Marin Ebel
Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
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sensitive / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
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.
signs / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
signs / Jody Mangue (mom)

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.

the call  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
the call  / Jody Mangue (mom)

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.

The call

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.

3rd entry, May 16,1987  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
3rd entry, May 16,1987  / Jody Mangue (mom)

Dearest Baby,

Well it is only 9 weeks before you will be born if all goes well and you come close to when you are due. We are in the process of moving and will be going to New Mexico in 2 weeks-there are lots of things yet to do and it has been a really stressful time, but hopefully all will come together. We possibly have found a house and if that works we will  move to Los Alamos( this did not happen luckily and we found a place in El Rancho away from Los Alamos). I look forward to living in a smaller town, but know it will have its adjustments. (El Rancho is barely a pueblo, the first day a man was driving a old wooden cart selling potatoes, the following day another person passed by swerving on the washboard road riding in a cart pulled by 2 alpacas)

We have decided on names, if you are a boy, Eliot Christopher, and a girl, Marin Nicole although your brother likes Grace Nicole and your Gigi likes Alexis Nicole.

Luckily, your dad got a week reprieve to tie up loose ends, there are a number of them. The last few days have been beautiful and we´ve taken advantage of being outside to enjoy them. Your brother and I planted flowers around the tree. He really likes to play in the dirt and so planting flowers for him was fun. You´ll really enjoy Evan as he is quite a character and has a great sense of humor. We are anxious to see what kind of person and personality you are. I am sure you will be quite unique  yourself, we will see finally, soon. Take care little one. We love you, Your mom and dad


second entry April, 15 1987  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
second entry April, 15 1987  / Jody Mangue (mom)

Dearest Baby,

Today was a glorious day-warm and windy, it felt like summer, although spring is just beginning to show her signs. Our friend, Katy turned 6 today and another big event was that Cindy had her baby tonight at 6:26pm, a little girl named Megan. She was due on your mom´s birthday, but was not ready to come till today. She weighed 8lb 1oz.

We were busy visiting Rene and Max and gathered clothes together for Molly´s little boy, John Robert. Lots of babies these days. Your brother, Evan asks me when it is a nice day if you can come out now, because he knows that you are suppose to be born during the summer. It is hard to believe that you will be here in three months.

We have much to do before your arrival, we had gone to visit your grandparents in Louisiana and found out your dad took a job in New Mexico, so we are busy trying to figure out moving and getting established before you come, plus finding new and competent doctors. We have a month or so to get all this done and most of our friends here are wanting to do things to either help or get together before we leave. It seems every day has a definite errand or purpose and so the time being pregnant is passing very quickly. We are unsure about names for you as yet. I like Marin and Ingrid Nicole, for a boy Cameron, your dad likes Christopher.

Well, little one, stay safe inside a little longer, 13 weeks to be exact, 10 weeks and you are considered full term so that doesn´t seem long at all. You have plenty of people to love you and hold you when you are here. Love, your mom, dad, brother, Evan

Evan is convinced you are a baby sister, we shall see.

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

Written March 5, 1987

This was written to Marin prior to her birth

Dear New Baby,

We are getting more and more excited for your arrival, if all goes well, you will be born July 20 or thereabouts. We learned that you were with us in November and for the first few months your mom did not feel well. It seemed your brother, Evan, just saw his mom lying on the couch, now though i feel great. Its 5 more months till your birth. Our first appointment with Dr. Bennallack was January 8, 1987. I started to feel you move Feb 5th, on Feb 10th we had an aminocentesis where Dr. Henry took some fluid from around you to check for any problems. We saw Dr. Bennallack again on the 19th and on the 20th found out that everything was fine. The last few days we´ve been out-of-doors as it´s almost summer-like weather. Your brother, Evan is an active guy and really enjoys himself when he plays. Today was a birthday for Jeremy Kyncl and Kristin Pelz, we learned that Diane is expecting her second child on Oct. Cindy is due in 5 weeks. So most of your mom´s friends are having their second child. Your grandparents, Gigi and Papa are really excited about you and Gigi will come out to visit and help out when you are born. We are going to visit them as your dad is in Grand Junction doing some work, we are fairly sure that we are moving to New Mexico but are unsure where we will live. Our house is in Evergreen and is for sale. Your brother, Evan, talks about you every day and thinks you are a baby sister. He has toys set aside for you and promises not to hit or bite, he´s a good little guy and a good companion to your mom. I think you will enjoy him as you get a bit older.

