Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Letter to my daughter, Maya....

Maya I was thinking about what I would want you to know about as you were growing up. What I would hope to pass on to you and what I would be telling you.

In no particular order I thought about things important to me.

Reading. I love to read. I like seeing all my books, feeling old books in my hands and reading a favorite one over and over again and seeing something new in it each time.

I think I would have made sure you could of read these books in no particular order...I will keep to top 10 for now but that was hard...I am sure you would have introduced me to many fabulous finds of your own as well.

- Where the Wild things are
- C.S Lewis Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe Series
- All Judy Blume books
- anything Jack Kerouac but especially Dharma Bums and On the Road
- Catcher in the Rye
- The Color Purple
- Where the Sidewalk Ends & Light in the Attic
- Eckhart Tolle - A new Earth
- F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
- Mark Twain- Huckleberry Finn

Another wonderful book that I am always going back to during this journey of mine is "The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Here is the poem from the book that everyone should keep this near as kind of a motto & a reminder. This I would of wished for you my sweet girl...

"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithlessand therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments."

Oriah Mountain Dreamer
copyright © 1999 by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

I feel like she wrote this for a significant other in her life but I feel like anyone can use this and learn from it.

Maya, some of the things I think I would have told you when you were growing up were that my mistakes were never your fault and I would have done my best to make up whatever your life lacked in anyway I could of.

If you were a horrible dancer like your mom I would have apologized and bought you dance lessons. But I would have told you to never stop dancing even if you are embarrassed. See at one time the people that knew me knew I went out and danced and had fun with it...when tragedy hit me a lot of that disappeared. I can't dance anymore and I use to not be able to just laugh out loud but slowly but surely I am sure those wonderful things will find their way back into my being.

If you were a "not so fabulous" singer, I would have been to blame for that too, but you should sing anyway. Loudly and proud! I love to sing and I love to scream in my car, in my room, shower, office, or just about wherever the mood hits me. Part of me use to think that the more I do it the better singer I will become but I am not sure that is the case anymore. But you my dear child had a sweet voice that loved to sing I am glad I remember the sound of that.

Maya I would of told you that because you go to church doesn't mean you are good. You are doing your part and your moral compass is pointing the right direction. I would of encouraged you to always strive to put others first, to not hurt people with words, to donate your time, money and energy to a cause dear to your heart.

I would have told you to shop local, support your community and grow a garden.
I remember doing a garden with you. I particularly remember you being so proud to pluck all of those beautiful green tomatoes from the vine. You loved getting your hands in the dirt just like your momma.

Since you my one and only child are gone I feel that my title of Mom is gone as well. But sometimes I know with everything inside my being it will never go away. Like when I leave a session and that precious hug that little girl gave me and the way she looked in my eyes like she knows where I have been makes me never desire for the feeling, the emotional pull of my "mom-ness" to go away. I hope I can be a role model to my sweet nieces and the other children that are dear to me in my life. To forget being a mom is to kind of go back into yourself and forget it all. To remember how to think about just yourself and throw away all that the past 8 years has taught you.

Maya, never do I think I will understand you not living here on this earth with me. You not growing up and moving on, breaking my heart and making me proud and having me leave you first just as it should be.

I have a feeling that its maybe not necessary for me to understand but important for me to learn from and continue to grow from.

If there is anyway these words can reach you and you can feel my heart then know that you are always and will always be my number 1. My beloved daughter, friend, and biggest gift and biggest loss. Never was I defined by being your mom but you were my definition of true love. Whenever I am sad, lonely, or questioning what I am going through I think of you because I know having you in my arms would have been the ultimate comfort. Since I don't have that I usually go to the grave, I lay on the ground and I feel the cool breeze go over me tickling my cheeks, making me think of your presence being all around me and your love ever abounding.

You have taught me more in my life than I ever could have learned on my own.

I will love you every second of the day for the rest of my life...

I imagine you would of called me Mom by now since you would of almost been 8 years old but in my mind I am always going to be Mommy.

