A Time to Help

A woman named Autumn sent me an email this week – it had a huge impact on me. I asked if I could share it with you, my readers, and she said I could:

Your Anson, My Anson


I think I stumbled upon your blog when I realized that we were expecting twins. I guess I just needed to see other moms of twins out there doing what we do to make me feel a little less anxious.

My husband Tim & I spent a lot of time during that early part of the pregnancy texting each other about names for the babies. We always assumed we would have a boy and a girl, I’m not sure why.

One exchange after reading your blog went something like this:

Me: Anson?

Him: Love it.

Him hours later: Sounds like “handsome”.

Me: I know! One more reason I love it. Handsome Anson haha.

That was back in June, and it was the first time I’d ever heard the name. Sadly, my husband passed away in August, but we had settled on the names Anson and Ayla (still assuming we would have b/g twins). A few weeks after Tim (Timothy James) passed, I found out we were right and the names Anson Timothy & Ayla James were finalized.

The babies are due January 8th.

Every time I read your blog and you speak so kindly of your husband, it makes me more and more sure that Anson is a perfect name for my little guy who will hopefully be as lovable as your Anson.

I just wanted to share….


It’s not often that I have no words, but after reading this, I had no words. But I knew that in my wordless state, I still needed to reach out to Autumn and my new on-the-way friends, Anson + Ayla. Obviously I immediately thought of flying myself out to where Autumn lives and being her night nurse but then I remembered I have a few people who rely on me at night here. So I did the next best thing, and contacted a few friends who actually can help. Who actually would help, at least with things that can be helped.

Anson + Ayla are easily going to be the coolest, best-dressed kids on the block, and possibly even the state because Appaman is sending them a box of goodies. Appaman, by the way, is the company that started Roan’s illustrious modeling career. They also remain his favorite brand of all time. Here’s a blast from the past:

Little Appaman Roan.

Oh man I can’t help myself…here’s another…the twins look devastating in their Appaman tracksuits…

After this photo, they jumped off the couch and went for a run.

But Appaman is not alone in the Autumn love. Lansinoh, who made the breast pump that I used with my twins, has offered to send breastfeeding supplies. Believe me, with twins? Supplies à la breastfeeding are king.

Britax who makes my favorite baby carrier, and who also has an amazing double stroller, perfect for twins (for reals – the best) is sending Autumn a carrier for Anson + Ayla. And the queen of twindom, the one who knows more than anyone about everything twinnish, Ms. Natalie Diaz of Twiniversity, has arranged for Fisher Price to get some bouncy chairs and toys on their way as well.

I know as much as everyone reading this that things don’t replace people. But I also know, from experience, that when times are hard, it is possible to be lifted up and supported by those around you. I’m hoping that these things are helpful in Autumn’s world, and that little Anson + Ayla enjoy them. But more than that I am hopeful that Autumn knows there’s a world of support and love for her from strangers. Let her know in the comments if you’re one of those strangers (or if you know her, go ahead and say hi!).

25 thoughts on “A Time to Help

  1. Autumn,

    You will be surprised by your own resilience and strength that comes from weathering horrible circumstance. So sorry for your loss, and sorry to your little ones for their loss too. Like Jodi, I believe in support and love, even from strangers can help. So here’s one more stranger to add to your group.

    Wishing for peace for you and your family.

  2. Love and best wishes from afar. When I lost my son to cancer I was blown away by the kindness of strangers who then became friends. I believe that with every challenge that’s thrown our way, we’re also given that much more love, support and strength. Blessings to your healing heart.

  3. I am speechless. Speechless for Autumn, for her devastating loss. For her shining positivity through her devastation. For you and your unwaivering kindness and support. The idea that their are souls in this world like you who will wrap their arms around a stranger in their time of need warms my heart. I can only hope that my two girls grow up with that kind of love and kindness and desire to do good in this world. Autumn I am sending you so much love in this difficult time. I hope that as you come through this season of loss your are filled with a long spring of love and new beginnings. Jodi my heart is full of gratitude for people like you. Love, Krista

  4. Speachless and teary eyed. Jodi you are an example to us all. Autumn, you can’t imagine the love and hugs coming your way. Your loss is our loss as well.

