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.
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.
A Shell Story / Jody Mangue (mom)
When at the beach this time it occurred to me that life is like picking up shells our philosophies people ideas beliefs style careers names there are some we walk by because they do not appeal others we are attracted to their appearance their shape they beckon us and we stand holding them for a while perhaps setting down again circling back to take them with us. Perhaps to discard later. We observe if they are perfect often they are not. They are flawed or have been worn down over time by wear rough seas disdain misunderstanding. Others are a must we are thrilled to find them we would never throw them away. They are with us forever. Meibe we lose interest for a while but we still hold onto them. Some look antique prehistoric others shiny and brand-new coral and purple-colored beautiful. Some served as homes to others they have provided a service and offering sacrifice. Some belonged to a family like the sand dollar and coral. As they wash up upon the sand we have just a brief moment to find them sometimes we miss we are not in time. Missing the opportunity. Time is everything they tell us we hold the secrets of life within our spirals and furls we are one with the Creator. We live in harmony moving with the ebb and flow of eternity. We embrace what we have been given we are quiet holy and content. We offer help for those who wander and search the sea and sand for resolution and solitude. Close
poem for Marin by Robert Walters, Jr. / Jody Mangue (mom)Read >>
poem for Marin by Robert Walters, Jr. / Jody Mangue (mom)
It is strange that I wrote you on the eve of Marin's birthday. I am going to try and write a special poem just for you. These words I type come to me as if by magic. Let me see what I can write for you.I am writing this as I feel it comes from Marin and mean no disrespect.I hope it bring comfort to you.
Even though today is my birthday It seems like it was only yesterday When we walked along the beach Watching the waves just out of reach Enjoying life with no thoughts of fate Until that day when it was to late I know things have been so very hard to bear For it has been almost 4 years since I have been there One thing Mom I want you to know I am always by your side but I had to go God called me home my time here was done As I wait here in heaven for your day to come So on my birthday do not weep for me For I am at peace with God you cannot see Just remember I love you and now I am Free Whenever you want me just close your eyes For deep in your heart is where I reside.
I escape the everyday demands, ride to the beach, the humidity catches my breath and envelops my being. The sound is strong. We visit, we walk the beach until there is a river. Picking up colored shells and sand dollars, drillers. A lightening storm wakes me from a deep slumber. I am here to remember and celebrate the love for my daughter Marin Nicole Ebel and her life. If she was here she would be nestled under the covers, wake for breakfast watching movies till late in the night playing cards writing...
walking to the water's edge gazing out as the waves crest and curl as the seafoam touches her toes bikini clad she would darken in a few days and smile at the children and puppies as I do.
I am given this litte freedom to leave the day to day. I have this chance walking the beaches that soothes my being and brings me back to my core.
I am like an old dog ,like my creature comforts. I get restless but it does not take much to settle me down. Despite what has happened with Marin's death, I smile I do not know why, but I suppose there is some security in knowing that there is nothing worse that could happen in life that has not already happened I have been stripped down and ripped open, what else can be taken. There is no more holding onto the life so tightly.
I think of Marin at the beach if she were disabled and I was here living with her I would think nothing of bringing her to the beach clad in a two piece laying her onto a beach towel to feel the sun upon her face to gaze upon the pelicans flying overhead. I would have done anything for her, I loved her so much. But she would have hated that, she would not have wanted to be a burden in any way, she would not have wanted others to feel sorry for her or look at her in anyway than before as beautiful, whole, perfect, healthy ,there was always an innocence and sweetness about Marin even when she was a teen. We were comfortable together, we were happy. I was complete in being her mom.
Here I am again in remembrance, it is daily, but perhaps with more concentration since it is Marin's birthday.
I listened to parrots last night getting ready for bed, a noisy flock. I would walk now and listen to the sound of the waves breaking, looking through each turquoise wave. With each step, instilling time we are here on purpose even though we drift and wander. We are secure holding onto to His coattail how often I am forgetting that, caught up in drama of the everyday. What matters is that we are here now creating an open heart-----letting go of our grief, regrets, swimming with arms extended embracing life and ourselves.
Six years ago Marin and I walked on the beach together and here I am walking it alone on your birthday. I am accompanied by Sweetie, an old dog, who grew up on the beach and if need be takes herself for walks on the beach, it is in her rhythm of life, mine too.
I write your name large in the sand and dot your i with a heart, flowers underneath the letters. a wave comes all at once and erases it. It was just like that when you were in the hospital 8 days following your accident in one moment you were there a wave came up and washed you away.
I believe our footsteps are numbered, our breaths too. One minute you were hooked up to a machine, but even so I knew when you left to be taken on high.
