Sunday, September 30, 2007

Little Celebrations

It was my guys birthday today.

I made it a good one, a real kids birthday with all the bells and whistles.

Children left with fat goodie-bags, high on sugar and still sweaty from the trampoline.

I walked around doing, doing, doing.

I felt like a ghost.

I talked to my girl, pretended she was here like she was before.

I discussed the frosting, the wrapping paper, and how 14 kids showed up when we only sent out eight invitations.

I miss her so much, especially when there are celebrations.

It doesn't matter that she might have hidden out in her room reading and stealing cupcakes.

I just want her here with me.

I want to open her door and ask her if she needs something to drink with those cupcakes, she would turn and look at me like she didn't know what I was talking about and have chocolate frosting in the corners of her mouth...

Her brother didn't miss her today. He is forgetting. He is too little to understand. Please God don't let him forget her voice, her smile and the way she would lay on the floor and play a board game with him and make him earn his win.

Life keeps moving forward, as it should I suppose but I can't move with it, not easily, something too big, too precious, so much a part of me is missing.

Happy Birthday my big Boy, you are such a love, such a joy and such a comfort to me.

Sweet Dreams my Best girl, I believe you were here telling me to put the rainbow sprinkles on the cupcakes, they looked like you, sweet so sweet.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Full moons and broken marraiges

You hear the statistics all the time, I don't know what the exact numbers are I just know that they exist.

Even really wonderful marriages sometimes don't survive the loss of a child.

I would be hard-pressed to find an example of my marriage ever being one of the good or strong ones and I am not sure it was ever wonderful.

My husband and I dated briefly. I became pregnant at a very young age, and although he was not ready at 26 to become a father he married me.

He tells me now that he would have married me eventually even if I had not become pregnant. I think that is meant to make me feel hopeful but it doesn't.

We were friends for a long time. We loved each other. We became a family.

Then it started falling apart, we seemed to be missing some important adhesive that made it all work perfectly.

We have had so much resentment towards each other over so many years that it is hard to see who we really are or what kind of marriage we could have had.

I lost me.

I have many regrets about this relationship, I have lists and lists of all the wrongs, all reasons, all the blame. The three things I hold precious, the three wonderful things that have happened to me that I will never feel regret for, but instead greatly blessed are my children. They have always been my focus. I may have fallen out of love with my husband after a certain February but I have never fallen out of love with them.

They are the reason I believe I have stayed, left and come back.

It sounds mean and I sound heartless and maybe I am but after 23 years honesty becomes not only easy but vital to my survival.

The death of my daughter left me unafraid of things I use to be so afraid of. My worst fear was being alone.

I am truly alone yet I survive.

The fear is gone.

I don't know what being alive means. I don't understand the purpose or the illusion. I am not sure what role "Love" plays. I understand and respect the love between a mother and a child but the love between a man and a woman seems like a far away memory, or a story I read.

I am on auto pilot.

There is a part of me that needs to keep everything the same so she can find us, so we won't lose her, so home is here for her always.

There is a part of me that doesn't want anything from before. Maybe it wouldn't hurt so much if I could get rid of all of it, every memory.

Somehow it isn't my call, not right now. I have to be still in this hurting place and wait.

God will have what he will have, and there is nothing more he can take. I am knocking on wood, I still have two children and it would be the end of me to lose them. I guess there is more he can take.

Last night the harvest moon was golden and heavy in the sky. It is always the same moon hanging there every fall but each year it seems new and different. because I see it with different eyes, from a different place.

I am so tired but I know it is a skin I will shed. Stevie leaving was like a burn caused by fire. I am hurting but I will heal and this old tissue will peel away leaving me with a new skin, new energy.

Like the moon I am the same me but soon I will be different, because I will be looking out of my eyes differently, from a very different place.

I am not sure what will happen now, I just know that I don't want to live the rest of my life in one place waiting for something good to happen. I don't want to keep praying for the same things.

I want it to change, all of it. I want it to be a life that embraces me, has meaning and a life that wakes me up in the morning telling where to put my feet next.

I don't want to be tired anymore.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I had a dream that the earth was just one of many, each sealed up in its own membrane . I was able to get a glimpse through clouds one night and see the topography of another earth. I found a way to navigate through the other planet in my own tiny bubble that was strong and clear. I floated through favorite places that are only familiar to me when I dream. No one could see me.

In another dream I could sit in a chair and levitate, fly, travel, as if the chair were a bicycle or a car or a plane. All I had to do was believe that I could. I went to a wedding and I taught a teary bride to do it, it made her happy and she floated away from a the place where everything was white and purple.

