In Asian Countries,
one can still find delicate tear vases used by mourners. The tears
shed into the little vases are considered sacred. The tear bottles
are kept and often buried with the person mourned. Even if our tears
are for ourselves, for our ache of loneliness, for our pain of loss, they
are still sacred, for they are tears of love. ~Rabbi Jack Stern, Jr.
Memories Are Elusive;
Capture Them While You Can
If I were to recall my many
memories of James, they surely would begin on the very first day of his
life. And what an unusual day it was – so hot and rainy, with flashing
bolts of lightening and loud claps of thunder. Late that afternoon,
I was holding him in my arms, and the feeling of joy and happiness is something
I can still hold in my heart. After that, the visits were so much
fun to see the progress James was making from month to month.
But then the day came when
he came to say good-bye for a while because he was moving from Connecticut
to Georgia, which seemed to be very far away. Then it was time for
phone calls and letters with photos enclosed.
I had summer visits to look
forward to and of course, always at Christmas. I remember the fun
I had with James in the joy that he loved about the holiday.
When it became possible for
me to live here my happiness was complete because then it meant I could
see him more often.
The soccer games – always proud
days because James played so hard to win for his team – the times he stayed
at our house where we played games – none of which I could ever win – the
help he loved to give me doing crossword puzzles – and the delight in his
eyes when he found the piece of the jigsaw puzzle that I just knew had
been lost. The vacations we took together – he so enjoyed seeing
new places, sharing “The Little Mermaid”, “The Velveteen Rabbit” his very
favorite movie and book.
All these and so many more
will be cherished in my mind and heart and James will remain there for
all time. I am his grandmother, will love my precious grandson, my
James, for all eternity. May God hold him in the palm of his hand
for us all.
~Written by Georgianna Stempien
Submitted by her daughter
& James’ Mom, Meg Avery
Memory of James Avery, III
July 15, 1983 to September
The summer wore on, hot and
The forecast always the same.
We watched the sky, prayed
As the corn withered,
The trees dropped their fruit,
And the wells went dry
From lack of moisture.
Then came the awful news.
My Amanda was dying.
Her beautiful body,
so filled with life,
Was breaking and shattering
Upon the news that had fallen.
My Amanda did die.
After the funeral,
I lay on her bed.
My mind numb with pain.
Oblivious to the weather;
And everything else except
Longing for the healing oblivion
Sleep that would not come.
And all at once come the sound
Gently on the roof.
I heard the Almighty.
A Loving Father, Also Weeping.
Feeling my sorrow.
And waiting for sleep.
For sleep that just won't
~by Maureen Jones, Dahlonega,
In Remembrance of My Daughter
Amanda Diane Jones
May 9, 1986 - July 19, 1996
"A knowledge that another has
felt as we have felt,
and seen things not much otherwise
than we have seen them,
will continue to the end to
be one of life's choicest blessings"
~ Robert Louis Stevenson
Every supermarket decision
has a family memory connected to it. You’d never expect a package of spaghetti
or a can of creamed corn to leave you crying in the aisle at the store…Excerpt
from Charlie Walton’s book, When There Are No Words.
Every parent who has lost a
child knows these words to be true. Whether it is baby food or a toddler’s
newly discovered favorite food, junk food for teenagers or an adult child’s
old time favorite, the grocery store can be a tough trip.
I lost my son, Stephen, when
he was eighteen, so it was the junk food - potato chips, Funyuns, French
bread for pizzas, Ragu sauce, pepperoni, Cheetos, cheesebread, cereal of
all kinds, Chex mix and so on that haunted me and made me not want to grocery
shop. But – it was the golden face of Mrs. Butterworth that brought me
to my knees.
As I stared in horror at her
face, I remembered sticky little handprints on the wall when the highchair
had been just a little too close, I remembered a chubby little toddler
sitting next to me at the table, talking seriously, his green eyes wide.
“I sink I saw her wink at me,” he said of Mrs. Butterworth, sounding a
little like Tweety Bird.
“Really?” I asked. Mrs. Butterworth
always winked on the commercial – she seemed quite lifelike.
