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Four days away  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Four days away  / Jody Mangue (mom)

What do I feel about Christmas I have decorations up lights on tree presents it all looks good. Underneath I am numb. I will get through the holidays make the best of it. I think of Marin she would be shopping wrapping presents and meeting her friends she loved Christmas!! We would be at the mall for shopping and watching movies hitting the food court. Trying to think of what to buy her dad he is a hard one.

Anyway here I am in Costa Rica there are 4 kids I buy for not as much as last year it has been a tough year for us. I will buy a couple of small presents for babies who are turning one. Otherwise I have made many presents this year. We will drive on Christmas Day and so the day is planned Christmas eve a dinner. Jack to visit Evan on the 26th which makes me feel good.

I have been in touch with friends here and there and been on facebook. It is a mixed bag is all I can say about it. I have enjoyed sharing Stacy's birth of her second son and Mari graduating communciating with Mallory and Megan so hearing about their lives a few others.

Marin loved loves her friends and family I know that I miss her so very much and she knows that too. She chimes in from time to time to remind of things and so I do feel her with me. Even though some people would never really understand that. I guess a mother and daughter connection at least from my experience does not end after death.

We go on. I thank Marin for being such an incredible person and daughter friend. I know she will be remembered in a variety of ways. I also think of my parents my gram too and have posted their photos I have found recently on facebook.

I want to mention a little boy and girl I met here named Emerson and Mason they are from Colorado and came with their parents they were so darling and the minute I met each onethey both stuck out their little hands and told me their names and nice to meet me. Emerson 7 Mason 5. He has those smiley eyes which i look for in people. My dad had them Wilson has them and so does Mason. We picked them up at the airport and at one point we were talking about the congo monkeys and how they holler the kids let out a blood curdling scream of how they would react when they heard the monkeys in the morning. That made us laugh out loud they did this about three times. When we finally arrived at the hotel Treehouse Hotel in Santa Clara it was 9pm and each child started running in the dark in the jungle crazed after  hours on the plane and van. Emerson grabbed a big leaf and put it in her purse. Mason was told by the manager Mark to be careful of the stone wall it was slippery and there could be snakes to which Mason replied show me the wall Ha so very funny. Anyway they did see monkeys not sure if they screamed like they did in the van but it was so cute to hear about them. I guess when Mason left the hotel he was shaking everyone's hand and saying Feliz Navidad.

So to anyone reading this feliz navidad and prospero feliz año. God thank you for giving me humor love strength inspiration and friendships near and far. Bless the children and parents grandparents in the world bless those who are ill mentally ill poor and depressed and those in prison.

Navidad, this time of year  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Navidad, this time of year  / Jody Mangue (mom)

I have not been on here for a some time. But I am very aware of Marin at this time of year. I hear from her friends via facebook and know that she is with them through their day to day lives like she is with mine. Despite that there are moments of my day when I recognize that below the surface of my being is like lava boiling the grief is still palpable and penetrating.  I live my life but part of me is apathetic and gray uncaring. One person said to me oh it is almost 7 years since your daughter's death well then it has been a long time now. I corrected her to say time does not matter in the death of a child. It still colors our world in ways others cannot see or feel.

I had a dream of Marin last night I do not have them very often. She was a baby 18mos old or so and very tiny. She could talk and told me she had a dance class today. I sat and held her watched her walk across the bed she was with me for a while and with her dad.

Christmas is almost upon us. I put up the tree and lights and make the best of the season. I have an ornament with an old photo of Marin I put on the tree each year. My sweet girl is with me I miss her so very much and look forward to seeing her again meanwhile life continues. I love you Marin. Almost Merry Christmas.

The Circle Continues  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
The Circle Continues  / Jody Mangue (mom)

It is approaching Halloween here,  it is not a big celebration, but I have noticed that they are really promoting it this year. I went to the mall with Brandon and there was a big section in one store. I feel a big sadness thinking of Halloween seeing masks and decorations.  It was once such a fun holiday, something we looked forward to each year in anticipation, wondering what costume, who would go to a party, did we have enough candy, carving pumpkins.  Even as an adult, I enjoyed it. I bought a mask for one boy here remembering our suitcase full of masks and wigs costumes. I remember in the house in Morrison in the closet, there was a mink coat and there are photos of you wearing a red gown and this mink coat.  I try to explain here how it is walking in the neighborhoods saying Trick or Treat. I remember once when you were two and I was pushing you in the snow to at least trick or treat in the neighborhood, our kitty , Lillian Rosegold and your brother, Evan, came with us and the cat ran into some of the houses.

Your friends write and I hear how they are, they talk about Halloween. I imagine they are enjoying this time of year as we once did. I love you Marin there is not a day goes by that I do not think of you in some way. I know you are here with us in the way you can be. You are still part of the circle of life for many of us, Moo. Love mom

Communicating with your friends  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Communicating with your friends  / Jody Mangue (mom)

Dear Marin

I have connected with Facebook and as a result have connected with your various friends also seeing photos of many who I have not seen in almost 7 years. It is strange to see them growing up mature finishing college living in other cities. Some married some with babies. I am proud of so many of them as I would be and am of you. It is a mixed blessing having this new way of connecting with people like standing on a limb. Evan has been in contact alot lately too. We make a large circle in this life it seems. You are in the middle of this circle with those I am in contact with. My thoughts and heart are with you each and every day despite how the time ticks on. I know you know how much you are loved. Your mom

