Newsletter of the Atlanta Area Chapters

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1 Newsletter of the Atlanta Area Chapters March - April 2001 "The mission of The Compassionate Friends is to assist families in the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child and to provide information to help others be supportive." VoiceLink Atlanta Area From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran Atlanta Area Chapters Web Site Webmaster, Wayne Newton Newsletter Editor, Jayne Newton P.O. Box 656 Tucker, Georgia Georgia Regional Coordinator Kathy Malone National Headquarters P.O. Box 3696 OakBrook, Il Phone (630) Fax: (630) National TCF Web Site "And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children. And he said: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable." ~submitted by Susan Larson, Atlanta TCF

2 WHERE ARE YOU? Infant Loss I missed you yesterday and looked for you among the artifacts of your life - your room with pictures, the clothes that still carried your scent, your favorite tools and books, the tapes you loved to hear. The very walls echoed your vitality and carried faint memories of riotous laughter. And so I sat there, comforted for a while, but forced at last to confess that although beautiful memories lingered you were not there, not then and not ever again. If I could not find you yesterday, where, then, can I look today? Who can I talk to, implore, beg to show me the way? Where are the hidden doorways to the signs and wonders others claim to see? My musings bring no answers so I take a walk to clear my mind. Ahead, I see children playing, and their laughter floating on the wind reminds me of your own carefree approach to life. Their running mirrors your own abandon and the way you always found joy in simple things. Can this be the answer to the riddle of finding you again? Can it be that I will hear you in every moment of laughter? That I will see you in the actions of a mischievous friend, that I will feel you in every touch of compassion? I've always heard that if you seek, you will find. Perhaps the corollary to that is that you must seek in the right places. I've been looking in the scrapbook of all that used to be and found only momentary solace. So let me look for you anew in all the wonders and blessings of life I believe you are reflected there with every expression of happiness and joy, in every instance of fearless exploration and with every act of unconditional love. In loving memory of Lance Porter Hopkins July 20, November 30, 1999 Harold Hopkins,TCF Lawrenceville, GA January, 2001 I would like to talk with you about infant loss in memory of my daughter, Mary Elizabeth Karg. Mary was born on Sept. 3, 1998 and lived for 36 hours. While still in the womb, she was diagnosed with a fatal birth defect, called anencephaly. Anencephaly is a condition in which the brain does not form completely. For those of us who have lost an infant, we are left to wonder what might have been. We are reminded that we will never see that first tooth, see that first step, hear our baby's first word or see our child attend kindergarten for the first time. I find comfort in writing letters to Mary Elizabeth. As I write, the tears always come and they are somehow healing to my heart. In the letters, I share with her the hopes and dreams that never had the chance to come true. I started going to a parent grief support group in Conyers even before Mary Elizabeth was born. Knowing that my baby would die, I needed a group of people who would somehow understand how I felt and I found what I needed there. I am very thankful for the friends that I have there who understand better than anyone else. Thank you for letting me share my daughter with you, and may all of our children's lights shine forever. Patricia Karg, Conyers, GA (Patricia shared her story of Infant Loss at the Centennial Park Candlelighting) Those we love remain with us, for love itself lives on, And cherished memories never fade because a loved one's gone... Those we love can never be more than a thought apart, For as long as there is memory, they'll live on in the heart. In Memory of Melvin Shannon 2/23/56-6/30/00

3 My Hope Chest By Barbara Parson, TCF Atlanta On November 24, 1991, I became a bereaved parent when my 15 year old son, Robert, died by suicide. We had run out of time for prevention and/or intervention. It was now time to begin grieving. Death by suicide (because it is normally seen as a choice thus the stigma attached to it) typically elicits a more significant amount of anger and guilt. This added dimension often takes longer to work through and the "what if" questions are relentless with no answers. I HOPE to give you some insight into the things that helped me and gave me the courage to grieve and gave me Hope for the future. These are things that I put in what I now call my HOPE CHEST. Hope comes to us in many ways, people, places, things, in looking back and in looking forward. Many of our hopes come to us before we even know what they are and how significant they will be down the road. Hope is in support groups like Survivors of Suicide and TCF. I learned the language of a bereaved parent and received encouragement, unconditional acceptance, and hope. I learned to work toward changing my anger to forgiveness and my guilt to regret. Two of the hardest hurdles were forgiveness of self that came with the "why" questions and letting go of the guilt, real and imagined. How could my strong, yet sensitive child with a belly laugh that is still music to my ears, make this choice? Leaving these behind brought hope. Hope is passing on knowledge that you have gained thru your journey and/or circumstances or using it for change. Hope is in time...we need time to heal and that time frame is different for each of us. Hope is in the grieving process, you heard that right. Grief opens us up and bares all...showing us our strengths and weaknesses. We foster hope within ourselves when we use our strength to bolster our weaknesses and vulnerable areas, gaining confidence with each step. Hope is in the memories we have of our children. Hope is in Heaven, knowing that we will one day be reunited with them. The candles we light tonight in memory of our children are to celebrate their lives, to show them, the community, and the world how much we love them and miss them. The candles also represent hope for us, they reflect our courage to stand here tonight, even tho wounded, to show we have taken up the challenge to grieve with as much courage and grace as possible and make our children proud of us. The Butterfly You flit about without a care Searching for food on morning s air. Pure icon for a soul set free Of life, of love and liberty. Your wings abound with colours true Of orange, brown, red, green and blue. Like noble s shields in days gone past, Displayed the patterns that were cast In perpetuity to see; Now all the world doth envy thee! Yes, seasons come and seasons go But I remain, and even though My child has left this life of pain To be reborn on high again, Your life is short lived too, it seems Like visions of a shattered dream. So Papillon, can you not see Why you re so special now to me? Of all God s creatures great and small, You are, no doubt, the best of all. My garden is your second home Free spirit fly, where I may roam To watch your path on silken wings; My thoughts then turn to other things. And so with coloured form and grace The pride of Lepidoptera s race, Is thus now set to symbolise The changed form up above the skies. Now I must wait and watch for thee And long for some serenity. John Bartlett TCF Queensland. Australia