I took Mrs. Butterworth and
made her walk toward his plate. She tripped when she was just the right
distance from his plate and syrup spilled from her head right onto his
pancakes. He looked at me and I saw it coming in his eyes – laughter. There
is something so precious about a toddler’s laughter. It seems to start
deep within and rolls from their chest until they lose their breath. He
cackled, he gasped, his body shook with laughter as Mrs. Butterworth regained
her footing and said, “Oh, my – silly me!”
He laughed even more.
Therefore, Mrs. Butterworth
made a ritual of tripping and spilling syrup onto his pancakes. Sometimes
she would let out a shriek as she fell, other times she would say in an
embarrassed, dainty voice something about how clumsy she was or how she
had tripped over her apron. Whatever she did, he rolled.
When Stephen was 15, the two
of us often shared a quick breakfast before rushing out the door. He usually
ate pancakes that he cooked for himself and I joined him for a granola
bar and a diet coke. I was lost in thought one morning, a particularly
stressful day ahead of me, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mrs.
Butterworth come walking toward me. She was helped by a hand as big as
mine with slender fingers wrapped around her base.
“So – how you been?” Mrs. Butterworth
asked in a voice that tried to sound feminine but came out a little like
a drag queen. She tripped suddenly and screamed in apparent horror. “Oh,
crap!” she said as she stood back up. It may be the only time that Mrs.
Butterworth has ever said crap – I’m not sure. I laughed until I
was sick and left for work with a smile in my heart.
But now, I did not laugh or
even smile when I saw her face. I cried. Other shoppers probably thought
I was insane. I walked away. I couldn’t look at her. Cheetos and Funyuns
and potato chips had already stabbed at me over on aisle four, Captain
Crunch had almost tripped me, the Tombstone Pizzas had made me as cold
as they were in the freezer just to look at them, but the little golden
faced lady broke my heart.
For the next four years, I
had a peculiar interest in shortening and oil – you see, they were across
the aisle from Mrs. Butterworth and I had to keep my back to her. She was
an old friend, but I couldn’t face her. She was an unintentional emotional
grenade. It was a sad situation and such a shame for two who had been so
close not to acknowledge each other’s presence, but I just couldn’t look
I always knew she was there,
kindly smiling and understanding that I couldn’t face her. But just last
week, I felt the golden stare strongly on my back as I once again feigned
interest in the Wesson and the Crisco. For the first time in four years,
I dared turn and peek at her. She boasted of ½ the calories
- so, she, too understood being mid forties, huh?
I dared turn a little more
to fully face the little lady who had meant so much to Stephen and me –
the fully golden one, with all the calories. The tears came, but a smile
came with them. The memories that the golden face evoked were gentle, worth
remembering forever. Older grief is, indeed, kinder.
I put her in my shopping cart
and took her home with me. She stands on one of the top shelves in my kitchen
pantry, guarding my granola bars and my memories.…..handprints on a wall,
a toddler’s laughter, a teenager making his stressed mom laugh.
And, Stephen – you know, buddy,
this morning when I grabbed a granola bar, I sink I saw her wink at me.
In Memory of Stephen Beam
July 17, 1978 - April 13,
Submitted by his mom, Marcia
author of Stephen’s Moon.
The door to my heart was opened
when God gave you to me.
You were such a little doll--
Oh that was plain to see.
For many years we had it rough
We struggled to make it and
oh how tough.
We did though son and with
those hard times
I knew I had to make it for
you were mine.
Just as times were getting
and we were on the down
side of life's ladder,
The door to my heart was closed.
The Master called you home.
With that now, I'm left alone.
My hearts broken, my spirit
Life for you had been tragically
and FOREVER HUSHED.
~Joyce Brooks, Conyers, GA
In loving memory of my son
Stephen Bradley Turley 9-19-82
Written in loving memory of
Born on the threshold of summer,
you were sheltered and loved
and you grew and bloomed
in colors of sun, sky and
You ran and played and climbed
and laughed through the years
at the antics of people and
You changed but somehow stayed
Once in the midst of living
we looked around and realized
that you were already at another
between being a child and
being a young lady.
You were so proud as you faced
took a deep breath, gathered
then rushed headlong into
that new world
of moods and pajama parties
You progressed and looked ahead
to the point
in time where you thought
your freedom resided.
"I can't wait until I'm twenty-one,"
"I'll do . ." "I'll go . ."
"I'll have . ." "I'll be . ."
