I received an email from Mari today, I am happy to hear from her, one of Marin's dearest friends, she had read from the website about the break in here. Life continues that is the truth. We have to step up to the plate each and every day as hard as it is sometimes. I recently got the device, Magic Jack and have been able to contact people I have not spoken to since I left Colorado to come here. Yesterday, I spoke to Bobbi, she and I worked together as social workers. Bobbi has now lost two sons, 17 mos apart in birth and death. She and I spoke about the ways they reach us, recently for her on her birthday. I know most people may not believe this, they would need to experience this for themselves to understand this.
So the main thought today is how we continue both in life with difficulties to rise above and in death in reaching our loved ones. We may feel alone at times, but in truth we are not, nor are ever alone. There are those who love us so very much, they do try to reach us and help us in our times of need. Extensions of God we are and continue to be, no matter what. We may face many obstacles in life, but we overcome them in death, thank GOD for that as it is sometimes so very difficult to live on this planet. I am reminded often that we cannot force things to happen, we cannot control others nor can we control the events that take place in our lives as much as we would like to at times. I do hope whoever reads this finds comfort in those words.
Thanks Marin for being with me each and every day. I miss you so very much and you know that and you know how much I love you. You are a beacon for me, your brother, dad, friends, family.
While in Florida, I found out my home in Costa Rica was broken into. I have never had this happen before. It shook me up even a distance trying to fathom a laptop with all writings, photos, the jewelry and items of Marin's or those gave to me. The lock of her hair when she was in the hospital, this I discovered after getting home.
The day before I found this had happened, I had been shopping and one thing i bought was a beanie baby Dalmatian which reminded me of Marin, her dog, Chef. She had a collection and we enjoyed looking for various BB and her favorite animal was Chef, a dalmatian who has since died.
That night following the break in. I could not sleep. and found comfort cuddling with this dalmatian beanie baby. Today when I was home alone today, I was looking for various items. I found two things of Marin's. One was a beanie baby, named Early, a robin. He was placed in a basket nest and would sit on the TV in Morrison. There was a note inside the basket I reread.
Happy Birthday. I hope that you have a great one. I thought you would like a bird so I got this one, his name is Early even I don't have an Early, but I want you to keep it for yourself. Don't put it in my collection. I really hope that you like him. I love you alot, Moo Moo signed with a heart, also on the outside written Mommy.
Along with Early sits a gorilla, one that Marin picked out when we went to Taos, Marin was 6 and we went there a couple of days around New Years. We were walking along the plaza snowy, cold, but we found a toy store open and Marin picked him out. She had many stuffed animals over the years. One Evan gave her, the warthog from the Lion King, various teddies, bunnies. The beanie babies went to some kids I knew who might appreciate them. Whenever I see them I think of her and how we would take them out of the containers they were in and look at them sitting on her bed.
I am here in Florida a few days to sort out financial, estate issues for my parents. I came here purposely because March is my mom's birthday month, she would have been 83 if she was alive. I walk the beach this morning and remember looking for shells and packing them up in shoe boxes to take home, i would not do that now and will pick up a few, hold them and replace them. The water is cold, clear, you can see the coral below, the boats come from the channel to the ocean, fishing boats, fishermen on the rocks with their rods and reels, i am reminded of our all night fishing we did, my dad, brother, myself and step grandfather and posing with snappers, snook, flounder in old photos. Also with an inner tube and snorkel equipment on, my dad would be like our anchor and we would swim to and from him at times. I remember his belly, his suits, he loved to barbeque. My grandmother and mom on lounge chairs in old suits, floppy hats, i was constantly in the water. I remember my mom in her orange suit, one bright blue one and her chasing after Evan on the beach, he just turned one, kept us busy. We brought he and Marin down to where we would go when i was young. I remember their pails and digging in the sand close to sunset, taking photos. Last night, i decided to go to the hot tub and met a boy who was quite large for his age, he was very bright, was a figure skater, home schooled, he talked about many things, his computer games, the ones he loved, the object of the games, how he was afraid on being in the cave of one game , did not go further in the game spooked by the other creatures he would encounter. He spoke of the time his mom rescued some sea turtles and kept them in a tank for a few days releasing them later. I thought and said outloud maybe they would give rides to lost swimmers in their appreciation of what she did for them, they would not be afraid of humans. He pondered that. We looked at the stars and planets, it was a full moon out. His grandmother was a smiling silhoutte, blue eyed, she reminded me of my gram, she only spoke Russian but was so very sweet and caring of him. I miss my family, they are all gone except for Evan who I cannot see. Florida reminds me of them, of our time together, i walk the beach alone and speak to strangers.