In another dream my daughter was little again and I watched her over and over in different frames, so little.

I have been waking up thinking that God (or someone) is trying to tell me something important. It is a blessing I should embrace it and sit still and wait for it to come. I have been waiting for this but I am afraid, what if I am disappointed, what if it isn't real,what if I am losing my mind.

The interesting thing is that before Stevie left her body I was so sure about so many things. I didn't question I just explored and collected more things to believe in. Now that I am sitting here in this quiet empty place inside myself I find it hard to believe and to trust anything, needing to know so badly makes it even worse. I know what the mind can do.

I use to believe that all things were possible, maybe they still are...

I use to pray.

I use to believe that my prayers were answered.

I stopped believing when she took her last breath.

Now I wonder if my prayers were answered and God simply said "No"

Can he do that?

I guess he can.

The universe is in charge I suppose.

I watched "The Secret" I think the real secret is that it is possible to do anything you want, be anyone you want, move in any direction, have it all...

if the universe says "Yes"

It is like building a house, it all starts with a dream. You plan a place to live your life, to raise your children, to grow old. You put what is in your heart down on a blueprint. The architect may say no to a big window, door or the dimensions of a room. The building inspectors may say no to the type of material you use or where you can and can not have a bathroom. The bank may say no to the amount of money you want to borrow.

You get your house, it may be a bit different than the house you dreamed it would be. One day you may wake up and say "This house is even more perfect than I imagined" or you may wake up and say "This isn't the house for me, I think I need to rebuild it"

The universe said "No" to me and I can not keep my daughter here like before. Instead I have to relearn her, know her in a different way, let go of that little girl skipping and dancing around on tip-toes, accept this.

My life doesn't feel like it is for me anymore, so I will have to rebuild it.

I wonder if there is another earth somewhere out there. On this other planet the sun is rising, I am waking up, and the universe has said "Yes". Stevie is making coffee and talking to me about what she will be doing today. I look at her from across the kitchen her eyes bright blue, her auburn hair is messy, she is wearing soft flannel pajamas. As she sips coffee and rambles about bookstores and tofu ice cream I smile and I get this feeling that God (or someone) is trying to tell me something important. I am not afraid, I just believe.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Baby

I remember this night twenty years ago. It was just you and I in that quiet room. The little lights in the tree outside our window glowed just enough for us to see each other in the dark. You nursed and slept, and I slept and woke not believing you were really mine.

I knew, something inside me knew what we were in for but that night was ours. I lay next to you in that hospital bed, holding you close. The nurses came in and out, and the hours passed. The next morning you and I woke to the sun rising. I carried you to the window and said "Look Stevie that is the sun coming up, the sky is blue and pink and orange, and it is all for you, all because of you"

There were nineteen birthdays, all different, each one your favorite birthday. You loved birthdays.

This birthday is my first without you.

The last night of your life was spent in a dark room, you and I in a narrow hospital bed. The nurses came in and out. We slept off and on through the night. You woke to squeeze my hand and I told you I loved you. I woke hours later to find you gone.

This morning I rose early and walked out the front door to watch the most beautiful sunrise, just like the one the morning you were born. It was blue, pink and orange and it felt like a gift just for me.

We have come full circle my love. It is amazing, it is beautiful, and my heart is breaking.

I bought two vegan chocolate cakes. We all went to the cemetery, we turned your music up loud, and just sat around all in our own private thoughts. There were tears, then sad words, then we were just ourselves, as if you were sitting there with us and not buried beneath us.

We all came back to the house and made a lunch you would have loved, vegetarian, Mediterranean, simple and beautiful.

I lit a candle in your room this morning, it is still burning. Your room smells like lemons and creme.

I whispered all day, I love you, I love you, I love you.

I do.

I don't regret a moment...I just wish you never had to feel pain, or be afraid.

Teresa came and held me up. TT came with Anthony, Maread and Alison were here, I gave Maread you Juicy scarf, she cried. I knew you would want her to have it. Alison cried and it broke me. They loved you so much. Ashley and Megan were here, Megan got a tattoo of yellow tulip for you. Aunty Jerry, Kylie, Ron, Irene, Sandy, Me Dad, Aly and Noah.

We were all there remembering you, missing you.

I wish I could see you, touch you, whisper Happy Birthdays in your ear.

Please be here, be you, know how loved you are.

I am waiting, always waiting.


