Marin Ebel
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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.

Letter and painting  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Letter and painting  / Jody Mangue (mom)

I wanted to include what David Artavia the artist who did the beautiful painting called Sonido de la Ola sound of the wave I hope to meet him someday it meant a great deal to hear about this work he did and also to find from where his inspiration leads him in his art life faith. So here below is what I received:

I received this today from the artist who did the painting of the giant wave at sunset with two dolphins present As I mentioned it is a beautiful piece. I felt compelled to write him and find out more about his workhis inspiration so below is a translation of what he wrote I was so touched as you can see from his writing.

HI Jody Thanks for buying my painting and thanks for taking the time to write me. I have read on the memorial site page of your dear daughter and I feel so much for what you have done I can tell the grand love you have for her. I too have a very special connection with the sea and it greatly fills my spirit and I feel the immense love of God there and that is precisely what I want to transmit with my art His Creation everything that He created for us because He loves us. When I painted the sound of the wave sonido de la ola came the images of dolphins who accompanied me in a beautiful wave while I was surfing the water was very transparent and there was much light behind the wave(her) the dolphins were like angels of the sea who followed me and enjoyed being with me filling me with peace and tranquility when I was surmerged in the water I could hear something this sound is only heard when I am surmerged and it is beautiful and I hear it everytime I surf the sound of the wave.

Jody God loves you so much and one day you will reunited with your daughter in Heaven I am sure of that. After this life there is much that remains ahead after death.... it is not the end but the beginning of many marvelous incredible things. Mei God bless you and fill your heart with peace. David A.

Sonido de la ola, sound of the wave  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Sonido de la ola, sound of the wave  / Jody Mangue (mom)

31 of January 2010

The 6th anniversary death of Marin Nicole Ebel.
I left before 7am, arrived at the beach at 930am with a stop in Orotina. I had envisioned a room, beach, pool, but settled for a parking lot and bathroom to change in, many people on the beach. I carried a chair, book to write in, hat and mat and carved a spot on the beach to sit, write, look out at the water. The noise made by the people was muffled by the strong, sound of the surf.
I hear Marin say yesterday to me that going to the beach is not just about she and I, but to think of my other family, my mom, gram and dad. The thought of this choked me up as we spent many summers at the beaches in Florida. At 930am, six years ago we were with Marin as she died around 9am, her time of death according to the death certificate was 130pm or so, but this was not accurate, we were very aware when she left us. A few minutes later, we were approached for her organs that was a whole process in itself and I stayed on till 5am the next morning when she was taken to the OR. I have thought from time to time why I did not ask to see her afterward, but not sure that is even allowed. I do remember that some of Marin’s friends were in the waiting room and we had them see her I asked Gina to be in the waiting room in case others came so they could be told. I found out later Will and Marla had to find out from Gina that Marin had died. Today, I am remembering more details. A couple of days prior to the final day Marin showed some signs of recovery, her blow was to her right side of her head, brain. For two days she was moving with force on her right side, but not her left. She never opened her eyes, but for a couple of days we were very hopeful, she could recover, even though we knew it was a long rehab.
Today and for weeks I have had the strong desire and need to hear the surf and plant my feet in the sand, look at the ocean. Even on the drive I see the water and am instantly relaxed, a sigh leaves my lips. There is a smell of fish, salt, the sand is black ,powdery. Several young men are already drinking beer, babies are running away from their mothers in delight, balls are being kicked and hit, dogs are darting in and out of the water, a couple of kids are digging furiously in the sand with their toys a while a few are being buried. The day is alive with activity.
In remembering my family, I see my mother and gram on lounge chairs and floppy hats, sunglasses. My mother in a two piece or an orange or blue one piece with fringe, my gram always in her one piece or miau miau.  They are inseparable these two, although there were 14 years when they did not live in the same town, thousands of miles apart to be reunited in the summers for a month. My mother would be people- watching as I do and would have enjoyed all the many passer-bys. From my memory I am holding my styroform, surf board with the painting on it the breaking surf, I can hear my dad says he will take a dip. Marin, I picture like myself on a towel over a mat. Sun-bathing takes precedent, swimming only in the pool. Maybe a dip in the ocean, but not for long. She would not be interested walking the beach I, too, do not walk the beach I have brought too many things with me.