It is almost March, the last week of February. I have not written since your around your anniversary. It has been a busy month, that is probably good, lots going on. Today, I had a friend over and her dtgr who is 19, she was briefly married and her husband was killed, so we have that in common. She asked to see the photos of where we lived and i brought out the camera. The visit to Colorado, I was anxious to show these to her, among them were those from Marin´s high school, where we lived, the tribute at Paramount Park, i started to cry and had to turn the camera off, of course she could understand. Grief creeps in at unsuspecting times.
I plan to go to Florida in March for a few days. It is an area we used to go when I was young, I picked March for my mother´s birthday was March 4th. She would have been 83, So i plan to be there near that time and in memory of her and our times together as well as with her mother, my grandmother, Madeline who would come down with us on the train from NYC. They were very close and the one thing about my mother´s Alzheimer´s was that she never remembered that her mother died, she would talk about her as if she was still present. It makes sense to me now.
The other day, I was at a soccer practice of a boy who is like family to me. It was cold and I sat in the van while he practiced and invited another grandmother to get away from the cold. Many soccer memories came up, once the girls played in the snow and it was so cold, everyone was scouring their cars for something to cover the girls when they had a time-out. I loved soccer, watching Marin play, she ran so very fast, i loved the fall for being outside and being at games and practices. It was a part of our lives for 7 years, softball replaced it, another 7 years at least.
There are many dormant thoughts and memories that remain within until something triggers them. I am grateful to have them.
I got the priviledge to spend a few hours with your mom yesterday and even though it was a very tough day with tears there were alot of smiles too. The light in her beautiful blue eyes when she told me cute and funny stories about you two was amazing.....her love for you just as amazing. She showed me some pictures of you being silly and remembers the little and big things the two of you shared as though they were yesterday. The connection you two have is something most people don't experience in a lifetime and will live on forever. Your mom will always be your wonderful mother and you her wonderful daughter. Know that even through all the sadness.... because of you she will always be able to find a smile.
Your Loving Mom / Wendy Strebe (Mother's friend )Read >>
Your Loving Mom / Wendy Strebe (Mother's friend )
You have the most wonderful Mother anyone could ask for. She is fun, kind, loving and cares deeply for others. I see that she struggles without you here. A part of her is missing. She does pretty well and takes care of many people, but the ache is always present. I cannot imagine the pain she must be feeling, remembering your accident and feeling the rawness of the losses she has suffered. I know your spirit is with her. Please envelop her with your love at this anniversary time. Many people love your Mom. She is important in many lives, here in Costa Rica. I wish I could have known you and seen you and your Mom together. I hear the stories and weep for what your Mom has been going through for 5 years now. I wish I could help ease the pain. Peace and love, Wendy Close
While on the drive to La Fortuna, there was a fatal accident on the highway and we were forced to take the windy roads from Alajuela, through Cacao, Atenas, Grecia, Sarchi, Zarcero, Los Angeles, Cuidad Quesada, finally to Florencia. I was with our driver, Manuel and a guide from a tourist company who was from here but spoke German for the tourists they would be picking up in La Fortuna, I wept the whole drive and wrote. My dearest Marin, I miss you so, my eyes ache, my soul aches for you. I never thought we would be separated so abruptly. I thought we had a lifetime together, I was so very wrong. Had I known I would have spent more time in awareness of my being with you. Nevertheless, I could not have had a more precious gift as having you as my daughter, I think to the contentment I felt being with you, my ecstasy at your birth, my heart blossomed. I was filled with love as your mother, filled with pride, you were loved by your family, your dad, brother, me, your friends, teachers, coaches, all who knew you, admired you, respected you Not to say that life was pure bliss, our lives were complicated by divorce and difficulties, teenage moments, but overall I do hope you were given the things you needed as a child, teen. I know we tried to make your life as normal as we could. We traveled, had family gatherings, celebrated you, celebrated holidays, lived life, encouraged sports, friendships, activities. As we take this alternate route, i am soothed by flowers, viveros,.