Friday, September 21, 2007


I've had a selfish day hiding in my studio and making art. I am trying hard to distract myself doing something that gives me pleasure. I feel guilty when I feel good. I always talk to her, invite her to share it with me, but it seems unfair that I am here and she is not and she deserves to be here. She deserves to be someplace better...I deserve to be with her.

I offer her my body and tell her she can jump in anytime if she misses her favorite dishes or wants to listen to music or take a hot shower. I am hers, she has all of me. Not sure if the idea if walking around it your moms old body, stretch marks, grey hair, and my smelly black t-shirts sounds very appealing to her but it is what I have to offer.

I am keeping vegetarian, not the sometimes vegetarian, she hated it when I wouldn't commit all the way. Well I am. I did eat a tuna sandwich...maybe I still can't commit.

I am going to find the vegan chocolate cake recipe on line tomorrow and bake her birthday cake. I won't do this every year she would hate it, tell me it is creepy. I have to do it this year, it is too hard to not have this last thing. Everything seems like a last thing.

Well I am tired. My fingers ache from drawing and cutting, my neck and eyes are sore, my bottom is numb. It is time for bed.

I love this child, with all that I am, and I miss her more than I can express.

Come to me Stevie tonight in my dreams, show me were you live.
Sweet Bella-bunny-girl...


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The night Stevie died it rained. It had been unusually hot all week, you could feel summer approaching but that night it rained. I stood under it the warm drops from the sky mixing with the warm tears falling from my eyes, from my soul. I wanted it to be her, I wanted to stand there all night with my head thrown back and drink her in, drown in my love for her.

Stevie and I once talked about how we wanted our funerals, why we were doing this I have no idea, I think we had read the same book or watched a movie together and it was part of the discussion we were having. I told her I wanted a sad funeral, mournful, no bright colors and celebrations of life, I wanted to be missed, I wanted to matter. She said she wanted it to rain, and have big black umbrellas at the grave. She also wanted wailing and yellow tulips.

She got rain, and four hundred yellow tulips.

Today the sky is threatening to burst. It is grey outside and the clouds are heavy and low, pregnant with water, and my tears.

I asked for one thing, and I am getting isn't enough.

Rain is impressive but I want God to rip open the sky and show me...I want him to say, "I am here and she is here with me. We will see you in sixty years now relax and write a damn book or Sculpt something, enough of this incessant crying"

I would be the happiest person who breaths air.

I guess I need to sit under this darkening sky and hold onto what I have.

I guess what I have is what she left me.

What she left me is love and rain.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One Thing

A girls retreat at the lake

A fireside pic-nic

A seat in a hot-tub while the sun went down.

It was nice, it was relaxing, I felt like a grown-up.

It was a gift and one I treasure.

The long drive up and back I shared with a friend who lost her daughter last year in a car accident. Berta is one of Sarah's (my sister-in-laws) best friends. She generously shares her with me because she knows how the two of us share the same pain, she hopes we can comfort each other.

Berta is an exceptional person. She is kind and loving, she pets you and calls you silly baby names. She is gentle and warm. She is maternal. Life for her is like a handful of sand. It slips through the cracks between her fingers, and the wind blows some of it away, but she does all she can to protect it, holds onto all the best parts, and marvels at what rides on the breeze.

She was good for me. We told stories about our daughters, shared intimate details, cried and talked about surviving this. She walks ahead of me. She shows me that it is OK to cry, wonder why, save clothing that smells like them. She explains that it gets a little bit more bearable as time pushes you forward and offers you new things to live through and love.

She honors her daughter by being her very best self, by loving her family and holding them close.

She honors herself by taking care of her body, doing work she loves, letting herself be loved, and by finding quiet spaces and soft places.

I have much to learn.

Sarah treated us to a beautiful lunch of green salads, thin pizza with a balsamic glaze, and bits of seafood piled high. We watched the boats come in and out and people walk by wearing big hats and sandals. We talked about ordinary things. It was peaceful, it was nourishing.

I am home now, my house smells like my house. My studio is tidy and waiting for me.

I have a busy week.

Tomorrow will be five months.

It was like yesterday, it was like a million years ago. I don't want to remember the sad parts over again. I will write it all down later when I am stronger.

If she were here, sitting next to me, I would kiss her cheeks, wrap my arms around her, inhale her and tell her how much I love her.

I would hold on tight, so tight.

This is my prayer tonight:

Hey God, it's me, the pissed off mom with tear stained cheeks and a pounding heart. I am here to ask for the same thing I have been asking for. I will never stop asking. Will you ever grow tired of me asking?