Heart strings. We are attached forever, she is not physically here in the way others can see her, but she is always with me in a strong and spiritual way which allows us to make contact and communicate.
We are alive as long as we have breath, some are merely alive others are full of zest and vitality, living as many precious moments as possible. Marin lived in this way with joy and with enthusiasm, a song in her heart. Sure we had our down time, but there was much excitement, drama, fun, activity that she crammed into those 16 and a half years. 
Later, I take myself to a restaurant, eat a salad and drink some te frio as I had quite a thirst. It had been quite hot on the beach. I decided to walk to a few shops and first found this wonderful set of cards from the works of David Artavia Araya. A couple of doors down, I entered a gallery and there was the same painting, The Sonido de la ola sound of the wave. I am breathless looking at it. There are several choices, but I come back to this one.
I plan to scan the card so it is added to the website. As soon as I got home it hung on the wall. This artist does incredible water scenes, waves, mountains. His use of color and ability to create light is incredible. I spoke to the gallery manager and he told me David is 32 and lives in Esterillos de Este. When I get back home I plan to write him and tell him Marin’s story I hope to hear back from him to tell me more about himself, his inspiration, this painting in particular. I have been looking for the right painting for several years and he did this one in 2009 I felt this one was waiting for me. As I thank the gallery manager, I try to tell him about Marin, the anniversary, but break down, he says she always here, pointing to his heart, meaning mine. Yes, of course.

I remember to look out at the ocean for Joan and have her see it through my eyes.

Still / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Still / Jody Mangue (mom)
I suppose a mother carries so much love for their child that they do not want them to suffer, we are here to protect them as much as we can. Marin left this world so early, I did what I could to protect her, but it did not seem enough. I do know that one’s end time comes, there is no arguing with that. When I started this site, it was partly because I wanted to have Marin remembered, if you entered her name on the internet ,it would appear, she did indeed exist. Here now a year or two later, there are a few people who respond, I have written to her various friends. I am fortunate that Mari keeps in contact, is still affected by Marin’s death, the loss of her, I wonder about the others. I have no control of how she has affected them still. But I do wonder. I guess that is a reflection of life, we have little in our control, our thoughts, feelings somewhat, but how people are ultimately affected by an event, their responses are their own. The site has been a wonderful place for reflection for me, for some others.
How I miss my daughter, there is so much I miss about what we were, what we could have been together as mother and daughter. Mari is soon to graduate those events that occur for the 22 year old who is has a busy life with work, a beau, an apartment, school all these things I would have loved to share with Marin, but I cannot. It is a sad fact. It is now 2010 almost 6 years since Marin’s death, it is hard to comprehend. So much time has gone on here, I am in the flesh still continuing in life, but how I would love to be with her still.
Arms Wide Open  / Jody Mangue (Mom)  Read >>
Arms Wide Open  / Jody Mangue (Mom)

It is now 2010 after New Years I have been in touch with new people in my life as well as my dearest old friends. I am including here a letter written by Evan's friend and my new friend William below his email are two sets of lyrics by Creed Arms Wide Open and Lullaby both beautiful music videos on Youtube if you have a chance to watch them.

After hearing from William I visited a little newborn named Adriana she was born minutes before New Years and I met her today dressed in her little stiff pink dress her hair closely held to her head like a black cap she is a doll muñeca that is for sure and later I came home to listen and read these lyrics. How small our children are when they come into this world. Thank you William for your beautiful appreciation and understanding of the soul connection I have had with Marin I hope you do not mind my including your correspondence it is true our children capture us hold us breathless at the time of their births we are attached in invisible ways a silver chord holds us together our movements thoughts energy are powerful and strong at birth and death and in between. Our lives hearts are forever pulsing with these sweet encounters and images that occur between mother and child no matter what the ages. There is no taking that away from us.

hey you! the blue moon actually takes its name from the shade upon it that is earths shadow. i believe the moon is a reflection of our own world and science holds that it was born of the earth itself. the new years moon was special and so will 2010 and i hope for the best.. i visited marin's memorial sight and it is very powerful as in really heavy. you know love and few others do. many mistake affection and attraction and fondness and caring for love. love is much more and deeply profound so much so that few can even wrap their brain around it. the deeper the love the greater the loss. your loss is beyond tragic. i can feel the in that site. but you are also amazingly blessed that you so intimately knew that spirit called marin- you she chose to be with in her journey to earth you out of the billions on this planet. the rest of the day i for some reason had that creed song going thru my head 'arms wide open'
take care william