Took myself to the beach for your birthday / Jody Mangue (mom)Read >>
Took myself to the beach for your birthday / Jody Mangue (mom)
Marin I had wanted to do something special in your honor and came to Playa Bejuco to walk the beach and think of you I pictured you here in many ways I have written various writings I will add later but I was happy to spend this time in this way accompanied by a beach dog Sweetie. Today going again picking up shells. Emily will return tomorrow to continue on the mosaic mural in your honor and I am excited to help her with that. Know I am with you always in my heart and filled with good memories and love for you as others are at this time. I was so proud and happy to be your mom. A heavenly embrace and kiss to my one and only and dearest daughter who was 22 on the 29th. I have talked about you and remembered too your birth it was as you were incredible. Close
Your 22nd Birthday / Jackie Senese (friend)Read >>
Your 22nd Birthday / Jackie Senese (friend)
We are thinking of you today on what would have been your 22nd birthday with us here. You remain a part of our lives each and every day. The time we shared with you growing up with our girls sharing birthday parties with Erica the many many sleepovers and weekend trips that you shared with Erica and Amanda will forever be a part of our lives. Your smiling face in your Hot Tamales uniform greets us each day on our refrigerator. We are blessed with having had you in our lives.
Jack Jody and Evan our thoughts and love are with you today
I have been fortunate to have met some incredible people in my life I call friends some here in Costa Rica some there in Colorado Louisiana California some quite far away Korea India Saudi Arabia they are each a part of my life past and present. One friend who stands out here is named Vera she is from Costa Rica she grew up picking coffee her mother picking coffee holding the heavy basket at her side when she was pregnant their lives were not easy. Vera slept in one bed with 4 siblings she was in charge of her youngest brother who came along later. Many of her famiily live in the same neighborhood which you often see here. When I first met Vera we were at a car rally and of all the Costa Rican people I have met while living here she stands out in my mind as the most geniune and friendliest she made me feel welcome.
What I have gotten to really appreciate and learn from Vera is that she is has the best attitude always bright smiling happy I know she has her difficult and dark moments but she is always able to be there and show such a welcoming spirit to everyone she meets she is funny lively bright sharp creative. When I see her she is laughing and smiling. She brings such a lightness I have tried to emulate her I feel myself lighter in my steps and from within smiling being with her has been contagious. The more I am around her the funnier she gets. She will never read this as she does not read or speak English and she may not realize how much I credit her for helping me on this most difficult journey.
Once I had 100 plants in a one bedroom apartment. The new rancho is taking on this plant frenzy, I love them, love looking at them, they are beautiful, calming and here so many unusual and exotic varieties. I also wanted to put up some hummingbird feeders. Hummingbirds or colobri represent joy and I suppose I am inviting joy into my life here.
We wait for many things in this life to happen. Wait to finish school, wait for the phone to ring, wait to lose weight, wait to get into a pair of pants, wait for a trip planned, wait for the bus, wait for practice to end, wait for children to get ready for school, wait for dinner to be done, wait for a raise.... we wait. So I am here waiting for the colobri to arrive.
Today Emily comes I will be waiting for her as she comes from Puerto Viejo on bus, it is at least a four hour ride. Emily, Wendy's daughter who is 24 will be doing a mural of mosaic tile on the back wall which will be above the pool. The idea is two dolphins, waves, a mermaid representing Marin. I have thought about what other elements to put in the mosaic image a turtle, starfish, fish.
Marin and I in Maui went on an ocean kayak ride as some of you know. It was our final day trip before leaving. The waves were high and it was tough at first paddling out. We were suppose to see dolphins and turtles. We waited for the dolphin but they did not appear, however we swam with the big turtles and I have photos of Marin under the water discovering them in Turtle Bay in the south part of Maui.
When you live here in Costa Rica there is something quite noticable about how the people talk to you often using the kindest of phrases, mi amor, mi corazon, mi reina, my love, my heart, my queen, everywhere you go for either women or men you hear these terms of endearment. Yesterday, I was in town to pick up Lady, Wilson's aunt and her daughter Carla, they were coming by bus from Turrucares. I thought to buy onions, cilantro, peppers to make a veggie lasagna dish. The first fruit stand I stopped at I asked the man do you have any onions his reply, no mi amor no tengo cebolla pero en la otra esquina hay, no my love I do not have onions but on the other corner there are some. I went there and bought various vegetables and asked the second man where to buy bread he said 100 metros y 45 mas. Meaning a block and a half again mi amor que quiere what do you need love met by a friendly face. People are helpful always lend a hand. Someone asked me if it was an adjustment living here at first I said no and it really has been quite comfortable over all.