I love much,


Friday, March 26, 2010

Without you...

You know I am at emotional low spot when I am writing here because it is the only option left really. To feel like I am talking to you. Silly, huh.

It has been so long since I have seen your face.

Time heals all wounds
God needed some more angels
God must of needed a 3 year old
Didn't it make you a better person to go through this
Now you are able to help other people so it doesn't happen to them

Does it make me evil that none of this is comforting to me? I personally feel like most all of what is said to me is bullshit. I know, I know people don't know what to say. Heck I know that I have lost my share of friends since I lost Maya, I lost my ability to be silly, to be spontaneous and to trust anything. I am paranoid, sad, lonely, incomplete without you. Yes I know I should need no one to make complete.

Well anyone that thinks that didn't have a little girl that was her whole life for over 4 years..because for the minute I found out I was pregnant with you were my life.


Say I tell people how I feel sometime they might recommend meds, therapy, church, grief support group. I don't need it. I need to be able to feel fucked up sometimes. I need to know that it is ok and I wont be at risk for losing more people in my life because I seem unstable today.

I just need to have you back.

I still have thoughts that you might come back. I know this is crazy, but it is true I think maybe they have made a mistake that I will see you somewhere and we will pick up where we left off.

Tell me how to understand the crackheads that have 8 kids they beat and they get to be "so called" parents. Tell me why it is $20 grand to adopt a baby that had no family or chance. Tell me why I did my best and it was not good enough.

Tell me how to heal Maya. Can't you come to me in a dream. I have had so few dreams about you and that breaks my heart. I want to hear your voice. I am afraid to lose more of you.

I hate all the new people in my life that never had the chance to know you.

I want to just play all day. I want to hold you for hours, smell your hand, look at your little hands. Hear you say you Love me and make sure you knew how much I love you!

I hope you know I will always love you so much! Or as you would say, " As much as two candies and 1 icecream.



Thursday, July 16, 2009


This is how many days my precious girl Maya was alive...1300

Yesterday was 2600 days since she was born, 1300 days since she passed. Which means yesterday was the day that signified her being gone the same number of days she was here.

So now's official...she has been gone from this earth more days than she was here.

When she died I always thought it would be a horrible to experience to have more time without her than with her. In my mind that meant that to anyone looking from the outside I should be 'over it.' That my grief should be replaced with a new happiness because I have dealt with what was.

But those that are close to me know that is not really the case. Many things will still bring me to tears. And more then anything, the longing for her on some days is more intense than any emotion I have ever felt. You still feel at times that maybe this is a horrible dream. My life will get back to normal soon. Someone is going to call me and tell me they found her or she is actually still alive. They made a mistake.

When I type these last few sentences I suppose I would think I was a little crazy too. I know I am not but I do know that any parent that looses a child is dealing with the biggest heartache I think I you would ever deal with in a lifetime.

I had never sat down and calculated the date of when this 'transition' would take place. One day Tommy was on the computer and came and told me. We thought it was pretty cool that it came out to such a round number...1300 days that I had with sweet Maya. When Tommy had figured out this number it got me thinking of the amount of memories I have of Maya. I am sure I could think of 13,000 memories. I had many sweet moments with Maya. I tried to be with her as much as possible while being a working single mom.

Many times she came with me to photo shoots and I always rushed home because I felt I was away too much. They grow up so quickly and in this day and age it is too hard usually to be able to be a stay at home mom. I struggled with guilt being away but I knew what I had to do. Fortunately I have wonderful parents that really took great care of her and her daycare was like no other. They were a 3rd Nana and family to her she loved them. I only mention this because I realized how much more then anything else I blame myself for not being around more or not being connected to the present moment because I had computer work or a million things to do once getting home. I remember Maya trying to close my laptop and saying, "no puter work" and thinking to that now breaks my heart. She would come sit next to me and get one of my many journals and scribble on the pages saying she was doing work! It was really cute and now I have her scribbles in every single journal I own. I treasure those scribbles.

