Monday, October 21, 2013

Visions of You

Today I had a vision of you, your strawberry-blonde hair and loose curls dangling right above your shoulder. Your four years old now and full of life. As I walk, I see you run ahead of me. You run in a field of flowers, so healthy and so full of life. You look back at me and I run towards you. I pick you up in my arms and we walk off together. The vision is so real I can almost sense your smell and feel you in my arms. I was at the park, once again you were there. You looked the same, so full of life as you body flew through the air on the swing. I pushed you as you yelled “higher”, then, just as quickly as you appeared, you were gone. I seen you today, you were in my car. I looked in my rear view mirror and watched you smile as you looked at me. You had your baby doll and held it tightly and kissed its soft skin. I looked back again, but you were gone. While shopping, you appeared once again. You were running towards the Halloween costumes. I seen you look back at me as you pointed to the costume you wanted. I got close to where you were, and then, in a flash you were gone. I see you every day. I see you not as you were while on this earth, but as you should be. I see you grow as you age. I know you’re not there, but I can’t help but imagine who you would be today. I imagine these visions of you will continue. A painful part of this journey is not knowing who you were, but wondering who you would be today. I will continue to watch as you age, and my visions of you will continue. When I travel this world, you will be where I am. No matter where I go, you will be there. I seen you today, as I sat on the beach. You were sitting on the sand with a bucket as the ocean water ran up and tickled your feet. You looked up at me and smiled.

The Dragonfly

Today, I sit at your grave and weep as usual. Flowers are beautifully arranged in your vase, and decorations sit on your marker in hopes you can see them from Heaven. The days, months, and years continue to pass. Each day brings me one more day closer to joining you again. The loneliness has been haunting me again. Although, surrounded by friends and family, I can’t seem to escape this feeling inside. My heart aches, my tears still flow. The laughter comes then quickly goes. Today is just one of those days in which my pain hurts more. I sit here at your grave, continuing to weep. My hand brushes over your marker as I clean the fresh cut grass off. I take my finger, gently place it on your name, and trace it. Then my finger moves to your teddy bear and gently traces over it. As I trace your name, I cry, thinking of how much I miss you. Your signs have lessened and I feel your presence less. I look up towards Heaven and ask for a sign. I close my eyes, and open them to a tingling sensation on my arm. I look down, to find the most beautiful dragon fly on my arm. I smile, as I begin to cry harder, knowing you answered my prayer. I continue to watch this dragonfly as it gently walks my body. As I watch this dragonfly, I can’t help but think of its symbolism…for it has been told that when a dragonfly is near, a loved one from Heaven has come to visit. I continue to sit at your grave with this dragonfly, never wanting this visit to end.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

As Time Goes By

Time continues to move forward, the feel of your presence has lessened, and I find myself continuing to struggle on this new journey. Two years, is hardly considered new when it comes to ordinary time, but when it comes to the loss of your only child, two years is only the beginning. It is the beginning of a life-long journey. A journey that changes not only your life, but the person you were. I find myself posting less, but posting requires energy, and for a grieving parent our energy is utilized by getting out of bed, and trying to maintain what normalcy of life we once had. We are not only emotionally drained, but we are physically drained. People often say that the first year of grief is the hardest and if you can make it through that, then you can make it through. For me, the first year was rough, but I feel as if the second year has been tougher. I am not sure why the second year has been more rough. Perhaps the first year brought shock and numbness which helped me through. Perhaps the support from friends and family carried me through. Both of which are now gone. Please don't interpret this as I feel as if I get no support, because I do. The support I once had, has lessend as people move on as they are suppose to. I have moved on as well, but carry the grief on my back. The loss of my daughter remains with me and has become part of my life, it is my history, yet it is my future. When I look in my past I see my daughter, full of life, full of love, and full of hope. When I look in my future I see what should've been Gabby's future...a future of first day of shcool, first dances, first boyfriends, first prom's,high school and college graduation, marriage, grandkids, and so much more. My hopes have now become my fears. Now childless, I must face my future and my fears. The fear of being alone, the fear of who will take care of me in my older age, and who will Gabby's treasures go to. These fears I have learned are common for those who have lost their only chid. Loving again, after losing Gabby has been hard, but I have begin to learn to love again. Loving people is hard, because it means the risk of losing again. I find myself faced by a wall, a wall of protection, one I placed after losing Gabby. This wall slowly comes down step by step. Some steps I knock down bricks, then other times some bricks may go back up. I'm not sure if the wall will ever come completely down, but each brick I move away is a big step in this journey. Many people have come into my life since losing Gabby and their are many people who I have come to love. I am not sure what my future holds. Perhaps my dream of being a mother again will come true someday. My child may no longer be present on this earth, but it doesn't mean she is not alive. Gabby will live as long as I live and will always be my child and a part of my life. Gabby is and will always be my daughter as I will always be her mother.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Memories Remain

Soon the leaves will change color. The once green leaves will turn to yellow and brown, and the grounds will be covered as the trees begin to lose their leaves. The warm weather will turn cold and the days will become shorter. The signs of fall, once my favorite time of year, now remind me of Gabby and the anniversary of her death. This time of year is especially hard as I remember Gabby and her life.

