Marin Ebel
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dolphins / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
dolphins / Jody Mangue (mom)

We had a special connection to dolphins. For me, it started young. I was often near water and sitting on piers, once a dolphin came up to me at the end of the dock and like Flipper started chatting to me. Later in Florida, I would hang out at a local dolphin pool where this man held a private show.

My dad while on the ships often saw dolphins too when meeting the big ships in the Gulf. Marin was in Hawaii twice, once with Erica, Amanda, Jackie and Bill for Amanda's softball tournament in Kauai. She was swimming when a mother and baby swam near. Later, she and Jack went to Cancun and I have a video of her swimming with them, riding on one of their backs with glee.

I had a dream after her death where I was gliding over a pod of them swimming at such speed underwater,  I awoke breathless from this experience.

If a dolphin were near me now, what would it sense, a hole in my heart, a wound so large you could put your fist through it. Would he tap on my head and look deeply at me acknowledging my pain. or perhaps I would carried off by the pod to swim with them until hole healed. Is it even possible?

bathing / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
bathing / Jody Mangue (mom)
In reading Marin's writing about my freckles on my back, I am reminded of our taking baths. We did this together, not every day, but in the evening, sitting in the tub and writing numbers or letters on each other's backs and trying to guess the letter or number. We sat in bubbles doing this. Yesterday, I was in the shower with a two year old, it was easier to bathe him and i figured i might as well bathe myself. Once when Evan was little, I attended aerobic classes in a large YMCA gym, but in doing this, i had to put him in his walker which he scooted around the gym, when he got out of bounds, I would move him to designated areas. In the Y shower he scooted into it while i was trying to bathe getting doused.

It has been a long time since bathing with a child. Our bath times were very special, there was also water color painting done in the tub, seemed like a great place to be creative. I have a lovely picture of Marin when she was two, her hair up and she is feeding her baby doll in the tub, at one point she is also floating on her back. They are precious moments captured in photos and in my mind.
a small tidbit  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
a small tidbit  / Jody Mangue (mom)

Jack sent me this-

June 27th 1997

Hi, Its me, Marin.

I'm really sad that to leave. But i think things at Prospect Valley will be just fine. My dog, Chef is doing great and so are the rodents and cats. I love you very much and just keep me safe. And I'll keep you safe in my heart. I love you very much. Thank you for giving me a great life and finally maybe something to help Evan. Also there is one more favor that I'm asking you to do. Keep my brother, my family, friends and animals safe. I love you, Marin Ebel

jack felt that this was her prayer  

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

This particular poem i found a week after Marin died. It caught my attention. Now I find the entire writing.

A poem for my mom

Roses are red, violets are blue but nothing could stop me from loving you. With big blue eyes and shiny blond hair, I'll always love and I 'll always be there. Show me your smile that is as wide as mile. Give that love that shines like a dove, give me your hand and lets run in the sand. With big blue eyes, dirty blonde hair, this dark-skinned angel will always be there. I love you, Marin Ebel ( a rose is drawn next to I love you.

The writing which was her assignment.

My mom is as good as gold.

I truly believe my mom is as good as gold and I've always thought so. I know my mom is a truly unique person because, she is a very loveable and special person. My mom looks like an angel, she has dirty blonde hair and light blue eyes, with a dimple with she smiles, she has a few freckles on her back and dark skin. I love her laugh, personality. She always makes me laugh, she has a good attitude and is a very easy person to get along with. My mom is a very caring person who is willing to exchange love. My mom is one in a million!

I think my mother is as good as gold because she is always there for me. First, she cares for me when I'm down. She gives me support when something that I feel bad about happens to me. I know that she cares about me and loves me and respects me. I feel the same way about her. She's always willing to listen to what i have to say. That is how I know she's there for me.

The second reason I think my mom is as good as gold is she has the best cooking. First, she can always make anything I want, i love her homemade cookies. Chocolate chip is the very best. You have to try her spaghetti with sauce from scratch. My mom has her food hot and ready to eat. Did i tell you about her mash potatoes?

The third reason I believe my mom is as good as gold is her personality. My mom has the best personality. She always makes me laugh. She is a great person to be with. My mom cheers me up when I'm down and never lets me frown. I love my mom and always will. My mom is one in a million to me and that will never change I guarantee you. As you can tell from all these reasons, my mom's the best through all the four seasons. My mom and I care for each other as you can tell we'll always have a happy life together forever. I lvoe you mom and you love me. Will always be a loving family, just you and me.