Photos of Maui  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Photos of Maui  / Jody Mangue (mom)
I came across an envelope in a box with some of Marin’s photos with her friends Mallory Megan Kellye Mari also of the girls after Marin’s death when they went to Maui they went to the same spot Jack had placed her ashes in the ocean they too had some of her ashes. I had not really looked at these photos. There are some beautiful ones of Marin her smile her arms I try to remember her moles. She was always so sweet with her friends. I will add these to her website. Also within the box were two pages of Marin’s writing when she and Evan decided that they were cat trainers for Kitson Tamy Rowland and Chubby Fatso Ebel later changed to Princess Chubby. Kitson 2 Chubby 8 Kitson in school to become a sevicized cat civilized cat and Chubby to learn to be brave. Chubby did become brave as I remember her once behind Kitson following a giant raccoon both running in a line behind it. Very funny indeed as Chubby was not known to run. She had been more indoors. She had a good life with us.
As I went to add the photos of the girls in Maui on Marin’s website there were two sitting waiting to be approved. A month prior Marin’s friends had added three photos of their time in Maui. I did not realize it so we were thinking along the same line for Marin’s birthday. I think in our own individual ways we are trying to capture every remembrance and shared moment in keeping her memory and the spirit of Marin alive with us.
Donor Dash  / Jackie Senese-Clark Family (friends of ours )  Read >>
Donor Dash  / Jackie Senese-Clark Family (friends of ours )
Jack & Jody
In honor of Marin's 23rd birthday and our continuing love for her and you both Amanda and Jackie participated in the Donor Dash in Washington Park on Sunday. We donated to the cause of organ donors and posted a picture of Marin (hopefully you can open the pictures attached) in the Donor Garden. We were 2 of over 3500 participants in the 5K run/walk. It was a very empowering spiritual and emotional experience for us. Bill (whose knees get too much of a workout during the week) and Erica (who is away in Seattle in body but was with us in spirit) could not be at the actual walk but were there in their own way.
Amanda Jackie Bill Erica
In loving memory of Marin

From Marin's bench, July 29,2010  / Patty Abbott (friend of Jody )  Read >>
From Marin's bench, July 29,2010  / Patty Abbott (friend of Jody )

Dear Jody

I think it is Marin' s birthday. I took another ribbon and put it on the bench. Sometimes they stay a week and sometimes they disappear quickly. One day I saw a girl had taken it and put it in her hair. It was kind of sweet as she took off on the field.

So I just sat there for a while. I asked Marin if she wanted me to tell you anything. No message came unless the message was just the peace I felt. It really is a very peaceful place when nobody is there. It was still quiet and seemed a sacred moment. If there was a message it would be that she is at peace and her love continues.

Next I just felt the love between mother's and daughters. Of course there is pain in those relationships at times maybe because it is so intense. I thought of my relationship with my own daughter and it expanded out. I thought of my relationship with my mother and her relationship with her mother. That connection with the ones that went before me all my mother ancestors and I felt overwhelmed with gratitude. I sensed how I carry their love and pain joy and sorrow. Death does not end the connection. And as women we pass on the lessons wisdom and sometimes mistakes with our actions and contributions we make in the world.

I am so sorry you did not have more time with Marin. Her work here was done for whatever reason.

When we met you spoke to how you are still learning the impact she made and continues to make. And I believe because you have had the experience of being her mother that connection continues with how you interact in the world. It has added richness to the universe.

Peace be with you



Marin's 23rd Birthday, July 29, 2010  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Marin's 23rd Birthday, July 29, 2010  / Jody Mangue (mom)

This is the first chance I have been able to write completely what I experienced on Marin's BD. Once again I have a chance to spend some time in memory of Marin, of my parents. Marin's birthday, the 29th, my parents both died in July, my dad, July 21 2006, my mother, July 30, 2007, my parents wedding anniversary, July 1st. My friend Connie's mother, Doe also has died July 28 2010. Connie's birthday July 31. It was once my favorite month, July. It meant birthdays and summer fun. Evan's BD in August, the 16th so we would have both kids celebrate their birthdays with their friends. Erica's BD is the 26th of July, Amanda's BD the 23rd.  Now the month of July represents a different meaning.

Marin’s 23 rd Birthday
I picked up Raeann on the 28th, her boxes did not arrive, so we went to the beach house to spend the night,  to drive back to the airport on the 29th. I also had to go to the ER with a finger that needed treatment. We did a few things in Escazu and hit Playa Bejuco. While away, Wilson sent me a prayer, God give you strength and power to handle the difficult memories and moments of this life. I appreciate his words, not knowing what the days would bring. We picked up the boxes reached the Treehouses in the pouring rain. Throughout our drive, I reminisced a lot about Marin and my parents, Gram. Once we were through unloading everything at the hotel, I went on my own way to Villas Vilma to have the rest of the afternoon and evening to myself. The volcano was cloud- covered the rain had stopped temporarily.

I went in the room and relaxed for a few minutes, put on the tube. Flipped through the channels and there was this movie called A Love to Remember in Spanish, but in English is named A Walk to Remember made in 2002 with Mandy Moore and one of the docs from ER. It was a beautiful movie and I remembered that Marin and I had seen it together. Mandy Moore had leukemia and the story was about her living her life and trying to make her final wishes come true with the love and support of this young man. 

 I cried so much as I knew Marin was reaching me again as she has done previously in watching movies. Following the movie, I thought I should eat something and went into town, throughout dinner, the tears came down and the rain as well.  Rather than go back to the room, I felt the only place I was comfortable was inside the cathedral. There were a handful of people and I figured I would sit for a while, the sculpted Christ hanging from the front of the church was suspended on some wires and behind Him were clouds in a surreal sky. It was a beautiful mural that represented Heaven, later I realized His resurrection. It was very captivating this image of Him. I sat and prayed. There were several singers in the front who started to sing. It turned out to be a mass with the small number of people. The priest spoke this prayer and another later,  these were the longest prayers I have ever heard. Instead of facing the congregation, he faced the hanging Christ.


 There were two mothers with children. These scenes with both mothers and their children got my attention.  One mother closest to me had a daughter around 6  had her eyes closed in prayer, the young girl circled behind her to fix her hair, tie her sweater around her neck, and come back around to snuggle with her. This went on during the whole mass. The mother did not seem to mind and sat there receiving this special attention and love. Marin was exactly like this, she often would do this same kind of primping and fixing of the hair and putting on clothing, but in a loving way not annoying. I was so very touched to witness this.

