessing to know our Savior and to know that Thomas is with HIM!!

    I'm praying for you each time you come to my mind.

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  3. Bonnie, Blake and I have not stopped thinking about you since we heard the terrible news. We are praying constantly - please let us know if there is anything we can do for you!
    Love,
    Blake and Allison Reed

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  4. Bonnie, I continue to pray for and think about you and Caroline. There is so much I do not understand about God and what happens in life. I just have to lean on Proverbs 3:5-6...Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean NOT on your OWN understanding...In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." It is that leaning not on my own understanding that I just have some trouble with. And all week I have asked, "Why, God? Why?" I don't really know what to pray or even say, because I don't imagine there are any words to comfort. I am trusting that the Holy Spirit is calling out to God and that He will wrap His arms around you. I also pray for your little ones. May Caroline be like a hug from your husband on your difficult days and that your baby in utero will be strong and healthy even when you don't feel like you are. As usual, in an effort to help when I know words cannot, I have talked to much. Please just know I am praying. My Sunday School class at church is praying. Many out in the world of Facebook and Blogger are praying.

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  5. Bonnie, I think about you, Caroline, and new baby ALL the time. Allen and I are constantly praying for you. I think I've prayed for you just about every hour today.Please let us know if you need anything. We're good for bringing BBQ any time and I'm sure Violet would love playing with Caroline. Just let us know...we can be there in an hours notice.

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  6. Bonnie -- My heart hurts for you. I have prayed constantly since I heard the news. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with the strongest urge to pray for you. After I say a prayer for you, I am able to fall back asleep. Let me know if there is ANYTHING Michael and I can do for you.

    Love,
    Michael and Holly Hayes

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  7. Bonnie,
    Your faith in God,love for Thomas, and strength during this time is an inspiration to us all.I continue to pray for you and your family everyday.
    With Love
    Angie

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  8. Bonnie, we have been praying for you guys and will continue to pray for you. You are constantly on our hearts. I can't tell you how many amazing Thomas stories I have heard this week. I can already see God's name being glorified because of the life that Thomas lived. Please know that you, Caroline, and new baby are being lifted up daily by us. We love you guys and want to serve you in any way that you need...even if it's just hanging out and letting the kids play. I praise God for you!

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  9. All my prayers are with you, Bonnie. Please let me know if you need a single thing!

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  10. Bonnie, I am Tara Strain's friend. She emailed us all here in Dallas and asked us to pray for you. I am beyond words and am amazed by your faith. Seriously, you are a woman I could learn so much from. To God be the Glory. I am so sad for your loss and will pray for your strength and peace. I hope that you continue to feel so loved by Jesus and all of your friends and family through this. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

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  11. Bonnie- I continue to be amazed by your strength, just as I always was when you were right across the hall! You've always had so much wisdom. I know that God is using this situation to touch hearts and lives- I know this is true for James and me. And although it may seem trivial to some, I'm glad the word is getting out about his seatbelt use- I knew as soon as I heard it that it couldn't be right. I will continue to constantly lift you, Caroline, and baby Culp up in my prayers.

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  12. My heart is so heavy for your family. I will continue to think and pray for you guys. I know we don't even know one another, but I will do anything thing that I can for you if you need it.

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  14. I just deleted a longer more complicated deeper post in order to just say that Keisha and I care about you guys and are thinking of you often.

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  15. I have read your blog a billion times, and just today made the connection. I didn't know your husband, but know people who did...and I am so so so sorry for your loss. It sounds like he was a wonderful man. I am praying for you daily.

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  16. Bonnie,

    We've never met, but I feel like I know you through your wonderful blog. I'm friends with Tara Hudson and an in-law to Kim Crumby. My heart sank when I read the news about your precious husband. Please know that I've already prayed for you, Caroline and baby Culp and will continue to do so. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

    Kelly Watson

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  17. Bonnie, My prayers are with you and your family!