4 SEEKING My heart remembers with gladness How, when you were small, You reached out as I held you, Placed your hand upon my face And smiled. I envision you now Resting in the arms of God, Reaching out to place Your hand upon His face And smiling in peace. Possessed by this vision, I feel your presence Moving softly in my mind, Floating somewhere beyond the field Of knowing, and I wonder..... Is that you moving on the wind, Soaring with the hawks? Can you be the gentle ray of light Painting the ethereal sky And gilding the falling leaf? It does not seem possible That all the world's not lonely, Or that life continues in such eternal sameness Without everyone stopping to seek and wonder And long for you. As for me, I'll always be listening And watching for you In the uncounted sounds and sights of life, And bless your memory at the briefest glimpse Or slightest call of love to love. In loving memory of Lance Porter Hopkins July 20, November 30, 1999 Harold Hopkins, Lawrenceville TCF December 1999 Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be. ~submitted by Judy Blumsack, TCF Sandy Springs Lest We Forget The Oklahoma City Bombing April 19, Souls Beauty From Ashes In Memory of the Victims of the Oklahoma City Bombing Surely the gates of Heaven, Were crowded on that day; Filled with the voices and faces, Of lives suddenly taken away. In a flickering, fleeting moment, In the twinkling of an eye. Because of the actions of evil men, So many lost their lives. The Father's heart cried with compassion, As He welcomed each one of them home. For He felt the sorrow of those left behind, And the scars so deep in their souls. The heart of a nation was broken, The tragedy felt in each home; That the absolute wanton destruction, Would be caused by some of our own. The all complete devastation, As if smashed by some giant hand; Was the end result of hatred, Born in the hearts of those men. A sadness beyond comprehension, Is felt in America's heart; A nation that wept together in grief, Must now let the healing start. We must take the pain and the anger, Against this terrible sin; Allow God to raise beauty from ashes, To help the healing begin. While the loss here on earth is so painful, We know Heaven is richer today; For it's filled with the laughter of children, And the faces of those gone away. Oklahoma, stand together, All America, come and join in; United by sorrow shared in our souls, We will let the healing begin. Allison Chambers Coxsey c1995

5 Book Review Good Grief: Healing Through the Shadow of Loss by Deborah Morris Coryell ~by Meg Avery, TCF Lawrenceville, GA I bought this book a couple weeks ago and finally picked it up a few nights ago, and randomly opened it to this page. These paragraphs really said a lot to me and made me think a lot about the comments some unthinking people tell us bereaved parents about how we have to put our grief behind us and move on. Like we're supposed to forget about our child and carry on as though everything is fine, yeah, right... Let them be in our shoes and try moving on. Like Jayne wrote, we are moving on. We have changed, grown, reached out, been through hell and back and it has changed our lives, unlike some people who are still rooted in the same spot they were in 4 years ago, but they can tell us to move on. This chapter was about "losing" and what that term means. It is from the book "Good Grief - Healing Through the Shadow of Loss" by Deborah Morris Coryell. "Healing our grief means continuing to love in the face of loss. The face of loss - what we see - is that someone or something is gone. The heart of loss teaches us that nothing - no thing - we have ever known can be lost. What we have known we have taken into ourselves in such a way that it has become part of the very fabric of our being. It is part of who we are and as long as we are alive we have the capacity to continue to love even that which is no longer a part of our daily reality. This means that we will need to "change our minds" about many notions that we have had about loss: that what we can no longer "see" is gone. That what we can no longer touch doesn't continue to live. That if there is no response, the relationship is over. Close your eyes and see that which you can no longer touch; that which is gone from your presence. Reach inside of you to the feeling of touching, hearing, smelling, being with your experience of what you believed was lost. Remember. We are haunted by societal fears that we should not continue to stay connected with what is gone, what is past, what has been lost. There is a pitfall here, a caveat, symbolized by Dickens Miss Havisham: be wary of that part of us that might want to live in the past. The challenge is to bring the past along with us in such a way that we haven't lost anything. We don't ignore the challenge because of the pitfall. Truth to tell, we could not forget our past if we wanted to. What we choose to leave in the past, we can. What we choose to continue loving, we can. We are being asked to give new form to what was contained in an earlier relationship. Our grief becomes the container for what we feel we have lost and in the process of grieving we come into some new wholeness. We create a way to incorporate, literally to take into our bodies, that which has become formless. Like the caterpillar, we go into a cocoon to a safe place so that the old self can dissolve and a new self can be created. Like the art of losing, this metamorphosis is not automatic. It does not happen simply in the course of time. Rather, it is a self-conscious act. Grief can be a path to self-realization because in the process of grieving we acknowledge that which we chose not to lose. In the art of losing we can choose who we will be. We break, but we break open so that we can include more of life, more of love. We get bigger in order to carry with us what we choose to continue loving." The next chapter begins with this quote: "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." Difference between Sympathy and Compassion ~lasts' you understand that sympathy and compassion are different. According to Webster, sympathy is an expression of sorrow for another person's distress or loss. On the other hand, true compassion is a personal, active involvement that expresses God's merciful heart in words and deeds, for as long as is necessary. It never says "times up." Compassion keeps you from getting 'caught up' in your own needs and allows you to take care of the needs of those around you, those you love. ~Kim Keller, TCF Lawrenceville, GA

6 The Courage to Let Life Go On Courage is not the absence of fear and pain But the affirmation of life despite fear and pain. -Earl Grollman Life goes on.i have often heard this sentence, said perhaps to console me, or perhaps as a way to put an end to conversation about loss and death. Of course life goes on, no matter how shattered our lives are by the loss of someone we love so dearly. Life doesn t ask whether we want to go along. We want the world to stop turning because of our loss. Days turn into nights, again and again, and this is how we arrived at this day. Suddenly another month, another year has gone by, although we all probably asked ourselves how we would be able to go on living. It just happens. We do not die because of the pain. We keep on living and I still wonder how this can be. I do not want life to go on, but to stop it right here, or better yet, to turn back to the day when I lost my sister and baby niece. I do not want the changes life brings. Each change seems to increase the distance between the life I knew with them and the life I live today. I cannot ask my sister s opinion about the new things that happen. I cannot share then with her, tell her about them, laugh or cry with her about them, Changes make me aware that in fact life does go on, without her. My birthdays make me sad because they change the difference in sister was always four yours older than I was, and now we are down to three years. Sometimes I feel guilty that I live on. I smell, breathe, touch, feel. see and experience life, while my sister and her daughter were ripped away from it. My sister and I never talked about death or losing each other, but if we had, I am sure that we both would have said that we could not imagine life without one another. If it had been me, my sister would have been forced to do exactly the same; go on living despite the agony, just because there is no choice. Before I lost them, I trusted life to be good. I believed in fairness; if we are good, life will spare us tragedies and besides, these tragedies only happen to other people, those I do not know, those I read about in the papers, distant, easy to forget about. I lost this sense of security and trust in life. I now find that living takes courage. Life becomes meaningful through love and friendship, but loving someone is what makes us vulnerable. Daring to invite love into our lives means to increase our vulnerability to the threats that seem to be around every corner. Instead of asking why us? I often find myself asking why not us? Tragedy hits good and bad people for no reason. It seems the world is just random and unpredictable. Just because I am a good person and I already lost so much does not mean that I will be spared from more pain. Life goes on and because it does, with all the good and bad things that happen to us, it scares me to live and particularly. to love. What if more happens? The fear IS paralyzing. I pray to God, to my sister and my niece to protect us, although I know they don t have the power to prevent other bad things from happening. What then can I ask them for? Courage, I guess. Courage to let life go on, to give myself a chance that new and good things will happen to me that will add JOY to my life. Britta Nielsen TCF, Manhattan, NY ~lovingly lifted from No. Oklahoma City TCF Newsletter The Picture I always see the picture smiling back at me. I always see the picture with unending sympathy I always see the picture with Gods willing mercy I always see the picture as my grief I always see the picture playing a special part in my life I always see the picture as the only remaining song in life I always see the picture as the one memory to proceed I always see the picture as my little daredevil brother Dedicated to Ryan Duffner - by little angel brother ~by Erica Duffner, Lawrenceville GA On Earth: January 8, 1997 In Heaven: March 10, 1999