The other mother had an infant who slept in her arms, later she laid her down next to her in the pew. They sat at the back of the church. It was pouring rain, yet I was shown these beautiful examples of mothers with their daughters. I drove myself back to Vilmas and bathed and fell asleep, the next day I felt inspired to write the following.
Bury this fear chop its head off with a hatchet. It serves no purpose but trips our footing and creates hurdles where there should be none. I have no ghosts only those who have loved me, known me, gone on before. I am tending the fire of past transgressions so when I meet them it is a lesser burden to carry. You must be finished with this assignment, finish it well.
Erase the ego, squelch that which causes torment, refrain from being a sponge, become permeable. Like live coral filters the sand and purifies our thoughts and deeds. Open fingers, we leave the world holding nothing back.
Those who have left our sight, their love for us continues in the fragrance of a flower, in the chortle of the early morning birds, I am told there is so much love for us and from the other side. There is nothing to worry about. Love does not end.

I ask forgiveness for all I have done as a human. as a mother, wife, partner, friend. Can I be more selfless, kind not egotistical grabbing, complaining. There are more attributes which serve me best. Like Christ suspended from the heavenly cloud, hands outstretched. Loving and giving from birth, death, resurrection and Beyond.

one afternoon  / Mari Wolfe (bf)  Read >>
one afternoon  / Mari Wolfe (bf)

As time has passed getting together with my girlfriends from high school is something that does not happen very often. Over the years we have all grown in different ways and into different individuals. On rare occasions we get together and though it has been years since it was all of us we have still remained in contact with one another. One particular afternoon I met Megan and Mal for lunch over at Mal's new place. We decided to go to the Elephant Bar for lunch. We took a seat in the bar area and began to look at the menus only to soon thereafter notice the salt shaker. The label read "Sel Marin." It could be just a coincidence but we all thought that in her own way she had decided to join us. It is rare that we bump into something like this so I slipped it in my purse and proceeded with the two of them to stash another three away before we left.
On the 29th of Juli Marin would have been 23. Though Megan was out of town Kellye Mal and myself still got together for lunch and to take some pictures at the park where we dedicated a bench to her. I had the fourth salt shaker with me and brought it to Kellye so she could now also have one. In different ways Marin still lives on through all of us both in our past memories and our current experiences. Though we are not in the same place we all were years ago we are all doing well. It was great to see everyone and share our memories while making new ones. Besos!

Month of July  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Month of July  / Jody Mangue (mom)

Today is July 13 2010. I hear from Jack and from various friends. Almost four long weeks out from my foot surgery. I have to prop my foot up or lay down often.While lying on the couch today, I see a patch of sun and clouds quickly covering it, I listen to the birds and watch them fly by, it is a quiet day so far.
Last night was very emotional with movies I watched which reminded me of Marin. I thought of the last few months with Marin and how we would fall asleep together watching our shows. I would wake up at 4am to sleep in my own bed. I am so grateful to have shared that intimacy with her, also in Maui we shared the bed. Early years reading to her and falling asleep together. Back and foot rubs.
One movie is an incredible story called Fragments of Life, it is the true story of a man who is a writer who had escaped from the Nazis as a boy. He was raised by a Greek man who loved him and also wrote they had a very loving and comforting relationship. The young writer had a sister named Bella. When the Nazis invaded their home,  he escaped into the woods,  but she was never found.  She was fifteen and his whole life was revolved around his remembrances and concerns for what became of her. She came to him often in dreams, in the dreams,  she played the piano and practiced on her arm. One minute she was there with him in their happy home and the next gone. He was able to finally make peace with her disappearance, when he married and had a child of his own. He was able to move forward in his life.

The second story was in the series Ghost whisperer about a 17year old boy who had died after just learning he was adopted. He wanted to know about his birth mother after finding a photo of himself as a baby with his mother. Before his death,  he became enraged because his family had never told him he was adopted and also did not support his idea of searching for the birth mother. He stormed out of the house and was swinging a stick at the bushes and trees going deeper into the woods, striking a bee hive, he died from the many stings. He had been allergic to bees. His adoptive mother planted trees in his memory where she had a bench with his name on it. Like Marin.  The dead boy contacted the Ghost whisperer, Melinda. He came into her antique store with the same rage breaking many of the pieces in her store. At this point he had been dead a year. He asked for her help which she gave him. The birth mother had not wanted him nor wanted to know anything about him. She had been 15 and gave him up a day later. She was now married and had her own teenage daughter who as it turned out was pregnant. The mother was very intolerant and controlling of this daughter, so there was much conflict going on in this family. Eventually the birth mother came around and learned about her son when she was brought to the adoptive mother’s home seeing his presence in the home by photos and memorabilia. The adoptive mom adored her son. Many of his qualities were qualities Marin held.  This boy reached her one day by playing loud music. This also happened to me after Marin died when the TV turned on at midnight and ER a rerun with a similar theme something she wanted me to remember. A doctor's brother who had been shot and suffered much brain damage. Marin has let me know on several occasions what it might have been like, had she survived.

This is the month of July, Marin’s birth month, her birthday the 29th. I was thinking to myself I had to use a certain verb with her birthday I could not say she will be 23 I would have to say she would have been 23. I curse having to say that instead. Marin, as you know, I love you miss you your friends are thinking of you so much as is your dad. Six plus years and time does not change what has happened,what we are dealt with and the love we have for you. Love mom

Since April  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Since April  / Jody Mangue (mom)

It has been a long time since I wrote on Marin’s website. Since last writing, I have been to visit Evan, to Marin’s bench, seen friends from the past Megumi and Patty, Marin’s friends, Will, Mari, and Mallory. I did see Jack and Dave as well. Spent some time with Gina, we have a good friendship, it is comfortable with her and share the past and present, the day to day during the visit, what is going on in her life. The visit with Evan was over Mother's Day, it was tough, but we managed through it. Evan has three more years well actually less now. It is June 24th, several friends are in the states from here and some on their way. It is a lonely time for me having had surgery on my foot. I did fine the first few days, but have cratered from lack of activity left the house one day but it is not easy needing to use a wheel chair in a store. So I am home a lot I feel myself feeling brittle and vulnerable, needy and aimless. I tend to have much energy and am independent, this has been a hard pill to swallow. I do not think I would do well if I had a chronic and debilitating illness, the depression would eat me alive.