Lyrics from Arms Wide Open

Well just heard the news today
seems my life is going to change
I close my eyes begin to pray
tears of joy stream down my face

With arms wide open
under the sunlight
welcome to this place
I'll show you everything
with arms wide open

With arms wide open

Well I don't know if I'm ready
to be the man I have to be
I take a breath I take her by my side
we stand in awe we've created life

With arms wide open
under the sunlight
welcome to this place
I'll show you everything
with arms wide open
now everything has changed
I'll show you love
I'll show you everything
with arms wide open

With arms wide open
I'll show you everything oh yeah
With arms wide open

If I had just one wish only one demand
I hope hes not like me I hope he understands
that he can take this life and hold it by the hand
and he can greet the world with arms wide open

With arms wide open
under the sunlight
welcome to this place
I'll show you everything
with arms wide open
now everything has changed
I'll show you love
I'll show you everything
wth arms wide open

With arms wide open
I'll show you everything oh yeah
with arms wide open

Lyrics of Lullaby by Creed

Hush my love now don't you cry
Everything will be all right
Close your eyes and drift in dream
Rest in peaceful sleep

If there's one thing I hope I showed you
Hope I showed you
Just give love to all
Oh my love... in my arms tight
Every day you give me life
As I drift off to your world
Rest in peaceful sleep
I know there's one thing that you showed me That you showed me
Just give love to all Let's give love to all
Just give love to all
Let's give love to all
Just give love to all
Let's give love to all

That is what Marin reminded me to do while I am still just give love to all. I try to remember that.

A small pot  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
A small pot  / Jody Mangue (mom)

The last time I saw Evan I noticed on my way to enter the prison that there were some seeds hanging from bushes, which were within the compound. Evan told me his cell was facing the entrance and I told him about the seeds. He is moved alot, but particularly liked being able to see people coming and going. He was waving at me, apparently, but I could not see him, the windows are narrow and long. I did wave at where I thought he was. So in my pocket on my last two visits I put the seeds and snuck them back to Costa Rica. Now, three months later after much watering, sunshine and rich soil the flowers have bloomed they are 6 small, yellow flowers with orange centers, others to bloom. I think of this plant as Evan he needs sunshine, which he does not get there, despite that he receives much love and sustenance from the people who care about him and more importantly in how he sees himself, his heart opens like a flower and there is much beauty there within the pot. He has gone unnoticed in that harsh environment, but for those who know him, it is recognized his beauty, strength and creative spirit. He has been tackling an unfathomable task in being there, living a very solitary life and I have the utmost respect for who he is and who he is becoming.

Evan has asked me to take off his address, he does not want people to write him their condolences, he prefers not to share his feelings about Marin, her death, so in respect to him, I have deleted the address.

Report from the Bench  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Report from the Bench  / Jody Mangue (mom)
I look out this morning and see the flowers blooming on the bougainvillea planted last March, they take shape and have beautiful colored blooms pomegranite reds and peach. I hear from my friend, Cindy she has written me various times more recently on Christmas. She has been visiting Marin’s bench in Paramount Park.  She tells me what she sees around it once a left over lunch, traces of those who sit, eat, and ponder during their lunch hour. Just prior to Christmas she also noticed another partial lunch the park covered with snow, the only color came from pansies which were still peaking through from the barrels I planted in September. Knowing that thrilled me. On Christmas Day, she wrote that she had driven right next to the bench there was that much snow and would not have gotten there unless she was in her 4 wheel Suburu. She had also visited her mother’s site in Marshdale which is in the mountains, buffalo roam on this sprawling ranch where the cemetery lies. It is a scenic and familiar spot as we lived there when Evan was born and when I was pregnant with Marin. At both her mothers and the bench she has left a sprig of Evergreen.
At the bench the pansies are now covered with snow, it was a whiteout, but going to the bench and leaving from it were ski tracks, someone stopped sat and skied off. I loved hearing that it was my gift on Christmas knowing that Cindy made such an incredible effort to stop by and say Merry Christmas to Marin from a friend of your mom’s and that this unknown person skied to and from it, enjoying the snow and park a pause at her bench.
I do not know how many have sat at the bench or who will in the future. There is a lot of love in that spot that seems to continue to grow throughout the season. Marin was a flower, she was in full bloom her whole life, she radiated such beauty and fragrance. Now in spirit, she continues to do that whether you sit at her bench or within our hearts, thoughts and prayers.
Dancing Christmas  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Dancing Christmas  / Jody Mangue (mom)

