Skip to main content

Timothy's room

Timothy's room

Timothy loved to create, and he would often kneel by his bed to work on Lego projects. His mind was inquisitive and, while playing, he learned to troubleshoot. I loved that about my son.

The week of the accident, Timothy had dumped his Legos onto one of his two beds. The last morning we left the house together, that's where his Lego collection was. His bike was parked in one corner of the room. His airplanes were sitting out. One of his favorite soldiers was lying next to the bed, which had automobile-design sheets on it.

For the first seven months after the accident, I kept this room locked. I did not have the courage to step inside, and I did not want anybody else to go in, either. I needed time to allow myself to accept the fact that he was not with me. Holding on to how he left the things in his room seemed to give me the peace of something familiar, to which I could go back when I felt ready. I needed to see the room just how Timothy left it. For my last image of the room to be of a boy picking his nose and playing with his Legos. Somehow I thought that, by not going in, perhaps I would wake up one day with Timothy still by my side, just walking out of his room, and life would be normal again. It’s the one place in the house I did not want to touch or change.

In November 2012, on the day of Timothy's birthday, I collected my courage, unlocked the room, and walked in. It was quiet, as if it had been waiting for me. I sat on the bed, looked around, and wept. I was alone in the house, so I just let my tears flow. I spent the next months doing my morning quiet time here, in Timothy's room. It gave me a chance to think, pray, and accept and grieve the absence of my boy.

As I write this morning, the sun's rays are coming into the room, which faces east. The sunrise breathes hope and newness. I cry often in this room where my firstborn played and slept for almost seven years, but I know that Anahi represents the new life that God is allowing me to live.

Last month, Anahi turned three, and I am feeling that it's probably time to move Timothy's stuff out of his room and pass the room on to her. I think I will change the wall from blue to pink—although I might leave a stripe of blue in honor of Timmy. It's a hard step to take, but I have learned to be okay with tears and allowing my heart to be moved by the love that Timothy and I shared. I remember that I would ask Julie, "Can one love too much?" She would say, "Of course not. There is always room for more love."

Timothy, you were so loved, and you continue to inspire me to love and not give up hope. I am learning that this journey of living in this world requires tremendous love and divine strength. I miss you, and, although the colors of your room will change, your toys will be removed, and your bike will be ridden by other boys, you will continue to be in my heart as I continue living, loving, and walking on this journey.

I promise you this:
  • I will continue building with the Legos of life that God will place in my path.
  • I will continue being curious, like you helped me to become. I will ask many questions.
  • I will continue praying simple yet profound prayers that I know God can hear.
  • I will continue picking my nose like you used to do—sometimes in public.
  • I will continue believing that each day is a gift, just as you were my gift in my thirties.
  • I will continue being spontaneous, eating ice cream and chocolate just because.
  • I will continue being a child at heart, when life seems to push me to be to serious.
  • I will continue to believe that little boys are gifts from God to their daddies.
  • I will continue to watch over your sister, Anahi, and remind her about her older brother.
  • I will continue running barefoot and feeling the grass under my feet, not worrying about what others might think.

Thanks for sharing your room with Anahi now. She is growing and becoming a beautiful little girl. She loves to ask questions, just like you did, and is very active. (I mistakenly thought she would give me a break and allow me to sit and rest a little more.)

Timothy, I will keep a few of your Lego projects as reminders of your ingenuity and creativity. And when life gets a bit stale, I will remind myself of you and the way you changed me and pushed me to be a better person.


  1. What a powerful post brother. Thank you for taking us along on part of your journey of healing

  2. Norberto, I felt profound grief when I learned of the accident. I have always thought so much of you and Julie. Two weeks ago, I too lost an unborn child. The circumstances were complex and we felt God led us along a perilous journey. It is difficult to find words for the profound sadness-it is still too fresh to understand what I'm feeling. Your articulate and heartfelt words to your son, Timmy, help me to begin to find words with which to grieve. Thank you for living outloud. Blessings to you, brother. -Christa Shoot Grimmer

  3. Thank you for sharing this Norberto! i will continue to pray for you and Anahi, be strong and courageous God is at work in your life, rejoice in His presence and love. your words uplift all of us who have lost a child and teach us to live memorable and thankful moments with the ones we have on our side. God bless you and continue to use you as you serve Him! with much love, Michelle Assaf

  4. Thank you for sharing this Norberto! i will continue to pray for you and Anahi, be strong and courageous God is at work in your life, rejoice in His presence and love. your words uplift all of us who have lost a child and teach us to live memorable and thankful moments with the ones we have on our side. God bless you and continue to use you as you serve Him! with much love, Michelle Assaf

  5. Thank you for pouring your heart out and sharing it with us, it is such a blessing to read your posts and share your pain and joy...your words are such and encouragement for all of us who have lost a child too and an encouragement to cherish and make every memory with the ones still one our side! i will continue praying for you and Anahi, may the Lord continue to bless and use you for His glory as you continue to serve Him. Be strong and courageous, God is on your side and is still at work in your life! Be blessed my friend. -Michele


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

September highlights. A month in Paraguay

I want to thank you for hanging out with us this past month. Every day was different. Sometimes I wish I had more of a routine. But in my missionary role, routine is not something I experience very often. Here are a few September highlights.

We traveled to Asuncion, to get some paperwork done. The trip to Asuncion generally takes six hours on a two lane road, with crazy traffic. We avoid these trips as much as possible. 

I was part of a Baptism ceremony in the Parana River. 28 people made a public commitment. The Parana Rive is the second one in size after the Amazon River.

I had a chance to continue my bible teaching at our local church on Tuesday evenings. I fill in various classes and find teaching very rewarding.
We celebrated Anahi’s 6th birthday with our immediate family. Anahi is finishing her preschool and will start first great next year

We celebrated Dominick’s 4th month. He also got his shots last week. Dominick has occupied the center of attention. He has been a great joy for …

Technology in missions

As I started my day, within a few hours, I had a list of things to do. By 10 am I had enough items to keep me busy for a week. After several hours in the office, I was able to send audio messages and video conference with people on both side of the Equator. I sent letters out to several people in just a few seconds. I posted on FB, and I googled some maps while listening to a webinar.
Did my grandparents or even my parents have these technologies? The answer is no. David and Lilian Meier left on a steam ship the port of New Orleans in December of 1935 towards South America. All the field knowledge they had was a letter from a German missionary who wrote to America saying. Will someone come to Brazil?

That was the beginning. Their first trip lasted a decade serving in several places in South America. There where no phone calls, no daily FB updates and no cool Instagram pictures. Few words on a telegram, or when letters were written they delivered weeks later were the ways of communica…

A month in Paraguay, Come and hang out with us

Book fair – Freedom of expression
Its was the beginning of the 12th , annual book fair. This event is organized by a local university as one of its arms into the community. Publishers, book sellers and authors come to present their books. Until Sunday Sept 11th, kids, professors from different schools will come and visit plaza de armas (city square of weapons) in downtown Encarnacion to learn and interact. In parallel with the book fair, workshops are going on all day, dealing with topics as wide as social media, religion, politics, team work, biographies, and history.

Just to refresh our memory, until 1989 Paraguay had only two universities in the country. The country was governed by a dictator for 35 years. Freedom of expression could cost exile, jail or even death. That’s only about 30 years ago. Today there are 54 universities, but still only about 4% attending university. People are gaining their voice without fear of repression after two hundred years. You can imagine how these …