Reading, writing this treasure is bittersweet. Marin's view of me then and later changed, but nevertheless, we dearly loved one another and i was so very happy and grateful to have her in my life. She made me feel worthy as a parent, as a person. I was very proud to be her mother  Our hearts felt pure.


treasures i continue to find  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
treasures i continue to find  / Jody Mangue (mom)

As I wrote earlier, I am reached in ways that continue to surprise. In a box, I came across, three small pieces of paper written on Embassy Suites note pads. There are the words, written several times. I lOVE MY MOMMY ALOT, LOVE,  MARIN. We would sometime escape the cold winters and drive an hour to the springs, check in the Embassy Suites and spend the night, swim the heated pool. Either that or go to Glenwood Springs to the hot springs pool there. If we could afford we would find a little getaway. Marin also drew alot and there is one drawing that would catch my attention. She started drawing around age 7. In the box, I found a hand made Mother's Day cared. To Jody she writes, Happy Mother's Day with a butterfly on the front, inside the drawing, a flower which is like a lotus, layers upon layers, i felt this held some spiritual meaning.

Along with these two treasures, is a resume she wrote at age 10. Objective: Wants opportunity to be a successful singer. Her work experience: I have sold candles before. Education: Prospect Valley Elementary School, Has improved in lots of her work. Her interests, activities: Singing, dancing, soccer and softball. She has her references. her dad, several friends.

On January 10, 1998, she writes: Dear Diary, I went to dinner with the singer, Salna. We went to Taco Bell. I ordered a small pepsi and 4 original tacos. She ordered a Dr. Pepper. I asked her where she got her fabulous costumes and how old she was when she started to record. She said she made her costumes by herself. She asked me if I liked to sing. I said that I loved to. We had a wonderful conversation and i enjoyed it. How strange to be reading this. We watched both the original movie and movie about Selena many, many times, we had the movies. Marin had memorized several of her songs in spanish and when we had them on, she knew them by heart.


reaching us  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
reaching us  / Jody Mangue (mom)

You know they still can hear us, feel our pain, touch our hearts. I find this to be true with Marin. I am not sure if others do.

Yesterday, I was at a new friend's home here in El Coyol, Costa Rica . Her 13 year old daughter was getting ready for her friends's quinicera, 15th birthday. A big celebration here. Several of the girls were over to get fixed up to go, the oldest sister doing make-up and hair. There was a buzz of activity. FLowers to be picked up. Boys coming over to accompany them. Two boys sat waiting. A fishing tackle box full of mak-eup. The older sister, Kimberly, pulling out some of her favorite make-up finds. How that reminded me of Marin, we would go get make-up at various places, always in need of something new, extra; some jars, bottles were her favorites and she loved making you up, fixing your hair. I was so very happy to sit in the chair and be tended to in that loving way.

The girls looked beautiful as they left, linking arms and carrying their flowers.

I was told to get in the chair and in a few minutes, my hair was being combed and prepared for planchando, ironing. I left looking better than i have in months. And felt the warm glow and love of Marin's tender caring of me. I am eternally grateful to my daughter still for being there in those most loving ways. Still.

just hanging out  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
just hanging out  / Jody Mangue (mom)
Here I am in CR and hanging out with my friend's son, Kevin, he is 13, grounded for changing a grade and signing his dad's name. It has made me think back to both kids, Marin and Evan and things they did that they needed to be forgiven. This is the thing, there is nothing that cannot be forgiven of our children. This is the task as parents we take on. I am reminded a lot about children and their rights, i reexperience those moments of just hanging out. I  love that time,  I thought would go on forever, playing games, cards, watching shows, movies, ordering out, just being together. We did that alot, Marin and I, hanging out. I treasure that time we had and so here i am now, appreicating that time, but with children from Costa Rica. It is not quite the same and i do not understand everything said to me, but we connect and i am a mother figure, different than most mothers here. I am grateful for that. Close
photos / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
photos / Jody Mangue (mom)

The only thing of value I brought to Costa Rica were mementos and photos of Marin. I did not really care about much more. The majority of my belongings were given away. I came here with only two suitcases. Gina came later bringing my treasures, the photos. I will always be grateful to her for that. When my parents went to the nursing home and subsequently died, I had this driving force to collect from their home the photo albums I had made for them. There were many photos which I did not have copies of and my mother did. So that was a terrific find. I was happy to be reunited with them. Not only hers but albums I made for them for Evan.