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  18. Bonnie-My heart sank when I heard the news about Thomas. I have thought a lot about you, Caroline, and new baby over the past week.I don't know you personally, but it seems like you have an amazing group of family and friends around you in this hard time. I went to high school with Travis and Tara. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

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  19. Bonnie-Although I've only spent time with you a few times with Tara and Jill, I want you to know that my heart aches for you and your family and I am lifting you all up in prayer daily. Your faith is evident and it is inspiring to others. May God continue to comfort and bless you and fill your heart with peace in only the way that He can. I will be praying for you in the days, weeks, and months to come.

    Love In Christ,
    Whitney

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  20. Bonnie-
    I know it seems like forever since we talked or have seen each other....but just know there are many people surrounding you and lifting up your family in prayer. I'm heartbroken for you....but God will give you the strength you need.

    In Christ,

    Terri and Chris Mikel

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  21. Bonnie,
    we are so sorry for your loss. i know Thomas is with Jesus and what an amazing legacy he has. we are praying for you daily.
    love,
    Jordan and Mandy

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  22. Bonnie,
    I am just in awe of how wonderful God truly is! Your strength and testimony throughout this trial is a HUGE testimony in and of itself. God is working through you in ways you cannot imagine and just like you already know, good will come of this! We just love you guys so much and you will be in our thoughts and prayers for a long time to come. Your passion for Christ is such a blessing! Thank you so much for blessing us! I will be in touch soon!

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  23. Bonnie,
    I was/am an Assistant Principal at JO Kelly, and that is how I knew Thomas. Thomas was the kind of teacher every principal hopes to hire-kind, smart, energetic, and loving. Your actions and words inspire me, and when I heard about the kind note you wrote Thomas the Sunday prior to the accident, it reminded me and motivated me to constantly let my family and others know how much they are loved and appreciated. From your words, I can see what a lucky guy Thomas was to have you as his wife and best friend. I pray for you and Caroline and new baby every day.
    -Michelle Clinger-Parker

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  24. Lisa Bruce LawrenceJanuary 12, 2009 at 5:41 PM

    Bonnie, I have been thinking about you and Caroline every moment. I pray for you all through out the day and will continue to do so. I love you and pray for strength for you and Uncle Steve and Aunt Anita and cousin Becky. I love you all!!!
    Lisa

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  25. Bonnie--Oh how I wish I could take this pain from you and all who loved Thomas. My thoughts and prayers have been on you since I received the news. I am so thankful you know Christ and have a relationship with him because he tells us he won't leave us; nor forsake us. He and loved ones will pull you through this difficult season. My prayer for you is strength, health, and for blessings to be given to your babies. You are such a genuine example of grace and love to all.

    With love,
    Nicole
    With love,

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  26. I must say that i ABSOLUTELY love your blog. Your daughter is so cute! Thank you so much for having the courage to write this, it helps me a lot. I'm glad the prayers have been working. I've been thinking about you for a while. I hope you're doing well.
    -Amy

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  27. Bonnie-

    My sympathies to you all the way from Louisville. I wanted to send you a card in the mail, but don't have your address. (I'm still on the hunt for it.) I have continually prayed for you, Caroline and your family, as I know have countless others. I know your faith is strong and will be what carries you through such a terrible tragedy. I look forward to see how God uses this in your life to minister to other people.

    I know I don't know you except through your blog and from working with Thomas, but you have been an encouragement to me as teacher and mother! Thank you for that! Thomas was a blessing to work beside and I always enjoyed visiting with him and watching him with the kids at KMS. They loved him and all the staff loved him as well. What a leader!

    Again, my thoughts and prayers are with you now and the days to come! You are on my permanent prayer list! :)

    Leah

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  28. ps. that family picture is perfect. just beautiful.

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  29. I found your blog through a link posted on Leah Smiths... i just wanted to say that even though we do not know you; you are in my husband and mines prayers, I can not imagine the loss you feel! I am encouraged by your faith in God despite the cirsumstance and am SO happy your husband was a believer and is now in the presence of our Lord and Savior... you, your beautiful daughter and your new baby are in our hearts, minds and most of all our prayers!
    Rachel and Kevin Yates

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  30. Bonnie,

    Please know that you are in our prayers.

