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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.
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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. www.marin-ebel.memory-of.com. 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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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

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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.

 

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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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another writing from who knows when  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
another writing from who knows when  / Jody Mangue (mom)
There have been many writings over the last few years. I find this in the box. In my reality, you are free to awake with a new radiance within and shine your brilliance. This is all I ask. How does one achieve this receptivity. As you know open and you will receive. Doubts, there is no room for doubts. Make each encounter heaven-sent between yourself and others. Why does one have such love for you, because of your sweetness like the cow to the lick, like the bee to honey. Sweetness reaches the disempowered with a new, clean fresh approach to power, the power of LOVE. It is the ultimate weapon and can bring many down to their knees in mercy and forgiveness. Just for one drop of Love. You, my dear, reek sweetness, your fragrance gives such a scent and many come running to you, give up the old ways. Be receptive and keep the sweetness flowing to the end of your final pursuits on earth. Close
Searching for photos  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Searching for photos  / Jody Mangue (mom)


I have received several letters from Evan’s friends, one in prison who is an artist telling his story. He apologized for the sadness of it.  Everyone has a story to tell, he says. Drew is the same age as Evan and will get out around the same time, 2013. He has a daughter who is around 2, she lives with her grandma, his wife’s mother. His wife died also in a car wreck. He works doing his drawings and barters to buy extra items from the canteen. I look at the picture of he with his daughter at the playground, they look so happy together, I wondered what he might have done to land in the same place, but would never ask. Evan shared his canteen with him at times to help him out. No surprise.
Drew was working on drawings of Costa Rica, but his postcards I sent Evan were taken from him. I will send him more addressed directly to him. He asked if there were photos I could copy so he could do a painting of Marin. Evan, too, asked for a picture of himself in Jamaica. I begin the search delving through boxes I had not looked through in a long time. The box which contained Marin’s softball mitts also had various items in it. I found cards, old photos of my gram and mother laughing hysterically, photos of Marin with her friends in a tent, her softball photo. I made copies of ones I would send to Drew. Others to Evan. There were many I had not looked at for a while, a dance recital when Marin was 2, her swimming in the pool at the same age, the certificate that she received at 11mos for her swimming program, Instant Swimming Research to learn to save herself if she were to fall into a pool fully- clothed. There were several of Marin and Evan. Camping ones. Our lives recorded on holidays.
When the house was broken into last March,  a bag was taken which contained various jewelry Marin gave me, items of my parents, many treasures. One item, too, was a cutting of Marin’s hair I had tucked in a hospital envelope. Last night, during my search for the various photos, I opened up a song book and there between pages was the envelope and Marin’s hair I thought had also been taken. I pulled it out the hair smelled it, touched it, cried. I miss her so much. My missing of her has been strong.
Today is an intense day, we try to keep busy doing projects at home. Tomorrow starts many trips lined together. I was a mixture of emotions from anger to sadness to rage and frustration. I swam this morning in preparation for this difficult day. At one point I was feeling great anger when I opened the internet and there was a video of one of the victims whose brother had been killed in Ft. Hood, Texas. This man said he and his family had forgiven the shooter. He spoke in a clear, calm voice and I was impressed by his conviction to be forgiving.
A few moments later I hear this loud, crashing noise. One was a picture someone gave me of Jesus with a prayer in Spanish to protect the home His hand is raised with an aura over his crown and light radiating from his heart. The saying is Blessed be this home which you and yours inhabit and let this Light permeate its entrance. Blessed be the fire in your home ,your table and where you rest. The Divine Peace of the Illuminated Christ of Love which is shown by the purple light. In the picture, shines the rays from  his heart. The other a picture I found Starry, Starry Night by Van Gogh with a saying on it: In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so I will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night written by The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Emery. I think of Marin when I read this.  These two items crashed down to get my attention and made me think immediately of how I, too, needed to forgive those around me, myself, my life. My emotions shifted to a calmer state.

I know our loved ones who have passed on are still with us. Trying to reach us when they can to get our attention to say, hey take it easy, there is nothing to be so upset about ,have faith, be peaceful, loving  and know that fear is what triggers our painful reactions. There is such wisdom they wish to share with us if we just make the effort to tune in and not hold on so tightly to negative emotions and moments.
I thought I was looking for photos, but I find more pieces to the puzzle of the myself.