I just watched Mama Mia a great movie musical, it is a classic. I thought of Marin during it, mourning her not marrying, not growing up. Many triggers when you are on sensitive turf. Mid June now,  almost July Marin would be 23. I enjoyed seeing Mari and Mallory and  Marin lives on in them and their pursuits in life. I got to see the painting Jack found in Hawaii.  Patty who is a social worker at Lutheran Hospice has stopped at Marin’s bench a number of times now and that is comforting. Megumi and I rekindled our love for one another we had a deep friendship for a number of years when we worked together. I had not seen Patty or Megumi since Marin’s service 6 and a half years ago. It is hard to believe so much time has gone by. I also saw Cindy and Bob, Cindy had a little party for me and gave me a Colorado Cache cookbook with beautiful photos of Colorado. I have shown many here. I wanted to acknowledge the time and people I saw while there in Colorado. It is a hard choice to make who to see as the time is limited.
Evan has had a hard time these last few years, I can relate to him even though I am not in the same situation. But the confinement, not being able to look far ahead, limited outlets and resources. Evan works out and keeps as busy as one can while there reading, working, exercising, writing, but still it is not enough to feel the freedom, to come and go as you wish, to be unencumbered. To have the spirit feel light, calm energetic, and  positive.  To feel that inspiration daily and to trust that life will improve, get better. I can share the uncertainty of that with him right now. The shaken soul.
I should also add that Marin would not want either of us to give up hope and to trust with all certainty that freedom and life is soon to come to us both. That these states of separation and angst actually can strengthen one even in the darkest of despair.We will be able to reach out and shake the shackles of what holds us, tethers our souls, a time to heal, a time to be born in this case, again. Marin can see between the window pane and spider webs that cloud our vision and our faith in what is to come for the better for each of us. Evan and I.

Shared Birthdays  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Shared Birthdays  / Jody Mangue (mom)

On April 11 2010, Wilson and I shared our birthday celebration with his family. There were 28 people, 8 were children. We have come a long way is what I had to appreciate. The family has always been friendly, wonderful, but I think now we share a family bond. I was so very touched, each person made veggie plates I could eatm we both had our separate gifts. A cake which I cannot eat singing birthday wishes Feliz Cumpleaños. Traditionally with children's birthdays, there are clowns who tease the audience plays games, there is always a piñata.  That we did not have. Many of us were in the pool and it was really fun, the day was not too sunny, but we managed to get sunburned. Before I opened my presents, I became tearful when expressing myself and my appreciation. Marin is who made my birthday special. We would have gone to a movie and to dinner, it was our mother and daughter tradition for many years probably starting at age 7. She was so very excited about celebrating holidays and making you feel very special, so again I was touched by this family doing the same thing. Today, while I have had some quiet moments I find some old writings in letter form that I have attached today to the website. One from Marin in her way of reaching me something she had to say to me to say to her dad. I feel peace today, it seems that life is not the same struggle it has been. I am grateful and at peace. Thanking God and Marin for this.

Jack wrote me that there was a National Geographic Special on Solitary Confinement featuring where Evan is, three volunteers have entered the prison and are to write their experiences. The difference is they can get out anytime they wish but to show what kind of effects solitary has on prisoners. I did not see it yet, but looked online about the program. It puts a lump in your throat to read about the effects knowing Evan has been deeply affected and we hope he can hang in there for three years more. I will see him over Mother's Day, the visits are never easy, the  realization of him of how he is of where he is. But ,nevertheless, it is important to go and visit him hoping to give him some encouragement,support and love. I hear from four people now from prison or who have gotten out. Five with Evan. It is important to keep in contact and provide support to these solitary soldiers, a harsh environment.  


From Moo to her Dad, 2005  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
From Moo to her Dad, 2005  / Jody Mangue (mom)
Mom, what you can say to dad is that I love him so much and I know he misses me so much and he is doing a great job with the girls(softball). They appreciate him doing this and some of them have thought about how hard this must be, but in his doing this he leaves an impression on them. When he thinks or talks about me, I am there with him and he may feel alone or lonely without me, but I am there as much as I can be for him during those times. To tell him, he was a great dad we had our moments and I definitely was being the teenager and rebelling, but even so I could count on him and I never doubted for a moment that he did  love me. He was generous, funny and understanding. I appreciate what he does with my friends and they look to him, to anchor them in some way, about my death. Even though I am not there physically with him or them I am there and I do sift through in many ways, they may not be aware of. I am with you guys until you die, so we are not separated even though it may seem that way at times. With Evan, too, I am there for him in every way possible. I hope he knows that and he will get through this experience and he will be a better person ,despite how difficult it is. My cheffy boef, I see, I see you as if I saw you when I was alive, I see you actually in a different way clearer and with cheffy he knows I am around for an animal, their perceptions are better when it comes to the spirit. So daddy, I am sorry that you are hurting and in pain without me there, but I am there, I was with you every step of the way in Hawaii and I will be with my friends as they go and all anyone has to do is think of me or talk to me and I will somehow reach you or them, everyone has this ability to hear me in some way. I am behind the scenes in many situations. Mom can vouch for that. So you dad enjoy yourself, make the best of your life, be spontaneous, live it as hard as you work, make that other time count. You deserve it, you were there for me and you are there for Evan and you have held up your bargain of being responsible, but there is more to what you do in your lifetime that speaks more to your nature of who you are. The heart of who you are. As mom is discovering how to do this where she is now, you, too have things that speak to you and your passion for truth, integrity, what is right. I love you dad and I appreciate who you were and are, you make a lot of difference for many people in little ways and in big ways, too. Thanks for listening to your moo. The greatest things anyone can do in this life is be receptive, open to love and possibility and show appreciation even in the worst situation. And do not criticize anyone, makes things worse for you in the long run. OK daddy I love you.