I think to your birth, rocking you in the dark in a back bedroom, savoring those moments of nursing you as a newborn, your blue eyed gaze, we connected instantly you and I, your dad and we were thrilled you were a girl. You were a peaceful baby, skin peach smooth, light brown hair and one big dimple on the right side. There are times now i look at your photos and memorize birthmarks and moles, the slope of your shoulders, neck, your smallness and strength, the lankiness of your legs, your buoyant self. So often we would draw, you would write stories, we made many creations, mother and daughter, there was a calmness and peace in our togetherness.
I later write, It is like there is a receptacle deep in my soul that holds the outpouring of tears, salt from this great wound. I carry and will carry it my whole life, no one has any idea how painful it is even after 5 years, yet i know that Marin would want only happiness in the remaining years of my life. While sitting there in the back seat, i hear her say, mom, i love you and without you knowing, i have my arm around you and my head on your shoulder and i will not leave you today, i never leave your side and when you leave this world, i will be there to greet you and God is sorry you have to bear such pain.
This is the beginning of the writing done at this time.
5 years / Jody Mangue (mom)
Marin, it is five years since your death tomorrow. I decided at the last minute to take myself away and go with one of the drivers to be dropped off near La Fortuna, a place i have gone over the time here during your birthdays and now this anniversary. It is hard to fathom. I wonder who else will have you in mind tomorrow. As time goes by, as people´s lives are busy, I do hope they remember you. I was asked to do various things tomorrow, but declined and am happy that i can leave. It is important to have time away. There are so many things i remember about you, your life, what you have meant to me as my dearest and sweetest daughter and companion. Even though the sharp edges of grief have worn down some, I want so much to see you again one day. I love you, Marin. I know you would want your dad, your brother, friends and myself to live our lives fully, to be fulfilled, to be a beacon for one another in those dark times and to be happy, find our reasons for living and feeling alive, all the ways you lived your life, smiling, singing, dancing, enjoying, this is what you would want for us all. Thanks for being there for us in the ways you can, Marin. Close
Approaching/ Jody Mangue (mom)
Marin, it is approaching 5 years since your accident, Jan 24, 2004 and your death Jan 31, 2004. I feel a sadness creeping in as this time and acknowledgement of how this event has affected myself and others, more importantly your dad, brother, friends, family. I hope to commemorate you in some special way. It is hard to believe it has been this long already. I did not think I would survive your death and somehow I have been made to do so as hard as it has been. The missing and longing for you never changes. I was given a puppy at Christmas, a white lab to be a companion to the other dog, Happy, so we have now Happy and Sam or Sammy. I know how you loved dogs, puppies and feel your smile when we are playing with them. I love you, Marin and think of you daily. Love, Mom Close
new year 2009 / Jody Mangue (mom)
Another year goes by, my love, it is now going on 5 years. I open my email and see that Mari, your dearest friend lit a candle for you for missing you. How we miss you! I wonder what kind of person you might be, how beautiful, sweet, fun, joyful, funny, but in a 21 year old body. What you might be doing, living with a friend,having a boyfriend, working, going to school, keeping busy as you did with life. Traveling, working out, shopping, on the phone. Doing up the holidays as you did, buying just the right present for us or your friends. You were very attentive and thoughtful. I miss your singing in the morning. I miss your tossled hair on your pillow, wearing your flannel jammie pants at night. I miss our girl talks, our going out for dinner, the movies, hanging out. I was so proud of you, Marin, you made my life make sense. I sit and think of you this am as I play spanish music, hear the wind whisk around the house. You were magic and so full life and love, you brightenrd all of us with your humor and smile. Happy New Year, my sweet girl. Close
raw again, its Christmas time / Jody Mangue (mom)Read >>
raw again, its Christmas time / Jody Mangue (mom)
I was up late last night watching a movie about Vietnam, Tom Cruise plays the lead,paralyzed in a wheelchair, conflicted about his role in the war. Eventually he finds his purpose in life, stands up for his beliefs, has some resolve. It isa powerful movie and I remember many Viet Nam vets, having worked with them as a nurse in the OR. The crying began before the movie, it is all a mush, how the emotions can be so tangled about the past, Marin, about now, about living during holidays where people celebrate the life with their families. I go through the motions as i do each year, the decorations look nice, we decorated alot in Colorado. There was suchh preparation, anticipation and also making sure we had the perfect choices in gifts.
