Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Next to Father's Day, this day is one of the hardest to take in. It would have been 5 years this Friday. Even as I write that, it is shocking to me-the "would have been" part. When will this disbelief go away? I have a CD ( of all of our pictures from this day, but I just don't have it in me to look at them right now. This is so surreal.
We were married at Center Street Church of Christ on July 31, 2004. We were taken by horse drawn carriage to our reception at the Inn at Carnall Hall on the UofA campus. We left for Jamaica the next morning. It was all beautiful and perfect.
We didn't have reserved seats on our flight to Jamaica and so we rushed to the counter before the flight and Thomas told the airline employee that if there was only one seat available then he wanted me to have it. The lady was so impressed she bumped us both up to first class.
I can't seem to find the right words to write today, but I just knew I wanted those who follow us to know about this important day coming up and to have a few extra prayers said.
I know my last post talked about how down I have felt lately. I can say that I have felt a smidgen better for a couple of days, but it is like the dark cloud will not lift. I am finding it hard to remember things and keep up with friends (please don't think I have forgotten all of you out there! I just feel overwhelmed and treading water to save my life. Hopefully soon I can be a better friend to everybody.)
I finished this book that Tara N. told me about. It is now at the tip top of my list for people who are grieving or for people who want to understand a little better about what their loved ones are feeling after a loss. A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser.
He lost his mother, wife and 4 year old daughter in a car accident. He is raising his remaining three children. He includes a quote from a Puritan "Now life will be a little less sweet, death a little less bitter." I have already found this to be so immeasurably true. He also has a chapter titled, "Why not me?" He says, "Can I expect to live an entire lifetime free of disappointment and suffering? Free of loss and pain? The very expectation strikes me as not only unrealistic but also arrogant..." He goes on to talk about how life isn't fair, and thank goodness it's not. What if we all really got what we deserved? I don't think I would be as blessed as I am with the years I had with Thomas and the two children that are the lights of my life. We are so flawed as humans that I also believe with Mr. Sittser that it is a good thing that we don't get what we deserve. "A world with grace will give us more than we deserve. It will give us life, even in our suffering."
  • Updates:
My doctor told me I have begun to dialate-that makes me breathe a little faster in an anxious, anticipating way.
I have so much on my list of 'things to do' that I just don't have the motivation or energy to do them. Pray I can "get after" those things ASAP!! I really dread packing my bag for the hospital-for some reason it seems like such a lonely, strange thing to be doing...and it should be an exciting, joyous thing.
Several people are asking about how Caroline is doing. She is absolutely wonderful. In every sense of the word. We still pray about Daddy every night and talk about how much we miss him, she says, "I miss him so much." She seems to understand in her 2 and a 1/2 year old way that he is in Heaven and that we will get to see him again. But, Sunday on our way to church I (like every week) prepared her for her Sunday school class by saying that she will see her friends and mommy will go to her class and then I will come pick her up. So she was repeating it to me and says, "Caroline in her class, mommy in her class and daddy will pick me up!" (He used to be the one to pick her up from class because I would talk too long to others afterward.) I am usually prepared for the things she says about daddy, but this tore my heart out. I wasn't the same for the rest of the day. I just told her, Oh yes how I wish daddy could come pick you up, but do you remember where he is today? and she said, "Heaven!" and then "I miss him very much."
That's how I feel, too, Caroline. Woo-hoo, for Heaven, but, wow, how I miss him very much.


  1. Oh, Bonnie. I just sit here and cry. My heart hurts for you so much. I thought your anniversary was coming up (based on years past posts). What a beautiful bride and happy couple you were. I want so much to understand but I just don't. I cannot tell you the number of times I have called out to heaven, to God, and asked, "Why?" But like your book says, do I really do that on why we are blessed with what we don't deserve? (No matter how "good" we are) I wish I had answers. Even more, I wish I could take this pain from you. You are so precious and it pains me to see you hurting. I will be praying for you Friday (well, MORE Friday than usual) and will pray that the clouds over you will lift. I wish I knew more how to help. :(

  2. Bonnie, I have come to your blog from Tara's, and then a friend of a friend (type thing). Good luck with your baby!! I am currently 21 1/2 weeks preggo with baby #3, so I understand the anticipation.