Another remembrance of Christmas for Evan  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Another remembrance of Christmas for Evan  / Jody Mangue (mom)
Dear Evan

It is December 14th and it will be Christmas before long. Of course, Christmas does not hold the same meaing for any of us without Marin. I will take time here to think of happier moments as it relates to Christmas for us back in those earlier years.
I know one Christmas when you were three, Marin a baby four months old or five months and we stayed at a Embassy Suites or place like that when we moved back from New Mexico,in between housing. I am sure we spent the day at Aunt Jean’s. Your grandparents Lucy and Eb were still living. I remembered the other day of going to the North Pole near the Springs, kind of tradition before the holidays and riding the rides me screaming on the ferris wheel when it got stuck and riding on the train there through the little park with actual reindeer. Another Christmas was when you were taking on a Santa persona, we had gotten Lillian Rosegold and I think I had bought beach blankets, which you guys put under the tree to lie on. Lillian made it so fun hiding in the boxes and reacting to the paper being torn off presents actually she was your present that year. You wanted a black and white cat, I looked everywhere,  but was very happy with this green and blue eyed, white one,  she was a special kitty and I remember her coming with us trick or treating in the neighborhood running into people’s houses. Remember, too, the neighbor across the street who worked for the bank and always handed out giant snicker bars.
We would go to the Ebels for Christmas either at Aunt Karen’s or Aunt Jean’s or I guess we might have headed up to Cheyenne I cannot quite remember that, but you both got so many presents it was unbelievable especially as the youngest two grandchildren at the time ,except for Jill's boy, Nick.
I remember hoping that you both would go to sleep so that we could hide the presents under the tree before early morning and the screams in the morning when you saw what was under the tree. When you were only 4 months old and we went to Lake Charles for Christmas, Gigi and Papa made it very special for you that year and were so delighted to have a baby grandson.
Watching Christmas type movies on the TV or going to the movies to watch the latest made for Christmas type movie. I was in a toy store the other day and was remembering the ninja turtles donatello, leonardo, rafael.  Now I am forgetting the them in this moment, but how impt they were to you and all the other little figures. You had quite the collection. Also a lego set each year, how you liked your legos and little cars and you would play will them giving sounds to whichever you were playing with.
Going to Dorene’s, too ,who always made birthdays and holidays special, their fireplace lit for Christmas and the many presents she would buy for the two of you. Always asking me what special things you liked months before Christmas, she was always way ahead of schedule. She would buy wrapping paper for the next year after Christmas, which I did too, after a while getting ready.
I know she would be sending you presents now if she could. She always asks about Ev. She was there after you were born, I have pictures of her holding you.
Anyway, even though I am far away only by distance always in my heart I am with you. As Marin is Evan she is only a thought away and know that during the holidays much love and happy thoughts are being sent in the speed of light your way. I love you, Evan Merry Christmas make it special somehow for yourself. Mom

remembering Christmas with Evan, in CR and prior  / Jody Mangue (Mom)  Read >>
remembering Christmas with Evan, in CR and prior  / Jody Mangue (Mom)
Dear Evan,
I also wrote a letter to you today to send to you for Christmas now writing one to include in envelope you will get after Christmas. I wanted to write other things to you.
It is anything like Christmas here, it is warm breezy can get hot. Still can rain. I am waiting on Wilson to get his car inspection done so we can attend to other work stuff. I am including a couple of photos postcard of La Fortuna and two water color paintings Brandon did.

Where to start. Like I said it is anything like Christmas. No snow, there are decorations ,but nothing compares to how people decorate for the holidays. Nativity scenes are big here and traditional. They did have a huge parade and again a tradition kind of like Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC.
I hear carols in unsuspecting places.
I told your dad the following story, which I will now tell you. It became my Christmas story even though it is not Christmas yet.
Last Saturday or the saturday before last I had taken Brandon to practice and attended the parents meeting following to discuss various events. Two in fact a fiesta for soccer and a chance for him to play in the professional stadium prior to the professional team la Liga playing. I have not seen a game in person, but wanted to however, it occurred to me that both events needed to be attended by parents only. I was disappointed about that. But on my way home I thought I needed to stop and get some outdoor lights so I stopped at this grocery store and bought a few things to do it up outside. I began that process and had a few lights multicolored tinsel, poinsettias fake ones and rearranging some outdoor plants. As I started, I also brought outside some things that I have inside to remind of Marin, tributes, some angels etc. While doing this I began to cry and cry harder and harder during this. It was in the daytime, people unaware the middle of the afternoon on a saturday. I felt alot of torment and inner pain I am sure you can relate. I lost all ability to control my tears and grief. I tried calling various people in the states your dad, gina in antartica and her mom in michigan, no one was home. I was losing it. I went outside and lay in the hammock sobbing I started to pray and ask for help. In a moment, I could hear Marin in the distance and then closer. She was saying I am laying her next to you mom your head is on my chest i am holding your hand and we are looking at the clouds and talking like we used to. I started to feel calm. After a while I felt better and left the hammock to eat something. I was wiped out from all the emotions during the crazy time I was calling wilson in one call saying I would drive to the beach the next no I will stay here not making lots of sense, he was just saying uh huh and I could tell he did not know what to think. I laid on the couch to watch the end of a movie called The Big Fish and it is the ending where the man is dying and his son is telling him how he dies the ending of his life as he was this great storyteller. It was a marvelous movie and appropriate to watch as I could look at death a little differently in a lighter way somehow..