    Chrys

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  31. Bonnie,
    I was fortunate enough to get to work with Thomas when he was at J.O. Kelly. What an awesome teacher he was! After reading your blog and seeing all the wonderful pictures, I now know that he was also a wonderful husband and father. I have prayed for you, Caroline and the new baby often since I heard about the accident. Thank you for posting so soon after the accident and setting the record straight. Please know that I will continue to lift your family up in prayer and don't hesitate to call us at J. O. Kelly Middle School if there is anything at all you need.

    I love the family picture! Caroline looks just like her daddy.

    Joyce Nabors

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  32. Bonnie you are so amazing. Seth and I have prayed for you all week. As well as my Sunday school class and Mother's Day Out group. Though none of them know you, they are hurting and praying with you daily. I am so glad that you can rejoice in the fact that Thomas is in Heaven with our Lord and Savior. That has been the first thing that I have told people when I have asked them to pray for you. Everytime I think of you I begin to cry, but It reminds me to look to God and pray for His love to surround you. I pray that you can seek Him and find His love embracing you. We will continue to pray for you, Caroline, and the precious gift inside of you. May God give you the strength that you need to face the days to come.

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  33. Bonnie,
    I want you to know that you are an inspiration to all of us. At the most difficult of times you are relying on your faith in God, your friends, family and that is amazing, truly. I know I have not seen you in so so long (in a pew behind me 3 years ago!) but I knew you were special the Day that I met you. Such a genuine caring person. I feel the same way about Thomas and it is hard for me to even imagine losing your soulmate and father to your children. I know God has Ginormous plans for you!! Look how many people you have touched already, it is amazing. When many would lose their faith when tragedy strikes, you are building the faith of so many!!

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  34. I linked over from my cousin Leah's blog. I am so sorry for your loss and will be remembering you and your children in prayer.

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  35. Bonnie, I have been keeping up with "Sweet Caroline" for the past few weeks...I had just found you guys through Lesli Brown's blog and once I scrolled ALL the way down and saw you in a pic, I thought, "oh my gosh...I know Bonnie and Thomas!!" Caroline is a beautiful girl...a perfect mix of her mom and dad. I was so happy to see your post today and to hear that you are finding some peace..I have been praying so hard for you to find at least a little morsel of peace. As a wife and mother, myself, I am in awe of your strength. I cannot pretend to know how you are feeling and dealing with the loss of your husband/best friend, but you are in my thoughts daily. If there is ever anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate to ask. The prayers will definitely continue.

    Congratulations on the new baby...what an exciting light during this time!!

    Sarah (Lux) Thomas

    p.s. I sent a card and didn't know quite what to say so I'm so glad I could leave you a comment today.

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  36. Bonnie,
    I don't know if you remember me from U of A or not, but I was in the elem. ed. co-hort with Ashley. My maiden name was Heather Sharp. Anyway, I have been praying diligently for you and your family. I have a little more to say, but I'll try to find your email account. Praying! Todd and Heather Richardson

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  37. Bonnie - I first heard of your loss as I read Leah's blog. We were both a part of her "Heavy Heart" post. My heart is broken for you and your family. You are in my prayers and will be for many days to come.

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  38. I heard about your tragedy through Leah. We are also in Louisville, KY. Just wanted to let you know that my husband and I are both heartbroken over your loss! It is such a wake up call to all of us and I am praying for you and all of your family and the new baby. May God sustain you, and bring you peace and comfort beyond understanding! I am so SORRY!- Holly Brown

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  39. I teach in Huntsville and found you on Leah's blog. My husband teaches in Fayetteville. This led to our discussing the fragility of life. God bless your heart and your sweet babies. I pray that you will have the physical, emotional, and financial support that you need as you and your children go on. The teachers in my hall saw the news on a website before we ever got home. Trust me, everyone is thinking of you...all the way out to Huntsville!

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  40. Shawn and I have been praying for you and your family every day. I, too, have heard many wonderful stories about Thomas in the past week. It is amazing how many lives he has touched. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you.

    Love, Jennifer and Shawn

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  41. I just know you from you and your family coming in the salon. I just wanted to say you have been on my mind since I heard and I've been praying for you and your family ever since. I will continue to pray for you, your sweet little girl, and your new baby.