I like the lighted tree when other house lights are off. I remember we had a small tree on a table and the kittens would climb under and tap the ornaments. They sometimes laid underneath the tree, it also brought them comfort.
In spite of some comforting moments and good memories of Christmas, there is also deep pain in recognizing Marin´s death now going on 5 years. The grief does sneak up on you when you least expect it. Where you and your body, mind, spirit are dangling and out of sorts, a major disconnect. I write Evan during this time and try to make the best i can from afar for his Christmas. I have come to the realization that the best thing i can do is just get through this time and try to keep my head about water. I love you, Marin. I love you, Evan. Merry Christmas and let us hope for a year of happier moments, peace, good health, love and friendship. Mom
El Parque / Jody Mangue (mom)
Recently we went to the Parque de Diversiones, the Costa Rican versión of Elitches, Six Flags. I was immediately struck by the nostaglia and images of certain rides, the feel of the place, although different, familiar. Marin and Erica for one of their joint birthdays went to Elitches. I captured them in various photos hanging overhead from some fast riding on a rail, flying upside down ride. Here I was with three boys who were embarking on a similar experience. Marin was a daredevil when it came to these kinds of rides, she never tired of them. Once she and her dad went to Disney World and rode so many that they could not fly home the next day as scheduled. Here they have different names, like El Torre, we called the needle or something like that, that dropped down from an incredible height in a matter of 2 seconds,people suspended with legs dangling. Pacquare for the river rafting ride. Conchas Locas for the revolving Tea Cup, others I cannot remember. There were some rides I remember riding as a child at the local fairs. The cage that went end of end, kids screaming and change falling onto the ground. People would search the ground for the fallen money. Once I remember going into the Spook House cart with my friend bringing a flash light and the person inside who spooked us wrestled to get the flash light from me, I fought hard to keep it. That memory made me laugh out loud. The one ride that caught my attention here was called The Pulpo, octopus, we had our own version of that and here noticing the faces of the children and adults contorted from nonstop laughter and screams, it was the longest of the rides and one which seemed to be the most fun. Once Marin told me that she had done the bungi which of course made me frightened for her having done it, but also relieved afterward that she had survived. She was ecstatic about it. There were two other of her friends flying at the same time. Also we would go to the North Pole near Manitou Springs usually once a year especially when the kids were little. There were various rides and most especially was a lookalike Santa, reindeer, little shops you might actually find on the North Pole. Once Marin and Evan talked me into going on the ferris wheel, my fear of heights had kicked in many years prior. I sat between them and we got stuck on top of the ride where I went into a total panic mode and yelled down at the attendant to GET US DOWN. The kids were laughing at me but were probably mortified that I had created quite the spectacle. That was the last ride I went on and from that point became the spectator on the ground carrying the camera. It was much safer living vicariously through their experiences at the amusement parks. So it has become a coin toss of reliving these moments experiencing the joy, excitement, anticipation of the ride and the reminder again of not seeing these moments through her eyes, but through my own, through the eyes of other children which still carry her in so endearing ways. Close
after Colorado / Jody Mangue (mom)