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Poem / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Poem / Jody Mangue (mom)
Why can I not be like the flower?
Head held upward
Drinking in sunlight accepting my condition.
Colored brilliance.

Why can I not be like the dog?
Wagging my obedient tail
Eyes brimming with compassion and happiness for my family.
I want for nothing.

Why can I not be like the dolphin?
Buoyant grace radiant joy.
Synchronous and confident.
Extension of formless Beauty.

Why can I not be like the penguin?
Dependable trustworthy committed
Upholding the bargain
Never faltering.
Pure sacrifice.


Why can I not be like the bird?
Greeting each dawn with pleasure and gratitude.
Humble spectator of life
Trusting what comes daily.
Singing a personal heartsong.

Why can I not be like the butterfly?
From larva cocoon to splendor
Drinking Nectar with blissful
Contemplation.

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

Today is Homer's BD, he would have been 86. It has been 3 years since his death. In the past, I would try to cook in his honor, but today I did not want to be around people, hid out in the rancho sewing. I took myself out for a quick ride picking up more sewing materials. I left quickly without much notice. On the road I began crying which went on for hours. It is hard to say where one death grief ends and another begins. Marin died in 2004, my dad 2006 and my mother 2007.

I have many memories of my father. He did not like celebrating holidays or birthdays, although we always remembered him with gifts for both. I did not expect presents from my dad. However, once when I was living in Lakewood close to the time I was graduating from social work schoo,l my dad surprised me with some new cookware. I was shocked and also elated. It was a rare gift and I used those pots all the time.

My dad was not someone who expected anything from anyone for himself he did not give himself priority in any way, everyone else came first. He had been ill for at least 15 years prior to his death. I was surprised he made it to his 80's. He never complained, took life in stride and kept his sense of humor. I can see his smiling face today, when I am in the kitchen I think of him often as he loved to cook and entertain others. He liked making people happy. When we would go fishing, he did not really go for himself, but to make sure we had what we needed to make a good night of it. He was just that way. On the way home, I stopped at a flower shop and bought some flowers to make an arrangement something to commemorate my dad. Once the two vases were arranged I realized they were for my mother as well. A mix of orange and yellow flowers with a Bird of Paradise representing each of them. How I miss them my dad ,my mother, Marin, my gram.

Luto, grief it is all intertwined. I know it must be hard to be my friend. I once had a wonderful friend apologize for not being the friend she wanted to be. Marin died on her birthday. So that changed that day for me, perhaps for her as well. I think it is hard to be friends to someone who has lost a child as their lives go on a normal track ,ours have derailed, we do not share the same joys that are normal to share graduation, marriage, grandchildren or whatever success your child might have had, that is gone. We can be happy for others for their children, but at the same time we have been robbed and our joy for them and their children will not be the same as it once was when we were on the same page of life.

Today I am finishing a baby quilt, I will make another for another baby to come in February. I do this in a half hearted fashion to celebrate this new person, but the joy has been taken away.  As hard as that is to say out loud, it is true. I will never be the same person I once was. My tears today come from all these losses, these major gaps in my life that will never be filled in the same way.  

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Dreams, sueños  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Dreams, sueños  / Jody Mangue (mom)

When I went to visit Evan, he mentioned a dream he had with Marin. He had had several but this was kind of like an Old Western, she was along for the adventure. He said he hated to wake up, it was so real, she was so real. I said to him how lucky you are to have them, do let me know when you do I would love to hear about them.

I came back to Costa Rica now over a week it has taken some time to unpack in between making visits or having people over. I was exhausted by yesterday and decided to stay put even too tired to swim. I lounged around, poked at things tried to take care of myself. Took a nap and later went to bed around midnight. I have tried to make the bed comfy, furniture is hard in Costa Rica.  

 This am around 6am. I woke up from a dream about Marin. She was about 7. her hair was white blonde, it never was that light. Her old teacher either Flo or Kathy was doing interviews with , but knew it was her, despite the hair. I was constantly patting her head, touching her hair I could not get enough of her being there. I woke up trying to remember the details, but this was about it.  

While in the states I bought two rings I wear together, one is a ring with a garnet and diamond like stones on either side the garnet is heart-shaped. This is Marin's birthstone, garnet or ruby. Evan's birthdate is in August, his birthstone an emerald, each in honor on my children. Evan, I can see if I go to Colorado, Marin I can only see in dreams.

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