7 TCF Atlanta Online Sharing.. Sue Vaughn conducted an 18 hour vigil on the one year anniversary of her daughter's death, at the accident site with a sign asking "teens to please slow down and wear their seat belts". This is what she shared about her experience Hello Everyone, I'm just getting back. What an amazing day! God put this day in motion two days ago, and amazing is the only way to describe it. My heartfelt thanks for giving me the gift of their presence - Stacie - Tiffany's Mom; Robbie - Christopher and Taylor's Mom; Susan - Loren's Mom; Jerri - Tom's Mom; Patti - Stephanie's Mom; Leo and Barbara who lost their son in a car accident, and of course you, Jayne - Chad's Mom. You shared your presence and lent your support when I needed it most. Where would I be without my Friends? Your kindness will never be forgotten. This idea took on a life of its own - from the friends of Tiffany, to my new Friends, to the people who saw the TV news program and just stopped by to share their tears, to the off-duty police officer who happened on the scene just after it happened. He was so distraught by what he saw after he found her and held her that he doesn't come down that piece of the road, but tonight, he "just happened to come by". Compassionate Friends helped me "see the Light". I dreaded this day for the longest time, saying I just knew it was going to eat me alive. But it didn't. Instead, taking the suggestions I so often see on the sharing list, the negative was able to produce a positive. I honestly believe in my heart, that some young person made it home tonight to his or her Mom because of taking to heart one family's ordeal. I thank God for that! Patti with the beautiful red hair (any kin to Peppermint Patty?) had the most wonderful thought. What if, on a certain day, at a certain time, all the Moms stood at the site where their child lost their life either by car accident or homicide or other accident. If there were enough of us on the sides of the roads, on the way to malls, schools, church, etc., would it be enough for the teenagers to say to themselves, "I never want my Mom to have to do that." Would it be strong enough statement to make an impact? I think it would. God bless you all and I love you with all my heart. You are my "monkey's fist", (a knot at the end of a rope that they throw out to people who are drowning). Good night. Sue Vaughn, TCF Atlanta In Memory of Tiffany Vaughn Today I smiled, and caught myself humming along with a song, and laughing and planning an event to look forward to. Hey! wait a minute, this is almost normal...can it be? Am I truly " getting over you ",moving forward with my life? I sit and think this through...yes I can smile at times...but if you look close you will see a tear in the corner of my eye,...often what brings on the smile is a memory of you. Humming...hmmm...let me see, OH YES!..that is the song that reminds me so much of you...laughing and planning something?...surely this is a sign I am doing ok? But if you listen my laugh is hollow...and the looking forward to the event is just something I hang on to, to keep my mind from being filled with memories. No I am not "over you"...and know deep down inside...the person I am the person who will remain. You are with me every beat of my heart. I think to myself there is a moving forward going on all the time, and my heart and mind carry you with it. To forget you, to get over you? Yes there will come the day when others can say "Well at last she is over this" and then they can go home and go on with their lives, Because then I will be at home with you. ~Steves~ mom - Sheila Simmons, TCF Atlanta The Jan-Feb Newsletter on line is incredible! The writings and poems helped me to finally shed the tears that have been under the surface for a good 2 months... really deep sorrow that I had not yet allowed myself to grieve in 16 mos. Thank you, TCF from the bottom of my heart for all you do. How I wish I lived near Atlanta! I am in Boston and have never attended a Compassionate Friends meeting...but I would very much like to attend this year's Conference. Love Christine, Toby's Mom

8 News from the Chapters Schedule of National Events: July th Annual National TCF Conference Arlington, VA/Washington D.C MONUMENTS OF REMEMBRANCE CAPITAL STEPS TO OUR FUTURE Plan a family trip to your nation's capitol. Take in the fireworks and festivities on the Mall on July 4, go sight-seeing or attend the TCF professional conference on July 5, then attend the 24th annual TCF Conference which starts on July 6. CONFERENCE HOTEL The Hyatt Regency Crystal City at the Reagan National Airport 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway Arlington, Virginia Schedule of Annual Area Events: Area Chapter Events that are Scheduled for 2001 : Gainesville Butterfly Workshop has been to be announced later. May 1-2nd Annual Butterfly Banquet - Hosted by Marietta TCF for metro Atlanta TCF - Special Guest Speaker Anne Meroney. (See Attached Announcement and Registration) Call Marilyn Barton (770) or September 29 - The 3 rd Annual Chapter Picnic will be on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2001 at Rhodes Jordan Park in Lawrenceville from 2:00-6:00. We have a pavilion reserved by the lake. Please mark this date on your calendar. Call Meg Avery (770) December r 9 - Worldwide Candle Lighting/National Children's Memorial Day Registration Brochures are now available online: Mail-in registrations are due by June 20, Questions Call TCF-7301 or July The BP/USA 2001 Annual Gathering will be held in Dallas, TX, at the Harvey Hotel, Coit at Hwy A brochure and registration form may be obtained by addressing BP of North Texas, 415 Mimosa Drive, Denton, TX. We offer 45 healing workshops (including Butterfly Gardening), 5 leadership workshops and multiple sharing sessions. The hotel costs are $52 per room (1 to 4 persons in a room) per night and $38 per person per day for 3 meals daily. Registrations through BPNT save hotel taxes. Y'all come Telephone Friends Sometimes we just need someone to talk to someone to listen someone to understand Carole Babush Auto Accident Judy Blumsack Auto Accident Lynn McCurdy AIDS Donna Sullivan AIDS Jim Dirr Sibling Faye Martin Suicide Janice Pattillo Vehicular Homicide Fortune Forrester Homicide Tricia Simpson Substance Abuse Paul Fredickson - (770) Infant Death (If you would like to be a telephone friend, please contact Jayne Newton )


