written by: Rhonda Ross

Early on November 22, 1973, Thanksgiving Day, we were blessed with a precious baby boy. That tiny 5 lbs. 10 oz. bundle brought more joy to our lives than we imagined. He was a good baby, a cuddly toddler, a bright little boy and a funny teenager. He grew up to be a burly 5' 11', 200+ lb. man with a gorgeous smile and amazing blue eyes. He was a very smart, witty, easy going man with a big heart. Dylan "entertained" family and friends from a young age right up to the day he died. He could read a book or watch a movie once and commit it to memory. He called himself "an encyclopedia of useless knowledge". More than anything, Dylan loved his family. He was always close to us and his sister. He enjoyed great relationships with and was loved by his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, numerous friends, and coworkers. Above all, Dylan loved his children. He enjoyed his job and worked hard. He loved fishing, duck hunting, drag racing and Walt Disney World. On Friday, August 27, 2010 while at work Dylan called his boss to say he thought he was having a heart attack and needed help. He was alive when the paramedics arrived, but he died in route to the hospital and could not be revived. We got the call and raced to the hospital praying and begging God to take one of us... but a doctor and nurse came out to tell us our beloved son was gone. Our worse nightmare came true except this pain is worse than we imagined. We love you Dylan and we will miss you until the day we join you in heaven.


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In Memory of:


November 22, 1973 - August 27. 2010

A devoted husband, father, son, brother and friend
and a resident of Watson, Louisiana,
and an employee of AT&T,
he died unexpectedly Friday, August 27, 2010,
at Lane Regional Medical Center in Zachary.
He was 36 years old.


1 To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

9 What profit hath he that worketh
in that wherein he laboreth?

10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given
to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time:
also he hath set the world in their heart,
so that no man can find out the work that
God maketh from the beginning to the end.

12 I know that there is no good in them,
but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

13 And also that every man should eat and drink,
and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.

14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever:
nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it:
and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.


1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

REVELATIONS 14: 12 - 20

12 Here is the patience of the saints:
here are they that keep the commandments of God,
and the faith of Jesus.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me,
Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth:
Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors;
and their works do follow them.

14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud,
and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man,
having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

15 And another angel came out of the temple,
crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud,
Thrust in thy sickle, and reap:
for the time is come for thee to reap;
for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth;
and the earth was reaped.

17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven,
he also having a sharp sickle.

18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire;
and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying,
Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth,
and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

20 And the winepress was trodden without the city,
and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles,
by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.


Come, O God, renew your people,
We who long to see your face,
Strengthen hearts that have grown feeble;
Fill our lives with truth and grace,
Only you can win our freedom;
Only you can bring us peace,
Only in the cross of Jesus,
Will the captives find release.

Deep within create a new heart;
Melt away the winter chill,
Help us now to make a new start,
Help us now to know your will,
Washed in waters of forgiveness,
Cleansed in waters of new birth,
Lead us to the cross of Jesus,
Bringing life to all the earth.

In the darkness that surrounds us,
We have lost you from our sight,
Even though your love has found us,
We embrace the powers of night,
Scatter now our deepest darkness,
Guide our hearts into the light,
Join us to the cross of Jesus,
Help us set our living right.

Call us forth to walk in justice,
Rescue us from sin and grave,
Through the power of your Spirit,
Breathe in us the breath that saves,
Strengthen us in our communion
, One in Word and cup and bread,
Here within the cross of Jesus,
All who hunger will be fed.

Francis Patrick O’Brien


Ross, Bart 'Dylan'