It has been a couple of weeks coming back from Colorado. Overall, the trip was good, I felt I held up well. Did not really see many people, but also did not want to be so scheduled as there was little time really other than the first and last day there. I brought back with me photos of Marin´s memorial site which I wanted to add to the website. I have a photo of the memorial plaque framed. It was not that we had a burial, Marin was cremated and so having that memorial spot in Paramount Park is the nearest thing to a gravestone. However, unlike a cemetery, graveside, this park holds a living memorial to Marin and is a place we remember her. Others will come and will develop a love for the game. From ages 5 to 14, Marin played there. Across from Paramount Park is Crown Hill. The photos as I look at them are taken in fall, it is not softball season right now there, but it is soccer season and I loved watching her play soccer and fall has a special place for me because of that. I did drive around her high school and took photos of where I would drop her off each day until she started driving her own car. So I will add those photos as well. I drove there during school hours, so many kids like herself were being dropped off or driving their car. What struck me most was how small our perimeter of life was, very simple, the places we went shopping, what places marked our time together. You did not have to venture far to get whatever creature comforts were needed. Various shoe stores, video and music stores, a quick stop for a sweatshirt, hair products, lunches, after school snacks, school supplies, beanie babies, there were many small reminders of our lives. These are not captured in photos but in my mind as I revisited Wheatridge, Lakewood, Morrison. How our lives were made up of many magical but simple moments, strung together, most of those we were not always aware of until they were gone. Close
here in colorado / Jody Mangue (mom)
I am here in Colorado arriving on Tues afternoon. Just coming to the airport in itself brought many memories. We came to the airport when it first opened with the kids to ride on the underground train, the airport was so incredible and had beautiful tributes and murals. So here arriving alone, renting a car to stay in Lakewood for two days before heading down to Canon City to see Evan, my main reason. I stayed near where we lived and went to many familiar haunts, hit Gordmans, Big Lots, health food store, various stores we went to , i went first to the memorial made in Marin's honor at 26th and Kipling, at Paramount Park, the softball field and memorial park were incredible. I took photos. As emotional and painful as it is to see this memorial and visit the places we went together, it was also comforting. It is Halloween today, our favorite holiday and so going into Walgreens and various stores even here bring back many memories of both Evan and Marin. The visit with Evan is going well, we have talked and reminisced alot. he is quite the literary and history buff and talks about the many books he has read, recently from Plato, Aristotle. I am proud of his ability to self educate himself right now. We talk about Marin today, her death, what it means, how life has gone on in the ways it has, Our visit ends on a good note, i try to mail as many letters and photos as i can while i am here and have access to printing photos. It means alot to get mail. I am now on the way to the airport and while there hope to find a card to mail, my last chance while in the states. Close
It is October 6th, Homer´s BD is tomorrow, he would have been 85. It is hard to believe he has been gone two years. I think about my parents, my gram, Marin. In the new house, I have a stained glass piece I gave to my mom at least 30 years ago, it has been knocked about, has a few cracks. Like life. It hung in her kitchen above her sink. Again it hangs in my kitchen. I will cook for my dad´s birthday, he loved cooking, he was definitely someone who could have been a chef, i figure this is one way I can remember him.
I have heard from Jack about a possible visit to Evan and so I am gearing up to go to the states. It will be cold, something I had hoped to avoid. I do hope to see Marin´s memorial at Paramount Park and take photos. Perhaps to see a few people. Mainly to see Evan, where he lives in prison in Cañon City. To reconnect again in person even though we write. The visits to the states are never easy.
Here the house is getting its finishing touches, there is alot yet to do. The other day we noticed a tree full of large loras, green parrots, probably about ten of them. I am fortunate to have this pastoral setting to live in. I hope this home is a place people can feel comfortable and feel loved. I carry the legacy of my parents, my gram and Marin to do so.