10 Day at Stone Mountain - Saturday May 19 th Members of various chapters are organizing a "Day at Stone Mountain"...and we want to invite everyone to come and join us in fellowship, friendship...and relax and get some fresh air. Everyone will be responsible for bringing their own picnic and chairs. Stone Mountain Park sells one day passes for all the attractions (i.e. riverboat, cable car, train, museums, etc)...but you can also enjoy the beautiful nature trails, hike the mountain, walk around the mountain,...or just relax and fellowship...the laser show is also later in the evening for those who care to stay. Also, it will be a good time for other siblings to get to know one another. It will be a wonderful chance to get to know each other...especially those from other chapters... and also enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Arrange your own schedule. Some of us will be out there beginning about 11:00 and stay through the evening to watch the laser show. Each family can decide what time is good for them and how long they would like to stay. There is a $7.00 per car entrance fee unless you have purchased a yearly pass. WHERE: Old Grist Mill or Train Station Due to the high cost of renting a pavilion we are going to use the picnic tables that are available. We are planning to have a group of picnic tables by the Old Grist Mill but since it is on a first come first serve basis we may not be able to get those tables. Our second choice would be near the Train Station. Someone will be there at all times.and we will also have a SIGN "TCF PICNIC". You will receive a map of the park when you enter. We hope everyone will take the opportunity to come out for at least a few hours during the day and enjoy a picnic outdoors. For more information, please call or visit our web site: Meg Avery (770) Cell (404) Jayne Newton (770) Cell (678) Kim Keller (770) "Lunch Bunch" Also, several TCF members are organizing a "Lunch Bunch" for anyone who would like to join us during the day for will be the fourth Wednesday of each month beginning March 28th, at O'Charley's on Pleasant Hill (near I-85 and Gwinnett Place Mall) in Duluth. Time will be 1:00. April Lunch Bunch will meet at the same place (O'Charley's) on April 25 th at 1:00. We hope this will give some an opportunity to get together with other bereaved parents and share ourselves and our children as we travel this grief journey. Sometimes it is hard to attend meetings in the evenings and we are hoping this will give some... other options. P.S. If possible, please let us know in advance if you are planning to join us so that we can estimate the size of table we will need. For more information, please contact Meg Avery (770) or Jayne Newton (770) or Facilitator Training - Atlanta Area Chapters Sunday - April 22 nd at 2:00 - John Dubose will be conducting a facilitator training at The First Christian Church of Atlanta, 4532 LaVista Rd., Tucker, Ga. Anyone in TCF that is at least 18 months into their grief journey and would like to take the facilitator training please mark your calendar for April 22 nd. Siblings are welcome to take the training also. For more information, contact John DuBose

11 Lawrenceville Chapter There will be a Steering Committee Meeting on Sunday, March 18th at 2 p.m. at Pat Malone's home in Snellville. If you would like to join the steering committee, please call Meg Avery at or We are looking for new members to add input and create more positive feedback for our chapter monthly meetings. At the March meeting we will be discussing the upcoming picnic, information from the National Office, as well as any new ideas or suggestions. The Chapter Picnic will be on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2001 at Rhodes Jordan Park in Lawrenceville from 2:00-6:00. We have a pavilion reserved by the lake. Please mark this date on your calendar. Marietta Chapter The Marietta Chapter is now offering a daytime meeting for those who cannot attend at night, or who would like a second meeting in the month. The meeting is held on the third Tuesday of the month from noon until 2:00 p.m. at DaNita Chaplin's house. Call Danita at for information and directions. (Note) April Meetings will be changed to the SECOND TUESDAY in April (April 10 th ) because of Spring Break the first week in April. The daytime meeting will be changed to April 24 th. Meeting times and places remain the same. The Marietta Chapter has purchased a button-maker so that all members can have a picture button of their child to wear. We would like to offer this service to all bereaved parents in the metro chapters. The buttons are 3 inches in diameter. Interested parents should send a photo, along with $2.00 for each button to cover materials and postage. The photo will be photocopied for the button and returned to you along with the picture button (or you can send a photocopy for us to use). Send to: Marilyn Barton, 680 Crossfire Ridge, Marietta, GA Questions? Call The Marietta Chapter will host the 2nd Annual Butterfly Banquet for metro Atlanta TCF on May 1, We are pleased to announce that our speaker will be Anne Meroney, bereaved parent, lawyer, divinity student, TCF leader, and noted speaker. Please make your reservations as soon as possible. Atlanta (Tucker) Chapter Rosemary Smith, author of Children of the Dome, joined us as our Guest Speaker at the February meeting. Dinah Taylor, author of "Lamentations" newsletter, Becky Greer and Ruth Nichols from Kentucky and South Carolina also joined us. Becky and Dinah's stories are included in Rosemary's book. For those of you who were not able to attend, you missed a wonderful and encouraging message by Rosemary and Dinah. The Tucker Steering committee want to thank everyone who attended and who have volunteered to give back to our chapter and TCF organization. The more members we have involved the better our chapter will be. We are still needing a volunteer to coordinate refreshments and we are always needing greeters and folks to help clean up. New Library Teal has been working very hard on our new library.we know it will be a valuable resource for our members. Please remember if you have "grief books" that you have checked out and have not returned remember to return them. Also, if you have "grief books" you have purchased and would like to donate to our library In Memory of Your Child, please bring them to the next meeting or contact Teal Snapp We also have audio tapes available for check-out. Gainesville Chapter Gainesville Butterfly Workshop scheduled for March 31 st has been postponed. As soon as the date for Reschedule has been set, we will post it on the web site or in the next newsletter. Call Judy Miller for registration (770) or