A devoted husband, son, brother, and friend, a resident of Watson and an employee of AT&T, he died unexpectedly Firday, Aug. 27, 2010, at Lane Regional Medical Center in Zachary. He was 36. Visiting at Charlet Funeral Home Inc., Zachary, on Monday, Aug. 30, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visiting resumes at the funeral home Tuesday, Aug. 31, from 9 a.m. until service at 10 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 11 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Zachary, conducted by the Rev. M. Jeffery Bayhi. He is survived by his wife, Brandi Warren Ross; a daughter, Madison Marie Ross; two sons, Chandler Seth Ross and Tristan Cole Lacaze; parents, Terry and Rhonda Ross; a sister, Lauri Ross Garrett and husband Kevin James; mother-in-law, Teri Warren; brother-in-law, Chris Warren and wife Kelly; sister-in-law, Savannah Maynard; grandmother, Beverly Rivet Slocum; nieces and nephews, Taylor, Krista and Gavinn Warren and Brant, Bradie, Benjamin, and Breanna Garret; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Preceded in death by an infant brother, Matthew Ross; father-in-law, Sonny Warren; grandparents, TJ and Doris Messina, Dayton W. Slocum Jr., Jacqueline Sanders Sullivan and William F. Ross Sr.; aunt, Jackie Ross Dunham; and cousin, Lucas Christopher Ross. Pallbearers will be Chris Warren, Kevin Garret, Todd Rouse, Ritchie Ross, Casey Lewis and Corey Borne. Dylan was an avid fisherman, duck hunter, and drag racing fan. Share sympathies, condolences and memories at


He walked beyond the Cypress trees
In the swamp towards the west.
He bowed his head in reverence
As he made his last request.

"Let this hunter's voice be heard
In the morning winds that sing
And let this hunter's spirit soar
On the tips of mallard wings."

"And in the sun and in the moon
And in the wetland's starlight glow
Let my light forever shine
Casting shadows of hope below."

"Let this worn-out hunting cap
Be my halo when I die,
As I carry my shotgun and decoys,
And wade across the clouds on high."

"Call in the ones that aimed with me,
And the little hunters too.
Help them all to understand
That my final hunt is through."

"Please grant this last request of mine
As I gently walk away,
Calling ducks along the pass
To that place where I will stay."

Then he walked beyond the sunset,
His silhouette against the sky.
His eternal duck call echoed,
As he said his last goodbye.

© 2010 Christine Ross
~ Bringer of Light Poetry ~
In memory of Dylan Ross 1973 - 2010



I'm sending a dove to Heaven
With a parcel on its wings,
Be careful when you open it
It's full of beautiful things.
Inside are a million kisses
Wrapped up in a million hugs,
To say how muych I miss you
And to send you all my love.

I hold you close within my heart
And there you will remain,
To walk with me througout my life
Until I see you again.

~ author unknown


Unfortunately I have known several people who have lost children since I lost my son and each time my heart aches for them. All I can do is give them a hug and tell them how truly sorry I am for their devastating loss. I do let them know that I have experienced the loss of my son and I know the pain they are experiencing. If they say they don't know what to do or how to feel I just assure them that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. If they want to talk, I listen. Depending on my relationship with the bereaved I follow up with a visit, phone call or handwritten card a week or two after the funeral to let them know they and their child are in my thoughts and prayers. ~ Rhonda 2014

Your presence we miss, your memories we treasure, loving you always, forgetting you never. ~ Author Unknown


From an early age I talked to Dylan about Jesus and heaven. He was very curious and asked lots of questions. He asked what heaven is like. I told him how wonderful it is. In fact I made it sound so good he wanted to know, "When can I go there?" I explained that when Jesus is ready for us to live with him, usually when we get very old, he comes and takes us to heaven.

One day when Dylan was about 4 years old he was playing out in our backyard. I went out to check on him. He was looking up very intently. I looked up but didn't see anything so I asked, "What are you looking at?" He answered very matter of factly, "I'm looking for the door." "What door?", I asked. He answered, "The door to heaven. You said Jesus comes and takes us to heaven so where's the door?" I smiled at him and said, "It's invisible. We can't see it until Jesus comes to get us." Dylan found "the door" when Jesus came to take him to heaven August 27, 2010. ~ Rhonda Ross

Dylan was quite a character from a very early age. At age 6, while in first grade, I picked him up from school one day and noticed he seemed kind of sad. When we got home I sat him on my lap with my arm around him and looked into his big blue eyes and asked him what was wrong. He very seriously replied, "Everybody at school has an allergy and I don't have one." I asked him if he knew what an allergy was. He said he did. I said, "Well you're lucky not to have one." He insisted that he really wanted an allergy so I said, "Okay, what do you want to be allergic to?" He perked up and said, "I'll be allergic to grass 'cause it makes me itch." I told him that would be fine and gave him a hug. He went off happy to have his very own allergy. When he was older he loved for me to tell him this story. We would laugh about it together. Recalling it now makes me smile. ~ Rhonda Ross