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  42. Bonnie,

    We have only met in passing. I worked with Thomas both at KMS and again this year at Har-Ber. I feel terrible that I only had the chance to talk to Thomas a handful of times this semester. I wish I could go back and listen to his stories about you and Caroline all over again. He truly loved you more than anything on this earth. He was a joy to work with and an inspiration he was to all who knew him.

    Everyone I have spoken to had no doubt that Thomas was wearing his seatbelt. Even when the news reported otherwise. (40/29 corrected their broadcast as well)

    This tragedy has caused me to take pause and rethink what is important as I am sure it has with countless others.

    I am in awe of your strength and faith. Please know that my prayers are with you and Caroline and your sweet child we've yet to meet.

    in prayer,
    Tonya Truitt

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  43. Bonnie I met you during your visit to Big D. Just want you to know I'm praying for you and your sweet babies.

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  44. Bonnie,

    I'm not sure if you know me, but I'm a pledge sister of Tara's. I've been reading your blog for a while now and was so terribly sorry to hear of your loss. Your Caroline is the same age as my son and I can't imagine what you are going through right now. Your strength has been an inspiration to me and I can tell countless others. You are a wonderful mother and Caroline and your new baby are so lucky to have someone like you to keep their father's memory fresh on their minds. You are in many prayers here in Little Rock.

    Martha Jackson Poe

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  45. Bonnie, this is Leslie (Horn) Poe. Just heard the news and read your update and want to join everyone else in letting you knows that our prayers are with you in the months and years to come. May the joy and peace of the Lord strengthen you and sustain you!

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  46. Bonnie...words are never enough, but know that you, Caroline, and your new little one are in our thoughts and prayers! Your faith is an awesome thing to witness and I know you and Thomas have been an inspiration to many!

    Love,
    Heather K.

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  47. Bonnie, I pray for you and your family often, even in the middle of the night and every time I think about you. I know we do not know each other but your faith is an encouragement to me!

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  48. Bonnie -
    This is Heather Wright (now Dillard). We had some elementary education classes together in college. I heard about the horrible news about your husband through Mitzi Hardy who also was an Elem Ed major - I have been thinking about you and your family ever since and then today I was checking Tara Strain's blog and saw that she had a post dedicated to you and your husband. Her post led me to your blog. I couldn't get through your post without having to stop and shed tears. I can't even begin to imagine what you are thinking and feeling now and in the months and years to come - and with being pregnant. Wow! From what little I have read about you, it sounds like God will definitely use your story as a testimony to many others. I admire that you were able to write that HE is still good b/c I know there will be many of nights where you may question this - and that's okay. He knows your pain and your loss, your anger and your questions. Allow others to love on you now and in the months to come. Hang in there!!

    love to you and Caroline,
    Heather

    thedillards123@hotmail.com

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  49. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. If you need anything please don't hesitate to call or email. We would love to help in any way we can if possible.

    I wanted to let you know that one of my best friends, Kristy Williams lost her husband Brent, September 2007. He died suddenly from a heart attack (He was 40 yrs. old). She said if you ever need someone to talk to she would be more than willing to talk with you. She is 30 and a teacher in Greenwood.

    I just wanted to share a little story with you about Thomas. Thomas and I had Physics Lab together at the U of A. Physics was not my favorite subject and I really had to work at it. With his help in class, I made a "B". I always appreciated his kindness and helpfulness!

    Jeff and I will continue to pray for you, Caroline, new baby, your family, and your friends.

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  50. It was good seeing you today. I just wanted to tell you again that I am still praying hard.

    I love all of these pictures of Caroline! This blog dedicated to her is such a good idea. You are a wonderful mom!