new surroundings / Jody Mangue (mom)
I have moved into the new house. It is a bit like camping, so much yet to complete. Today some friends came over and wanted to see your pictures and so I got the laptop out so they could look at them. They oohed and ahhed at how adorable you and your brother were at younger ages and at the rest of the family photos. I love looking at those photos. It does not take the pain away, but looking at your face again, your body structure, your legs and arms, moles, freckles is comforting to me. I miss you so very much and I am reminded always of why I am here, because of your leaving. This house is beautiful, it has a view of incredible mountains, two palominos, mother and daughter which graze together in the mornings, throughout the day, there are times, flocks of lorritas, little green parrots are chirping and swarming through the trees. I have been given a tranquil and beautiful setting to enjoy and to have others enjoy with me. It is now the end of September. I have been welcome to this other phase of life here in Costa Rica, who knows what will come. Close
what i have learned in this / Jody Mangue (mom)Read >>
what i have learned in this / Jody Mangue (mom)
What have I learned in this harshest lesson. To show love as much as possible. I know that life is not forever, we must put our best foot forward, to not burden others if possible. To smile, be honest, be yourself, be generous, giving, kind, tolerant. Although, I work here, I do not look at work in the same way, I hope to offer people good service and share this new place, Costa Rica with them, to show them its beauty, its animals, its people. With children, I learn a lot, in the ways I was with my children, I try to show love above all, to laugh, be silly, make faces, not be the adult. The adult is tiresome and boring, overwhelmed. It is not a great role to take on in the remainder of life. To be so responsible, serious, doomed. Anger is not helpful to me, to feel so enraged is wasting precious time, it is hurtful and cannot be taken back fully. I avoid those who are angry as much as possible. Anger undermines the spirit in everyway possible. It is better for me not to be confined, be free, spontaneous, outdoors and play if it is all possible. To come from the heart and to laugh hearty. On those days of deepest grief, I am better at being alone with it, it is too painful for others to witness really. I appreciate their understanding and acknowledgement in this. But I have to carry this in my own way. I welcome what life there is and I will welcome death when it comes. I hope what life remains does not bring with it regrets. I know I cannot control anything or anyone in this life, never could, never will. People reactions are their own, the way they live their lives is their own. I appreciate all those who have been in my life, my parents, my children, my husbands, beaus, friends, companions in work, also great friends. I have been most fortunate for what I have had and have still. I was told once the best thing you can do for God is to show your appreciation, I hope I have done more of that than less. Close
sensitive/ Jody Mangue (mom)
Marin was a very sensitive soul. She was someone who at an early age would look at people very intently as to gather the essence of this person. I remember once a friend of Jack´s was feeling out of control mentally and was to be hospitalized. Marin was a baby in my arms under 9 mos. This friend came over to be with us and I remember we were all gathered in the kitchen, he trying to get himself in check, when suddenly Marin reached out and put her hands around his neck to comfort him. She knew his suffering. Another time when I worked in hospice, I would bring her to my office on the weekend. She was probably 4. We would sometimes go to the hospital next door with me. Once she asked me to let her see the sickest patients and so I brought her to the oncology ward and she peeked into the rooms to see the patients there. One of her soccer teammate´s mother was dying from lung cancer. A very brave soul, Lana. Her daughter, Sara, was a friend to Marin playing soccer and softball. We knew Lana for about 4-5 years and were with her when she first was diagnosed. She lived three years going through chemo and radiation. At the end, Lana was admitted to a hospice and I visited her a couple of times, Marin went with me and held her hand. I was very proud of her for being able to sit with her friend´s mother and not shy away from death. When I worked with AIDS patients, she also got to know several of them. We had a Bring your daughter to work Day and each year, Marin and her friend, Erica would accompany me to whatever work setting I was in. Usually, we took a tour of the hospital as well to see the babies. I wanted to convey to both Evan and Marin the importance of bridging the gap between the poor, sick, mentally challenged, dying. So often during the holidays or when we had extra food or clothing, we would go to shelters or just show up on the street distributing what we had. Evan, who was extremely brave and kind would often go up to some homeless mentally ill person and start a conversation, I remember him inviting several to have lunch with us. The same was true for animals. Once Marin called me to say, she and Joe were bringing home a box with a surprise. She was very excited. When I got home, there inside was our newest pet, Ginger, a guinea pig which had been conveniently abandoned at her school. Ginger turned out to be pregnant, in a short time, we had 13 guinea pigs all screeching for lettuce. Thank God a pet store took these piggies off our hands. Close
In the year of 2003, there were various signs I was given from Marin. I was taught to see these when I worked in hospice in the way people prepare themselves for their departure. It can be symbolic, in dreams, in thoughts shared. With Marin, she would come out with various comments. At one point she said, I will not marry and I will adopt a child, a boy. Another time, following the death of Ricky´s mother, she said, she could never handle my death or the death and decline of her dog, Chef. Once, she looked at me deep into my eyes and said jokingly, what would you do if I died, would you cry. I was taken aback by this casual comment and tried to respond. There were several times over the few years prior to her death where I had terrible anxiety about her, to the point I thought I needed to be seen and maybe medicated. This anxiety was very strong the weekend prior to her accident. I remember, too, that there were several terrible accidents prior to hers. One was with a group of kids in Littleton who were piled in a car, the young girl driver was driving out of control and I guess a number of the kids begged her to slow down, several were killed. I remember making mention of this to Marin in encouraging her to be careful. Marin was a very good and careful driver. How her accident occurred is still a mystery to us, we have pieces of the puzzle, but may never know what actually happened. But the outcome, we all know.