I wonder about you and will be happy once you are here safe and sounds. Take care little one, we love you so very much.


Your mom, Dad, brother , Evan

Mother´s day costa rica  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Mother´s day costa rica  / Jody Mangue (mom)

Tomorrow, the 15th of August is Mother´s Day. The second year here I was roped into going, a long, long day gifts for the many mothers myself included , it was pure torture. I vowed not to go again.  My heart cannot take it. Again this year the invitation. I am surprised that I am feeling coerced to go again, despite my situation, so I have to get firm and have a family member here be my spokesman. People are well-meaning, but I wonder by their intentions of  my being there knowing my pain in this. Holdays are never the same and I find the ones I still try to recognize are just a mere going through the motions.

I found a photo of the house in Morrison decorated for Halloween, spider webs, pumpkins, goblins in the grass. We loved Halloween and definitely dressed up, celebrated, went out to spooky houses, treat-or-treated. There was always plenty of candy to be given out. I had good memories of Halloween growing up, roaming neighborhoods with a couple of friends with pillowsacks full. Having to almost drag them home.

Marin and her friends dressed up, hit the neighborhoods, with the cold weather, we went to various indoor Halloween events, It seemed to snow almost each Halloween. I remember pushing the stroller in the snow when she was about 2. 

 Mother´s Day was our special day for Marin and I, she would often make home-made cards, drawings inside and out. We would go out to dinner each year. We just enjoyed being together, mother and daughter. In later years, there were gifts, jewelry, earrings. I have several pairs left now.

  So to be asked to celebrate Mother´s Day is something of a travesty. Hard to bear. Salt in the wound. I have enough reminders,  of Marin not being here.

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

I continue to do the things that soothe the soul when I can, one is writing, the other is expandiing this website bringing life to it in the love and remembrances of Marin. I found two photos today to add, one is of a heliconia where we stayed in Maui. I will attach. One quiet Sunday, I went to some private gardens in Sarchi, there the following poem sprung forth as writings do sometimes.

Hidden Heliconia

Joy and sorrow,
a fevered heart lie in pain as she is pushed along a path between the shade of palm and bromeliads.
water sings through bamboo.
grief submerges the lily laced pond
In the silhouette,
waits the hidden heliconia
dangling her jewel.

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

I wanted to comment on grief a moment, having been in the thick of it and being hit again between the eyes. Marin´s birthday. It started the night before, the crying, It is like my eyes seep from the pain of it, it is uncontrollable. I had planned to work a bit meeting people at the airport, but by morning, the day of her actual birthday, i thought maybe this was not a good idea. Figuring people coming to Costa Rica for their vacation did not want to encounter a twisted, swollen face. It was the right decision. I pretty much felt paralyzed by the grief, but did make a table runner. Sometimes, in quiet , solitary moments, I take to sewing or something creative. My sewing machine did not work, but i was intent on doing it and made it by hand.

Once someone asked me, how many years had it been since your daughter died, 4, well then you should be doing alright. I wish that were the case that time makes such a difference, but it does not really. Perhaps the living inbetween is more defined, but the grieving, the ungluing takes a similar form, also the reexperiencing of the trauma itself. This happened when i tried to visit Colorado, I did not do well. Not only being reminded moment to moment of Marin´s death, but seeing each place, each spot had its own significant memory of her or us together. When I left St. Anthony´s hospital that morning after she had become a donor I had to get into my very cold car which had been sitting in the parking lot for 7 days. I sat there torn as to whether i should stay or leave. I left the same ER door I came in, this time, alone and running into the person who brings the styrofoam containers for her organs. I was bone chill cold. When i received the call from my home to call the ER at St. A´s, I was at work at Denver Health in L/D, we were busy. I called Marin three times that night. She was planning to spend the night at Megan´s. When I called the ER, not really too worried, I was told my daughter had suffered a fatal brain injury. Those words have rung in my ears over the years. Why a nurse would even say such a thing on the phone. I ran out of my work in scrubs to drive myself across town, screaming and crying in the car, Marin, Marin. It was the worst moment of my life and life as we knew it would be forever changed.