That threshold never came for
you were called too soon to
that took you forever beyond
into a place of which we've
So here today, on your twenty-first
the threshold you were so
we gather to honor your memory
in a joyous toast
and celebrate the everlasting
wonder of your life.
~written by Harold Hopkins,
Struck by the closeness of
Laura Maria's death to my son, Lance's, parting, I wanted to write this
In Memory of Laura Maria's 21st birthday - June 9th. I hope it speaks
to Laura Maria's mom.
To read more of Harold Hopkins's
Poems visit A Special
"Though life is not as it was
And never will be again,
Our memories are much richer,
Than if love had never been."
Lost on the Road of Life
One Red Leather Mary Jane shoe,
left foot, size 2: circa 1987, lost somewhere on Santa Teresa Blvd, San
Jose California. Thrown from a school bus window, by a little girl who
was probably unaware that she would never see it again. They were her favorite
shoes, she wore them everyday even if the red color did not go with anything
else she had on. Thrown out the window, as the bus was bringing her home,
probably as an experiment in cause and effect. "wonder what happens if
I do this?" Maybe she thought the bus would stop, maybe she was just
having fun. But she arrived home with only the right shoe on, and a report
from the aide on the bus as to what she had done.
I remember loading the kids
in the car and driving up and down that busy street looking for one
lonely shoe, that had been discarded without much thought to the aftermath
the loss would bring to its innocent owner. We never found it.
I hope that whoever came upon
it, be a city worker cleaning the streets or whomever, knew how much that
shoe was loved. I hope that when they saw the scuff marks on the toes,
they understood the little girl that owned it, had worn them everywhere.
The scuff marks came from dragging your toes while an older brother pushed
you on your bike, up and down the driveway....
Further proof of the love that
surrounded the former owner of the single red shoe. I hope the lonely left
shoe...found it's mate eventually. For it took me forever to discard of
the right shoe that had made it home that fateful day. I think I loved
them as much as she did. I loved them because they meant so much to her.
They were the only shoes she ever picked out herself...the only shoes she
ever showed an interest in choosing. Farewell, little red shoes. You live
on in sweet memories now.
One White coffee cup, with
a rainbow logo: circa 1989, lost somewhere in the desert, along the highway
between Bakersfield California and Phoenix Arizona. Again, thrown out the
window by a little girl. I wonder if the cup actually survived being flung
into the great outdoors at 60 mph? IT was a ceramic mug. Tossed suddenly
and unexpectedly away.
I wonder if whoever found it
could hear the echo of my surprised gasp as I realized what my daughter
was doing with my cup?
I wonder if the sound of our
laughter can still be heard, as we wondered what she was thinking as she
tossed that poor little cup out the window? I wonder if they knew that
both her father and I grabbed the other coffee cup sitting in it's holder
between our seats and hid it away for its own safety? Does the finder of
such a seemingly meaningless treasure as a old ceramic coffee cup...probably
broken in a million pieces, know that we carried memories of that little
road trip in our hearts? For at the time we never knew how precious that
memory and shared laughter would come to be.
One Trachea Tube and cleaning
tray: circa 1995, left behind in room 237, in a hotel somewhere in the
hills of California outside of Los Angeles. Still sitting on the sink,
as we checked out, to load into our van and continue our move back home
to Kentucky. Found probably by the maids who would have had no idea what
it even was, never mind the memories it carried.
If only they knew how tired
we were that night when we checked into the room. Road weary, and emotionally
exhausted making one final bid at saving a little girls life. Having packed
up our home in Colorado, pulled our boys from school, we drove to California
first. Yes we knew that was not the way to Kentucky! But we needed to spend
some time with family in California, before we moved 2500 miles away.
It was a long trip, full of
tears and hope. Wonder if the maid knew how much the owner of that forgotten
trach was loved? Would they have known that her brother was leaving behind
what he thought would be his first and only love? Such sacrifice on his
part, easily made when it meant his sister had a better chance for life.
Did they know we checked into that room with 3 kids, a big fluffy black
dog and a full size oxygen tank that had to be loaded and unloaded with
a dolly every evening when we stopped for the night?
The room must have echoed with
the sound of a barking dog, a laughing girl, a snoring Dad and a too tired
mom pleading for quiet. We carried away memories from the room...just left
a trach tube behind.
