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DFW Mother Loses Son & Husband Within Days

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Saturday, July 21, 2011 is a day I will never forget.

I attended the funeral of a 4-month-old little boy. Then, I attended the funeral of his father.

It was an emotional, heart-wrenching day full of tears, questions and disbelief.

It was hard for my husband and me to process what happened. Imagine being the mother of the little boy and the widow of the father.

That woman is Honea Rothermel. How she got through that service at Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church I will never know. She has done more than just get through that day, though. She has vowed to ensure her son’s life wasn’t in vain by working with the RISE School of Dallas to help children with Down Syndrome and their families.

There were so many questions about the death of her son, House, followed by the suicide of her husband, Louis. We ultimately won’t ever know the answers to those questions. “I don’t know what happened and I never will,” Honea admitted to me when I met with her at her house in May.

She isn’t focused on what happened that weekend. She can’t be. “It has everything to do with with how I live my life and how I’m going to mother Reed [her oldest son]. I’m the only parent he has now.”

When she reflects on House, she is pragmatic. “I have had to come to the peace that he is gone, but I definitely believe that his life and his impact is so much bigger than he was. It is a goal and a desire and a passion of mine that his story will not be forgotten and that his life continue to be bigger than he was.”

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