Coming to Colorado, I felt that same bone chill, felt extremely vulnerable, fragile and had to stay in a hotel where i could bathe frequently to get warm enough to go out. There were positive things about the trip, seeing people. Jack had an open house. Visiting Evan. But it was all i could do to get through that visit. The same vulnerable feelings and disconnectedness,sadness came again recently.

In gathering pictures, I love the ones of Marin´s pitching. I cannot tell you how many hours I sat on a bucket catching balls, fast ones. I had many a whelp from getting hit by them. I would hold up certain fingers to say which pitch we were looking for. She had four pitches, all fierce. I have her glove still, there are certain things I cannot let go of.

Love Lives On  / Wendy Strebe (Family Friend )  Read >>
hard not to imagine...  / Bonny McDonald (family friend )  Read >>
hard not to imagine...  / Bonny McDonald (family friend )
...the friendship that might have been.  i am so grateful for the pictures you shared with us through this site.  marin is so beautiful.  she looks so happy and vibrant.  i feel her spirit through her pictures.

bonny Close
photos at last  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
photos at last  / Jody Mangue (mom)

It has taken a few days and effort to get these photos on, not so easy on this end to do that. But here are some. I will continue to add more. There are some of her family too.

I appreciate so much those of you who wrote or read the current readings, lit candles, made tributes. I feel this website is alive. It is not just for me just as Marin was not just my daughter, she was many things to many people. Her essence is full of life and she is reminding us to live our lives fully as she did, in each moment. To love without trepidation. Not take our lives, others for granted. Our life is time-limited. We are called to realize this now. I know some of you did not really know Marin or meet her, but that does not seem to matter. We are all connected, our hearts and souls. Enjoy the aliveness of Marin. Love, Jody

P.S. / Sally Robbins (Friend)  Read >>
P.S. / Sally Robbins (Friend)

  I believe Marin was there to welcome Capt. Iman and Jeanne to the other side.   God bless / God Speed. 

Captain Iman and Marin  / Sally Robbins (Friend)  Read >>
Captain Iman and Marin  / Sally Robbins (Friend)
I share the memories of Captain Iman and many stories he shared with me about Marin.  The smile on his face and twinkle in his crystal blue eyes reflected the love he had for her.  He was a very proud papa.  Marin would come to the office for a visit and   I recall thinking "a little Jody".  Beautiful, precious and kind.  May the perpetual light shine upon you, Marin. Close
Where to find what we've lost  / Jack Ebel (Dad)  Read >>
Where to find what we've lost  / Jack Ebel (Dad)
I often wandered through mid life wondering what I had worth living for, what was it that would keep me going. Usually about the time I entertained such thoughts Marin would come bopping into the room asking me to help her with something in her life - help me with my homework, can we go shopping, can you iron my blouse, can we watch a movie together. (One funny thing she would often ask me to do in the mornings was to grab the legs of her jeans while she pulled the waist, trying to undue the shrinkage that had happened in the drier). Faced with these thoughts again after Marin's death, she comes to me in my heart. Be a good friend and father. Be generous. Be funny. Be giving. Be caring. Show those you love that you love them. It's not so much that she talks to me, it's how she lived that touches my heart. She was engaged. She was happy. I know and hope that anyone reading this was lucky enough to be equally touched by this gift from heaven. She made a geodesic sphere that hung in her bedroom. Each side of the sphere was decorated with sketches and comments. I would guess that Marin probably made this in the 4th grade. Here are a few of her comments: I was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico at 11:30 pm; Some of the words that describe me are happy, nice, pretty, athletic and friendly: and If I had three wishes they would be to always stay young and never get old, to be a great athlete and to have a horse. Please find her in your hearts ... Jack Close
Smile for the memories  / Amanda Clark (Close Friend )  Read >>
Smile for the memories  / Amanda Clark (Close Friend )
Though today is a hard day to smile it's important to celebrate the wonderful times Marin shared with us. I can think of a few times that make me laugh. Back when we were all very young Marin used to spend the night all the time at our old house, where Erica, Marin, Gina (my best friend at the time), and I would stay up late in the basement playing all kinds of silly role playing games, I was always Amanda Mother Goose (don't ask me why) and Marin was always Mariny Bear, we'd play school, house, hide and seek, whatever we could think of. I do remember Marin always wanting to play Dolphin where she would roll around and make ridiculous noises.
Another great memory I have of Marin were her crazy spurts of energy where she'd just run around from person to person making crazy faces and jumping up and down, just as previously said it was impossible to be in a bad mood for long with Marin around. She also used to sing to us all the time, I remember walking to Petsmart with our dog (a daily thing) and we'd sing songs (lead by Marin) the whole way there.
She truly was a bright spirit and brought much joy to the people she knew. She really knew how to live life, a lesson she still continues to teach us all.
Always in my thoughts Marin, Jody and Jack. Love you.
Amanda. Close
What would Marin say now?  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
What would Marin say now?  / Jody Mangue (mom)