God please, I know you can not give her back, I know you won't. All I ask is for you to let me know she is OK. That she is someplace, that she is still her wonderful beautiful self, that she is happy.

Send me an angel, a guide, a ghost, my daughters voice...just for a moment, just a few words. I need something to hold onto, I need something real. I can not live with mystery and signs, I can not live wondering and hoping, I don't want to make up a story so I can sleep.

One thing.

I will cry everyday for the rest of my life, I will miss her, and my life will be forever changed but give me this one thing so my pounding heart can calm just a little, so I can find a way to navigate the rest of this life the way you would want me to, the way I am meant to.

I am lost here in this ocean waiting for something to float by, something I can hold onto. I can paddle myself to land just send me something to hold onto.

Hold me close.

I need, I need, I need.

Thank you for my many blessings, for sending me friends who will sit in cars and cry with me, who will hold my hand as the sun sets behind mountains. Thank you for the ones that love me that will be with me on her birthday and share cake and help me through the first birthday without her. Thank you for giving me words to express myself. Thank you for giving me that sweet, sweet girl, my love, my heart, my teacher, my friend. I would have one moment with her and a lifetime of missing her if the option was to never love her at all.

I am loved.

I am broken hearted.

Heal me. Whisper secrets in my ear. One thing that is all I need.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I met another mom today who lost not only her daughter but her husband too. Her husband died of cancer and seven months later her daughter was killed in a car accident.

I have been told through my life so many times "There is always someone else with a harder life, a heavier burden, a sadder story" It is true, it is always true.

The thing about grief is that you are locked in a place where you can not feel anything but your own pain. I have moments where I understand what is going on around me but this broken place is so encompassing and so internal that everything outside of me seems like a dream. I would prefer this be the dream.

There is an ocean in me, a big salty watery place. I float here waiting to be rescued, waiting for land, searching for a life boat. Part of me wants to let go and sink to the bottom where it is cool and quiet and all of this goes away.

I survive. I endure. Not because I am incredible but because I have no other choice. I was not meant to drown, I was not meant to break apart into a million pieces and be carried of by the wind. I was meant to be here and do this thing.

The woman I met has found a sliver of comfort, she has found something to do to keep her hands busy while her heart keeps beating and her mind keeps remembering.

I know one day I will find something that keeps me moving so that I don't notice this big hole in my life, in my heart. The strange thing is what I need most is what I fear most.

This acute moment in time is my prison and my sanctuary.

Memory and tears, it is what must be, for now, I can not imagine anything else.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Above Trees

I had a dream that I was at a lecture, Marianne Williamson was the guest speaker. I was there with friends, Fred and Debbie. Fred found a way to get us better seats than we originally had. They were wonderful, right up in the first eight rows, center. The seats were padded benches with reclining seat-backs.

When Marianne came out everyone was quiet, she began speaking right away, no frills she just said "Welcome" and then "For those of you who have been here before you know what to do, those of you that are new just sit back, relax and hold on."

Then she began giving us a guided meditation, it was so intense. The ceiling disappeared and the walls were all glass. We were moving up and forward at an incredible speed. It was taking my breath away. I could feel the seats vibrate and heard a rumbling sound and thought "this is a simulator, how cool."

It was so incredible, I could feel wind then realized we actually moving. I kept floating out of my seat, I had to hold on tight, Fred held onto my foot. The whole time Marianne just stood where she was and kept talking calmly, guiding us and giving direction to her assistants in the room.

I could see trees rushing by and then the sky, we were moving up and up. The feeling was like climbing in a roller-coaster, and I don't like roller-coasters. I started to panic, it was just going too fast, I was afraid I was going to fly out. We seem to be traveling not just through space but through time. I tried to calm myself, there was nothing I could do really, the only choice I had was to be afraid or not to be.

I told myself "This must be what Stevie felt like, she is showing you how Stevie traveled." I began to calm and just ride, I stopped floating out of my seat then and Fred let go of my foot.

We traveled through cities, states, countries. We experienced everything in a tiny bit of time, as if we were in fast forward. Nothing was missed but the concept of real time was gone.

I remember The Streets of New Orleans, and a little shop there. In Maryland there was a train station and then we crossed over a bridge with a lot of traffic but we zoomed through. I asked what this was and someone else said, "This is kind of like a bullet train, it goes faster than any train you have ever been on." They explained the force it had letters in it, I can't remember it.

