By Rosemary Smith — September 3, 2008

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 away, 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.

Rosemary Smith can be reached through her website,

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Rosemary Smith

Rosemary Smith was raised in New Albany, Indiana, and went on to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy, graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1970. Married to her school classmate, Luther G. Smith in 1971, the two have been responsible for developing a unique, independent pharmacy chain known as Jordan Drug.The Jordan Drug corporate offices are in Beattyville, Kentucky where Rosemary not only fulfills her role as a practicing pharmacist but also attentively upholds the role of Secretary/Treasurer of the company. While Smith continues her flourishing career as a practicing pharmacist, she carries in her heart a message of faith, hope and inspiration. Rosemary’s heartfelt message stems from the loss of her two older sons, Drew, born April 27, 1974 and Jeremiah, born July 4, 1977, both of whom tragically died in a car accident in 1992. Since that heartrending day, Rosemary has become a woman who knows that she was left on earth without her sons primarily so that she could help others live through a tragedy of such enormity. She is the author of “Children of the Dome,” a non-fiction book of hope. She and her husband Luther have co-produced a documentary, “Space Between Breaths,” which had a private screening on May 31, 2007. Rosemary hosts a web site for bereaved parents located at where she shares thousands of bereavement packets comprised of books, videos and writings collected over a five-year period, all devoted to helping families across the country. Rosemary has been selected as keynote speaker for the J.I.M (Joining in Memory) Conference in Williamsburg, Kentucky. She has been the keynote speaker at other national bereavement conferences where she leads workshops on a variety of bereavement topics. A committed member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, she makes her home in Beattyville, Kentucky, sharing life with her husband Luther and her son Jordan. Rosemary appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” with Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley to discuss “Finding Meaning After the Death of Two Children.” To hear Rosemary being interviewed on this show, go to the following link:

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