What would Marin say now from her vantage point?

She would say to love one another, to overlook the faults, focus on what works between two people in friendship, love, or within a family. There is alot to be grateful for in establishing roots and extending oneself to others. Service is the key. She would want us to forgive our own transgressions, let bygones be bygones.

She would want a world where we would rise above who we are now and rise above the smallness and pettiness of things. Her friends, their families, her parents, her brother are loved for all eternity. That love does not end, she is by their sides to help overcome the harshness and shortcomings of life to lift them up, their spirits and their perspective. Death is only a small veil. There is so much more to living than we could ever realize and more importantly loving. She would wash away our sadness and our tears with her kisses and hugs. She is our angel.

To know too that we are not alone, ever in this life even in the loneliness of moments where all seems futile and dark. In those restless moments too where there is confusion and doubt about who we are and what we are doing in this life. Be still at times to collect yourself and resonate with God and His purpose for you in whatever way He speaks to you. Let life and love not go asunder. Be true to yourself and to others, speak from the heart. Try not to be a burden and even if you think you have little to give, you are wrong. You are bountiful and what you have been given in life is full, your plates are full.

Marin was blessed to have such friends and family who loved her and love her still. Remember that for all your lives she is with you with grace and gratitude of your love and friendship to her.

Happy 21st Birthday  / Jackie Senese (friend)  Read >>
Happy 21st Birthday  / Jackie Senese (friend)

On this very bittersweet day, Marin's 21st birthday, our family shares smiles and tears as we call to mind the many memories we have of Marin, Erica and Amanda sharing their birthday celebrations every July.  She was our third daughter and sister for so many years.  She loved to be happy and to make others around her happy, and had a knack for curing a bad mood with her infectious smile and laugh.  I will never watch Dirty Dancing or hear the music without thinking of Marin and how crazy she was over that movie as a young girl.  Her soccer feet were the fastest on the field, no doubt. We smile at her every day as her face looks back at us from a soccer photo of her and Erica on our refrigerator.  She blessed us with many years of love and friendship, and will always be in our hearts.

All our love, Jackie, Bill, Amanda and Erica

just about  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
just about  / Jody Mangue (mom)

It is now the 28th, one day before Marin's 21st BD, I have heard from a few people thinking of, remembering her. I am very aware of this date, its coming. Spent the day traveling back from the Caribe, people always ask why i live in CR, I skirt the issue with some vague reply, to escape the winters of Colorado,& selling my house. In this tourism business, I am asked daily, but again the same reply. Here it is now over 4 years here, moving here in May 9, 2004.

I am reminded daily of my coming here, the reasons behind it. This evening I look at my favorite photos of Marin, pitching in the front yard, one with her softball team winning first in Castle Rock, she sitting on the ground, smiling, her dad as one of the coaches in the background, there are sweet photos of her at school or with her brother. When I first moved here, I only had two small albums I could carry with me when i would travel. Her first BD since her death, I found myself on the Isla de Ometeppe, Nicaragua, what a painful trip that was. Two other BD's I went to La Fortuna, once I had to work and tried to spend the day as happily as i could given the occasion. Tomorrow, I do not know what it will bring, there will be a few work things to do and some other distractions, but hope to have some time for myself.