In Paris we slowed for a moment at a station, there was a platform were so many people kept coming and going, they seemed like ants. They were leaving behind packages that they had been carrying on a cement island in between trains. Pink shopping bags, some with pink bows. I wanted to reach out and pick one up to see what was inside but I knew I couldn't.

[There was so much to see and feel, I wish I could remember it all and write it all down. In my waking life I have never visited any of these places but I feel like I have now.]

We ended up back where we started, there was a gift shop where they were giving away things, isn't that appropriate? I was hoarding lip gloss for Stevie, her favorite, then I realized she wouldn't need it now...I woke up.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Doing the dishes

Her birthday is just a couple weeks away. It is so strange not making plans for it. Last year we went to SalaThai, it was a family dinner with cousins, flowers and presents. We had a yummy vegan chocolate cake for desert, she blew out all the candles, I wonder what she wished for?

I have a photo from that night, she was so beautiful.

In her life with me she was always my little girl, my baby. She just had these cheeks and this sweetness, she melted me. She could piss me off too, but it didn't last long, all she had to do was give me those big blue eyes, a crooked smile and I was a goner.

On her birthday I am going to bring her favorite chocolate cake from Whole foods, all the tea stuff she was saving, and a big blanket to the cemetery. I am going to have Sunday tea with my girl on the grass that covers the place where her body is buried.

I never thought I would be one of those tragic people.

Today I bought paper. I don't know why, I just woke up needing more paper. I am making a little book with trees and flowers, an angel with huge wings, and glittery stars. I keep drawing and painting these scenes over and over again. I want to imagine what heaven looks like, I want to find a way to be their with her. I guess I am visiting her with paint and ink. Do I have it right Stevie?

Some where out there in a bubble in the universe is a girl with long hair and pirates smile. She is sitting under a big redwood tree that is a million years old. She is dressed in blue and surrounded by piles of beautiful books and brilliant flowers. It is sunny and perfectly warm, there is music in the air, soft music that sounds like sighing, waves rolling in, and a mother singing in the kitchen off key while she does the dishes.

She is not lonely or tired or sick. She is not waiting, or worrying. She is not sad.

She just is...

Here in this room, is a mother who is missing her girl, who is making books, drawing big trees and talking to her girl as if she were right here with her. She is surrounded by family and piles of new paper, she sings Stevie's baby songs as she washes the dishes and looks out the window wondering, and sometimes crying.

She has a life that needs to be lived but she is lonely and tired. She is waiting and worrying and she is so very sad.

This just is.

I miss you sweet girl of mine.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Dark Blue

Today I paid bills. It seems a stupid thing to do. I open an envelope, pull out some paper, throw some paper away, write some numbers on another piece of paper and stick it in another envelope for some one else to open. I pay someone to deliver this piece of paper. I pay the bank to give the person who gets the paper some money out of my account. In return my lights stay on, and water comes out of my sink.

If you were not from here you would not believe it.

Today I feel like I am not here. I am wearing my weird and stupid glasses and everything seems strange looking out of these lenses.

Do you ever wonder what this is all about?

I ate some food, I made some art, I paid some bills, I kissed my son.

I don't feel very significant.

Tomorrow I think I will wear a different pair of glasses, I will look for my understanding glasses or my thoughtful glasses, maybe my change the world glasses.

I miss my girl. If she were here she would make sense out of it all in a few short words. She would desire payment for her insight so I would buy her coffee from Pete's or Mr.Beans. A soy-something. We would drive home listening to Andrew sing "Dark Blue" She would act pissed that I knew all the words, I would piss her off even more by telling her how cute I think he is.

Then she would smile, because the coffee was so good, or the music moved her or just because she loved me. I vote love.

My heart is so full of her.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

We took the boat out yesterday, the water was like glass.

We went someplace new so there were no memories there but I neede her to be sitting next to me in the boat her fingers skimming the clear water, I wanted to see her face again as she sat on the back of the fat red tube holding on tightly daring me to go faster. She was fearless back there with the wind in her hair. Instead it was our incomplete family on water that felt more like tears than a place to play.

The boat gave up. It just stopped in the middle of the lake. I opened the engine cover and down below there were a pair of sunglasses. They were hers from a trip a year ago. She thought she lost them, they were her favorite pair, she was so upset. We bought them in LA on our way back from Mexico. They fit her well, brown tortiose wrap around frames, she looked like a movie star in them.

I washed them off and put them on. The lenses were scratched but they felt so good. I wanted to say "Look baby you didn't lose them" But I didn't. I put them back.