12 Rome Chapter Chapter Libraries At our 3rd annual Candlelight Memorial in December, we had between 125 & 150 people. We had the memorial on the steps of the Old County Courthouse, near the eternal Flame. We had a Special Angel Tree decorated with Angels (Our children's name on the Angels). We feel it was the best Candlelight Memorial we had and the Rome Chapter wants to thank Ginger Miles for all her hard work on the program and decorations. The Rome Chapter will be moving to a new location. We will be meeting at Redmond Regional Hospital, in one of their classrooms. We will keep our meeting date the same, 2nd Thursday at 7 pm... Each Chapter maintains a separate lending library. We are always in need and accepting donations of books you would like to donate in Memory of Your Child. If you have books at home and would like to donate them, simply take them to your chapter meeting and give them to the person who maintains the library. If you do not attend a chapter, but have books you would like to donate, please mail them to: The Compassionate Friends P.O. Box 656 Tucker, GA Sandra Stinson, Chapter Leader AMAZON.COM SHOPPERS Here's how your purchases can benefit The Atlanta Area Chapters of The Compassionate Friends. 1. Go to the TCF Atlanta Web site 2. Then enter Amazon by clicking on the logo found on TCF Atlanta's Home Page. 3. You can also go directly to this link and book mark it for future use 4. Or go to our Suggested Reading Materials page - To Subscribe to Linked Together, please complete the attached database form and return it to TCF Atlanta, P.O. Box 656, Tucker, Ga There is no charge for Linked Together, but a donation In Memory of Your Child would be greatly appreciated. Thank you once again to Brett Coltman and Direct Technologies, Inc. for printing our newsletter - and so much more! Currently our newsletter mailing list is The Atlanta Area Chapters of The Compassionate Friends local organization will then receive a percentage of all purchases you made during that visit to Birthday Tables Chapters have a "Special Birthday Table" at their monthly meetings. There will be a special table set up. If your child's birthday is in the month of a meeting, bring a photo and/or other memento and you will have the opportunity to share some of your special memories of your child. We hope you will take this opportunity to share your child with us. TCF Atlanta Online Sharing TCF Atlanta Online Sharing is an online sharing group available to anyone with internet access. The Online Sharing began in September I had currently subscribed to "Chicken Soup for the Soul - Online Daily" and this gave me the idea to put together something for bereaved parents and siblings. Thus it began. Currently we have 640 active members and are growing at a rate of 2 per day. To Join go to the following link:

13 YOU KNOW HOW IT FEELS During Napoleon's invasion of Russia, his troops were battling in the middle of yet another small town in that endless wintry land, when he was accidentally separated from his men. A group of Russian Cossacks spotted him and began chasing him through the twisting streets. Napoleon ran for his life and ducked into a little furrier's shop on a side alley. As Napoleon entered the shop, gasping for breath, he saw the furrier and cried piteously, "Save me, save me! Where can I hide?" The furrier said, "Quick, under this big pile of furs in the corner," and he covered Napoleon up with many furs. No sooner had he finished than the Russian Cossacks burst in the door shouting, "Where is he? We saw him come in." Despite the furrier's protests, they tore his shop apart trying to find Napoleon. They poked into the pile of furs with their swords but didn't find him. Soon, they gave up and left. After some time, Napoleon crept out from under the furs, unharmed, just as Napoleon's personal guards came in the door. The furrier turned to Napoleon and said timidly, "Excuse me for asking this question of such a great man, but what was it like to be under those furs, knowing that the next moment would surely be your last?" Napoleon drew himself up to his full height and said to the furrier indignantly, "How could you ask me, the Emperor Napoleon, such a question? Guards, take this impudent man out, blindfold him and execute him. I, myself, will personally give the command to fire!" The guards grabbed the furrier, dragged him outside, stood him against a wall and blindfolded him. The furrier could see nothing, but he could hear the guards shuffle into line and prepare their rifles. Then he heard Napoleon clear his throat and call out, "Ready! Aim!" In that moment, a feeling he could not describe welled up within him; tears poured down his cheeks. Suddenly the blindfold was stripped from his eyes. Although partially blinded by the sunlight he could see Napoleon's eyes looking intently into his own -- eyes that seemed to see every dusty corner of his soul. Then Napoleon said, "Now you know." There are some things that simply cannot be described to you. If you haven't experienced them for yourself, you can't begin to know the feeling. If you've never had to bury a daughter before she was old enough to ride a bicycle, you can't begin to know what it feels like. The list could go on and on. ~from Alan Smith's Thought for the Day You will not see me, so you must have faith. I wait for the time when we can soar together again, both aware of each other. And if I go, while you're still here... know that I live on, vibrating to a different measure behind a thin veil you cannot see through. Until then, live your life to its fullest and when you need me, just whisper my name in your heart,...i will be there. Emily Dickinson ~from Forever Remembered I'll keep finding things that are important, and I'll know you put them there. In life, you made my life complete; in death, you've left me life's intent. Your love was wondrously given... not to be saved, but spent. by Janet Vaughan, for Denice, Bereavement Magazine

14 March Birthdays March 1 March 2 March 2 March 3 March 3 March 3 March 3 March 3 March 3 March 3 March 4 March 4 March 5 March 6 March 6 March 7 March 8 March 8 March 9 March 11 March 11 March 11 March 11 March 11 March 12 March 13 March 13 March 14 March 14 March 14 March 15 March 16 March 16 March 17 March 18 March 18 March 18 Kenneth Leonard Wright, son of Kathy and Dale Wright, Lithonia Chanda Collett, daughter of Kathy Collett, Stockbridge David Linder, son of Carolyn Linder, Riverdale Blanca Rosa M. Anson II, daughter of Blanca Rosa Anson, Atlanta Donald Cox, son of Jeannette Avritt, Waleska Lindsey Elizabeth Fredrickson, daughter of Paul and Linda Fredrickson, Roswell David Aldan Harmon, son of Joyanne Fritch, Allenspark, CO Lance Malone, son of Kathy and Patrick Malone, Snellville Dedrick Ashby, son of Phyllis and Ashby, Conyers Richard Kendall "Ken" McCurdy, son of Lynn and Mac McCurdy, Lilburn Seth Elijah "Eli" Henderson, son of Lisa Henderson, Stockbridge Timmy de St. Aubin, son of Sandra and Bill de St. Aubin, Marietta Daniel Scott Brocato, son of Frank Brocato, Snellville and Sally Brocato, NH Darren Avery, son of Patricia Avery and stepson of Lillie Austin, Decatur Joey Green, son of Teresa Green, Summerville G.W. Fox, son of Nancy Fox, Dacula Michelle Dugan, daughter of Dolores and James Hegner, Lawrenceville Philip (Phil) Harris, son of Marilyn and Ron Harris, Marietta Diane Lee Mallory Beard, daughter of Charlotte and Jerry Mallory, Marietta Phillip W. Cunnagin, Jr., son of Lenora and Phillip Cunnagin, Palm Harbor, FL and brother of Mary Cunnagin, Crystal Beach, FL Freda Renee Hopkins, daughter of Brenda Fox, Dawsonville Drew Holder, son of Mike and Paula Holder, Powder Springs Gent Gentry, son of Lib and Wayne Gentry, Doraville Erin Leigh Moody, daughter of Pat and Wayne Moody, Holly Springs Glenn Prather, son of Judy Prather, Ackworth Adam Philip Frentheway, son of Foye and Neal Frentheway, Tucker Trent Michael Wilkes, son of Gail and Eddie Wilkes, Ellenwood Scott Barton, son of Marilyn and Terry Barton, Marietta Meghan Elizabeth Collins, daughter of Mary T. Collins, Villa Park, IL Bradley Hilderbrand, son of Denise DeFord, Powder Springs Jonathan Tripp, son of Judy and Roger Tripp, Kennesaw Cecelia Anne Redman, daughter of Robin and Gerald Greene, Stockbridge Earnest Elton Moran, son of Peggy Moran, Gainesville Ben J. Strader III, son of Ben J. Strader, Jr., Marietta Matt Johnston, brother of Julie Johnston, Marietta Philip Ganote, son of Kitty Reeve, Berkeley, CA Chip Swilley, son of Elsie and Reezin Swilley, Atlanta