Before my son, Dylan, died suddenly on August 27, 2010 he and I frequently met for lunch. On one of those occassions I mentioned to him that my husband, his Dad, frequently saw shooting stars and that in my 59 years of life I had never seen one. One evening about a week after Dylan's funeral I walked outside to sit in his truck to see if I could feel him or smell him there. After a few minutes I got out of the truck. Crying, I leaned against his truck and looked up at the night sky calling his name and asking where he was and if he was okay? To my surprise, a shooting star streaked across the sky. ~ Rhonda Ross

Dylan was an avid duck hunter. Since early childhood he spent every duck season here in south Louisiana hunting at every opportunity with his Dad, cousin Richie, son, daughter, other family and friends. Five months after his death on the closing day of that first duck season without him his Dad, cousin Richie, and daughter Madison were hunting together at our camp that he loved in Mississippi. Early that morning they noticed a little yellow bird, like none of them had ever seen before, flitting around the duck blind. It fearlessly flew into the blind and spent the day with them perching on the railing to watch them, flying down and landing on Richie's boot, and eating crumbs from a sweet roll from Maddie. It was clear to all three of them that Dylan was there with them that day. In three more seasons of duck hunting since then none of them has ever seen this little bird again. ~ Rhonda

Shortly after Dylan's last trip to Disney World with his family he told me the story of how they were standing on the bridge between Tomorrowland and Cinderella's Castle watching a mother duck swimming with her ducklings. Suddenly a hawk swooped down and snatched one of the ducklings and it was struggling and quacking and they were all very upset. While looking through their pictures after they got home there was the hawk sitting in a tree in one of the pictures apparently waiting to snatch the duckling. Last December my husband, granddaughter (Dylan's daughter), and I went to Disney World. One day we happened to stop on that same bridge and I said, "Maddie isn't this where y'all saw that hawk snatch that duckling?" As she was answering me saying that it was the same spot my husband said, "Look in that tree. There's a hawk sitting there now." Maddie said, "That's the exact tree the hawk we saw was sitting in!" At that moment all three of us KNEW Dylan was letting us know he was with us. ~ Rhonda, September 2014

Since Dylan died there are few things that touch my heart as much as being reminded that others love and miss him. My nephew and Dylan were best friends from the time they were toddlers. I'm not surprised that Dylan visited him in a dream and am so grateful that he shared it with me. He has graciously given me permission to share it here. ~ Rhonda Ross 2014

I had a dream several weeks ago. It really upset me when I woke up from it. There we were, on some lake, much alike the one where the camp is now. There was a place to launch the boat behind it, an elevated camp, similar to the one now, but much lower. And we were fishing, he an I, from a small aluminum boat, casting between cypress trees already turned red with the onset of the cooler weather. There was a slight fog on the water from the cool air. He had lost a good bit of weight, but still had just a little to lose. His signature goatee was entirely grey, and for some reason he grew the back of his hair ever so slightly, not enough to even be considered long, but longer than his normal haircut. Inside the camp was Uncle Terry, resting and watching TV. And we fished, in silence. And he had the biggest smile on his face. He was completely happy, on that lake, rod in hand, casting for the next fish worthy of being placed on the wall.

I woke up with tears streaming down my face and went to the bathroom so as not to wake Bridget. And I bawled. I cried until my eyes hurt. Until they were dry.

Those that know me well know that I am not outspokenly religious. I really couldn't tell you which religion suits me best. But I can tell you this with utmost certainty - that was a vision from Heaven.

~ Richard Ross, Dylan's cousin


Loved by all who knew him.
~ Rhonda Ross 2011


Dylan left this earth not long ago
On a day that's difficult to recall.
That day that ripped your heart out.
A pain not understood at all.

We know the deep wound it has left you.
You see, we have that open wound too.
Because....our Luke was taken from us
Just as your Dylan was taken from you.

It doesn't matter how long it's been,
A year, a few years, or many more.
We know how it seems only yesterday
Dylan was with you and safe as before.

The days gone by are lonely echoes
Of a much happier life and time.
We wish for you the comfort of memories
Held forever in your heart and mind.

Just know your Dylan is reaching out
To announce that life is not through.
To tell you that the spirit never leaves
And that he's always watching over you.

So on this special memorial day
Let there be honor and memories and pride.
May you feel the spirit of everlasting love
On this day that your sweet Dylan died.