Tis the season, the holiday season. I am here writing from south of the border where we are hot and in the middle of our summer. Many visitors from all over the world as well as Costa Ricans heading to the beach, some we are driving,it is an extremely busy work time. I have not written on behalf of Marin until now. I do go on her website often to add writings, photos, remembrances. It will be six years in January since Marin’s death. I can say this Christmas was the first where I was not consumed by grief and managed pretty well to enjoy the holidays with Wilson, his kids and other children. It was a busy day with swimming, music, food and ATV rides. I am blessed to be here and have people in my life both his family and our friends from the states and Costa Rica. Christmas Eve, I found myself with Brandon, he is 10 years old loves the pool like I do and hops in every chance he can get. We were having a quiet evening, but I thought it would be nice to visit Wilson’s mom since she was by herself, so we packed up some goodies and stopped by. She and I, Brandon and her other son Kenneth. There were neighbors shooting off fireworks and having a party later the off key karaoke singing began. Very typical here. Occasionally a great singer will belt one out, but often there are wannabee Vicente and Alejandro Fernandez ,Marc Anthony, David Bisbal
Luis Miguel, Christian Castro, Shakira singers way off tune.

Ana decided to put her music up a notch so began our dancing. She, Kenneth and I went to dance classes together at Merecumbe, a franchise dance studio. We had great fun there and learned various dance steps. We danced pretty much nonstop in and out of the house until I could not move my legs anymore. I could feel my mom and Marin laughing as we were enjoying ourselves meringue, salsa, and cumbia with a little bolero tossed in. Even Brandon caught the dance fever and wanted to spin(vueltas) while doing the meringue.
Back to Karaoke a week or so ago, we went out to a bar a few kilometers from here, there is a place closer by called Natos but this other is packed each night so wanted to see what they had to offer. There was a disc jockey or person in charge of the karaoke, an animated fellow with spiked hair who would start dancing in the middle of the songs, inspiring the waiters to do the same. In between hearing from several mediocre singers entered three elderly men who sat at the front of the bar. We could not see them as we sat at a table on the other end. Apparently, they come in frequently and the disc jockey knew what songs to put on. Suddenly, our ears were thrilled and enchanted by each singing so beautifully old, romantic Spanish songs. We did not want them to stop, each had their own medley. That night I was reminded of being in a different culture rich with the love and appreciation for music.
Marin and my mother loved music, loved dancing. Marin wanted to be a singer and my mother was a dancer so as I am here I am aware of them in the ways I live my life and witness how life is lived here through song and dance. I invite you to listen to the music to your own song and dance when the spirit moves you. It helps shake off the cobwebs and dust. And as my mother would say you can always dance.

Christmas is upon us  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Christmas is upon us  / Jody Mangue (mom)

Christmas 2009, almost 2010. I am in touch with friends who are having difficult experiences in their lives, Gina at the Artic Circle, others coming clean going through an internal reckoning. I go through my own, in my own way. Christmas in Costa Rica has some similarities as in the states, the malls are packed, heavy traffic, Christmas and family gatherings. Many demands. I have presents set aside for kids, I do each year. The tree is bright and sparkly. I have an ornament on the tree with Marin's photo, I have it on there each year, she is probaby 10 in that photo. I have a few of my parent's Christmas items. The house is festive and welcoming. Poinsettias add a special beauty.

It is a sobering time of year for me almost 6 years since Marin's death in January. I just like to get through the holiday, get passed it. It will never be the same in anyway possible. Marin loved Christmas ,she celebrated with such zeal, she made everything bright not only on the holidays, but year round. I miss her spirit the shiny, sparkly person she was. She infused us with a great enthusiasm for life.

I hear from Evan quite often now, I am grateful for that. I have sent cards and letters to various inmates, too. Wanting them to be remembered at Christmas. Evan has decided to work hard at his writing poems and philosophical thoughts with hopes to publish this body of work. I encourage him to do this, too. I suppose the winter and Christms has that affect on us to make us pensive and think of our past, our former lives, our familie,s how to keep our hearts open ,our spirits bright for the coming year. How to be real and truthful and live the lives we have been given.

I love you Marin. I miss you so very much. Thank you for having been my daughter. I love you, Evan and I am proud of the person you are, you are like the rising Phoenix out of the ashes becoming your own True self. I was given a gift to be the mother to the both of you.