Lost on the Road of
One 3 Carat Diamond Ring: circa
1999 lost again, somewhere in Louisville Ky. Oh yes, we knew it was actually
cubic zirconium. The ring had been found orginally in a desk at my work,
left behind by the Sales Director as she moved on to a new position and
place in her life. No one wanted it...it was gawdy. But I retrieved it
from the trash bin. One person's trash was an extremely valuable treasure
to a little girl who believed in fairy tales.
I brought it home to her, and
told her to hold out her hand I had a surprise. I slipped it onto her chubby
little finger, silently thankful that the sales director also had chubby
fingers. The look of sheer joy and amazement on her face will never be
forgotten. I wonder if whomever found it thought of it as trash or treasure?
I wonder if they know I looked high and low for that silly ring as I packed
my daughters room for the last time? I wonder if they know how I cried
over the loss of it, and how I could only find comfort in imagining that
some other little princess found it and now treasures it as much
as my princess did.
So many things lost along the
road of life. But the memories will never be lost. They come back to us,
sometimes when we least expect them. And they bring comfort to me. I don't
feel my daughter is lost, for I know right where she is...even though she
is no longer here on earth at my side. I know where she is...I can hear
her in my mind, I feel her in my heart...I know she is waiting for us.
And I know that she has both of her red shoes now!
~by Lisa Comstock, Jeffersontown,
Memory of Kristina Lynn Comstock
Feb. 24, 1983 - July 24, 1999
THE TIDE RECEDES
The tide recedes but leaves
bright seashells on the sand....
The sun goes down but gentle
still lingers on the land....
The music stops and yet, echoes
on a sweet refrain....
For every joy that passes,
something beautiful remains....
Dear sweet Kristina, even though
for now, we are apart...
The beauty of you, lives on,
in all of our hearts.
~by Lisa Comstock, Jeffersontown,
In Memory of Clayton Sechrist
We grew up together
The best of friends
We meshed to each other
I thought that wouldn’t end
Always the short kids
We teamed up together
The taunts didn’t seem so
When we made fun of them
Nights camping in the back
The laughter never stopped
You were my first real friend
A bond that can’t be broke
There was never much to do
We were always bored
So bored in fact
I wish it never ended
Then time for high school
We never had a fight,
Never a formal disagreement,
It just kind of stopped
We ran with different crowds
We still said hey in the halls
We had separate interests
The bond was still there
For your 16th birthday
The traditional gift of
Baseball cards seemed trivial
You can’t drive cardboard
Maybe driving wasn’t so cool
Your mom didn’t think so
Just a week later
When she got that call
I myself 2 months shy
Of learning how to drive
We waited for this for years
Thought the day would never
Driving wasn’t a big deal
Not when I have to get dressed
And be a pall bearer
In my best friend’s funeral
~written by Graham Tucker
Clayton's best friend
Memory of Clayton Sechrist
February 1, 1980 - February
Book Review: Today I Smile
(Tomorrow I May Cry)
by Diane Wattles
Today I Smile (Tomorrow I May
Cry), authored by Diane Wattles, a mother who lost her 18-year-old daughter
in a car accident. Although there is no Compassionate Friends chapter
in Diane's community of Mahomet, Illinois, she attended the 2000-2001 Compassionate
Friends Convention in Chicago with her surviving daughter Kelsey Silberg.
Kelsey was a member of Atlanta's Compassionate Friends Siblings chapter
before moving to Orlando, Florida, just this past March.
Diane is an English teacher
at Mahomet-Seymour Alternative High School. After raising Kelsey
and Mandy as a single mother for 8 years, Diane remarried and took on the
new role of stepmother. Acceptance into a Leadership Development
Program at the University of Illinois, Champaign, led Diane to work toward
her Master's Degree. It was during this five-year quest that she
discovered her daughter's drug use and that her own story of grief and
The following few paragraphs
not only introduces Mandy but defines the nature of Diane's book.
My daughter was the typical
teenager. She flaunted the newest trend in jeans, grumbled over chemistry
homework, and drove on just enough gas to make it home at night. Mandy
cheered for the football team, danced for the marching band pom squad,
performed in school plays and musicals, and participated in Student
Council. Regardless of the activity and the normalcy of her life,
my daughter became chemically dependent. Although Mandy did not provide
the stereotypical picture of an addict, her drug use was real. Today
I Smile discusses a family in crisis, from the discovery of Mandy’s use
and subsequent addiction to her attempt at recovery. This book, however,
takes the reader one step further into a family’s crisis.