At some point, I fell asleep and I woke up to the phone ringing, it was Wilson he was outside. He walked in walked through the house just checking it out and me out I assume. He said do you want Brandon to spend the night. At one point during the earlier phase I did think of Brandon for a moment. A few minutes later Wilson shows up with Brandon in jammies. His brother Kevin is sick with the flu, but he is there, too. We visit for a moment. When from outside is this loud noise we all go outside to see this one float carrying a large lighted cross coming down the street. There are candles in bags all along the street lighting it up a procession of people maybe 100 are following the cross holding lit candles. We were on my drive watching. I thought how strange that i had made this lighted tribute of Marin on the outside of the house. Not knowing there would be this parade. The message which was being broadcasted from the float was about God, Love and forgiveness. We watched as it went out of sight. Wilson said how beautiful. IN a few minutes they left and Brandon was laying on the couch to one side making room for me to watch cartoons with him. His arms drapped on me. I was happy and grateful that as bad as the day had been it had this kind of ending. The next morning I had this realization that God had given Jesus to us as His only son and here I was receiving a son to comfort me. I did not think Wilson realized how special was his gift to me nor his bigger understanding of my situation. I am reminded again even though we feel alone we are never alone. And Marin ,too, is with us till we leave this world. We are never abandoned.

I cry writing this story, but it was a very strong way I learned about God and His love for us. He sends us what we need.

Your dad told me you are watching alot of old reruns Seinfeld and the X files. That is good Evan both are such good shows and I watched both of them so much. Here I watch Will and Grace,  ER Friends things like that. I love the old reruns too. OK Evan I wanted to mail this to you today. I love you, Evan and remember you are not alone ever. Much love, mom 
A letter to a friend, early days in CR  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
A letter to a friend, early days in CR  / Jody Mangue (mom)
Juli 19 2004

Dear Bud

I find myself writing you from Costa Rica where I have been living since Mei. You were the last person I know who I had not told my change of life situation. Januari 31 this year Marin died. She was 16 and a half. Would be 17 the 29th of this month. What can a parent say to another about such a life-altering event the person I held most dear in this world and who was my purpose for living is now not physically here with me.

She was in a car accident a freakish one taking a friend home they hit a speed bump on a small road he grabbed the wheel and the car collided with a tree. Marin was in the SICU for 7 days on a vent severely head-injured never regaining consciousness or purposeful movement. During that week where I lived 100 students and many people visited her as I felt Marin not only belonged to me but to many many dear friends coaches family. She had been driving on her own for 6 mos and actually was doing well with her driving. I know it was her time she give me many clues during the last year that she may not live long she would say things like I will never marry never have kids maybe adopt one. A friend of hers mother died before Christmas and she told me that she never wanted me to die before her nor did she want to see her dog die.
As always I never know if you will get this letter. The last time I wrote to you was from Maui where I blew whatever savings I had and took her there for her birthday. Little did I realize she would be dead six months later.

I may have written that I had thought of Costa Rica and had thought she and I would come here to maybe go to college if she chose. Two weeks before the accident she dreamt that her dad was going to die she and her brother were in the living room with him when it was his time to die he was to lie down in his bed at the appointed time. She woke up hysterically crying could not go back to sleep for hours. I called the school in the am to say she would miss her morning classes. She called her dad to tell her dream and packed up her stuff to stay with him for the last two weeks. They had a wonderful time together mending some relationship issues. The morning of she was leaving for school and asked him if he loved her of course he went on and on about how much he loved her she flashed a smile and said “I knew it.” I talked with her three times that day and evening the last time at 9pm as was working that night on L&D. She was with her friends typical Friday night. The weekend before I had tremendous anxiety and as I look back there were times that I had this same anxiety about her for no apparent reason. My husband called me at 3 AM to say that the ER called and was looking for me. I called to hear words I will never forget “Your dtgr has had a fatal head injury.” I ran from work to my car in scrubs and drove myself to St. Anthony’s ER to find her there eyes dilated head full of blood cuts glass on a vent. Oh My God what a nightmare. I try not to think too much of those images as they are haunting and quite vivid. My beloved girl our lives changed in a heartbeat.

Marin was such a special girl she loved her animals her friends her family so much. I am so very grateful I had her as a daughter she was beautiful alive happy smiling talented so many things we think of our children. She had wanted to be an organ donor and after she left the body spiritually I stayed with her body for 13 hours till she was a donor. One of the recipients was a 13 mo old baby boy and I felt this was her adopted child in a sense giving her life to help him finish the things in his life.
Such is how karma works. We complete the things we are suppose to hopefully making many amends. Fortunately my spiritual beliefs are sound and I know she was destined to be here a shorter than expected lifetime for someone very healthy. She also did not want to grow old I might add.

Her service was incredible friends made CDs for the service there were 1000 people there including teachers police firefighters who attended her at the scene. Following the service one of my dearest friends who was with me when she died took me to Florida for a few days. There it was decided that I leave the US sell the house and come here. Within a week my house sold I moved in 3 weeks. Went to Costa Rica for a visit in Maart with my same friend Gina we ended up here I found this house to rent on the beach next to the jungle. I left all things behind friends family house school car belongings pets husband. I figured I had lost the most impt thing in my life and if I had to continue living which was a hard concept I would live it very differently. I have found that I am not the person really making any of these decisions have felt very directed. This house I found after one call the people I now have living with me from here have become a great support and so I find love from many new people in a new land. It is quite comforting here. Lulled by the waves we wake up to the congo monkeys or howlers which look like miniature gorillas who make these sounds a mix between seals and dogs. Very distinct. Marin always wanted a pet monkey so I smile when I hear these congos. The other kind cara blanca white-faced capuchins are in the backyard or front leaping from the trees. For a while I taught English at a two room school with 32 kids I burned out quickly as I had no books to speak of and had to come up with different ideas. Most of the kids not to interested in learning English which of course I could care less if they learned preferred playing games with them. So many contacts with kids are reminiscent times with Marin.