Lady and Carla went to the house I proceeded to cook, I supplied Carla who is five with playdoh and paper and colored pencils. She is very sweet and had some drawings for me to put on the frig as she does when she is here. Later, I took her to get yet another plant and go to the store. We took Cookie with us, Wilson's 11 year old dog who loves hanging her head out the window, she made us laugh as we looked in the side mirror to see mustache blowing in the wind. At the grocery store, we buy watercolors and brushes and for an hour or so we sat in the rancho and watercolored. Those are intimate moments with children. For those who knew me with Evan and Marin playdoh, drawings, coloring and especially water coloring were prime activities for us. They had a plastic table or the dining room table to work on, other kids in the neighborhood often participated. Marin often spent hours drawing or writing stories or songs. Those are the warm memories I have of my children's childhood.
Today is the 21st of July the third death anniversary of my dad Homer HC known by his family. I received a card from my cousin Kyna who sent me a card and photos of my dad and mom also one of Marin with the last remaining relative from the original family of my dad, Aunt Ruth. Ruth is now 96 and when Marin saw her last she came to visit my parents over Thanksgiving Marin was at that time 7, Ruth 81. She was very spry walked 4 miles a day and played with Marin even insisting she ride on her back for a horsey ride. Ruth loved children so very much when HC was born she walked several miles each day to hold him. She was a seamstress, shoe maker and made doll clothes. Always had a twinkle in her blue eyes.
If my dad was here today he would have enjoyed being with people he was quite social and he loved telling stories. Marin loved her Papa and often remarked about cute he was and how she loved to look at him with his glasses on as they magnified his big blue eyes. She would sneak up behind him and give him hugs. He was adorable. I think of him so often and try to be like my father when people are here, he loved cooking, so I have food here often for visitors, his eyes always had the same twinkle.
Maybe people wonder in reading from this site that I am struggling with day to day life. Actually, that is not the case fortunately. I have a busy, active, insane life living here in Costa Rica. Here now over 5 years. It is home, I enjoy the life here, it is spontaneous and people come and go visiting at times. I seem to be cooking all the time, I think of my dad as he was the cook, I was his assistant, I learned to cook from him,my Italian gram, Madeline and my friend DiAnne, others along the way. Wilson calls me Chef Pepin, who i think was very overweight, died from his own cooking. He threw things together, which I do alot, I enjoy cooking, I can cook for hours at times, making everything now from handmade corn tortillas, gallo pinto, the great breakfast beans and rice typical here, lasagna, fried chicken. I, myself am a vegetarian, so I eat separately, cook separately, but everyone else are big meat eaters and they cannot seem to get enough. So life has gone, not easily, but I have had to claim my life back somehow. And I am helped my many here and those who have gone on like Marin. I am filled with gratitude and love.
How kind of Evan, he had several people do renditions of Marin from her photos. I have added these now. Also adding more music. Her memory lives, she lives still in these creative ways through music, art, writings. It is July, a month of coming to this world. Marin loved that her birthday was July 29th, she could enjoy summer gatherings with her friends, how she loved them. She would be 22 this July. Her grandparents, Gigi and Homer would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on July 1st. Gigi left July 30th 2007, Homer July 21st 2006, a year apart, so July is a month of remembrances. How we miss them. I love you Marin, you know that. Mom, I miss you too and think of you and Dad, Father's Day past as did Mother's Day. Here Mother's Day comes in August, it is a tough holiday for me.
Thanks for being such great parents, Mom and Dad and Marin for allowing me to enjoy being your parent: I think of all of you each day and especially this month. Love, Jody
reaching us with music / Jody Mangue (mom)
It has taken me time to listen to Marin's memorial service music, however it is a wonderful collection and tribute to her. Music was her life as well as her friends, animals, family. She woke up each morning singing, she wanted to be a singer. In middle school was really into hip hop dancing taking a class with her friends, Abby and Emily, I know there were others, they did a concert for their school, she practiced each night the various routines. I loved that, I also grew up dancing, my mother was a dancer, so music was part of our early lives too. Marin comes alive to me with the music and so adding this piece to her memorial site seems imperative to keep her alive, her memory alive and fresh. We listened to Mariah Carey in the morning on the way to school, so when I hear cuts of her CDs, I am aware of Marin reaching me in that way. Close
Father's Day, present, past and future / Jody Mangue (mom)Read >>
Father's Day, present, past and future / Jody Mangue (mom)
Today is Father's Day, June 21, 2009. I think of Homer and miss him so very much. I would have spoken to him, written him. I had a great dad, he was very devoted to his family and I treasured our conversations. As he got older, he lost his ability to read, he tired easily from congestive heart failure. Prior to that he was an avid reader and I always sent books to him for the various holidays, sometimes sending some special food items too.
I think of Jack and his missing of Marin on Father's Day, she made all events like that special, she loved her dad and I am sure she would have done something wonderful for him if she were alive.
I think of Evan on Father's Day, he talks about having a family, kids of his own, he lights up thinking of them and I think back to the many gifts the kids gave us for holidays, drawings, hand made cards, handprints, so many gifts hand made in school to remember us. I have a few of those still. I do hope one day Evan will experience those moments and treasures from little hands to show him how he is loved. I do hope he has a chance for happiness in this way.