Mandy was killed in an automobile
accident, July 30, just a week after finishing her in-house recovery.
Just as I had begun to deal with Mandy’s addiction and with her recovery
process, I was thrust into dealing with her death and my grief process.
Past grief and depression and through introspection, I began to draw parallels
between my daughter’s physical needs and my emotional needs that left us
both in a state of denial, with a void in life, and in a struggle for survival.
One story is not the direct
result of the other as Mandy was a passenger in the two-car accident, and
she was the only fatality. However, because the events happened within
the span of one month, disassociating them became particularly difficult.
This book defines those struggles.
Although Today I Smile was
written during desperate times--those early years in grief, Diane says
it was a book she needed to write. Not only did she need to reflect
on Mandy's life--how it led to an addiction that stole Mandy of so much;
but she also needed to explore her own feelings and fears. One of
the greatest rewards from the book is that--Mandy made the cover!
Audiences who have heard Diane
speak or who have read her book remark that it must have taken real courage
to tell Mandy's story. Diane says she always replies, "It really
took no special courage to talk about Mandy or to write about her--she's
one of my favorite subjects. It takes courage to live without
her."--A fact every grieving parent understands.
Today I Smile can be purchased
online at Amazon.com.
It should be available through local bookstores within the month.
TCF Atlanta Online Sharing
A mother kneels at a grave
and with her head bowed, she
Every time she comes,
another piece of her heart
Week after week, day after
nothing in the world will
keep her away.
For within the deep grave,
her beloved son lies.
She will come here until her
last dying day;
when at last they'll be together,
apart no more,
and he'll open up the Gates
to greet her,
at Heaven's door.
- May 10, 2001
Mother to David "Ratt" DeLuca
(4/22/79 - 2/4/00)
"The phrase 'Time moves differently
now'… It is so true. Our lives stop and start over on a different
time table that the rest of the world does not have a clock or watch like
ours. Bereaved parents are just in a time zone all our own trying
to keep up with the rest of the world." ~Christi
Tonight as I was reading the
messages from Jayne, I read the heartbreaking story from Tony's Mom.
I almost immediately felt the following words come to my heart. And,
I know they were sent to me from above. No doubt. It was as
if Chad & Tony were sitting here telling me what words to write &
how to express them. Wow! ~
As I wrote the following poem,
From One Broken Heart to Another, I thought of each of you and how much
you help other mothers, fathers, grandparents, and siblings somehow learn
to survive the loss of a child.
And tonight, I want you all
to know that my life is a better life ... and it's partially because
With Love. Kaye
From One Broken Heart to Another
I wrote to you almost two years
Just to sign up for this TCF
I've read the many stories
you've sent to me ...
And felt comfort in what you
You see, I knew that you would
how it feels to lose your
And tonight there is such
an emptiness in me.
In two weeks, my son would
You see other people's life
just go on.
All the while your life stands
There is an empty hole in
my very soul.
I know that you know how I
It seems that my son has been
And that makes me feel so
For his life was beautiful
Losing him still hurts me
People I work with talk of
And I know they don't understand.
I walk daily in this life
without the joy
of my dear son holding my
I still have two younger children
Oh, I wrap them daily in my
But no matter how much love
I have for them ...
They can never take my other
I guess being a single Mom
makes it worse.
I am not quite sure how to
I do know that no one could
ease the pain
of visiting my dear son's
There are still so many questions
that I need the answers to.
I don't know that I'll ever
accept this ...
Or the pain that I've lived
I want to thank you from the
bottom of my heart
for listening to me cry to
All comfort I've received
in the past 2 years ...
Has come from you and this
So as I am about to face the
I ask that you please remember
And to those of you who believe
in prayer ...
Ask Him to send me peace &
~Author~ Kaye Des'Ormeaux
Copyright 2001 Kaye Des'Ormeaux
Dedicated to Tony's Mom In
the Memory of Tony
& To Jayne Newton In
Memory of Chad.
For More of Kaye Des'Ormeaux
Poems visit Her Special
My daughter told me you were coming soon,
as my shining eyes grew as big as the moon.
I hurried home to clean and prepare,
for the greatest joy no other could compare.