It has been two years since her passing. Her belongings, other than a few stuffed animals and toys, remain in storage. Her memorial box, sits in my room. I often open this box and look at her handprints and smell her belongings. Her blankets, draped over a chair, are often used for comfort when feeling down. Pictures of Gabby surround me and bring comfort. I love seeing her pictures as she was so full of life. These pictures remind me that Gabby was my child and that she did exist.

Strange as it may sound, I often find myself wondering if Gabby's short life was just a dream. Perhaps I wonder this because the time she has been gone has surpassed the time in which she lived. I am not sure exactly why I feel this way. Grief does strange things to you and most times you don't know how to deal with these emotions. These emotions can be overwhelming at times, and learning to deal with them is even more difficult.

I recently began Therapy to help me deal with all my emotions. My emotions have been bottled up for two years, as I seldom talk about Gabby's passing. Its one thing to be able to talk about Gabby and her life, but its another thing to talk about how losing your child has really impacted you emotionally and physically. I have always been one to keep my emotions bottled up. By allowing this, I have allowed myself to wear myself down emotionally and physically. I feel as if I made the right decision to utilize therapy to help me deal with all my emotions.

I will continue to carry on the best I know how. Living day to day and being the best person I can to honor Gabby and her life. Gabby began a new life the day she went to live with God. A life that allows her to run, play, and do all the things she was unable to do while on earth. Although, I have suffered a great loss, I wouldn't change Gabby nor her life for anything. One thing I will always be grateful for is the memories Gabby left me with. Only 17 months and 2 days of life, but a lifetime of memories. Love you always and forever Gabby.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Letter From One Grieving Mom To Another

August 23, 2012 I often find myself looking online to find comforting words that may help ease sad moments in my life since losing Gabby. I have found many comforting qoutes, stories, and messages of inspiration that have eased my aching heart. Many of these qoutes, stories, and messages of inspiration, I like to share with some of my other grieving parents, who are also in need of a smile or hope. Below is a letter that I came across from one grieving mother to another. This letter, is a letter that I found so much joy in reading. Not only did it bring me joy, but hope as well. I hope you all enjoy this letter as much as I, and that other grieving mother's or father's may find some comfort as I did. Letter To A Mother That Lost Her Child To Cancer By: Vanishree Written on November 14th, 2010 Hi My story is like each and every one here.I lost my only son on 7 October 2010 he was only 3 years old. A letter from a friends mother-in-law (a person that I did not even know) gave me such hope and support. I'd like to share it with every one and hopefully you take away some comfort. Letter to a mother who lost her child to cancer I do not know you and yet I do know you. As a woman who has lost a child once... I lost a child to cancer. That pain, that shared recognition is the bond that I am speaking about. I understand that the death of one's child is the most unacceptable loss that exists on earth. How can this be? This total imbalance - this reversal of the natural order of things - this removal of that object, that child that one has loved above all things. That you would die for. The greatest sacrifice that God demands of any woman is the life of her child. My daughter Marianthe died of cancer of the liver at the age of 2 years and 2 weeks. This was 42 years ago. You never forget. Your bond only increases. That umbilical cord of love between mother and child stretches from heaven to earth. Forever. Never never to be severed again. Your precious child can never die again. Never suffer again. Try and remember this in these terrible early days of realisation of this impossible loss. You suffer on but your child does not. That child is bathed in heavenly light. Is wonderfully healthy again. Is totally pure in the eyes of God. Great indeed in the eyes of God. That child will never never leave you. He will always look after you and his family. How do you calm the grief of a stricken mother? Nobody can. Not now and not for a long time. But I can promise you that you will heal and with that healing you will find the immense joy of an unbreakable bond with your beloved child. A bond that will endure all the days of your life til you finally hold your child in your arms again. Not just an ordinary child - but a transcended being that totally eclipses who you are as a human being on earth. After Marianthe died I wanted only one thing. To die so that I could join her for evermore. This was not to be my priviledge. Not yet. First I was destined to have more sons, never another daughter and I was happy with this. I never wanted to compare Marianthe to any other daughter. I had to change from the person I was to the person I was going to become. This is what the death of a child does to you. This is the defining moment when you change your life forever. Where you have to dig deep within your heart and soul in order to survive. Where you become greater in charity and compassion and love than you could ever have imagined. Great suffering produces great human beings. This is what God intends us to be. Hard to sustain but it is a long road that will lead you to places and achievements that you would never have dreamed of. It is what you will drive yourself to do in order to overcome your pain. And through this you will heal. In time and gradually. I cannot promise any easy roads to this state where you will one day be. Where you no longer agonise for the sight and sound of your child. All I can say is that I would not wish any of my past, including the loss of Marianthe, to be undone. God loves me and has granted me the most remarkable series of dreams about my daughter. Brought me within sight of her. Even touched her and known that what I saw was immensely greater than myself - this deeply humble creature bowed down at her feet. But with what joy. What thanksgiving. Of knowing that you will be joined at the moment of your death with this waiting child who will have cared for you in countless ways during the course of your life. That child's focus is now entirely on you and will always be. Dont doubt it and above all dont doubt the indescribable joy of your final journey to him. I have waited 42 years and each passing day, month, year brings me one step closer to that incredible reunion. It is the one sure thing that I know. That it will happen. Vaneshree, look through your agony to the huge light and joy that awaits you. Your child is not dead or gone. Merely an invisible barrier that separates you til you are joined again. Grieve, weep, grow - your happiness will return. Be assured of this. God bless you and hold you close. As I do God give us strength