Her friends for the service made three collages of photos they had, I have those three now tucked away in my closet. Along with the copying of photos, I laminated what art i had, drawings from the earlier years and some later. Once someone asked to borrow the album of Marin to look through it, it would be gone overnight. I remember feeling torn and anxious to part with it. When returned, comments of how beautiful she was, this was true, but not knowing how to respond to that. I imagine other parents who have lost their children have similar feelings and thoughts.

sympathy cards  / Jody Mangue (Mom)  Read >>
sympathy cards  / Jody Mangue (Mom)
I remember at the service and at home i was receiving sympathy cards. I grew to hate the sight of them, kept a few, but for the most part did not need or want this reminder. How often, I too, had written them to people, expressing my sympathy for their loss. I do appreciate the acknowledgement of the loss,sentiment,  do not get me wrong, but there is something very generic, mindless in sending them sometimes, just a trite expression and a signature. At least that is how it has seemed in recalling writing sympathy cards. But those who receive them, i wonder if they have my same reaction to them that I did almost 4 years ago.   Close
a month to go  / Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
a month to go  / Jody Mangue (mom)

Marin would be 21 a month from today. It is June 29, her BD on 29 of July. I am very aware of its coming. I have tried to celebrate her during that time. Several times I went to La Fortuna where there are hot spings from the Volcan Arenal, it is an extremely active right now.

The first time I drove there myself. I spent a couple of days and decided to go to the waterfall outside of town. On the drive there on a 4 wheel type of road, there was a woman selling aqua pipa, cold coconut water, that sounded good. She has a young daughter with her who played as we chatted. I ended up spending a long time there. She wore dark sunglasses and i noticed a scar over her eye, also another on her leg. She was selling crafts as well. Her husband worked on a banana plantation. At some point i told her about Marin, it may have been when she spoke about her accident. She had lost sight in that eye. What was uncanny, was this woman's birthday was the same as Marin's, July 29th and the accident occurred on January 31, 2004, the day Marin died. We both were taken by this odd coincidence. I have passed by her aqua pipa stand since.

I am not sure how I will celebrate, remember Marin this year. Since her death, I have met many people close to her age and look at them imagining her. Yesterday, Manuel brought his daughter with him on delivering some luggage to a guest. She, too, was 16, beautiful girl, in her prime, in high school, excited about many things to come in life. I suppose i will always be reminded of Marin in some way or another.

The other day, I was watching some program and the theme was that death did not exist, the people who died were really with us and i find that in some ways this is true.

Moo / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Moo / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)

Many people knew her as Moo, we nicknamed her this as a baby, missy moo moo. It stuck. Her brother, her mom, dad, teammates called her that. I loved that. Now i have various porcelain cows to remind me. We went to hawaii for her 16th birthday. I woke up sometime in March of 2003 and said to her, decide where you want to go, wherever you want for your birthday. something urged me to do this. She quickly said maui. The money i had saved for college I used for this trip, called the travel agent, Elaine and she set it all up. I had a month or so to pay it off. It was the best time we had together. There came many, many poems, each morning while she laid in bed, I would sit on the balcony and write. I was very inspired to write, they flowed out of me. I was not sure at the time, why.

We got into the rhythm of the day, the ocean, beach. Sea kayaking, snorkeling, swimming with turtles, looking for dolphins. We watched movies, ate out, cooked, in the morning she wanted to cook. we shared the bed as we did for a few hours each night at home before moving to my bed.

In the rhythm of the waves, I am free

In the bird of paradise, I am beauty

In the white of the pearl, I am perfection

In the feel of the sand, I am calm.

In the pull of the current, I am connection

In the curiosity of the bird, I am observant.

In the magic of the movement, I am found

In the cadence of the Sound, I am loved

In the Brillance of the Light, I am bound.


Is there a girl who came to the beach to ride the waves

And feel the sand between her toe

Where restlessness subsides

Subsided by the Sound, the movement and the Color of the sun.

I ended the tribute for her school yearbook with And if  you ever get some time at the beach and see a dolphin, know she is there with you.

A week following her memorial service, I was nvited to Florida for four days. On February 14, Valentine's Day, Gina and I were walking on the beach, when suddenly a school of dolphins started their performance, what caught our eye was a mother and baby synchronous, swimming in circles around the spectacle of other dolphins. I felt Marin there with us, she swam with dolphins once in Cancun with her dad. I jumped in to make contact with them, to swim with them too.