© 2002 - Christine Ross
in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001
revised 2011 - in memory of Dylan Ross 1973 -2010

Two years. Two years since I've looked into those gorgeous blue eyes, seen your handsome smile, heard your voice, or hugged you. Two years that seem like an eternity yet memories of the day you died are so vivid it seems like yesterday. Oh how I love you and miss you my precious son.
~ Rhonda Ross 2012

Think about this for a minute...or two or longer. Have you ever thought about the same thing, the same subject, or the same person EVERY single day for years? Aside from your husband/wife/kids/pets that you see every day, and I am including the weekends (that would exclude co-workers from the mix).

That's what has happened for the past years. Every day.every morning.and especially every workday when I sit at my desk and see my digital picture frame, scrolling through the few pictures that show his face.that show him in action.that shows him doing something that he loved.

It still somehow seems unreal even though I have learned to control the impulse to text or call. It still seems like a bad dream, swirling around, confusing, and then becoming more clear, allowing you to realize that, in fact, he is gone. Yes, some of the sting has faded. But like scar tissue from some injury that has long since healed, it's still sore. It inhibits your movement when you wake up in the morning. It takes a second or two to get through the initial pain, and then slowly you start to move, still in discomfort, cursing the incident that caused it.

I think we have all gone through the shock, dismay, mourning, regret, anger, and sorrow. I think we have all felt a multitude of emotions at once, not sure which to grab hold of, which one will give the most relief from the previous. All we know is we want to feel better and the plain and simple truth is that there is a part of us that knows we never will.

We have learned to cope. We have learned to manage the pain. We have learned to control our emotions. We have not, nor do I think we will ever, learn to accept it and move on. There are too many memories, too many expectations of things to come, and now, too large a hole to fill.

There are ways we have learned to occupy our time. To let the anticipation of unspoken fishing trips, cook-outs, and hunts that were to come, fade into the realization that they will not happen. There is the camp, which has occupied several weekends of blood, sweat, and plenty of tears. It has turned to a labor of love, something that MUST be done. Rebuilt...To carry on.To endure.To create a legacy to be passed on. And it will.

When I start to write, I have the best intentions. And I have been told that as a writer (a term I use very loosely) my best work is my emotional work, which I assume is the same for "real" writers out there. And in the course of writing this, I have once again become swept up in memories and daydreams of what might have been, of glorious hunts, great fishing trips, and the slow boat rides back to the camp at sunset, seeing the swirl of a bass, or the lingering flight of wood ducks, diving into some unseen pothole in the swamp to roost for the night. And the inevitable cooking and conversation of how good it was or how we can make it better, with a "tottie" in one hand and the last cigarette for the night in the other. Those are the things I will miss most.

~ Richard Ross, Dylan's Cousin

"I do not want this to be happening!" Those were the first words out of my mouth three years ago when we were told that you were gone. Although I didn't believe it possible I'm still here but the thought of spending the rest of my life without you remains unbearable. I still do not want this to be happening!!! I think of you every day. I miss you every day. I love you with all my heart Dylan. ~ Rhonda Ross 2013


Once there were two cypress trees
Standing tall against the sky,
Taking in the warmth of breezes
As their leaves just fluttered by.

Then from those two tall cypress trees
Two more little cypress trees grew
By a lake there in the southern swamp
Touched by the morning dew.

They gathered in the sunshine.
Then they quenched upon the rain.
Four trees playing in the wind
Sometime before the winter came.

In the springtime how they glistened.
They had the warmth of summer winds.
Little did the four trees know
This would never come again.

Autumn gave them graceful leaves
As they stood so proud and tall
Then suddenly a cold wind blew
And their leaves began to fall.

The wind was blowing violently
With a howling lonesome sound.
Then with an eerie silence
One tree fell to the ground.

The young tree laid there cold and still
As the sky released the rain.
Then drops of sorrow trickled down
From the three trees that remained.

Raindrops quietly turned to ice,
Just as the barren trees had feared.
Autumn, spring, and summer... gone
And a long, long winter... here.

© 2008 - Christine Ross ~ Bringer of Light Poetry
In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001
Revised from "The Two Aspens" ©2010 ~ in memory of Dylan Ross 1973 - 2010

Published in
Fall 2009, Volume 24 No. 3
Bereavement Publications, Inc.