    You and Tara have been such an inspiration to me. I only hope that if something like what happened to you two, happens to me (my husband is a firefighter/paramedic) that I can cope with as much grace and strength like you both have been given by our Father.

    Thank you for blessing my life, along with soooo many others.

  3. We share the same anniversary.... same year too :-) I will be praying for you especially this weekend

  4. Thank you.
    I never thought of life's fairness in that way. Praise Jesus it isn't fair.
    Last night I sobbed into my husbands arms in the car as he told me he has been called away with the Navy for 18 of the next 24 months. All I kept saying was how "unfair"
    Thank you. Life isn't fair, and I would hate to see the pits my life would be in if it was fair and Jesus kept count and gave me what I truly deserved.

    Praying for a blessed day for you and babies :).

  5. Dear Bonnie - We are thinking of you today and keeping you in our prayers...especially on this day. We love you! Ann and Charlie

  6. I'm praying for you and Caroline, Bonnie. Thank you for letting us walk with you & pray for you through this journey. I can't believe you're almost 36 weeks pregnant already!

  7. praying for you today and this week and all the time but espcially now. Thank you for sharing with us so we know how ahrd this week is for you. I pray you feel Christ holding you in his safe and peaceful arms...

  8. Bonnie, I don't know you, but I am a friend of Reba's. I read your post and want you to know that I am praying for you. I can't say that I know how you feel, but I am hoping that my prayers are carrying some of the pain for you in a way that only God can do. I will continue to pray for you and Caroline and the sweet baby on the way as you find your way into your new normal.

  9. Hey Bonnie, this is Malory, Tara N.'s sister. I just wanted you to know that I have been praying for you since you and my sister connected and I will continue to do so. Hopefully I will get to come down to Arkansas with Tara at thanksgiving and then I could maybe meet you too! God Bless you and your children

  10. I love you my friend.... so so much.

  11. Tears are streaming down my face as I read this last section of your post. I love how honest and raw you are.

    Happy early anniversary. I will be praying for you as you go through this memorable time in your life. Praise God that you know your husband is in Heaven, and while you wait to see him again, I pray that you will find peace and comfort in the people God has placed in your life here on Earth.

  12. I'm so sorry Bonnie. You are always in my prayers, and especially now since your anniversary is coming up. May God be with you.

  13. I've been reading your blog for a little while, but have never commented.

    My heart hurts for you so much. I'm praying for you.

  14. Precious Bonnie,
    What a pleasure to was to meet you at Megan's shower on Saturday. You are as awesome as she had described to me. My heart just breaks for the pain in your life right now. I will definately be praying these next few weeks for you for God to draw you especially close and hold you tight as your wedding anniverary approaches and also the preparations for the birth of baby Thomas.
    Love in Christ,

  15. I will pray that God continues to hold you and your daughter in His strong and mighty arms - comforting you and giving you strength. May you feel His presence and His peace especially this week.

  16. sending extra prayers your way. let me know if I can check some of those things off your list. I would love to and I'm only a few minutes away.

  17. Bonnie,
    You're so beautiful in those pictures! (As you are in real life, but I just enjoyed the pictures.)
    I'll be praying for you--for the anniversary, for the baby, for your life.
    I love you!

  18. Bonnie,

    I wish there was something I could do or say that would help ease your heartache. Know that we are praying for you. I am always reminded of you. If I start to worry or get angry over something that is really just trivial, I remember to thank God for the day He has given me and not to "sweat the small stuff". You are such a strong person and I am always in awe at the words that you write. I know that I am blessed from knowing you. Your example as a Christian, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, etc. has had a profound impact on me and I wanted to thank you for that.

    Many prayers,

    Roxy Smith

  19. Bonnie, We love you and continue to pray for you, Caroline and Baby T. God loves you most of all! He'll get you through. Love, Denise

  20. Bonnie, I felt silly posting a comment since, like so many, "I don't know you." But I see so many lovely comments from others unknown that I just had to write how I'll be thinking of you and sending love and peace your way tomorrow and over the coming weeks (from Indiana!) I'm honestly not sure how I got on your blog- I THINK it was via the Bevins via Angie's "Bring the Rain," (which I got on via a college friend's wife's blog- love the Internet!), or maybe it was just Angie, but regardless, I have been reading for a couple months and am continually amazed by your strength and what a fantastic mom you are! Your words are full of that strength and your children will carry that strength with them. Keep writing- we'll be reading! - Becky (at

  21. Bonnie...My heart breaks all over again for you as I read this. As always, I am praying for you, my special friend!


  22. *hugs* I'm sorry you are going through such a tough time. I'm praying for you. (Found you through my friend Melody).