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  51. Hi Bonnie, I do not know you personally, but have heard of you and your family through several friends (Lael Lynch, Amy Adams, Ashley Yancey, and I'm sure we have more mutual friends as well). I wanted to let you know that I am praying for you, as is my Sunday School class at FBC Fayetteville and the families at Providence Academy, where I taught this year. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers so much over this past week, and I will continue to lift you up. It is truly amazing that you are able to remain so grounded in your faith and that you can be thankful and take comfort knowing that Thomas is with Jesus. I have been reminded this week of the verse Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." I especially love the wording used in The Message translation (Romans 8:26-28) "Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." It brought tears to my eyes to read those words. I know the Lord is holding you, Caroline, and your new baby in His strong and loving hands. Sincerely, Jenny

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  52. I love you Bonnie,we are all thinking about you all of the time. Stay Stong. We love you.

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  53. So so so sorry for you loss.

    Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

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  54. Bonnie,
    I found you through Angie Smith ("Bring the Rain"). Words cannot express what I feel for you. I will pray for you and know that our heavenly Father will wrap His arms around you and fill your heart with the peace that only He brings.
    Thank you for the reminder to savor every moment. My husband & I just had a stupid argument and he went to bed and I came to the computer. Because of you, I will go wrap my arms around him and tell him I am sorry. Thomas will not be forgotten - he is STILL making differences in people's lives.
    GOD BLESS YOU!
    Amy
    Spring Hill, TN

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  55. Bonnie, I am new to your blog. I just hate that I just found you on here, but please know that you and your family and friends are in my prayers! I am so, so sorry that this happened, but am pleased to know that he is with God!! It's so nice to see that you are so grounded in your faith!!!

    I will keep "checking in" on here and continue to keep yall in my prayers!

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  56. Bonnie,
    I only worked with you for a short time, but you made a great impact on my life. Your sweetness and happy disposition are contagious. I will never forget how in love you and Thomas were (even way back then). David and I have been praying for you continuously and will keep doing so!

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  57. I just learned of the loss of your husband from Angie's blog/Twitter and wanted to let you know I'm praying for you.

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  58. Bonnie,

    Let me begin by telling you how sorry my heart feels for you and Caroline. You don't know me and I am not sure how exactly I came upon your blog, a few clicks on a friends and here I was. But to say the least I feel it was God appointed. I read your story of how Thomas went to heaven. I want you to know that your and my God is big enough to take care of you Caroline and new baby. The prayers of His people are huge and even though I have never met you I will be praying for you and the kids. I can relate to your situation with all too much familiarity. My husband went to heaven due to a work accident when I was pregnant for our 4th child. Ezra was brought into the world with not just a mommy but a daddy too. His daddy was in heaven but nevertheless His Daddy! I know you can bring this child into the world too, it will feel wrong, but let God through His people comfort you. I know you don't know me at all, nor I you but if you ever want to connect here's my email cornercastle@centurytel.net. Blessings Sandi

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  59. Found your blog through a friend of mine. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what this is like for you, Caroline, and your unborn child. I wish you peace, faith, strength, and comfort. Sending you hugs from all the way across the blogosphere.

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  60. You do not know me. But my sister in law, Ashley K. knows you and asked our family to pray for you. I just wanted you to know that we are praying for you and your precious babies. We have passed this request prayer along to all of the prayers warriors we know. May God grant you abundant peace and comfort right now.
    much love in Christ,
    Jenny

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  61. I heard about your husband through the blog "Bring the Rain" and it touched close to my heart. I lost my sister-in-law 12/20/08 in a car accident and the devastation was consuming; however, I can't even imagine the magnitude of a loss like yours. The news also reported falsely on my sister-in-laws death, saying she was drinking, when she was not. I know how upsetting and frustrating that is, and I hate that that happened to you. I am so very sorry for your loss. My family and I are praying for you, your precious baby girl, your unborn baby, and your entire family.

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  62. Dearest Bonnie, I have been led to your blog through Angie Smith. I am so very sorry for your loss. I know there isn't anything anyone can say to make this better but please know we are lifting you up in prayer. We serve the same awesome and mighty God. I imagine Thomas is bowing and the feet of Jesus right now overjoyed. Hang in there!

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  63. I am SO sorry. I am praying for you and your daughter and little peanut. May God fill you with the Presence and Love and Peace in the days, weeks and months to come.