  5. In a challenging world, THIS is an example of why life is good. No matter the trouble in the world, people come together to help people. Its one community, one family and one heartbeat. Peace to Autumn and love to Jodi.

  6. I try to teach my students, who often feel disenfranchised and powerless, that even if they feel they can’t change the world, they can make a difference one person at a time. What a beautiful example of this–thank you.

  7. Sending love and support to Anson and Ayla’s mama! I am a single mom, and it is challenging but amazing when you realize how strong you can be when fueled with love. Matt Logelin’s blog and book (and foundation) are great resources for widows. Best of luck and warm hugs!

  8. Thank you, Jodi, for your love and kindness. The support that I feel from friends and strangers alike is so uplifting in a time when it is easy to feel so low.

    Tim always payed close attention so that he could give the best gifts to those he loves – undoubtedly our twins are the best gift he has given to me and to all of us left behind.

    Although “things” don’t heal the pain, they do enrich our lives in their own way, and I am so appreciative of you and your friends reaching out to us.

    Thank you for being the kind of amazing lady you are.

  9. You should really check out the Liz logelin Foundation and while you are there check out Matt’s blog in the links. Another testament to people helping strangers and becomeing “not strangers”

  10. Jodi I always knew you were incredible, but this is really something special. Autumn, I’m glad you found wonder woman and her friends. Anson IS a great name, and now a fantastic story. Like Jodi demonstrates regularly, its the stories that enrich our lives and pull us from one day to the next. Thank you both for sharing…gotta find the tissues now… *sniff*

  11. Makes me feel so dumb for waking up and being mad there was no coffee. Good luck to Autumn, and thanks for writing, Jodi.

  12. I am having trouble finding the words to respond but since Jodi is blogi (rhymes with yogi) I must say this. Autumn, you are in great hands and in stellar company. Be strong and tall for your kids and know that community is more than just the block you live on. It is a world of people who are sending you thoughts and prayers and push-ups to get you through the good and the bad. The names you and Tim have chosen are beyond perfect. In all her blog travels Jodi has stated more often than not that Anson has always been her rock. May your Anson and Ayla be that for you. Good luck and Godspeed.

  13. Those twins are luckier than they know, to have a mother and father who loved them so much. That cannot be changed. Love to Autumn, Anson and Ayla.

  14. Jodi, I agree that even strangers can make a difference – your kindness is inspiring. I am one of those who will thinking of Autumn, her husband and her sweet babies tonight – willing them all of the strength and love and support that I can.

  15. So great to hear of yours and others reaching out to support Autumn and her babies. The amazing gifts of strangers and friends in times of need are truly incredible. I will say that if anyone is deserving of such gifts of support, it is Autumn. The other day I posted on FB that I needed a Christmas tree for my family. My wife is ill with Cancer and was in the hospital. Money is tight as we pay for her treatments, and Autumn was the first one to email me and offer me a tree. In fact, she and Tim each had a tree when they got married and never got rid of the extra. She gave us that tree. Having a Christmas tree is just special in general because of the joy it brings our children – but having this tree – knowing what Autumn and Tim went through, and knowing that Autumn is hear for me as I go through this – it means even more. I am so happy to hear that you and your friends are doing such amazing things for her… she has already paid it forward.

  16. So uplifting to watch people come together to help people. Love to Autumn, and all who have had the terrible experience of having cancer touch their lives.

  17. God sends angels in so many ways! We have known Autumn and Tim and have seen the love they had for each other and the strength they had for Tim’s battle with cancer. Thanks to all of you for letting the world know that love, from friends or strangers, can ease an aching heart. Love, peace and blessings to all of you! Autumn, Anson and Ayla have been blessed by your love, Jodi.

  18. I’ve known Autumn since the 2nd grade and after losing touch during middle school – college, we found each other on facebook a few years back. She’s truly such an awesome and beautiful person inside and out. . .and everything I know about Tim makes me wish I’d gotten to meet him during his short life. You guys are amazing for helping her out with these items. . .I’m sure she never expected anything but smile and a nice email back! I promise you, she’s definitely deserving of all the love and support…

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