  23. Sending 'arrow' prayers throughout the day for you today.
    Brenda Elmore

  24. Thank you for your honesty. I always learn so much from you. I am praying for you.

  25. Bonnie, I'm so sorry for all the sadness on this special day. What beautiful pictures of your wedding day! Such joy shines in both of your faces. Like many others on your site, I don't know you, but I pray for you so often. I pray that as the day draws near for the birth of your son that you will feel the Lord's sweet presence in a profound way.


  26. Oh, I'm so sorry. I am praying for you today...

  27. Your story is truly an inspiration. Thank you for your honesty and transparency...I have been following you for a little while and just want to thank you for allowing so many of us to follow along in your journey.

    I gave you an award on my blog for how inspirational and how real you are =)

  28. Praying for you and your family. Breaks our hearts but he left you a "little present" that will be here soon to grace your lives with much happiness :o)

  29. Bonnie-I know this is random, but I remember looking at your wedding photographs because Laura Williams brought your album over to Kelly for me to see (and get ideas) when Evan and I were planning our wedding. Did you have sparklers? I stole that. And did you write little blurbs about all your attendants? Yeah, I stole that, too! :) I remember thinking how beautiful all the photos were.

    It's funny how we hang on to little things like pictures, videos...whatever. I have all these "sacred" things from my mom (video clips from Kendall's birth, my baby book, special cards...) that I don't look at very often because I'm so afraid I'm going to "use it up" if that makes any sense. I'm so afraid if I look at these things too often, that they will become less special to me, if that makes any sense at all. I guess it's because it's really all we have left. Those "things" and our memory.

    Praying for you.

  30. Dear Bonnie,
    You and Caroline are in my prayers. Sending you a hug for your tough days.
    Bless you. Sharon

  31. Bonnie,

    I have read your blog and checked up on how you're doing for months but have never left a comment. My husband and I lost our first born son, Isaac, last October 7th, just 16 minutes after he was born. Like you, I also just finished A Grace Disguised and thought it was so wonderful in helping me process my grief.

    Praying for you during this difficult time, both remembering your anniversary and anticipating the birth of your baby.

    - Stacy

  32. Mrs. Culp,
    My name is Karlie Ryan and I just graduated from Har-Ber this year. My mother and I read your blog to keep up with how you and Caroline are doing. We've been praying for you and your family everyday.

    My heart has been telling me that I can help you in small ways. I'm crazy about children and have been babysitting most of my teenage years. Mrs. Hendrycy was one of my teachers this year if you would like to find out more about me. If you would like, I would love to come help you, even if that would be watching Caroline and playing with her while you nap, or recouping after the baby is born. I am not looking for compensation, I want to do this from my heart and give back to Mr. Culp.

    Please feel free to reach out to me anytime.


  33. Dear Bonnie,
    I do not know you personally but read your blog. I am so very sorry to hear your anniversary is coming up. I cannot imagine the pain and sadness you must feel. I pray God gives you the strength and peace you need.
    Bless you.


  34. Bonnie, I cry every time I read your posts and I really really admire you for pushing through each day. You truly are touching so many lives through your blog, I believe God knew you would be able to do this and show others how to work through this grief and change. I know the pain is often unbearable-- and I also know that you are touching SO many lives by laying it all out there, your true emotions. Many others will come to know God and learn to rely on Him as you have, i really believe that.

  35. Bonnie, I know this may sound odd. But, I want to wish you a happy anniversary. What I mean is that I hope you can find a small part of you that can celebrate the years you and Thomas had together. I also hope that as time goes by, your heart will find it easier to remember the good and the joy more than it remembers the sorrow. These are my wishes for you.

  36. I'll definitely be praying for you!