Anyway this is my news. I have no plans. I will go to Nicaragua to leave the country for a few days over her birthday. Will come back and be in this house till November. After that will see where I am lead. My friends who are living with me are a sister and brother from another part of Costa Rica they are from a family of 17. I have gone to their home their mother is an incredible person and I feel a connection to a number of their family members. Needless to say my spanish is improving and most days I do not speak english except to an occasional tourist or by writing an email. Speaking of this I had thought of writing you about Marin but did not feel inspired to until yesterday when I spent the day with this boy from your area. His name is David and he thinks he either went to school with Kacy or knows her as he worked at some restaurant where kids hang out. Great kid 20 surfer he is here with his brother who is 18 surfing all over the country for 7 weeks. Again a nice connection and I thought that was weird he might know your dtgr. He went to the catholic high school so again may not be the same school. We were in this other town and he did not speak spanish so I went with him to the bank the pharmacy as his brother had hurt his ankle and he too hurt himself on the coral. Little health care here where I live. We also had lunch together. His parents have a farm outside of Portland somewhere near Columbia River. Anyway this is why I am writing. I do hope you get this letter. I will enclose Marin’s memorial card. What else can I say but life is not always what I would have expected a lot more suffering than I would have cared to experience but somehow I being moved forward. I am here with people who love me who dance who sing who smile I feel fortunate to have been plucked up and revived. We go to the beach or waterfalls daily I cannot get enough of that.

I hope your life is going well that you only experience kindness happiness inspiration and love on a daily basis that your suffering is manageable and you find many things that nourishes your being. I hope your family is doing well. My email is if you care to write. I am living in Montezuma on the nicoya penisula about 4 hours from the mainland. It is an amazing country from I have seen thus far. Many people from everywhere Italy France much caribbean influence rasta hair beautiful people.
I did remember your birthday on the 15th Happy Birthday take care love jody
I do wish I did not have to drop such a bomb but you and I have shared parts of lives and unfortunately this is part of my life story I will have to see if I can find your work address on the internet. As I print this I hear almonds being thrown onto the roof both kinds of monkeys in the yard front and back they lay in the trees with the legs and arms dangling or hang upside down suspended by their back legs or tail. Many mothers with babies on their back they will walk upright in the yard to get to something. Very amazing to watch. Marin’s monkeys.

Easter / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Easter / Jody Mangue (mom)

This is the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter 2010. I woke up refreshed sleeping well and thought that I wished I had had a dream about Marin when a moment later I remembered I had. I did not see her face from what I remember but she was with me and I asked her to hand me something as I could not reach it three things in sight and said can you can that to me Moo like it was any ordinary day ordinary time. Later I remember sitting on a plane and I was talking about my daughter to someone who did not seem interested in what I had to say that was it basically.
I opened up my email and found this wonderful email and tribute written by Cindy Davis wishing me a Happy Easter that she has been writing to Evan and he has sent her his writings I thought wow he must really trust her to do that and if any of you met Cindy you too would trust her with your deepest secret her heart is pure and loving. She has visited Marin’s memorial bench even in the heaviest of snow storms who does this no one I know.
So I have has her permission to add what she has written to the website so it can be added to some of the cherished tributes we have received.

Hi Jody
I have been thinking a lot about you today and wondering how you are doing? Evan sent me a large envelope of his writings to read recently. What a great young man- you must be very proud of him. He writes so well and has a real gift for writing much like his mom. I did write him a letter today as well.
Also I wanted to let you know that every Easter in our church- the sanctuary there is filled with Easter lilies to commemorate Christ’s death and resurrection. These Easter lilies are purchased by members and friends of the church. Those lilies are dedicated to those persons that are loved and held in high regard by the purchaser either living individuals or those that have passed on. Every year for lots of years now we have always dedicated one to my mom and Bob’s dad (they are both deceased). But this year I decided to dedicate a joint one both in loving memory of Marin; also for Evan for God’s grace and protection. I hope you don’t mind me doing that. At the end of the services on Easter Sunday those that purchased lilies can take them home to enjoy them. In the past I have always enjoyed having the one sitting on our dining room table where I can see it bloom and smell its wonderful fragrance- often it will make me think of my beloved mom and bob’s dad. Now I will have two – I wish you were here so I could give you the one dedicated to your kids. But it will be a reminder for me of your sweet daughter and continual prayers for Evan. I am thinking you had mentioned that he had a parole hearing coming up soon. Well my friend I am working tomorrow so I best go to bed. Hope all is well at your end. We just found out last week that Meghan has finally landed a job in a hospital about a 10 minute drive from her house in San Francisco. The way she got the job was by going in the “back door” so to speak. She signed up with the volunteer services at that hospital. So for the past couple of months she has been working every Friday at this hospital as a vounteer passing out menus and basically doing the stuff volunteers do. As a volunteer she was able to meet the supervisors of the floors and that is how she finally was able to get a job interview. She decided that after her last interview that had 7 openings for 700 applicants she thought this might be a better way and it worked. She starts the end of April on a med- surg/ ortho floor working 3pm-11pm shifts 40 hours a week. I didn’t know there were still hospitals that still did 3-11 shifts? Anyway we are so very glad for her and hope to go and visit her in a couple of weeks before her job starts in San Francisco. We have not seen their home since they were married last September so I am so looking forward to the time we will have with them there. Happy Easter ! Much love to you my friend Cindy

Puppy Love  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Puppy Love  / Jody Mangue (mom)

I purposely put some photos of puppies and dogs on the website. A friend of mine here, Raeann's nephew found an abandoned mother and three female pups only 2 weeks old near the hotel. There are now a month old, very robust and healthy. The mother who was a pup herself appeared to have broken her elbow limping terribly either from being run over or who know what happened to her, however, she seems to be recovering from this injury while getting great care at the hotel Raeann owns. I say all this as Marin adored puppies and dogs, Chef was her favorite.  Once I remember stopping by one early Saturday am to bring Marin clean clothes, she had spent the night with a friend common for her over the years. She ran out of the house to greet me with a pug puppy named Aspen shoving the wiggly pup through the window of the car, so excited, isn't she wonderful!! Marin loved this dog, too, and she often slept with her when she spent the night.

Evan also is a dog lover. He found Chef, Evan was at a nearby park when he asked this grandma if she was trying to find a home for this dalmatian puppy she had on a leash. She said, yes she was and he hopped in her car to show him to his dad, who he said was sure to take him. Evan was maybe twelve at the time. Each year on New Year's Eve, Marin would shower Chef with presents, he would always receive a new blankie as he loved to cover himself, head included with the blankie and walk around blind. He was quite funny and did not mind being dressed up, either at least, for a short while. These are my favorite memories of the kids with dogs.