I gathered together all my many yarns,
to crochet a sweater for your tiny arms.
As the yarn took on a loving shape
instead of a sweater it turned into a cape.
Soft pastel colors of fuzzy rayon
come together with colors of the crayons.
with the cape all done up with pretty little bows,
next came booties to warm tiny toes.
Then came the soft, cuddly blanket of love,
awaiting your arrival from up above.
Then came the bonnet as delicate as lace,
to warm your head and surround your lovely face.
With each double and single stitch,
it all comes together without a hitch.
Then the wonderful day was finely here,
Your birth came without any fear.
These memories of you are so very dear,
as your birth date came with hardly a tear.
Only tears of joy from those that love you,
with waiting arms that want to hug you....
Now time has past and the tears come from sadness,
no longer are there days of bliss and gladness.
For those that loved you more than life itself,
broken hearts weep as the blanket rests on a shelf.
Now two years later and still hurting with pain,
Those torn hearts cannot be mended again.
As tears fall down and the flowers begin to wilt,
Grammy's tears now fall on your MEMORIAL QUILT...
~written by Wanda Bryant
Forever Vicki's Grammy
04-17-1998 ~ 04-11-1999
copyright: June 7, 2001
There are no timetables in grief. Unfortunately, the general public
doesn't see it that way. That is why it is so important that all of us
educate the public. They need to know that we will always hurt and we will
always grieve. The hurt will ease, but the pain of the loss will forever
be there. We loved our child so much. Having rituals, such as your arranging
flowers at the accident site and going to the cemetery to talk to your
daughter, is an important part of our grieving process.
It has been 5 1/2 years since my sweet Nina died. Though I don't go
to the cemetery every day as I did in the beginning, I go once a week to
change the seven-day candle in the Eternal Light. And I find times that
I need to go there more often than that.
Please do not listen to the advice of others who haven't been where
we are; who haven't lost a child. Though the majority of them mean well
and they don't want to see you hurt anymore, they just can't know. The
fact that it has been a year means nothing as far as your grief. The second
year is a very difficult one, as most of us who have been there can attest
to. We don't miraculously wake up the morning after the one-year anniversary
of our child's death and "get better!" I actually had someone say
to me on that anniversary, "Boy, I bet that you will be so glad when tomorrow
comes. Then you can finally get on with your life!" EEEKKKK!!!!
You need to do whatever it takes to help you through the day. You really
still are a novice at this grief experience, being only a little over a
year. I luckily had the long-timers of TCF reassure me of that, because
I thought maybe something was wrong with me...that maybe I should be "over
it" because everyone (of course, not anyone who had ever lost a child)
told me I should be.
I know it is hard to be patient with those who tell you otherwise. But
you need to take care of yourself. Be good to yourself, go to the cemetery
when you need to, arrange the flowers at the accident site, whatever it
takes (as long as it isn't injurious to you or anyone else) then you need
to do it...for YOU! It's a long road and those of us in TCF, Atlanta Sharing
Line, and all the other grief organizations are there to help you and tell
you that what you are feeling is normal; or what we call the "new normal"
for those of us who have loved and lost a child.
Cathy, Nina's mom forever, St. Paul, MN
The Things We'll Never Get To Do
Now as we plan to celebrate the Fourth of July,
I can't help but think about how we'll never get to see
your excitement at watching the fireworks in the sky.
There are so many things
we'll never get to share with you,
You were taken from us too soon,
We'll never get to show you the man in the moon.
We'll never get to see you learn to crawl
or pull yourself up,
or teach you to drink from a cup.
You'll never get to take your first baby steps
Or feel the tickle of grass under your little feet,
We'll never get to share with you your
first ice cream treat.
You'll never get to have your first birthday cake.
Those first day of school pictures
you'll never get to take.
We'll never get to hear the first song you learn to sing,
Never get to show you a beautiful butterfly
as it flutters it's wings.
We'll never know the first words you might have said,
We'll never get to hear you say "Goodnight Daddy"
as we put you to bed.
Your brothers will never hear you say their names
or pronounce them in a funny way,
giving them both nicknames to make fun of some day!
They'll never get to teach you how to catch a ball,
or how to ride your first bike
and catch you when you fall.
During those two months and six days
we had the chance to hold you
and tell you how much we loved you,
We never knew you would not get to hug us back
and tell us that you loved us too.