My mother was a New Yorker  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
My mother was a New Yorker  / Jody Mangue (mom)

My mother was a New Yorker through and through. Her mother also from Manhattan lived in an Italian tenament building. Everyone in the building would go to Coney Island on Sundays, packing a picnic lunch. My mother and her mom were very close only 15 years difference in their ages. Jeanne and Madeline. I have a photo of the two of them with another aunt Nettie at the beach probably at Coney Island. Another of my mother crossing on the Staten Island Ferry with her grandfather Dominic who was a stowaway on a ship from Italy. It is where he and his wife met she was to marry a Mafiaso, but she and my great grandfather fell in love on the boat and were married once they arrived in NYC. The Mafia man helped my great grandfather get his start. He and my great grandmother has 13 children 9 of whom survived. They did well during those times owning a bar and restaurant, a rubbish business as my mother would call it and were stevedores at the port  loading freighters. There were many stories I was told from those years.
Like many other grown children in this world one of their parents often develops a type of dementia or Alzheimers’. Such was the case of my mother. I noticed the changes in her in 1994. Subtle at first. We made the best of it my dad did a lot of the caring of my mother although in the end she was a master escape artist and was wandering a lot with her two dogs. Sometimes when I would call my mother I was never sure what I would hear on the other end of the phone, but she tried hard to maintain a normal conversation. Once she answered out of breath excited. She said they were having a party, many people were there, she said even the dogs were excited. There were lots of children. I was trying to imagine this. I said what are you doing, oh we are playing a game. What was the game I asked. She said LIFE how do you play it? You only have to be alive to play. It was one of those jewels I will never forget.

Once in the nursing home when I went to see her she was sitting amongst others. A gentleman said you will never believe what your mother said to me. My mother was both a professional dancer and later became a LPN nurse. She would switch between roles. He said that she asked him what he did last night nothing. She said well you can always dance. Other times she would try to assist the other patients following behind them while they used their walkers. Once the charge nurse told me she would go into their office and put her legs on their desk as if she worked there. In the later stages of her disease, she talked less and less. I often brought pictures of the kids to keep her mind alive for a few minutes. She loved that and often referred to the children that she has to take care of the children I was never sure if she was referring to mine or to those she cared for as a pediatric nurse.
One afternoon during our visit another patient named Jeremy stood in front of me, he had another kind of brain injury or was mentally retarded he often rocked in a chair back and forth as he held a wash cloth in his hands. Standing there he spoke about visiting his family. One of the nurses told me he would visit his family but wanted to return to his home there. He was cute probably in his forties. He recognized me from prior visits and wanted to tell me about his going to see his family in Sulphur. My mother had a puzzled look on her face as he spoke. When he walked away my mother said, I do not want to go there meaning Sulphur (with Jeremy) later saying no I do not want to meet them meaning his family, she had smirk on her face and knew she was teasing. I marveled at the sense of humor and timing she still had.

 Another time one of the nurses was standing in front of the med cart getting her meds ready my mom commented she does not know what the hell she is doing, look at her legs! This was typical of my mother being harsh and critical at times, but also funny.

Our last conversations I wanted to reassure my mother that all was being take care of. That her bags were packed she was ready to go since all those important to her were already gone Marin, Homer, Madeline, they would be there to greet her. I knew my mother might die in my absence. I asked her if there was anything else she needed to bring with her for the trip, she told me a shield. I told her she had the shield, not to worry, she had everything she needed now. At times, when I would bring it up about them being ready for her, would be there to pick her up she was relieved and once said thank God and was ready to go hoped it would not be long. And it was not. She was taken care of by the hospice team, a chaplain came every week to pray with her. A nurse’s aide did an excellent job of providing daily care and would do her hair and nails. I know she liked that. The same nurse would also visit her weekly. In the end, she had a small ulcer on her foot which they treated she died from that infection she went quietly and at peace. When I saw my mother I could not believe how beautiful she looked. Sally and I picked out a beautiful dress which she would have liked. She was a beauty up till the end.