15 March Birthdays March 20 March 20 March 21 March 21 March 21 March 22 March 23 March 23 March 24 March 24 March 24 March 24 March 25 March 25 March 26 March 27 March 27 March 28 March 28 March 28 March 29 March 30 March 30 March 30 March 31 March 31 March 31 Robert Keith Hemphill, son of Peggy Mangas, Jonesboro Lanny Pinkard, son of Dan and Dianna Pinkard, Rome Jeremy Hill, son of Sandra Hill, Franklin Jeremy Waters, son of Joanne B. Waters, Buford Richard Wilson Scott, Jr., son of Rita Goldman, Niceville, FL Benjamin Joseph Lummus, son of Melanie Patillo, Conyers Allen Harper, grandson of Caroline and Larry Allen, Stone Mountain Benjamin Hutt, son of Chris Hutt and brother of Kimberly Hutt, Lilburn Emily Martin, daughter of MaryBeth and Jerry Martin, Kennesaw Steven W. Simmons, son of Shelia Simmons, Dallas Machera Renee Henderson, daughter of Debra Mastrilli, Snellville and sister of Hank Henderson, Flowery Branch Hunter McMullin, son of Kevin and Kelly McMullin, Covington David Josselson, son of Harriet and Jerry Josselson and brother of Brian and Marc Josselson, Alpharetta Lauren Stanfill, daughter of Tim and Linda Stanfill, Woodstock Christian Fobas, son of Judy Fobas, Alpharetta Ricky Palmer, son of Gloria Palmer, Stone Mountain Lovelle Forbes, son of Velma Vincent, Lithonia Christy Sutton, daughter of Linda Sutton, Woodstock Pete Soileau, son of Mimi and Drew Soileau, Conyers Jason Webb, son of Donna Outlaw, Walker, LA Michael Coy, son of Leslie and Steve Coy, Atlanta Ron Kindler, son of Jackie Kindler, St. Simons Eliscia Robene Soles, daughter of Katherine Roseberry, Decatur and Edward Soles, College Park Crawford Masters, son of Melinda and Kevin Masters, Ackworth Maggie Perkins, daughter of Pat Perkins, Doraville Alvin W. Stevens III, son of Sally and Tom Harper, Birmingham, AL Steven Jay Steele, son of Ann Sullivan, Suwanee and brother of Chris Steele, Marietta ~Life is Like a Mobile..Someone once told me that when your family changes you need to look at it like a mobile. It is in this perfect balance until you lose one of the members. If you yanked off one strand from the mobile it would rock to and fro for some time trying to rebalance itself. When it finished rocking it would not though be level like when you started. Over time things shift and it becomes more balanced once again. I think this is a good word picture of what it is that we experience when we lose a child. You my friend are in the hard rocking stages where the mobile is trying to right itself and balance out after the piece has been yanked from it. ~shared by Laura, TCF Online Sharing

16 April Birthdays April 1 April 2 April 3 April 3 April 3 April 4 April 4 April 4 April 5 April 5 April 7 April 7 April 7 April 8 April 9 April 10 April 10 April 11 April 11 April 12 April 12 April 13 April 13 April 13 April 14 April 15 April 15 April 15 April 16 April 16 April 17 April 18 April 19 April 20 April 20 April 20 April 20 April 21 Jennifer Reel, daughter of Gail Carter, Covington Fletcher Smith Hall, son of Karen Smith Hall, Atlanta Molly Feit, daughter of Claire Feit, Duluth Phillip Martin, son of Geraldine Martin, Hampton Kevin Saye, son of Charlotte and Freddie Saye, Stockbridge Joshua James Bearden, son of James C. Bearden, Lithia Springs Spencer Dickson Plott, son of Donna and Alan Plott, Marietta, grandson of Marlene and John Dickson, Smyrna Melissa Hague, daughter of Laree and Roger Hague, Marietta Steve Davol, son of Deloris and Charles Davol, Grayson Kerri Kristen Keith, daughter of Sandra McPeeks, Peachtree City Charles Brady James III, son of Brady James, Kennesaw and brother of Heather Chappell, Marietta and Laurie James, Athens Jenny Collver, daughter of Meredith and Michael Collver, Atlanta Timothy James Chase, son of Staci Cormier, Marietta Dr. Thomas Brown IV, son of Lillie Brown, Stone Mountain Robbie Preston, son of Johnnie and Dick Preston, Marietta Benjamin Thomas Harvey, son of Penny and Bob Harvey, Lilburn Richie Frank Williams, son of Floria Williams, Asheville, NC Robert Cantrell, son of Juanita Cantrell, Marietta Andrea Michelle Massey, daughter of Mary Sue Massey, Jasper Clay Cagle, son of Mr. And Mrs. Tim Cagle, Alpharetta Bo Tuggle, son of Connie and Johnny Tuggle, Snellville Cole Avry Barnett, son of DeAnne Barnett, Canton Jimmy Cox, son of Audrey Cunningham, Cumming Jason Thomas Brady, son of Tom and Sam Brady, Atlanta Timothy Lanier, son of Diane Lanier, Norcross Michael Rau, son of Marilyn Cowan, New Rochelle, NY David Kulp, son of Blanche and Ken Kulp, Marietta Olivia Owens, daughter of Yolanda Owens, Locust Grove Tiffani Lea-Nicole Coke, daughter of Stacie Lawson, Lawrenceville Jeffery Morris, son of Cathy and John Murch, Winder Bobby Runnels, brother of Angel Runnels, Norcross Yardley Coffey, son of Pat Coffey, Lithonia Tracy McKenna, daughter of Jeff McKenna, Marietta Padraic Dirr, son of Jim Dirr, Atlanta; brother of Moira Dirr, Dunwoody Chari Hanshaw, daughter of Sibyl Cole, Atlanta Michael Lee Haggard, son of Leann Smith, Nicholasville, KY Mandy Leigh Collins, sister of Kelsey Silberg, Westerville, OH Julieanne Elizabeth Pascoe, daughter of Dawn M. Pascoe, Woodstock