A year later, Gina came to Costa Rica. She brought some mail that was unopened. In it were letters from the various donor recepients who received Marin's organs. One girl wrote a 6 page letter, she had been on dialysis for many years and received Marin's pancreas. As a result, she no longer had diabetes, was off the dialysis. She was so very grateful, but when she received my letter describing Marin and swimming with dolphins. She had just returned from the Gulf with her dad where they too had swam with dolphins.

why / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
why / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)

Interesting to think i was meandering on the internet and found another website dedicated to a dtgr who was 26, there was a forum i logged into where bereaved mothers could write about what it was like to go shopping in the grocery store and mall following the death of someone close. Both places have caught me unaware, noticing cereals, goldfish, certain chips, snacks we would buy, or when we would rent a movie and buy things to eat, popcorn, candy, the works. we indulged. I never regretted that.

In fact, the last Christmas, I remember it was particularly hard for Marin to shop as much as she loved shopping and going to the malls and remembering her friends with presents. We went several times and she hesitated, we had to leave suddenly. I found that odd and it caught my attention. Now looking back, I can see why the hesitancy, changes in her for what was coming. Finally, after some time, she was able to follow through with the various presents. While looking around, she would note what she liked, each item i would circle back to buy, black tennies, a white sweatshirt which she had on in various photos. Her hair was done too and so looked shorter than she normally wore it. Christmas Day she was suppose to go to Jack's family, but woke up not feeling well at his house, often she would spend Christmas Eve with him and go to the family's home designated that year to celebrate the holiday. This year she could not, so she came over early and i was thrilled to have her all day, we vegged, she opened up each present, surprised to see how I was able to swing getting those without her noticing. It was a wonderful last Christmas. Christmas and holidays have never been the same. I make attempts at them.

stories / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
stories / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)

It was a hot day down in bear country, there was a bear named Teddy. he had learned, lerned how to play soccer. Hey Dad, he said, want to play soccer? No thanks, I'm too busy doing my work. He asked his mom, Its a nice hot day to go play soccer. No thanks, I 'm too busy doing the dishes. Maybe later my dear. Did you ask your dad yet? Yes, go play by yourself, so Teddy went to play soccer sadly by himself and stepped on a hole. After he stepped off, he heard a little voice call out. Hey watch out where  you step and he said Oh, I'm so sorry, how can I repay you. You don't have to repay me, would you like to play soccer? Sure. I love to play soccer. Me, too. They went to play soccer. When they went home, Teddy told his parents about his friend and that his name was Franklin. The end.

I am

I am crazy and loving.

I wonder what i will do in life

I hear the cows mooing,

 I write notes to my friends. I read magazines.

I want a hot boyfriend.

I love my dog, Chef

I am crazy and loving

I pretend I can fly.

I feel free

I am moved when boys cry

I worry about my friends

I can't wait till I can drive

I am crazy and loving

I dream of becoming famous

I cry when I am sad

I understand my friends

I hope I become rich

I am crazy and loving. Written at age 15, 2/5/03

Homer aka Papa  / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Homer aka Papa  / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)

It is Father's Day, June 15, 2008

Homer, Aka as Papa was Marin and Evan's grandpa. He died July 20, 2006, he was 83. Marin had not seen her grandpa for sometime, maybe the last time was when she was 14 or 15. That last visit to see him, i remember her coming up from behind him and give him big bear hugs. saying how cute he was with his big blue eyes magnified from his glasses. When my dad died, i was sad certainly, but also some relief that he and Marin were together. My father as some of you knew him was a very special man, a ship's captain, he was generous, loved people and animals and more especially he loved his family. Devoted to them. He was in the hospital and asked me what had happened to Marin exactly, he wanted to hear the details in person. Followed by my dad, my mother also left this world, July 30, 2007. Gigi, Jeanne. Homer and Jeanne were married for 63 years. I realize there more loved ones who are gone then here, Marin, Madeline, Homer, Gigi. I was prepared for some not for others leaving so quickly. But i know this group is together and offering me inspiration and love in the many ways they can.

