Today I will celebrate your life and test the waters.

It has been 11 long years since you left us. I have never celebrated that day by trying to remember all the beautiful things about you but today I will test those waters. It is kind of like testing the water before you go in a pool. Warm at first but colder as you go. Maybe it will stay warm all of the way. I will pray for the families of the three friends who died with you.
So here is to you Nikki. Your laughter was contagious. Your soul was beautiful. You were bullied but you never stopped until you made friends of those bullies. I know because they told me at your service. You never did tell me. I was proud of you.Your smile was always beaming. You never failed to be nice to everyone and even got fired for being to “nice” to the customers.
You overcame so much of your Autism and other issues because I never told you they were there but even though some remained, it took a while before someone caught on. You ordered tomato soup one year because you were working at Walgreens and it was your money right? So you paid almost 25.00 for 4 cans of tomato soup that cost less than a dollar because you wanted to order online.
You wore party dresses to waffle house and when I ask why, you said, “Because I am dressing for me mom. Not other people. I don’t have anyone to impress”. You learned to hug even though it was hard. You still hugged to the side but you hugged. A big deal with Autism. You loved deeply. You were a champion at doing something until you got it done even when I thought you could not.
You had a light in you that few people have. You loved your baby sister and your family and your friends, Kelli and Kandice and your friend Samuel from Australia and Joel who came to your service driving 12 straight hours even though you had never met. You had tons of online myspace friends that were in your life even be it online.
You loved to sit on the porch and when you left even the neighbors said later they missed the waves and the smiles. You brought a beauty into our world that will never be replaced and as I quoted in the song, “This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.” I love you. Nik. Always. Love, Mom

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You loved Valentines day. No panic attack so far thank God.

My daughter loved all Holidays but her favorite were Valentines day and halloween. She LOVED them. It is especially hard because she died three days after valentines day. It makes it hard to celebrate this day but I still send or text or call out Happy Valentines day to others. I didn’t for a long time but now I can.
It used to cause severe panic attacks and long bouts of crying. I cried this morning but I was able to tone it down. I will probably play songs for her today but maybe I won’t. I don’t know yet. I know I keep a candy heart for her and I go and look at her picture. She loved life and from that I try to do the same.
I value everyone in my life, I love them and I am so very grateful for the sweet people who think of me on this day and call, text or message. they do not realize how much it means. So, Nikki, Happy Valentines to your smile, your memory, your laughter and the love you never failed to show me and tell me. I will love you. Always. Love, Mom

Sara’s Story. Continued from page one.

I went through the next day, calling and thinking maybe you were trying to be a grown adult so you were not trying to get to a home phone but in my heart I knew. I had known since it happened I think that you were in that car wreck but my heart could not accept it. Finally, that evening, your sister called and said “Mom, did you check the hospitals?” I said, “No, but let me call her friend’s dad”. I didn’t want to call. I ask Dan to call her friends dad but I was scared. I whispered, “God, please let it be okay, please”. I heard Dan tell the dad, “No man, just hit me up? What is going on?” Then he came back into the room and fell to his knees. I knew.

It was her in the wreck but we were not allowed to be notified because only one person was thrown out of the car. It had somehow jumped the median from one side of the interstate to the other and was hit by an SUV. Then it rolled off to the side of the road and according to a witness, it exploded. Anyone inside the car was not able to be identified so we were not allowed to be called. Only that father. I went numb. I called your sister and told her to put her boyfriend on the phone. I asked him to bring her home. I knew from the girl who was thrown from the car that it was you. The dad said everyone was killed.

Someone called the family. People started coming. I think I was in a state of shock. All I remember the rest of that day was talking briefly to our moms and your dad’s mom who was telling me she was coming the next morning. I know people came and I know your sister was talking to people and Dan was and your friend from two streets over was there but that is it until the 19th. I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I went and sat in your room and I cried.

February 19th. 2007

I am writing on a crap piece of paper I found and I am crying. I cannot do this. I cannot do this. I feel like I cannot breathe. I am crying so bad I think I will never stop. I miss you so much. You were the one in our family who kept us laughing. You looked at everything with hope and it was always, “It’s all good mom, and Where id the love?” when I got upset. You loved your sister like nothing else in this world. You loved people. You loved life. You loved Dan like he was your dad. You simply cannot be gone.

Granny came and your dad’s family is trying to help find out the facts. Your cousin that you are closest in age to is crying, your sister has been crying and so many but I cannot help them. Your cousin in Afghanistan called and he is crying because they won’t let him come home. Dear God, this cannot be real. It is all a very bad dream. Your Aunts and Uncles, cousins, grandparents, sister, Dan. All here Even your dad and his family. I am in house full of people but I am ALONE. So alone. I miss you so much. I cannot believe this is real.

The Book. Sara’s Story. Copyright 2008

Part of a series of a journal/book.

This is a journal I wrote when I lost my oldest daughter Sara. It has taken all of this time to read this that I wrote as a book later but I thought I would share it with my fellow bloggers who have lost a child, from unborn to adult. I hope it helps you to know that you are not alone.