So I feel Marin's smile when we sit with puppies or dogs. Something she would do if she lived her, wanting to take them all home. Evan, too, would be the same, he did several times, with Chef and Sparkles, a little runt kitty he carried over his shoulder also after an overnight with a friend.

Between now and then  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Between now and then  / Jody Mangue (mom)

I have made my reservations to come to Colorado over Mother's  Day to come to visit Evan I received approval today. It will be bittersweet a mixed bag. Happy and sad now and then. Marin did make Mother's Day so special and I will be visiting her bench hopefully to plant flowers in the barrels. A couple of days in Lakewood Golden Wheatridge the rest of the time in Cañon City. Evan will have had his parole hearing on April 6th. It is a gamble coming at that time if he gets moved from his current place to another only one of those I can visit. He will have 8 people attending the hearing for his benefit we are not sure what to expect. In April he has three more years. So to visit in Mei will be after the verdict he originally wanted me to wait till he was out but I felt it was important to see him and plus it is Mother's Day a mother should have some prerogative. It came together quickly the fare was good so I take that as a sign to go. I think it is a good time to break away from here get some perspective of life living out of the states. It is 6 years in Mei Mei 9 when I will be in Colorado. I am just realizing this.

Marin know I think of you everyday long to see your sweet face and smile. I know you are with us and watch over us and when I am visiting with Evan you are at my side to shower your love to him to both of us I know you will be there for his parole hearing too as the 9th person maybe you Gigi Papa and Madeline Eb and Lucy are all there too rooting for him. I love you Marin and I thank you for the wonderful Mother's Days you had given me in the past.

Lost letter from Toni Wright  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Lost letter from Toni Wright  / Jody Mangue (mom)

Dear Jack
Dated 10-4-06
As I know you can imagine my heart and thoughts are consumed with Toni. Here is the letter that I told you about a year ago. Like I said Toni wasn’t quite sure what to do with it after she wrote it so she just kept it close to her.
I’m sorry I know it will make you cry but I think you’ll be glad you read it.
I guess when God gives us an angel we bear the burden of having to let them go-to give even more splendor to those who need it more.
I bet they make time to throw the ball from time to time though. I hope you and your family are doing ok.
Look for Conner in the paper-he’s in the preps a lot. Farmer’s football 5-0 they beat Thunderidge after a 26 game winning streak. He plays for them.

Take care love Lee Jaime and TC

I know you and I weren’t really close and I regret that so much. Or maybe I don’t because if this hurts so much I don’t even want to imagine what it would be like if I did know you so well. I just don’t believe that this happened. I keep thinking what if what if something was different that night one week ago. What if anything could have stopped that tragedy from occurring. What if there was something I could have done or said or known. This all just feels so wrong it could not have been your time yet you are only 16 years old. You had so much to do and accomplish. You were a special person one that stood out from all the other people. You had everything and you were everything. I do not think you ever knew but you did so much for me. You made The Stealth fun. That was the greatest summer ever. Playing softball with you was truly an honor. You always looked on the bright side even if we were getting our asses kicked. One game sticks in my head. We were down 11-0 in the first inning and you got pissed because you knew we were better than that. You put us in check and you told us to play like we knew how to and we did. We won that game because of you Marin your strength made all of us stronger. I would give anything to play catch with you again or see you strike out all those girls you struck out but I can’t. I will never be able to see you do one of the many things you could do which was play softball but every time I pick up a softball I ‘ll think of you! I’ll remember all the fun we had in that one season. And I’ll remember that one game that you showed me that anything is possible. But then I’ll think of how mad I am mad at God for taking you away or if I’m mad at the people who had the party or mad at myself for having fun while you were getting hurt that night. This isn’t fair I thought you were getting better in the hospital. I figured you would be ok. I didn’t think that God would steal you away from here. I prayed and prayed for you every day. I asked God to make you ok. I wanted Him to fix it but maybe He did. He wanted you back he wanted an angel he definitely got one.
People are telling me that things happen for a reason and that’s what I am trying to believe but there was no reason for this. There is no reason why you aren’t alive right now you were such a good person you always will be. I wish that you could have lived your life because you have done so many good things. Your parents love you so much Marin and they will think about you and miss you forever. I feel so bad for them and for everyone else who lost you. You truly were something and even though you are not alive you are still here in our hearts. And our minds. It’s going to be hard for me to realize or accept what happened maybe just because I don’t want to. I don’t want to imagine you not being here anymore. I don’t want to not see you at school anymore. I don’t want it to be like this but it is. Life will go on for most of us I will be constantly trying to do the right thing and I will try to help people realize that this does happen it affects a lot of people.
I just hope you are ok and you are in Heaven doing everything fun and great. And I hope you look out for your parents because it’s going to be really hard for them. And I hope you are eternally happy. I love you Marin I will miss you so much. Rest in peace. Sincerely Toni Wright

Toni was a year older so she graduated from Wheatridge in 2004 Marin would have graduated in 2005. I am not sure when this happened but Jack told me that Toni got a scholarship to play softball in Nebraska he helped her get that. She was an amazing athlete outfielder and hitter. Fast. I remember the girls playing in the tournament in Grand Junction and them wrestling in the room afterwards I do remember the comeback the team made after Marin talked to them it was such an exciting game. There are many brilliant moments of both Marin and Toni playing together and with their other teammates.

 Toni died driving back to college in her pickup truck after visiting her family her friends and her coach Frank daughter Lindsay also on the team. She also spoke to Jack over that weekend. She apparently fell asleep on the drive back to school it was an one car accident sometime in 2006.

Toni was number 44 Marin number 2 and Lindsay number 3. I thank her for writing such a beautiful dedication letter to Marin. After Marin’s death also died Kinsey another dear friend so there were three beautiful young girls who died well before we wanted them to go.

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