Happy Father's Day  / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
Happy Father's Day  / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)

Happy Father's Day, Jack

Marin would remember this day and would celebrate this day with you. She was like that, making holidays special. She had a great dad, Evan does too. He would persevere where some parents would not in discussions with both, in facing hard realities with both, in hanging tough. Parenthood is that hard and we were dealt with much raw pain with both, with Marin, it came later in losing her, with Evan, it is before and now. But Jack has not faltered. We have not been married for 14 years, but we did agree to put our kids first no matter what. You have certainly owned up to that commitment. Mother's Father's Day, Christmas, birthdays are pretty much bittersweet for both of us and most likely anyone who has lost a child. We have both been pushed along and created lives. It has not been easy. For those of you with children, treasure them in every way possible. Keep your hearts open and loving despite the hard times. Let them know you love them in whatever small ways possible. Your kindness will not be forgotten.


angel / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
angel / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)
How to be an angel?
I have sat before many in life and in dreams. They hold their heads erect
and Smile. Offer countless ways to inspire us, they remind us never to
force anything. They spread their wings in sunbeams; the luster lingers
long afterwards. They would never wither from shame or embarrassment. They
speak in the language of glee and giggles. And are at their best sharing
confidences for those receptive. It is all laid out you know, this thing
called destiny.

There have been some who I did not recognize until later. Until it was too
late. If only to have that moment back. This preparation we are doing now
does help us to see more clearly. I sure hope so. Angels do acknowledge our
human errors. They are quiet and comedic. Be aware that the joke may be on
you after all. Who is laughing now?

I have lived here now in Costa Rica, 4 years. Yesterday, we were driving tourists around, my job here. It was a family from Maryland. They wanted to spend their last family vacation together here before their 18 year old goes to college. I am reminded daily, but especially with families like this. I am asked all the time, why are you are here, I never say the real reason. Make up something. Figure they do not want to hear about my dead dtgr and that i cannot live in the cold, in Colorado, I have enough memories in my mind, not to be hit on the head daily with visual reminders of her not being here. The mother was quite uptight, worrying about everything, the father had low blood sugar and so we had to go eat several times a day , i liked the girls, enjoyed talking with them, but even so i am reminded of what we were robbed those ordinary moments of looking at colleges, finding the right dorm, having the right roommate, picking out clothes, all these things we would have loved to have done. Marin wanted to live in an apt with her friends and go to college in downtown Denver, so she might not have gone to a college dorm, All the same, we would have loved to be sharing these moments now. Meeting boyfriends. Meeting her for coffee after school or work, or having her drop by. All these things that thousands of girls her age are doing, her friends are doing. I am reminded of this today in driving strangers around this country.
hard to read, remember  / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
hard to read, remember  / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)
Give it All Up

I would gladly give it up, this exotic life, the language, love, a warm embrace. I would hand over my housekeys, keys to my car, take the furniture, the laptop, it is all yours.There is nothing here of the same value. Dangle me from a cargo plane to live in a ice cave, tear off a limb, shave my head, blind me, whatever the price, i will pay it. If it meant i could hold her in my arms again.
It has been almost four years now since Marin’s death, two weeks from now. A series of events have caught my attention. I wrote several people of the afternoon where I was in Megasuper grocery store and entered the store to hear a Mariah Carey song, saxophone style playing, not once but over and over again, like someone pushed the repeat button, a song Marin would sing in the car. I had nonchantantly gone into the store to buy a few needed items, but while the song was playing, I found myself weeping and feeling captive by grief pushing the cart around each aisle. I bought several windchimes symbolic of Marin, one with a bright blue dolphin, another angel one, the largest one was a bamboo one similar to the one we bought and hung outside on the deck from our room while in Maui. I had called Gina, Jack, Gwen and Connie and Mike, I was crying so hard am not sure I would make sense. Managed to get out of the store finally, probably hearing the song at least 15 times. From that point I went home and little by little came back to myself. But I can feel raw in an instant, breakdown, it is just beyond the surface. I decided to write each person why I called. Several wrote back with suggestions, interpretations, a sense of what went on but in a more positive way for me to think about, Marin’s reaching me and I did not doubt that, but the pain and loss of her is not less than four years later, but sometimes more.