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  64. Bonnie,
    I met you only once, on the night we all took our girls to see the lights on the Fayetteville square, and our husbands introduced us at the entrance of the line to see Santa. (My husband Greg also teaches at Har-Ber). I know Greg has expressed to you how much he thought of your husband. However, I just wanted to let you know that we have been praying constantly for you and your precious family! I have asked God to give you strength and wisdom, and to help you find joy through the sadness in your children, in the beautiful world, and the the great plans He has for His children. I can't begin to imagine what you're going through, but as a wife of a football coach, I sometimes get short little glimpses of how difficult it might be to be a single mother (but my husband still comes home late at night). I will keep praying for you, and would be so happy to help out if there is anything we can do.
    Robin Simpson

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  65. Bonnie,

    I was referred to your blog by a Twitter update on Angie Smith's blog (Bring the Rain) several days ago. I was wanted to write you tell you how overwhelmingly sorry I am for the loss that you are and your precious daughter Caroline are faced with. It is my prayer for you that you would be completely overwhelmed by God's peace and presence and that you would feel the prayers that are being lifted up for you daily.

    In His Love,
    Sarah Walker

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  66. I came over via Jan & Tom's. I AM SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS! There's just not words! I hope you don't mind if I ask people to continue to pray for you over at my blog.

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  67. I came over from another blog, and just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss, reading your story just broke my heart.

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  68. I just read about your beautiful family and want you to know my prayers are with you, your sweet little Caroline and your unborn miracle.
    I am truly and deeply sorry at the sudden passing of your husband.
    Bless your beautiful heart! I am so glad you heeded the prompting to write him your note.
    I am also so glad you can still say God is good, because He is! It will be through Him you can gain peace and comfort to make it through the difficult days ahead. May you feel of His love for you and the Love of your seetheart always.

    Love a friend who just met you and cares deeply!

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  69. Oh my goodness,

    You poor woman. You have my sympathies from the very depths of my heart. What a beautiful family you have. What a precious spirit you hold. I can tell that though you are struggling, you have full faith in the Lord and are trying so earnestly to bear this with grace. Please KNOW that you ARE prayed for and thought of. I don’t know you or your family, but I WILL be keeping you in my heart. Your husband was and is a wonderful man; I can tell. In Jesus name, I say this. Amen.

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  70. Hey Bonnie, Your note to the church Sunday again moved me to tears: that you give God glory for the strength you have.This whole time I have been so moved by your close friends and family that stepped up and did what many adults could not do. (It is hard to remember that any of you "students" are old enough to be parents.)So many people here in this comment section truly testify to God's awesomeness. You are loved. Caroline is loved. Baby Two is loved. Our prayers are continuously lifted up for you. Love, Denise

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  71. A friend just told me about your blog and as a mother and wife, I am crying for you. I will be lifting you, beautiful Caroline, and your baby on the way.

    God bless you and give you strength and joy each day.

    Love,
    Beth

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  72. I stumbled across your blog this morning and even though I do not know you personally, I wanted to tell you how deeply sorry I am for your loss. The first thought I had when I saw this picture of the three of you was what a beautiful family. Then as I began reading the post, I honestly was praying that it was not actually your husband you were writing about. He was such a handsome man and from your own words, I know he was a good man. I cannot imagine the pain and grief you are feeling. It is so tragic that such a young man with a young wife, daughter and new baby on the way would be taken. My thoughts and prayers will remain with you and all of your family.

    Colleen

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  73. Just found your blog today. SO very sorry for your loss! I will definitely be praying for you and your babies.

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  74. I just found you and your precious blog. My heart is breaking. I want to come to your house and hug you... and help you.
    I would love to talk to you if you ever want to email me...
    tsblackiston@comcast.net

    You and your daughter are beautiful. What a gift this new little one is too!

    I am so sorry. I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around what every day is like for you.

    We are Prisoners of Hope in Christ.
    He never lets us go. We cannot escape the hope He gives.

    Love from TN
    Stephanie

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  75. Bonnie,

    I'm so sorry it has taken me so long to write this...I was at your husbands funeral with my daughter and another teen from our church and was able to write the web address down and have been through the pictures on here many times, but have been praying about what to say. God's timing is always better than mine!