I couldn't hear her say "Nothing is ever lost mom" but I feel it today and I want to believe it.

We were towed back to the dock by the sheriffs boat. Now we are home. I am alone in the house and that is hard. I wish she could come to me when I am alone. Maybe she is here how can I know?

When you leave your body what do you use for a voice? Are you so big that your loved ones can't see you, are you so small that they breath you in and don't even realise it?

I want to hear her whisper "I am right here mom, I have always been right here, don't cry, I am OK"

On the nineteenth I will go out to the cemetery, it is my day to go. I bring new silk flowers, I clean off her headstone, I look at the view, morbidly explore who has been buried close by since I was last there. I open the windows and doors of my car and play all her favorite songs on my IPOD no one seems to mind, her music is beautiful and fills the park; Belle and Sebastian crooning about one near perfect thing, Ben Gibbard softly singing about wanting to be were soul meets body. I want to sing back to him "I want to be were my soul meets hers" Where is that place?

I lay on her grave and talk to her, I cry, I sing, I wait for some magic to happen. I fantasize that she walks up the path, sits next to me and we talk for hours, we watch the sun go down together. I know she can not stay but the time we spend comforts me, it proves that she may not be with me like she use to be but she is somewhere and she is still who she always was just more.

What would you ask?

There is a list in my mind that starts with: Is there a God? Is there a reason? Is there a Heaven and does everyone get to go? Even bad guys? Is there a place for the people who thought they were the only ones going?

Are you happy? Do you miss your body? Do you miss your Room? Do you miss me?

Do you know how much I love you?

What do you do were you are do you like it?

Did it hurt to die? When did you leave? Who came to get you? Are you ever lonely? Can you hear me when I talk to you? Can you talk to me? How do I learn to hear you?

Why did this happen? Did I love you enough?

Do you know how much I miss you?

Is there anything I can do for you here?

You know I will never forget you right? You will never be replaced.

The list can go on and on but these are the most important and immediate things I need to know.

I dream of her sometimes she is who she was before she died and sometimes she is the person she was inside always, the person she didn't think anyone could see, I could, I could always see her.

I love to dream of her like that.

Tomorrow I will get up and begin the week. I will do all the things mothers do. If no one is home I will talk to her while I fold the laundry and pay the bills.

Tonight before bed I will light her candle, kiss her picture and whisper "I love you" until I fall asleep. Maybe in the place I go when I sleep she will be there, we will be on the boat, in that lake, at the exact moment the engine stopped. Everyone else will have disappeared It will just be the two of us frozen in time.

She will say "Mom look at how still the water is" She will reach for me and we will embrace, she will say, "I love you mom, I love you, I am not lost I am right here"

Friday, September 7, 2007

The First Day...

This is my first post to this blog, I needed a place to write it all down.

It is late summer, it is still hot during the day but the nights want a sweater. This is usually one of my favorite times of year. The last trips in the boat, fires at night. I love the beginning of harvest, waiting for leaves to change colors, watching pumpkins turn orange and get fat.

This year everything is different. It would take more than a sweater or a fire to warm me, and it doesn't feel like the begining of anything. I don't want things to be like they were before, I want time to stop right here. I want the world to stop and cry and miss her like I do. Nothing is the same, nothing is the same.

On April 19Th of this year my daughter Stevie left her body and traveled where ever it is that people without a body do. I laid next to her in a narrow hospital bed and covered her lips, cheeks and eyes with kisses and tears as she took her last breaths. My sweet girl was 19 years old.

I am a wreck without her. This is the hardest thing a mother will ever be asked to endure. Not that anyone ever asked. There is nothing right or good about it, and there is no comfort you just move like a hand on a clock one second at a time until an hour has passed, a day has passed and hopefully some of the pain has passed.

She was my summer,

my full moon,

my every breath

my reason for getting up in the morning.

She was the birds singing,

the smell of peaches,

soft petals,

and dandelions blowing in the wind.

She was my heart beating,

my every dream,

my teacher,

warm feet in my bed on a cold morning.

She was every word ever written,

Every love song written by a boy in love,

all things sweet and good

and every sunset.

I am trying to find my way without her. I am surrounded by people but I feel like I am under water, all alone. I keep looking for her, I keep waiting for her. I keep falling on my knees and asking my God to wake me from this terrible dream I am trapped in that belongs to someone else.

I will document my long walk down this unknown road. I will tell her story in little pieces and I will tell my own. You will see that it is hard to tell where she ends and I begin.

This is just one of many many days.