This journal/book is filled with raw emotion at times I offer no apologies. Why? Because it is what happened when I lost Nikki ( Nikki to us) Sara to friends. I hope it helps the parents who have lost a child regardless of age because we share a bond no parent wants to ever share. The loss. No two people are alike but one thing that we who have lost do know is how deep and raw the pain can be. It is not to be taken as an offense against anyone. My feelings were real to me and you can only understand if you lost a child. I pray to God you never do.

We love you Sara Nicolle (Nikki) January 14th, 1984- Feb. 17th, 2007

The Day you left us.

It was a normal day. You had celebrated your birthday in January and ask me an odd question. “Mom, is 23 old?” I laughed but I knew you feared getting old. You had slight Autism and some other issues due to being born premature but you were a beautiful unique soul. I said, “No Nik. Your life is just beginning. I didn’t know on that day, you had 33 days left to live.

You were in the shower as I was leaving to pick up your little sister to go get a prom dress. I was going to ask if you wanted to go but I knew you were going somewhere with your friends and it was a big thing for you. You were a homebody and so finally stepping out and going off with friends was important to you. So I told you I loved you and left to go pick her up at her dads.

You called me on the way several times and we talked and you were really excited to be going. I was three minutes from your sister’s dads house when you called. “Heeeeeeeeey, mom. What’s up?” I said, “I am almost there and what’s up with you?”
You were about to tell me and the call cut off. I have no clue how I knew but in my heart, I was in a panic in the three minutes it took to get to her dads. I didn’t say anything to her but I kept trying to call you back.

I met your sister’s new boyfriends mom but I felt “off”. So, after talking to them for about 30 minutes, We left but stopped at Racetrac and got something to drink. Your cousin called and ask if everyone was okay. There had been a bad wreck toward Columbus and he was checking on everyone. His friend worked for the Fire department so he did that a lot when he heard about wrecks. We said we were fine and I said you were fine because you were headed the other way after leaving our house to go to Manchester. I had no idea you and your friends had changed your minds and decided to go to a birthday party in Columbus.

Your sister ask if we should call and check but I told her your phone was out of the service area because that happened every time you went to Manchester so you always had to call me from a home phone. We were picking up your Aunt Sherry and her daughter to go with us and we were running late so we took a back way to her house and headed to Columbus. An odd thought hit me that if it was you I had your license in my purse. It was just a learner’s license because up until now you had been scared to drive after losing friends in car wrecks. You were with three of your friends and the girl driving had a car especially designed for a disability she had.

You had taken pictures two days before and you had asked me if I looked at them. I said no but I would. It ran through my mind, “What if I never get to see her again and tell her I looked at them?” I felt numb the whole day and I just felt so weird. Like I was there with everyone but not there. We shopped all day but I thought it was weird you never called back and I kept waiting for you to call from a home phone. You ALWAYS called. That night I couldn’t sleep. I was awake all night just waiting on that call and trying your number. Nothing.

The day you left me……

Where did you go when you left me that day?
Did you go up to Heaven, did you go there to stay?
Do you come see me sometimes and watch what I do?
Are you proud of your mother and does it please you?

Do you cry when I get angry, hold me softly when I’m sad,
Are you really even there or do I just think that if I’m sad?
Do you have a new life there, do you live all your dreams?
Do you look down upon us and laugh at our schemes?

Are you happier now that you don’t need to grow old?
Do you see all the beauty God say’s we’ll behold?
I guess I’m a dreamer when I think you are here,
Saying, “It’s all good mom, be happy with cheer.

I still think of you every day more than you know,
or maybe you do know and I just have to let go.
Go I can do, let go I cannot,
The hole in my heart is left from the spot,

That you took with you then, when you left me that day.
I can learn to go on but you will never go away.

I love you Nik. Always. Love, Mom

Everybody hurts

In the world today, everyone, at some point, feels hurt pain,love and loss. My heart goes out to all of you because I have been there and still go through it. I do not know why sometimes it has to be so hard or hurt so much. I didn’t understand it when I lost my oldest daughter or my newborn son.

But there is love as well. It heals you and it feeds you and it nourishes the soul. It keeps us sane and it keeps us grounded. Our world is becoming more distant from actual human contact with cell phones and computers and etc. But a cell phone cannot hug you unless you make it. It does not have a soul. A computer cannot replace a face to face encounter even with face time and things like that because you cannot hug on face time.

The thing I always try to remember is that we all have to be there for one another. In a world that has replaced electronic devices with the effort of human contact and communication, we have to reach out ourselves. We have to be the bridge that connects one soul to another. Another of my many pointless to some points but I write them from the heart. Have a great day! 🙂

Perhaps I did…..When she died……

Perhaps I did go a little crazy when she died. Maybe losing the child you gave birth to and watched grow up and cared for with her disability and never realized she would be gone without warning at 23 made me different.

You do not understand and I hope you never do understand. That means you lost your child too and I wouldn’t want to wish that on anyone. It is a loss you learn to live with but never get over.You learn to laugh again and God brings other love into your life but it does not take away the pain at times.

I became better in some ways but in others I changed. I needed more from those I loved, I was scared and I was devastated. I developed panic issues. I went through the five stages. I went through Hell and came back a little burned. i turned back to God and I have tried to make her proud.

I have loved my only other child and adore my  gbabies. I love my husband and son-in-law. I love mom and other mom. And step dad and other family. But, yes I changed. When you lose a child you always do. I hope you never have to look at me and say,  ” I understand”.