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reunited Angels

He had the most beautiful blonde hair, skin as soft as an angel, and a smile that would melt your heart. His name was Andrew Chance Garcia, a heavenly angel sent from God. I had the honor of meeting Andrew, his Mom...Sarah, his Dad...Jerry, his oldest sister....Katie, and his sister....Emmie on October 23, 2010. I often find myself thinking back on this visit and how meeting this beautiful child and his family changed not only my life, but my daughter's life as well.

I received a call from Drew's mom, Sarah shortly after our arrival home. Her family, was traveling and would be coming near our part of town. It was only months earlier that I had met Sarah through an online support group for those who had children with Hydranencephaly. We quickly, hit it off and she was one of the many that helped bring the "momma bear" out of me when Gabby was hospitalized. I became so excited, and although Gabby was not in the best of health, I thought this may be a good oppurtunity for Gabby and myself.

Although I was eager for the visit, I had my fears too. My daughter Gabby, born with Hydranencephaly was kept a sheltered life. I did everything I could to protect my daughter from illness, and this meant avoiding children due to fear of her being exposed to germs. Gabby had just returned home after a month stay at Children's Hospital due to chronic infections and a shunt surgery. I must admit that I was afraid of this visit being too much on her so soon, but I knew that Gabby needed to experience spending time with a child her own age and same condition. I just knew in my heart it would do her good.

October 23, 2010 was a day that I remember like it was yesterday. It was warm, and perfect weather for Gabby and I to stroll up the street to meet the Garcia family at the lake. We greeted one another and I immediately fell in love with Drew the moment I saw him. His eyes so big, and his smile that went from ear to ear. We went back to our house and just talked like we knew each other for years. I have never met such a kind loving family.

The time came where Jerry decided to take Katie and Emmie back to the RV so Drew and Gabby could have some time alone with their mommies. We laid them on a blanket and just let them interact. The reaction we got out of the two was priceless. Drew, never took his eyes off Gabby. He would sing to her and do everything he could to get her attention (even trying to bite her shoulder). Gabby, spent her first few minutes playing hard to get and slept. Once Drew got her attention though, she woke up and joined him by trying to grab his hand, holding his arms, and just making beautiful conversation that only those two could understand. From that moment on, we knew we had a special, unique friendship that would last an eternity.

Sarah and I took photos of these two and have cheerished these photos from that day on. Gabby passed away that following November. I always told Sarah that Gabby had met her goal in life and that was meeting Drew. These two had a bond that was like no other. I believe that God sent them to one another, and I beleive that he sent Sarah and I to one another as well.

Sarah and I have remained close since our first meeting and always talk about that day in October when Gabby found her best friend Drew...her soulmate. Sadly, Drew passed away on January 29, 2012. His parents are deeply grieving his loss and are just trying to make it second by second. I will never forget that day when this beautiful angel came into our lives. I truly believe that God brought these two togehter. As difficult as today has been, I just know that Gabby and Drew are hand in hand in Heaven, playing in God's garden with all the other angels.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Love Follows Me

It has now been over a year since Gabby has left her journey on earth, to begin her new life in heaven. Although, a year has passed, my journey as a grieving mother still lives on. It is a journey that will follow me the remaining days of my life. I once believed that life without Gabby wouldn't go on, that her loss would only bring me heartache that would never heal, and I would have to continue to live my life in a world filled with sorrow and pain. I am glad to say, I no longer believe this.

The thoughts of Gabby have not lessend since losing her. I continue to think of Gabby every minute of everyday. She is the first person I think of when I wake up and the last person I think of before I fall asleep. In the beginning, these thoughts of her brought heartache and sorrow as it only reminded me of her loss and the empty feeling that remains within me. Today, these thoughts of her fill my heart with joy, and the emptiness I once felt is lessening.

Although, I had so much support from friends and family, one thing I could never escape was the feeling of lonliness. It followed me with every move I made. I was so angry at God and even more angry with Gabby for leaving me alone to deal with this pain. I am now realizing that God, nor Gabby have never left my side during this journey. I am beginning to feel Gabby's love in every move I make. I feel her love and presence in the warmth of the sun, I feel her touch as the wind brushes my cheek, I feel her tears as the rain falls on my skin, and I see her smile as she comes to me in my dreams.

I believe Gabby's presence has always been with me, Gabby has never left my side. I cannot see Gabby's presence, but I know it is there, I feel it everyday, and because of this...I know her love follows me.