The Cookie  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
The Cookie  / Jody Mangue (mom)
Marin loved dogs. Once she came running out of Megan’s house early morning to show me Aspen the little pug they adored. She pushed him through the car window for me to hold he was a wiggly smoosh-faced wonder. Here I have Cookie Aka KUKI she is an old terrier. She was once not too friendly still now will bite you if you take away a ball or toy. But enjoys company. She is a little hunter of mice dislikes birds barks at them. I have come to love this little mutt. She is 12 now. I bought her a bed and fleece blankie she has another bed upstairs with Tweety sheets and pillow. Sometimes we find she has covered herself up like a human. She hates when I wash her covers however when they are dry she does a happy dance to have her bed again. Her bones hurt and so these soft beds are necessary. Right now she is sulking her beds undone. One day Wilson brought a stuffed Dalmatian animal very tiny she snatched it and it has become her little puppy I would open the front door she would come running with her pup in her mouth. Throwing him in the air rolling from side to side playing with her baby. I find him in either bed as she brings up and down the stairs. Close
Hey you dropped your platanos!  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Hey you dropped your platanos!  / Jody Mangue (mom)

It is not every day I recognize a gift when I get it.
Today I opened the electric gate to let in the man delivering chlorine for the pool.
I have been waiting to connect with him for two weeks a welcome site.
As we were talking and making the exchange an old truck passed by and out flew a huge bunch of plantain.
Hey I yell waving the bunch he keeps on trucking.
Minutes later I am cooking them every which way.

How tasty they are!
And I am grateful for the gift.
Living here we are very fortunate for what this land provides. Tasty fruits and vegetables you can buy on the street corners. I often stop for tomatoes bell peppers onions and pineapple at one corner the people come out of their garage. Always so friendly 2 kilos for one mil about 2 dollars for luscious big red tomatoes.
Excuse me now I have to stir the pots.

Painted Angel  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Painted Angel  / Jody Mangue (mom)

Painted angel

gold, red and green.

Making sure your wings are covered properly.

I am surrounded by the furl of one angel’s embrace, she flutters

around me when I am troubled and blue.

We are on a first name basis, mom and Marin.

We used to sit together and paint ceramic gifts we would keep

ourselves or give away.

Spending hours in that way.

I imagine angels really do not have the same image we have of

them. They are more beautiful and brilliant. Smiling, effervescence.

Marin has been with many who have crossed on and will be with me as well. I know this to be true. Whenever Death comes around the corner, I will be ready, one Hand in God’s and alongside will be my hand in hers.

letter from old friend  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
letter from old friend  / Jody Mangue (mom)

There are many people I have known from differents stages of my life. One group worked together at Denver Health in labor and delivery and postpartum during the years of 1975 through the mid eighties.  We all had children around the same time swapped pregnancy clothes baby swings tips on surviving early parenthood it was a close group and we shared both work and our families. I left in 1987 as we moved to New Mexico I was 6 mos pregnant with Marin Evan two. It was hard to leave that kind of support and comfort zone. I came back to that same dept 16 years later and found some women from the same group they were again incredible. I was at home again. It was at Denver Health that I received the phone call from my husband regarding the ER calling about Marin her accident severe head injury. By the time I reached St. Anthony's that dreadful early am two of the nurses were at the ER to be with me. Others came too Susan who made sure I had food creature comforts Hilde with her prayers and strong faith Diane Veronica from Australia. Others I had hardly known. One of the nurses from the original groupwho left our hospital was still in touch but we only saw each other from time to time. Her son Ryan and Evan took the swim classes I mentioned. Here is a letter she wrote she is planning a trip here in Jan Ryan now 25 and probably going on 26. I found the story and verse of comfort and so below it reads: 

Dear Jody

Thanks so much for your prompt reply and your trip suggestions. I so appreciate your input. Jody I am so sorry about Marin. I can’t even imagine the anguish pain and emptiness of losing a child. I lost my mom some years back and you are right- the missing part doesn’t seem to ever go away. I imagine it’s even worse for loss of one’s child. I am sure words cannot describe what you have been through. As I opened my little devotional book this morning called “the Upper Room” my eyes fell on the entry for this Friday Nov. 20. It is entitled “A Land of Exile.” I tried to get my computer to print it so I could attach it to this Email but no luck so I will type it out below. Hopefully these words might be helpful and not meant to harm. It was just so ironic for me to open to this passage especially when I have been thinking about your reply throughout all last night.

November 2009 Issue Upper Room p.27:

“A Land of Exile”

The death of our only son cast me into exile in a country filled with empty places- places of sadness and loss. I realized I would never see him marry have children or pursue his dreams.