While looking at house plants in La Garita, I decided to stop for a bite in one of the local restaurants. While sitting there, droves of familes came in as it is a popular spot on Sunday, a lump appeared in my throat and I felt quite sad alone and without my father, my daughter, my son. Latin countries tend to have large families who gather at holidays and it is during those times when I feel out of place and in sorrow.
Sending my love to my dad, Marin and Evan today and remembering Jack for the great dad he was and is.
Susan/Jody/ Connie Mcdonald (mom's friend )
I am always in awe of how Jody is able to reach out to others in spite of her sorrow. She has helped me so much to understand my mom's recent illness. Jody radiates empathy and compassion through her spoken and written words, as well as her actions. She has been a spiritual guide for our family for more than forty years, and we are so grateful for her presence in our lives. Close
twinges/ Jody Mangue (mom)
Bobbi and I were on the phone, I have thought to call her the last couple of days. She has lost her two grown sons, nearly two years apart. The anniversary of Todd’s death is tomorrow. She mentions how off kilter she is. I can relate, HOW I can relate. I think we share this new language that comes with a dictionary no one else can really understand or understand us for that matter. Our centers of who we are are gone. Life is mistrusting, we have lost that inner confidence, ease that we had at one time, when life was more predictable. There was an order to life where there is not now. I know I react in strange ways. Today, I accidentally hit the door of the gate with the van which we just had completely painted and restored, I called my neighbors over to help, the door was pinned again the gate, there was no moving it without further damage. Afterwards, I am shaky, crying, feeling like giving up on everything, running away. Not right. It permeates the rest of the day, the tears come flowing for this unknown source, there is no stopping of them. We talk about the objects we have of theirs. Bobbi has a shirt which still smells of her son, she is hesitant to wear it, it has become a sacred object and I have asked back for some earrings that might have been Marin’s now that so many of the things I had of hers were taken. They are a token, part of the missing person. We hang on to what we have of them, even if it does not make any sense. There is comfort and the connection with them I suppose in having those items. Touchstones, yes they were real, they were us, part of us, the bigger and best part of us and we are lost in countless ways without them here. We shuffle along and make plans for our days, but something huge is lacking in who we are, and what we have become. Our compass has gone awry and it is easy to be confused, directionless. No matter what treatment we are given or even human kindness, love, there is still no cure for this plague we carry. On the outside, we may appear normal but on the inside it is a version of an angry St. Vitus dance, one without movement. A craziness, disturbance has settled in our skin and bones and wreaks havoc in living life fully and moving forward. Driving fast with brakes on, always a hesitancy, lack of luster and joy. The little bit of confidence that is there goes quickly. Bobbi and I talk about the pain, there are many twinges which occur daily, watching a mother with a child, seeing a teen comb her hair, hanging on her friends, child laughter, for Bobbi seeing men with their sons as her grandson is now without his father, her son. The twinge comes and reminds us they are gone, so many parts of our life with them are gone too. It is a hard pill to swallow and again there is no understanding of it in the same way. From the outside appearances we seem ok and normal, but do not be fooled. We come undone without warning. Close
to see your face again / Jody Mangue (mom)
To see your face again. The faces of my parents. I miss Marin, my family. Today is Sunday, I make the best of it and keep busy. I received a new stereo system and so am playing some of the old CD’s. The one from Marin’s memorial service is excellent, but brings so many tears, they are always under the surface. I try to go on, make the best of my family here, but it will never be the same of course, there is no replacement, not the same comfort we felt between one another. I see that when I see Vera and her daughters, the touching, playing with hair, hugs, fixing up, going to buy presents for friends, so many, many things we did, the time was ordinary as I have said before, but that ordinary time I would wish back in heartbeat. Massages, Marin received one daily, either at night or the morning. I try to replicate that here. I would also hold her hand in the car when I was driving. Even though she was a teenager we had that kind of intimacy, sweetness between us. The songs by Mariah Carey, Boys II Men,P. Diddy, Aaliyah, Sarah McLachlan. Tupac, Selena play on. I remember Marin being convinced that Tupac was still alive, she was also very enthralled with Selena, we had both movies, the one with Jay-Lo and the real movie of Selena, family members. The songs of the memorial service end with Tupac’s Changes. I hear those on the radio and am caught off-guard. A raincloud burst for an hour or so, I do my work earlier in the day to take advantage of the sun while it is out. Sunday, it is a day with family. I feel the loss greater that day. Just preparing for the week, for school, for what was to come, buying what was needed, enjoying a quiet evening before the full week began. I was a very ordinary person once, with a family, a husband, people here do not know that person, they only know the person I have become since I have arrived. It is 5 years now. I have my permanent residency card. This was a challenge, but the bigger challenge has been trying to live life still when the heart suffers so.