A couple of days later, Jack found and wrote from his diary entry when he was in Maui retracing our steps during the first year after Marin’s death when he went there with her ashes, he also found a diary of hers which he felt was a conversation with God, reading the beginning of his entry started the weeping again and I thought to put it away to read later which I did and managed to read it in a way that more therapeutic.
A day later or so, I was looking for an insurance form I needed to renew insurance for my parent’s home which is still in the process of being sold. I have a black bag I brought from LC that has many impt documents. One night around this time, 11pm, I decided to look through the bag finding the paper and setting it aside. There were several things thrown in during the move, a plastic container, a red bag of marin;s with a red feather. Inside I remembered her piece of hair I had cut from her hair to save while she was waiting to become a donor, on the vent, after being declared dead, brain dead. Joesph and I waited for many hours for this to happen. I held her hair in my hands, again tears falling flatly on the table, I held her name bracelet from her admission, she was admitted on Jan 24, 2004. Inside the black bag also contained her wallet which I carefully went through, one thing led to another, but It was my need to be methodical in holding and examining each item. Inside the plastic container was jewelry, various impt pieces were either marin’s like her belly jewelry, or a small pinky ring, to earrings she gave me and the necklace she had given me as well. I set things aside inside a separate drawstring bag so as not to be intertwined with the rest of the jewelry, some old and tangled.
From there I found a ceramic light switch she had made, her name on the back. I should also add that a week prior to this, Vanessa and I went out to eat and we spent many hours eating, one of the first questions was her asking me about Marin, her death, what happened, we talked about her dream prior to death. Several things that probably surely preceded these other experiences and the depth of the memories I have about what had happened, but this time done in Spanish, no one from here has really had the nerve to ask me directly and been interested enough perhaps, brave enough to want to know more about my why of being here in costa rica. I am asked many, many times.

This particular experience of Marin was again memory after memory, to the details of clothing, print of fabric, comforters, bedsheets, sitting and reading a story, laying down in her bed to help her sleep at age 3 and 4, later as a teen. Features of her face, hair, gestures, many details of knowing her that had been lost. The final moment was with her birth, the details of the weeks before, the false labors, the walking at the mall, the walking daily near Black Mesa, the walking prior to going into the hospital, the details of the room, the breaking of the water, the physician leaving promising to come back but who missed the birth, the face of the nurses, the midwife who delivered Marin, our comments when we realized she was a girl, I was sure she was a boy and had Evan’s baby clothes ready for a him. I finally slept after this final memory, feeling her near, in bed with me. I wondered if this was a similar experience people have before their own deaths, reliving their lives and then the final moment. That would have been fine if that were the case, I was ready to go, ready to be with my daughter, feeling perhaps I am finished here now.

The dream: two weeks before Marin’s death
She is asleep and wakes me up crying, almost screaming, I go in her room to console her which was nearly impossible. We stayed awake till finally at 5am she fell back to sleep, I called school to say she would be missing school in the am, was not feeling well. She was inconsolable and when she awoke, called Jack to tell him the dream.
In the dream, she and Evan are in the living room of Jack’s house. The idea was that Jack would go up the stairs and once he laid down, he would die, so her dream was of him walking up the stairs for his appointed time of death.
She packed her bags and decided following school she would stay with her dad, which was fine with him, they had not spent any one on one time together and she stayed there the last two weeks of her life. Making dinners for him with the utensils and pans she bought for him for Christmas. It was a cooking theme kind of Christmas. They spoke about going to college, having an apt with her friends. Maybe my moving to costa rica and how that would be for her to visit there. She felt that her life was taking some shape. Jack told me the last am that she he saw as she was headed to school picking up Brittany Melvin, she asked him if he loved her and he said of course he did and she retorted back that she knew that. Later that afternoon after school, she was home at his house and he was getting ready to go to a game with his friend Chris, she had plans to go over to Megan’s and spend the night. That was the last time he saw her in her original form. I was going to work and called her 3 times that night. The last time around 10pm, you could hear noise in the background and she told me that Victor, Evan’s friend had a girlfriend who was going to have a baby, she wanted to see what his baby would look like and laughed about that.

writing a year ago  / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
writing a year ago  / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)
July 29, 2007

Marin was born July 29, 1987 at 10:49pm on a Wednesday. It is Sunday, El Coyol, Alajuela, Costa Rica, three plus years now here, three years since her death, three and a half. I look at albums last night, ones from Evan’s birth, Marin’s birth, spooky tooth and new mexico, evan holding Marin, she is a newborn, she quickly gets bigger, filled out in her sleepers, smiling and happy, Tessie nearby, we go back to Colorado leaving the Black Mesa and our rich life in NM, where we walk daily and enjoy the panorama. Marin is 5 mos. I remember how we drove and her crying, I could not nurse and drive at the same time. We stop a lot. The carnival ride was over there and I went back determined to live life differently. A transformation began there in NM.

