Anna and Rowan

Yesterday while I was going through wedding photos I found this picture.


I couldn’t help but remember a conversation that Anna and I had not long ago about the hyphen in our names. She asked why some people have just one name and we have two. I explained to her that both her dad and I felt it was important that she had both of our names and, when I got married to Tom, I felt it was important to stay connected to her – so I kept my maiden name and then hyphenated it with Tom’s last name. Hence we both are Dieter-Something. Anna totally understood all of this but looked at me with this funny grin. She then said very directly, “I won’t stay hyphenated forever Mama, because when I marry Rowan I’ll be Anna Toomey.”

The night Anna was born Rowan was in the hospital awaiting her arrival, he was seven months old. Anna would declare often that she knew Rowan the longest out of all her friends. She was very proud of this fact. She loved Rowan so much and I am so happy she had this lifelong friendship with him. They were so funny together, laughing and sometimes fighting like an old married couple. They knew each other, really knew each other, which came out often in the way they played. Asking for a play date with Rowan was a daily occurrence, they would disappear upstairs and enter a world of make believe like no other. Critters, grocery store, vet clinic, house, babies, spies and, my all time favorite (even though it was a bit disconcerting) – teenagers.  One time on a bike ride they asked if I would ride behind them, way behind them. I asked why and they told me they were playing teenagers without any parents around. I smiled then and I’m smiling now. They were so funny.

These two had a plan for their future. They were going to get married, live on a farm and have 16 head of cattle. Rowan was going to be an architect and they would have 2 kids, a girl and a boy named Joey. Anna wanted to have one child herself and adopt the other. Rowan thought maybe the farm would be in Seattle but he wasn’t sure if Anna would like it there.

Their friendship was solid and I know that no matter what came their way, other friendships and new schools, they would always make their way back to one another. I know a lot of people pray for Tom and I to have peace with the loss of our girls. I pray for Rowan and all of my girl’s friends’. Their little hearts are broken without my girls around and I pray that God will give them peace knowing that they have two angels that will be forever watching out for them.

I am so thankful for this little boy who loved my daughter with all his heart. I know that she loved him too. This is so evident by the number of times I have found his name written on random pieces a paper around her room. It was one of the first names she could write all by herself.

Who knows what would have happened in the future for Anna and Rowan. I would like to think that one day I would be putting together the best slideshow ever for their rehearsal dinner.

This is where it would start…

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15 thoughts on “Anna and Rowan

  1. The whole Toomey family loved Anna as their own. I think of them daily especially Rowan. You are so blessed to have the friendship of the Toomey family, especially Amy. Rowan and Anna have experienced such a genuine love and friendship that some never know in their lives. It is amazing, and a beautiful reflection of a friendship between two families.


  2. Susan, your writing is so beautiful! What an amazing story you share with us each day! Every day I look forward to reading your posts. I often think that you and Anna and Abby and Tom lived a fuller life in the much too short time you had together here on earth than many people live together in many years. Thank you so much for sharing your precious stories! You continue to think of others and their pain while you go through this time. What an honor and tribute to your girls! It’s easy to see why they are such amazing little ladies!! My continued prayers and love!! Xoxo


  3. Susan, thank you for sharing all these beautiful moments of your little ones lives. I cracked a big smile seeing what a great friend Rowen is to your daughter…even dressing up in wings and princess dresses. True friends forever for sure. We will also keep Rowen in our constant prayers. Big hugs to you and Tom. We think about you all daily and you are in our nightly prayers as well.


  4. What a beautiful array, Susan! Treasures for us all to see, but especially for Rowan and his family. Thanks for sharing. I always felt certain they would grow up and marry too – Sophia talked about it all the time 🙂


  5. They are absolutely adorable! So wonderful that they had such an amazing friendship from birth- and I agree – that would have been an awesome wedding slide show! 💖


  6. I remember seeing the new bike riding skills, the lemonade stand, the walking by my house for play dates in fairy wings, fancy little dress up dresses. They have endless precious memories. This one hits close to home for us. Bill and I knew each other since we were little 8 & under swimming on the FG swim team, when Tom was the High school star swimmer. Our lives were incredibly woven together with shared history, and Rowan & Anna’s life was headed in just such a path. I will faithfully remember Rowan in my prayers. His loss has been great at an age when the world seems big, yet the circle of love is so tight.


  7. I’ve thought many times of all the little friends whose lives have been forever changed. Sending love and prayers to keep all their little hearts full of love, hope, and memories. True love is eternal:)


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