17 April Birthdays April 22 April 22 April 22 April 22 April 22 April 23 April 24 April 24 April 25 April 25 April 26 April 27 April 27 April 27 April 28 April 28 April 29 April 29 April 30 Mark Joseph Gore, son of Barbara Rodriguez, Lilburn Tristan Carner, daughter of Sheryl and Kyle Carner, Covington Nichole East, daughter of Lisa and Tim Chase and sister to Stacy East, Locust Grove Bradley Evans, son of Merry Evans, Atlanta David "Ratt" DeLuca, son of Joey and Deborah Odom, Covington Lauren Alexandra Foley, daughter of Christy and Eamonn Foley, Cumming Robert Coltman, son of Ellen and Barney Coltman, Buford Martin Austin, son of Eleanor Lorenz, Marietta Allison M. Bumpass, daughter of Rachel Bumpass, Atlanta Jason Jarrell, son of Charlotte Jarrell, Covington Rodney Clay Duran, son of John and Robin Moore, Gainesville Madeline Dabney Adams, daughter of Madeline R. Adams, Atlanta Amanda Johns, daughter of Linda and Ted Johns, Loganville Mark Alan Smith, son of Doris Smith, Atlanta Chad Allessio, son of Carol and Mike Allessio, Peachtree City Gary Pruitt, son of Shirley Pruitt, Cumming Rodrekus Cox, son of Sylvia Cox, Ellenwood Chris Wells, son of Mary B. Parker, Marietta Maria Victoria Boucugnani, daughter of Lynda and Tom Whitehead, Fayetteville, and Al Boucugnani, Hampton "Just One More Time" How many times have I woke on an Easter morning and smiled, knowing that the baskets were all set, the eggs dyed, and new clothes were waiting? How many times have I watched with joy as the little hands reached for chocolate bunnies and jellybeans? The joy of those mornings will forever be etched in memory, sitting, waiting for a time to be brought to remembrance. The children are grown now, except one, who is forever frozen in time. The egg dye has been put away, the baskets hid in the attic with all the other keepable things from holidays and special events. The children now have children and they go on their way in life, except one, who is forever frozen in time. The new clothes to be worn are now packed away in storage boxes filled with mothballs, hoping to be kept forever, never to be worn by one gone from my sight. The waking hours of that Easter morn are different now. No longer do I lie in my bed and wait for those sounds of joy and laughter coming down the hall. The children are all grown now, except one, and she is gone from me. She was too old for childish things, stuffed bunnies and jellybeans, yet too young to give it all up. "Just one more year, mama, let me hold on to my youth and enjoy the wonders of that day", she said. Just one more year. Now she is gone, forever frozen in time, and her memory is engraved in my mind. "Just one more time"... In Memory of Ashley Marie Sockwell / ~by Barbara Sockwell, TCF Lawrenceville, GA

18 March Anniversary Dates March 1 Rodney Clay Duran, son of John and Robin Moore, Gainesville March 2 Roderick Eugene Taylor, son of Martha Taylor, Norcross March 3 John Allen Askins, son of Elaine Askins, Duluth March 3 Jaime Coyier, daughter of Lendell and Mike Vogt, Fairburn March 3 Chamica Hardaway, daughter of Albert and Florence Daniels, Decatur March 3 D'Keesiyah Hardaway, granddaughter of Albert and Florence Daniels, Decatur March 4 Jacob Jarmusch, grandson of Norma and Albert Jarmusch, Dacula March 4 Tony Visk, Jr., son of Tony and the late Marie Visk, Atlanta March 6 Jason Curtis, son of Sharon Curtis, Lithonia March 7 Allen Titlow, son of Anne Meroney, Atlanta, and George and Diana Titlow, Dalton, brother of Craig, Rusty and Mary-Crait Dimmitt, Kennesaw March 8 Shelly Elliott, daughter of Susie Elliott, Canton March 8 Alan Parish, son of Millie and Woody Parish, Flowery Branch March 8 Danny Tyler, son of Deborah Reddy, Douglasville March 9 Susan Lynn Babush, daughter of Carole Babush, Atlanta March 9 Ray Shawn Grant, son of Cheryl Hose, Atlanta March 9 Lonnie Dee Nagel, son of Leonard Nagel, Marietta March 10 Shawn Stephens, son of Pat Stephens, Ackworth March 10 Fredrick Christian Kallmeyer, son of Rick and Pat Kallmeyer, Marietta March 11 Matt Halloran, son of Marti Goldring, Atlanta March 11 Thomas Michael Pattillo, son of Janice and Wayne Pattillo, Lawrenceville March 12 Jennifer Marie Dailey, daughter of Joanne and Bob Dailey, Lilburn March 13 Rodrekus Cox, son of Sylvia Cox, Ellenwood March 13 Amanda Kay Lovett, daughter of Kristi and Gary Lovett, Fayetteville March 14 Matthew Cramer, son of Debby and Terry Cramer, Kennesaw March 14 Elizabeth Young-Johnson-O'Keefe, daughter of Diane and Charlie Brissey, Kennesaw March 15 Charles Brady James III, son of Brady James, Kennesaw, brother of Laurie James, Athens and Heather Chappell, Marietta March 15 Alex Huber, son of Terri and John Huber, Lake Oswego, OR March 15 Rachel Diane Trotti, daughter of Joy-Lyn and James Trotti, Decatur March 16 Candi Gaye Marshall, daughter of Gena Marshall Holmquist, Tucker March 16 Jason Thomas Brady, son of Tom and Sam Brady, Atlanta March 16 James Edward Tyler, Jr., son of Elanor Tyler, Atlanta March 17 Joey Capron, son of Carmen Capron, Chamblee March 18 John C. Reeves, son of Bettye and John Reeves, Atlanta March 18 Tylar Gamboa, daughter of Dena Gamboa, Acworth March 19 Ryan Allan Duffner, son of Lisa and Rorry Duffner, Lawrenceville March 19 Anthony Brian Perez, son of Zara Karp, Roswell March 19 Eliscia Robene Soles, daughter of Katherine Roseberry, Decatur and Edward Soles, College Park March 19 Charles Pilgreen, son of Brenda Shiplet, Birmingham, AL March 20 Jonathan Longo, son of Sue Dobos and brother of Danielle Longo, Powder Springs March 21 Chad Mauldin, son of Barbara Mauldin, Atlanta March 22 David James Teddlie, son of Anne and Don Teddlie, Decatur and brother of Lynn Teddlie, Tucker

