Losing Todd, A Mother's Journey
In Honor of 1LT Todd Weaver
KIA Sep. 9, 2010
“I admire you so much. And the book you produced is beautiful. A fitting tribute to your remarkable son. Your talents shine through in the writing and the paintings. You taught me something about a mother’s love.”
“I just turned the last page of Losing Todd, Finding Peace in my Heart and wanted you to know how touched I was by the memories you offered of Todd and your beautiful art that illustrated stages of your grief and healing. I taught Todd at Bruton High School. He was a student in my 11 Advanced English class, as well as a journalist on our newspaper staff his senior year. Many of the reflections - from you and others- reminded me of Todd’s razor sharp intelligence, natural leadership, charm and yes, even his playfulness. As I read your moving tribute to Todd, I both laughed with great pride and cried over the world’s great loss of your son and my student. Thank you for sharing such personal and pure moments. Your son was light, and I am thankful to have had the pleasure to teach him.”
"Thank you for sharing this incredible book of courage. Courage by both you and Todd! Thank you for sharing and inspiring others!!”
“…I was his Chaplain and felt the sacrifice he offered on behalf of his God and country was honorable. As the child of a military family, it seemed to me right to speak of him…I prayed for Todd and mentioned him in my sermon for this coming Sunday. ..Maybe Mrs. Weaver would like to know her son is still held up as an example. In fact, as I walked back and forth from the Wren Chapel, I passed the memorial to Todd in the College grounds and always stopped and prayed: many Canterburians can acknowledge that…
—The Rev. John Kerr
“I finished reading Jeanne's book several weeks ago and am still thinking about her story honoring Todd's life journey from childhood to his untimely death in Afghanistan in 2010 while fighting for his country. There is something in this book for everyone, whether one knew Todd or not. It is heartfelt, sad, loving, celebratory, painful, chilling, tear jerking, poignant--every emotion one could feel. This is a book one needs in their home to find strength and perseverance after any life crisis. I highly recommend it.”
“Losing Todd is without question a book that all Americans should read to help them understand that the freedom that they enjoy comes at a heavy price. It would also serve as a reminder that Americans must always remember, honor and support our fallen heroes and their families.”
—Francisco A. Espaillat
Brigadier General, USA
“Your work is simply amazing, Jeanne. The courage it must have taken for this project must have consumed you. I am convinced that not only will this be a tremendous tribute to Todd and your family, but will also be therapeutic for many, many others…it was therapeutic for me as well!”
—COL David Flynn
US Army, retired
"You have such talent. Your paintings are beautiful. They are such an incredible tribute to Todd...Now I can know Todd through your heartfelt words and beautiful depictions...Losing a loved one so dear is unbearable. However, you've come up with an incredible way to honor an American hero - your son, Todd. Thank you for sharing him with us. "
“Your book was waiting for me when we got home from vacation. I sat down immediately to page through the pictures. When I felt how much love and how many tears were mixed with the paint, my own tears came, and I set the book aside until I could give it the focus and care it deserved. I've just read it through your prologue, and as tears are coming again, I have stopped to e-mail you. The only loss I've suffered that comes close to yours was the loss of my baby brother when I was 10 years old. As was the custom back then, I was kept away from the house until after the funeral. I have no memory of little Jan, I think I only held him once. But my mother's grief over the following 35 years of her life were a testimony to her grief. I wish she had had some way to express through it. Your self-portrait: quiet, grieving, submitting; a mother facing what should never be faced. Your whole self poured out onto your canvasses. At this point, words fail me. Thank you so much for taking the time to send me my copy. I will always treasure it, you, and Todd.”
Ps. 42: 5-6
"Jeanne Weaver, in her book, Losing Todd, A Mother’s Journey, shared a part of life that I have never experienced. As I read it, I felt as if I was entering a sacred and personal space, and upon entering this space I have been changed. I came to realize how grateful all Americans should be for the sacrifices that our soldiers and their families make. Jeanne’s paintings of Todd are beautiful and clearly came from her heart. Her stories tell of her love for him and demonstrate what a fine man he was. Through this book, Jeanne will ensure that anyone who looks at it will not forget Todd or the other people who have sacrificed everything for us."
"There are a lot of philosophical issues we could examine about war but sometimes like a rose bursting out of the snow, we see something beautiful. In the book. Losing Todd, a mother’s love is shown in all its glory. Jeanne Harris Weaver’s wonderful talent of colors and paints tell of connections that voice cannot convey. Many souls would have to be relieved of some pain with such life experiences in color and meaning and beautiful essays. I’m sure Todd is proud and close to his wonderful family."