    I cannot begin to tell you how much your husband meant to my daughter. She had him for biology last year and he quickly became her favorite teacher. She was always coming home with stories about things that went on in his class. She tried to make it a point to stop by and see him every day this year and has been avoiding the hall his classroom is in...especially since they took his name plaquard down and his things out of the room.

    I know you have heard so many names that you probably won't know hers, but her name is Loralyn Sholley, and this year she started going by the nickname her dad and I called her when she was little, Lola.

    Just before school started this year she decided to make a drastic change to her "look" and get her hair cut short, (it's always been longish and beautiful honey colored blonde) and color some of it PURPLE!! (Keep telling myself it's only hair, it will grow out...) Anyway, one of the first days of school she was in her chemistry class when your husband came in to talk to the teacher for a minute and she yells out, "Hello Mr. Culp!!" She said he looked up from what they were doing and said to her "Loralyn!! I see you got your hair cut...and nothing else has changed!!" and walks out of the room. She still laughs recalling that story. That is why she loved him so much, because he allowed them to be themselves, and made learning fun. Also, if you heard a story about a student telling him about her older brother playing a prank on his biology teacher at Springdale high when they disected a starfish, that would be my daughter talking about my step son...she isn't shy, she told him that story the night of sophmore orientation!!

    Again I apologize, I have had a card I wanted to send you for weeks now. I have a friend who goes to church with you, (Joey Lockard) and was going to have her deliver it for me, but it's been so long I decided to do this instead. I have been praying for you and your family to have peace and safety and that you would feel our Fathers loving arms around you comforting you through this time, and will continue to do so. I have a story I can share with you if you are interested about my strong, healthy 15 yr old son another time and how the enemy tried his best to steal him from us several times during my pregnancy, but God has other plans for him! I will close now by telling you that if you need anything or just want to talk you can e-mail me and I will give you my phone number there, or you can get it from Joey at church, she is Rielly's mom, she said you used to teach his sunday school class?

    Prayers and Blessings,
    Kim Butler
    Zeph. 3:14-17

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  76. Please know that I am still praying for you and your children and pray that the Lord will let you feel peace and love.

    Blessings to you, dear sister.

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  77. Praying for you and your family!!

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  78. You do not know me, but I know without a doubt that the Lord had me find your blog so that I can keep you in my prayers. I love the name Caroline (I was thinking about baby names) and typed it in on google and found your blog. God has given me the gift of intercessory prayer and I will be praying for you everyday. I cannot even imagine what you are going through. I broke down and sobbed for you. The Lord is a loving God and one day you will see your husband again. Indeed your husband is with our Father and rejoicing with Him. What a glorious thought! I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. You, Caroline and baby are in my prayers continually.

    God bless,
    Laura Steen Los Angeles, CA

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  79. Wow, this is so much to digest! I can only imagine, or not even, rather, imagine how you must feel by now. I am so sorry that things in life are not always easy! I have lost my mom, dad, and a baby niece all by the age of 31. It can be absolutely depressing and awful some of the time, but most of the time, I find strength and courage to make it through each day, as I imagine you do too. I pray that things are going smoothly for you, as you near the end of your pregnancy. Peace and comfort be with you!

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  80. I know you do not know me, but I saw your pictures from Raye Law photog today.( i know rachel law from church long ago)..anyway, I recognized the name thomas culp and checked out your blog. I then realized I went to grade school with your husband!! After reading your blog today, the tears have not stopped. i just wanted you to know I am praying for you and your children (who are beautiful by the way) and you are such a strong person to share all that is on your heart. God's love truly shows through you! his blessings.

    Laura Derden (Lowrey)
    Conway, AR

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  81. I happened upon your blog after seeing your sons pictures on Raye Laws blog. I wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts. What a precious gift you have been given. My heart aches for what you and your children are going through. I lost my husband 8yrs ago when my son was just 26mos old,he was taken during a vehicle accident as well. I know my son kept me going everyday as I'm sure yours do as well. Just know I'm thinking of you and wishing you and your children all the best in the world,

    Terra

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