As I have walked this path of sorrow I have met others whose children have died. We have shared memories of our beloved children; we have wept and prayed together. We have forged a bond that builds

encouragement and provides comfort that cannot be found in any other place. Now the tears that come from raw anguish have begun to flow in a new form. softened by the comfort and healing that come over time.

Other mothers who have walked this same path have offered their time and love to help me find a “new normal” for facing daily tasks. In turn I have been strengthened to give the same love to newly- exiled women who cross my path. My prayer time now includes my cry for their time in exile their time in empty places. My healing in this land of exile has brought opportunity to offer support and comfort to others. Praying for someone else’s healing helps to heal me.

The verse from the Bible that goes with this reading is:

Praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

I hope that sharing this with you Jody is okay. I am not normally this bold- but reading this today I thought it might be of some help comfort or encouragement. Take good care my friend with much love and thanks Cindy

The mall  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
The mall  / Jody Mangue (mom)

I find myself at the Carari Mall halfway between San Jose and Alajuela. I thought I would get a few things for Wilson he is on a 9 day trip with German tourists and German guide, Claudia, not all nine days.  Figured he could use some different shirts, socks etc. We are up till midnight getting the van ready including water, wine, wine glasses Claudia wants to have available.

The mall is packed, there is hardly any parking malls are small, but quite popular on the weekends, more so now for the holidays. I hit various stores until I run out of steam. Marin is on my mind alot at the mall. We loved to go together, we often would have lunch and take in a movie. I had forgotten the movie part. I went upstairs just to see what was on the marquee, debating whether to stay longer for one feature.

It is on the escalators where I think of her most, she teased me when she would be behind me and pretend she was going to push me over, knowing my fear of heights. I look at various parents with their daughters, missing her so very much. We would be doing the same as they are looking at clothing, trying things on, looking at shoes, hair stuff, accessories, gifts for her dad and friends. We would be busy getting ideas for the holidays and making sure people liked what they received. I begin some of my shopping, picking out things I know the kids would like. I like giving gifts still, but there is a sadness the day brings in doing this alone, not having her at my side. I feel that the sadness shows on my face, I feel aged and listless inside going through the motions of Christmas again, five Christmases later.

There is a song that plays while I am in the car, it is in Spanish and sung by a male and female singer to one another. The woman has died and she is telling him not to be sad, where she is is beautiful and full of light I have started to learn the words, she is reassuring him. It has a incredible melody and verse. Sometimes, I can hear it, sing it without tears,sometimes I cannot.

I find myself at home. Cookie has greeted me with her little stuffed dalmatian she thinks is her puppy, she throws him in the air, rolls side to side with her baby. She makes me laugh. I watch a couple of movies all having references to someone who has died in their lives. I cry along with the characters, this is not uncommon in the movies I find to watch.

Christmas will come and go again and perhaps I will have made a few lives happier, because of my gifts and remembrances. I guess my presence is still needed in this world. I find a card to send to Evan and think of writing him before the holidays come.  He too is my reason for being.


Postcards from Maui  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Postcards from Maui  / Jody Mangue (mom)
More items I find to add to the website: I find photos and postcards written from Maui. The first send to my workplace, Denver Health Social Work Dept. I write Aloha, Here I am with my new best friend( the card has a giant turtle and a swimmer waving with a mask on). Sorry I won’t be coming back. Just send my check to Maui. Hope all is well. And you each find moments to relax and enjoy on the homefront. Gotta go ride the wild surf and look for dolphins. Hang ten, peace and love Jody
The second is with a dolphin leaping out of the water, a spinner dolphin. Both were mailed July 15, 2003 while Marin and I were there for her birthday a week or more prior to her actual birthday. This one I sent home. Here we are in Maui, looking for dolphins, writing poetry and listening to the surf-chipping away at discontent-ah to live near the sea-there is a possibility of this in the not too distant future. Is there a girl who came to the beach to ride the waves and feel the sand between her toes. Whose restlessness disappeared with the sound and the color of the Sun.
Marin and I spoke about her going to college in Hawaii, she loved it there, this may have been the idea of coming to live at the beach. The other notion was I was obsessed with Costa Rica and had another year of midwifery school, so was thinking to move there at some point after Marin graduated. We were full of dreams and promise for the future. It was hard coming back to reality to Colorado to life being the same as before. Of course, six months later Marin died and life was never the same.  Her spirit came with me and I have felt she lead me here to be at the beach. I have just found these cards today, November 10 2009 which were written over 6 years ago.
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