I should also add that Marin was a donor and one of the recipients of part of her liver was a baby boy. I felt he was her adopted boy.
As I am going through diaries, I find more detailed information. As hard as this is to write,read, I still wanted to include on the event which changed our lives forever and still does.
3am on 1-25-04 from my husband, Joseph. St´s A´s had called. Called the ER, various people answer, a male RN replies,¨your dtgr is here in the ED, she has had a fatal head injury.¨I dropped the phone and announced what I had heard and started running to my locker, down the hallway through the tunnel to my car, screaming, crying- Oh my God, oh my God, Marin, my Marin repeatedly, driving to St. A´s, trying to call on the cell phone, no one answers, trying to reach her dad, her friends, my husband. Met in the ER. Marin in the ED on ventilator, bleeding from various gashes in her head, cheeks, bloody hair, blood on the chux, Oh my GOD. Ushered to a small waiting room by chaplain, many onlookers looking at the scene and looking at my reaction. Met eventually by others and more importantly, the neurosurgeon on call, Dr. Fried, calmly we are encircled around him for any answer, any hope. My first question-Do we need to make some decision referring to a CPR directive if her heart stopped beating. A continued refrain I hear the first day, severe head injury, deep to the midbrain, brainstem, eyes fixed, dilated. OH MY GOD. Dr. Fried, without saying anything, looked deeply into my eyes and in this way was saying, you know what you know(as a nurse), it is perhaps beyond recovery, repair, hope. He never said this, but I was given this same deep, knowing look various times during Marin´s stay. Lots of endless waiting, ten more minutes we were told, every minute seemed like an eternity trying to grasp with what hand we were now dealt. Oh my GOD. Waves of grief, crying, heart-wrench looking at my Marin whose vibrant smiling self now lay still, motionless, requiring Life support on all levels-how many different times I have heard severe brain injury, which at this point, does not sustain her temperature, her heart rate, her hormones, her life-like self and personality. As her mom, my Marin, moo-moo, missy moomoo, love-all the endearments and the embodiment of endearing qualities had now crossed over to a new dimension of life that appears lifeless yet has its own dearness. By the am, after this event that alters everyone in her life and subsequently their lives forever. In the following 8-10 hours continues a stream of high school students, parents, teammates, friends who remain at her side for a few minutes sizing up the gravity of her situation. At least 75 students came through that first day, one thought of what I was observing was a living memorial and Marin, my daughter, now belonged to many others. I could not contain this experience or control it in any way. One call I received was could we put Marin on a prayer circuit, both locally at many churches. By the next day, Jack had received an email of prayers in Bangladesh, definitely confirming that this experience was of grand proportion. Despite how resistant we may be to receive help-love-support, while living our independent lives, something like this event, totally changes how we relate, accepting food, drink, tears, a chance to reflect, be. Lipstick from Veronica, early mornings with Dorene who worked at St. A´s and was there to pray with me in the morning and had arranged for me to shower in the OR nurse´s locker room. Gina who would show up and sit or bring health food goodies, her presence brought me peace in the storm, she and several of my friends also nurses were quite aware of Marin´s state. There were many positive stories of recovery from several friends who had rehab experience and have witnessed many miracles. One dear friend, Darlene, showed up in the ICU, describing her being compelled to come. Darlene and I worked together for two years. I enjoyed her stories of the wonderful brain-injured patients who she deeply loved and cared for, some for close to a year, but encouraged me to hold hope as many made slow steady progress. We knew that what helped to keep Marin´s life present and fresh with visits and conversation, encouraging friends and visitors to share with her their day, talking to her like any ordinary day.