Marin was born at 11:48pm in Santa Fe,NM. in the hospital named St. Vincent's Hospital. She came very quickly. I labored at home for a while, but she was three weeks overdue and decided to go in. The doctor, who was on call had had numerous deliveries that night and broke my water, saying she would be back to deliver me. In 45 minutes with my getting up and down to go to the bathroom, walking a bit, between some ferocious contractions,  I barely laid down when Marin decided it was time to make her entrance. The L&D nurse who was assigned to me said, it was not possible. As a newby nurse, she was shocked to see Marin's head coming out. Another nurse who happened to also be a midwife in her country of Chile delivered Marin. She had a tight cord around her neck, which they had to clamp and cut. Marin weighed 8lbs, 6oz, she was very healthy, robust. Our eyes locked as they do between mothers and babies. She, I felt, I had known before. My heart and soul knew her, there was a strong bond of love between us instantly.

The next am, I went home, feeling very ecstatic and energized. Marin was never difficult to care for, she was pure joy to me in every way possible. As she became a toddler, some people thought of her as a little Tweetie, Paolin and so now when i see Tweetie, I think of her.

Marin lives still in my heart, I am not sure the loss of her, the missing of her, the longing to be with her again, will ever change. That bond and love remains as strong as from the moment of her birth and will until I die, I am not sure I will ever find that same happiness, joy, ecstacy that I found on July 29, 1987.

I love you, Marin.  

Happy Birthday, lovey

getting close to the 29th  / Jody Mangue (mother)  Read >>
getting close to the 29th  / Jody Mangue (mother)

It is getting close to the 29th. The 25th today. I think of Erica, Amanda. Both have birthdays close to Marin's, 23rd is Amanda's, Erica's the 26th. Marin and Erica were like twins, not by how they looked but they were very close, had similar interests, tastes and, of course, the same age. They made up many songs and games together. Erica traveled with us to Louisiana twice to see my parents, stayed at their home, swam in the pool, the first night they swam close to midnight. It was so incredibly refreshing, we were there once over the 4th of July and saw a parade, got some Mardi Gras beads. Erica is now in college, her second year in NY, she worked one summer for Jack in his office.

Amanda, Marin and Erica were great friends, they met in Sharon's small daycare next door to Jackie and Bill's home. What a find to have Sharon take care of your child!! There were just the four of them, all girls, besides the three, Sharon's youngest daughter, Christine. I was very, very grateful to find Sharon and she cared for Marin for over two years. I never was concerned for her, she was in loving care.

Later, the girls went to different schools, but started soccer together and went to summer camps together. There were many sleepovers. Life was grand back then. Marin and Erica remained friends Marin's whole life. It was like having a second family with the Clarks.  Neither of us had close family in the area.

So here it is close to their birthdays and I am remembering those times. They were precious. I have a beautiful photo of Marin, Erica and Jessie another friend, soccer player on their first Halloween at preschool. So very precious they were. Simpler days of bringing snacks and spending time with the girls. Marin and Erica also went to the same church together and to the church summer camp.

Today, I find myself distracted, a total disconnect. I attribute this to grief. I cannot explain it otherwise. My heart is heavy and my mind, body, spirit seem to be suspended somehow outside of me. I do not sleep alot and often wake up during the night on the couch watching TV. There is a strong undercurrent of sadness and grief right now, I cannot seem to shake. I am with people, but am not really. I smile, but it is a fascade, i have lost weight without trying, my clothes are beginning to fall off of me, not sure why, i am eating.  Life. It is not easy without Marin.

Her friends' lives have gone on and mine, Jack's has too, but I can speak for myself, I am not the same, never will be. I have little patience at times, I do not feel tranquil much. But here I am in this beautiful setting and building a new home, I hope which brings me some peacefulness and strength in planting flowers and looking at birds, butterflies, mountains,  flowers,  and children.

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