But here I am today. I wake up to picture her sleeping next to me, hair tossled on the pillow and she lays on top of me. I say I will never let you go if I had the opportunity to embrace her physically again. The hum of the washer tells me life has gone on somehow here. I can show the boys love in familiar ways, foot rubs, they take turns laying their heads in my lap, my arm draped over them. I know that is comforting to them. To receive love, so I am an empty vehicle at times, here for comfort, solace, making stabs at living life. A house to be built, a home now to clean, cooking in ways from the past for these three. Marin tells me how life will change to be in a family again, not to be so alone. I wait to see if she is right.
Each year and around her death anniversary, I write to others a tribute of her and to remind them of who she was not only to me and who she continues to be.
We go to arenal today, funny that it is the same place I have been for her birthday and now called there to transport people. I had planned to go alone, Wilson is determined to join me even though Kevin has his final game today, to win the division in the country, he continues to be very successful in this sport and will go to Venezuela in August, accompanied by his dad. I am excited for them. I hope if it works out to visit Evan and to maybe go to NM and spend some time alone walking down the path we walked twenty years ago carrying Marin inside and as a new baby. The children were adorable. Who would ever guess we would be dealt with such tragedy, Marin dead, Evan in prison, a parent’s nightmare on both accounts. I figure there was no getting around this and I have had to accept it, karma, it has been a hard price to pay this time for all. There are others who have experienced similar pain, the loss of Kinsey, loss of Bobbi’s son, Toni. These parents can understand such profound grief. Here no one seems to, not really. And I go it alone each and every day.
But Marin has her ways of filtering in with her enthusiasm and hope for love and life and I cannot turn a deaf ear either. She promises much in the future of living here and there is no where else I can live life. There is a need for rain, jungle sounds, beaches, flowers, laughter, Spanish, embraces, and kisses. The creative spirit is called into action and tries to respond. Life is what it is suppose to be right now. I handle things from a distance, patience is limited sometimes. But there is hope and beauty in a morning breeze, the mooing of a cow, the painting of the brush, the remembrance of yesterday and blowing of a kiss from the photos our minds.
poems, writings  / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)  Read >>
poems, writings  / Susan Jody Mangue (mom)
Spirit lifting wings of gull
Ebbed shorelines rippling below
Lanquid movements, hearts abstain
Mangrove self, embraces rain.
Smoltering embers, now slumber
Heightened senses, unencumbered
Water, sand soothe anoint me
Dreams illicit tranquility
Objectionable beauty, opalescent shrine.
Neath emerald surface, coral intertwine.
Fragment, whole
Cups the hand, feeds the soul.
Bended knee a tear doth take to
Gather shells from altar make.

I have saved writings from various times in life. Mine and Marin’s. It feels that this writing has been brewing for many years, the why and wonder of it, escapes me until now. I have been encouraged to do it, maybe it will ring truths for others, maybe there will be some comfort here.
From my own way of believing about life, God, purpose, I have felt strongly that we cannot escape the suffering and sometimes horrors of life. Some people do seemed spared, but many others are not, be it, death, addiction, poor health, mental illness, there dangle many skeletons in the closet. I have heard many life stories in my life as a friend, social worker, nurse, working in both labor and delivery and hospice. Hospice perhaps prepared me on some level, conditioned me to accept death, terminal illness, birth did the same being an attendant to both, watching souls coming and going. I was a witness. I never thought I would witness it so personally however. And with such, raw, gut wrenching heart pain. A few months ago, I wrote this verse.

from Marin and I  / Susan Jody Mangue (mother)  Read >>
from Marin and I  / Susan Jody Mangue (mother)

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.

When she was small, she wrote continuously, this was a little gem from about age 7.
From Marin:
I know where someone, somewhere
Someone who soon finds me.
There are rainbows
I’ll find my rainbow soon.
Soon it will not be just pretend.

Let me be your wings.
Let me be your only love.
Let me take you far beyond the stars.
Let me be your wind.
Let me lift high above.
Everything we are dreaming of will soon be ours.
That you desire.
Anything at all and
Never let you fall.

Soon a happy ending love.
Love, can you hear me?
If you need me
Sing your soul strong,

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