Rosemary's Blog


Michael Siler Webster
September 10, 2008, 3:04 pm
Filed under: Family and Friends

webster-michael-silerMichael Siler Webster was born on February 9, 2008 and weighed just 5 lbs. 4 oz. His father, Ted was our son Drew’s roommate and best friend when they were boarding students at The McCallie School in Chattanooga.

I will always remember meeting Ted and his precious mother Carole that first day as the boys were moving into their freshman dorm at McCallie. The mothers may have been more nervous than the boys were that morning. What a relief to meet Ted and know in my heart that he and Drew would be close friends for life. What I didn’t know was that “life” would be a mere four more years for Drew.

Ted and Drew graduated from The McCallie School in May of 1992. Four years had matured those shy, fourteen-year-old boys into young men of grace and honor. They parted that memorable graduation weekend with plans to stay in touch. Two months later Ted faced the unimaginable, the death of his best friend. His support and the support of the other friends of Drew and Jeremiah made those days of their wake and funeral bearable. They held us up.

Ted was a pallbearer for Drew the day I had to walk away and leave my sons at The Lexington Cemetery. The image of those McCallie boys standing at the gravesite as I was coaxed to leave will stay with me forever.

Ted and his wife Julie have named their firstborn son Michael Siler Webster. Wouldn’t Drew be proud that this precious child has his middle name, Siler? Luther and I were moved beyond words to know that Drew had been honored in such a memorable way. Drew was the first one to know little Michael Siler Webster as he came to us from heaven.

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33 Packets
September 3, 2008, 3:56 pm
Filed under: Documentary

I woke up this morning and rolled over to look at the clock…it was 7:23.  How many times in the past sixteen years had I jolted awake at exactly 7:23?  Those three numbers used to take my breath but as the years passed, they came to be a sign from Drew and Jeremiah that they were near.  What was their message this morning?

Most of my Labor Day was a labor of love as I worked on bereavement packets for my Fellow Travelers.  This morning, I realized that I had thirty-three packets ready to be lovingly filled by Mary Ann Combs and Barb Brandenburg, two special earth angels.  Thirty-three is another significant number for me.  Drew and Jeremiah lived a total of thirty-three years.  The church bells here at St. Thomas Episcopal in Beattyville tolled thirty-three times that July morning as we followed the caskets of Drew and Jeremiah up the hill from the funeral home to the church.

Drew and Jeremiah sat with me as I wrote each note for these thirty-three packets.  They felt my sorrow as I wrote to the Wilson family in Bermuda, the Pohl famly in Illinois, Sgt Jason Swiger’s mother in Maine, the Phelps family in Montana who had also lost two sons…on and on.  Drew and Jeremiah’s message this morning came from a spiritual realm but was so real it gave me cold chills.  Their approval washed over me like a wave.