19 March Anniversary Dates March 23 March 24 March 24 March 24 March 25 March 25 March 25 March 26 March 27 March 27 March 28 March 28 March 29 March 30 March 30 March 31 March 31 Stephen Danley Prince, son of Dan and Linda Prince, Buford Justine Cortney Hunter, daughter of Vikki and Alex Hunter, Norcross Renee Elise McGinnis, daughter of Modree M. Smith, Marietta Walt Prettyman, son of Maryann Prettyman, Philadelphia, PA Michael Coy, son of Leslie and Steve Coy, Atlanta Steve Forrester, son of Nancy and Paul Jordan, Riverdale Richard Kendall "Ken" McCurdy, son of Lynn and Mac McCurdy, Lilburn Jeremy Hill, son of Sandra Hill, Franklin Lauren Tardif, daughter of Jeanne Allen, Marietta James Monroe Allison, son of Maggie Allison, Oakwood Nathan Josel ("Kippy") brother of Laura Josel, Atlanta David Kulp, son of Blanche and Ken Kulp, Marietta Joshua Williams, son of Bridget Williams, Stone Mountain Crista Cuzzort, daughter of Michael Cuzzort, Rome Donna McAfee, daughter of Margaret McAfee, Riverdale Sean Eubanks, son of Doris Eubanks, Atlanta Dan Steven McConnell, son of Elnora McConnell Borden, Conyers The Strength of Butterflies They didn't want to change. Their lives were full. The caterpillars crawled happily through the green leaves, played and rested in the sun, and ate their fill. Yet, through the darkness and quiet mystery, they did change. Their luminous beauty now lights the skies, their colors are vibrant, their airy flight is delightful. They didn't want to change. Their lives were full. They laughed and worked and sang and played; our children loved their lives. Yet, through the darkness and quiet mystery, they did change. Beyond our own imaginings they now live in indescribable harmony and perfect joy. Their new lives are a color invisible to us, but it is the color of eternity. We didn't want to change. Our lives were full. We cared and nurtured and disciplined and laughed and mothered and fathered; we loved their lives and them. Yet, through the darkness and quiet mystery, we have changed. Though fragile in our forever-longing for them, we are gifted with a growing strength of spirit called HOPE. We are a resilient and enduring new color as well, held close to our children by unbreakable threads of love that keep us tethered for awhile yet between earth and heaven. ~Mary Sue Zercher, TCF Marietta, GA

20 April Anniversary Dates April 1 April 2 April 2 April 2 April 2 April 3 April 3 April 4 April 4 April 4 April 5 April 5 April 6 April 6 April 6 April 6 April 7 April 7 April 7 April 8 April 8 April 10 April 10 April 11 April 12 April 13 April 13 April 14 April 14 April 14 April 15 April 15 April 15 April 15 April 16 April 16 April 16 April 17 April 17 David Bakay, son of Nita Bakay and brother of Michelle Bakay, Conyers Philip Jordan Grier, son of Elaine and Jim Grier, Atlanta Amie Marie Guthrie, daughter of Becki and Jim Guthrie, Lilburn Amanda Phinney Havens, daughter of David and Teresa Phinney, Hoschton Marci Hyde Sizemore, daughter of Charles and Pat Hyde, Rome John Bucsela, son of Jeanne Bucsela, Atlanta Judy Michele McAllister, daughter of Mary McAllister, Otto, NC Jessica Bryl, daughter of Betty and Dan Bryl and sister to Sarah Bryl, Lawrenceville Rodd Norton, son of Pat W. Barber, Marietta Rod Tapley, son of Liz Tapley, Niceville, FL Bryan Dickinson Farmer, son of Linda and Ben Farmer, Marietta Charles Lee McKeever, son of King Holloway, Decatur Taylor Renee Nelson, daughter of Karen Nelson, Marietta Christopher Michael Wells, son of Mary B. Parker, Marietta Marc Stuart Ratthaus, son of Sue Ratthaus, Alpharetta Kyle Alexander Heskin Eastham, son of Anita Eastham, Douglasville Tyler Hassett, son of Janice and Jeff Hassett, Snellville Glenn Prather, son of Judy Prather, Ackworth Brenden Kyle Rainey, son of Connie Rainey, Atlanta Emma Parker Gordon, daughter of Lee Anne and Marc Gordon, Saginaw, MI and granddaughter of Renee Turner, Cumming Josh Darna, son of Tracy Darna, Bokeelia, FL Jonathan Green, son of Diana and Bill Green, Jonesboro Rhonda Murray McCranie, daughter of Hazel Murray, Buford Erin Flowers, daughter of Phyllis Jean Flowers, Albuquerque, NM Scott Owen, son of Joyce and Rich Owen, Santa Rosa Beach, FL Cole Avry Barnett, son of DeAnne Barnett, Canton Stephen E. Beam, son of Marcia and Ron Carter, Waleska Paul Peterson, son of Sherril Peterson, Griffin Taylor Randahl, son of Kelly Randahl, Woodstock Jennifer Smith, daughter of Linda Smith, Stone Mountain Max Erickson, son of Anita and Alex Erickson, Atlanta Lovelle Forbes, son of Velma Vincent, Lithonia Jerrod Blade Thibodeaux, son of Joseph and Martha Thibodeaux, Stone Mountain Jennifer Thompson, daughter of Jacque Thompson, Cumming Woody Jackson, son of Mahali, Scottdale Chris McLemore, son of Sherry Owens, brother of Mark Owens, Covington Angela Kay Patterson, daughter of Rev. Tommy and Earlene Reid, Cedar Bluff, AL Timothy Wade Stanley, son of Bob and Marie Stanley, Burney, CA and brother of Tonya Jones Wayne Robert Looker, son of Wendy and Richard Looker, Swansea, MA

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