It seems so much longer than 4 years since I've looked into your gorgeous eyes, heard your voice, seen your handsome smile, and felt one of your big bear hugs. I miss our talks. I miss your humor. I miss your wisdom. I miss YOU! I love you son. I will love you forever. And someday when the time is right I will join you in Heaven. ~ Rhonda, August 2014



Oh what a day it was! Thanksgiving Day 1973, LSU and Alabama on national TV, the highly anticipated arrival of YOU, my beloved son! I remember everything about that happy day even though it was 40 years ago. You were so tiny at 5 pounds 10 ounces but you were perfect in every way. I felt my life was complete. The next 36 years and nine months hold all the memories so dear to my heart. The joy, worries, hugs, kisses, laughter, pride, late night talks, and love that were all part of watching you live and grow into the wonderful son, brother, husband, father, and friend that you were. As you celebrate your fourth birthday in Heaven we will celebrate your precious life here on earth. We love you and miss you Dylan.
Rhonda Ross 2013


Candles may be brightly burning,
Upon a special birthday cake.
Friends and family may be singing,
To what appears an empty space.

You see, that space is only empty,
To your normal human sight.
For Dylan is always near you,
With a spirit that is bright.

To touch may not be possible,
Although Dylan exists,
Not in a way you understand,
But with a presence that persists.

You'll celebrate this special day,
The day your son was born,
Even though you deeply mourn.

© 2001 ~ Christine Ross ~ Bringer of Light Poetry
~in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001
Revised © 2010 ~ in memory of Dylan Ross 1973 - 2010

As we morn your death we also celebrate your life. We love and miss you. ~ Rhonda Ross 2011

We are celebrating your life as you spend your third birthday in Heaven. How privileged we are to be able to celebrate the life of such a beloved son, brother, father, and treasured friend to so many. Your life left an indelible mark on the hearts of all who know and love you and your death has left an irreparable hole. We are grateful for your signs and the knowledge that you are always near. We love you as much as ever and miss you more with each passing day. Happy Birthday!!! ~ Rhonda Ross 2012

Heaven is a place, another realm, where the souls of our loved ones, God's chosen ones, are immersed in pure love, joy and peace. They are surrounded by unimaginable beauty and want for nothing. With God's grace they are able to continue to enjoy many earthly pleasures. And while we no longer experience their physical presence they are able to remain close to us and even communicate with us. I know this because my son has told me. ~ Rhonda 2014

Missing you more than ever on your 4th birthday in Heaven. Loving you forever.

Finding solace in the loving words of your best friend.


You find yourself wandering, through the mall,
Christmas past, you want to relive,
Tears fall from your eyes, as you gaze upon.....
All the gifts you can never give.

Allured by the scent, of his favorite cologne,
Beckoned by a sporting goods store,
You needlessly search, for that card "To My Son",
Longing for Christmas with him, just once more.

There are so many things, you would give him,
The warmth of a hug, and a smile.
You would give him that one last, "I love you".
Then you'd sit, and you'd talk for awhile.

You'd give him the strength, to overcome death.
That found haven, in his soul.
You'd give breath so that he could have,
That simple gift of growing old.

The gift of time, for a long goodbye,
Something you desperately wish, you could do,
You could tell him how deeply, you miss him,
How his absence, makes Christmas so blue.

But breath, and hugs can't be given,
Nor time for talks, or long goodbyes,
For Dylan has gone, to that place far away,
He dwells with angels, up in the sky.

So this year, just wrap up your memories,
Those of a happier, Christmas lived.
Place them beneath, the Christmas tree with.....
All the gifts you can never give.

© 2001 - Christine Ross ~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001
Revised ©2010 ~ in memory of Dylan Ross 1973 - 2010


Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads, there lived a little water beetle in a community of water beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond with few disturbances and interruptions.

Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and would never be seen again. They knew when this happened; their friend was dead, gone forever.

Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top.

When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so warm, that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body designed for flying.

So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never known existed.

Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended.
But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he understood that their time would come, when they, too, would know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joyous new life!

~Author Unknown~


Last Entry in Luke's Journal:

"When there is love in my heart and a smile on my face,
I need nothing else." ~ Luke Ross


Background Sounds:

Awakening Swamp