When your father and I heard your first cry
when you were born,
Our thoughts were about all of the things
we wanted to share with you,
Now all we think about are all
the things we'll never get to do.
~written by Peggy Wills, Lawrenceville, GA
In Memory of of her son Jarod Robert Wills
8-22-98 - 10-28-98
Sometimes We Have To Let Go
Written by Hattie Pridgen,TCF Wilmington, NC (Cape Fear Chapter)
How many times did I tell you that you could not die before I did?
Because I could not live if you died. SO MANY TIMES. Did I
hold you here too long to suffer more than you should? I could not
bear the thought of life without you. Children should not die before
How many times has my heart cried "I lied, I lied, I didn't mean it,"
since that last afternoon when I knew it was time to let you go.
You told me that you loved me more than anything but you wanted to go home
to Heaven. I told you it was Okay, that I wanted you to go and not
have to suffer anymore.
I told you that when a child is born the cord that binds a mother and
child together is cut, but there is an invisible cord that binds us that
can never be broken. That wherever you go I will always be with you,
and no matter where I am you would always be with me.
Because I loved you more than life itself I had to let you go.
But my heart still cries, "I didn't mean it, it was a lie, I didn't want
you to die."
But I will always carry you in my heart, and part of my heart and soul
went with you that day. I know that you are waiting for me in Heaven.
ONLY THEN WILL I BE WHOLE AGAIN.
On I-65 in Alabama
….Many years ago our Daughter convinced us that she should be able to
go to a concert on a school night. She had left early in the evening
and promised she would be home by 1 AM. It was 1:30 AM and still
no sign. Where was she? Did something happen? Then there
was the sound of an automobile and her key in the door. We just breathed
a sigh of relief that she was home and that she was ok.
There were other times when we waited for her at the airport to return
from college. She was always one of the last off the plane.
Just for a minute I would start to panic thinking that she had missed the
plane. She would eventually come down the ramp with a big smile on
her face and her big school bag on her arm.
This time it was different. We had been traveling for 7 or 8 hours and
were northbound on I-65 in Alabama. It was late, it was cold and
dark and we were exhausted. The last 2 days had been the worst
days of our lives. We said our good bye to her in a hospital bed
the day before. She had fought so hard but couldn’t hold on any longer.
So on this bleak January night we were speeding toward home for the last
reunion with our Daughter. Somehow I had to make sure she was all
right. Dads and Moms are supposed to do stuff like that. There
was a filling station at the next exit and a phone. I could barely
hear over the wind and the traffic but the voice from Houston gave me a
flight number and told me our Daughter would arrive in Greensboro in the
morning. She was coming home to us one more time.
Natalie, you are always in our hearts and in our minds. We live
each day in the memory of the wonderful years you gave us. You taught
us that life is not only about working and being practical. I believe
that someday we will be the last one off the plane and your smiling face
will be there to greet us. What a day that will be.
Terry and Evelyn Sparks, Lawrenceville, Ga - In Memory of Their
Daughter Natalie Sparks
VALUE YOUR CONNECTION TO CREATIVITY
……For years, I had been storing my son's clothing, some of his favorite
articles, in boxes in the garage. I didn't want to let go of the clothes,
yet I had no use for them. One day an idea came. I was talking to
a woman enthralled with quilting, with fabrics, textures, and the art of
creating quilts. She was talking about how she was making a quilt out of
her family's old blue jeans, because it created a use for the fabric and
gave them a blanket that held the energy and memory of their experiences.
It wasn't just a quilt. It became a special comfort quilt because
of the energy the fabrics held.
That's when the idea came. My son had died years ago. His physical presence
was no longer here. But the clothes held the memories of his physical
presence and the energy of his spiritual presence. I could make them into
a quilt, one that would cherish his memory and give me comfort. How do
we get our ideas? From other people. From certain triggers in the world,
the universe. From our imagination. We are connected to creativity. It's
a force in the universe, an energy that runs through us. If we're connected
to ourselves, our intuition will guide us as to what to do and when to
do it. If we love ourselves, we'll trust ourselves enough to act confidently
and joyfully on that guidance. Value your connection with creativity. Embrace
your imagination. The universe will show you how, teach you how, help you
along the way. ~ Melody Beattie