If there is one thing I could ever say to anyone with's if you can work less, you will never regret the few dollars lost. You will only look back being so happy for the extra time spent and the new memories made.

I wish today was not 1301.

I think that even wanting to go back to the horrible time right after she passed away was better some days because her memory was so vivid and it was like I was away for a short trip not this 3 1/2 year journey.

A few things Maya will always be to me:

  • My first born
  • The little girl with the cutest and funniest (at times) voice I have ever heard
  • My buddy who stuck with me through it all and would never have anything but love for me as I did for her.
  • She would always make me laugh when I was down and I could not have been more proud of her.

Right now Tommy and I are on the beach in St. Augustine. We came to see his niece that was born a few weeks ago, Viviana Jo she is so precious! I really wanted to stay on the beach if we could find an inexpensive place to do so. Tommy found a place and it has been really a peaceful must needed break. I am reminded by being here of the last time I was at a beach. It was with Maya when I went to Bradenton Beach to be at my good friends, Gretchen & Eric's wedding and photograph it for them.

Maya loved the sand. She could sit for hours letting the waves crash over her tiny body. She was fearless about what lied in the ocean. She died before she knew what fear was as it is something we create in our lives as we get older and we see the realities in life of the what could be. I want to live without fear like she did and take more moments for myself and the people I love. To see things through the eye of a child is actually a really wonderful thing.

I really appreciate all the people who stuck near me even when I know I was not the easiest. I have a core group of friends and a wonderful boyfriend that are patient and understanding of my wide range of emotions.

When you look back at the number of days you lived how many of those days did you create memories that you will remember for a life time? Be with those you love and make each day count. Laugh, act ridiculous, let loose and let those you love know it whenever you get the opportunity.

Forever Maya Grace your memory will live on as you are the biggest part of me and my most beloved daughter...

Much love

- Jennifer (Mommy)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Warm light under the Willow Tree

I have digressed in my coping and healing without you. You would think most everyday would be better then the last except for the occcasional holiday and milestone.

But for some reason this past week was impossible and felt similar to the weeks just after you left me. Sobbing for no reason a deep longing that can't be quenched.
I slept in your bed one night I hugged your favorite animals and cried until I finally fell asleep.

On one day I went out to the hammock to try to clear my mind. I laid there peacefully I looked up into the trees. I found a leaf with a pinhole size place in the middle. I held it up to my face and stared through the hole like I could stare straight through and see you.
Then out of nowhere the tears came fast and contionously for a long time. I looked at my arm and I had a nickle sized spot of light on my arm bouncing around. I felt it was you. Logically this makes little sense. But I kept crying and would not take my eyes off the spot until the spot disappeared. I felt like the spot knew my tears and could sense the small comfort it brought me for those minutes. Like it was keeping my lonely soul company.

Many days I don't know if I will find happiness like I knew with you.
I don't know what it will take to forgive myself for working so much. I wish I was with you so much more. I sometimes wonder if you loved me despite my inadequate mothering at times because I was new at being a mom and we were figuring it all out together. And most of all I hope that you know just how much I love you. This second and every second of everyday from the moment I found out I was pregnant with you.

You are still so remembered and talked about. I only wish on this evening while I am missing you so much I could reach out and see your sweet face and hear your cute voice.

I Love you Maya Grace forever!


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day

When you don't have a child in this world anymore it does not appear you are a mother.
And even harder when new people have entered your life when your child has left your life. They never knew you as a mom and maybe can't even picture it. So as we approach tomorrow it is difficult. For many reasons. It is hard for all those moms that celebrate and get recognized and you get forgotten about. Then your little girl is gone and all you want is her more then ever on your special day.

Here is how I know I am still a mother even 3 years after my precious died.
I miss her immensely. More then I ever knew was possible. Still. And always will.
I would give up my home, business, my health for hers and to have her happy and still here. I cry and and drawn to little people wherever I go. I hope someday to have the experience of motherhood again. I want that experience. It wont take away from my love I have for Maya. Maya will always be my first and so special because she and I did everything together.

It is hard to know what I will feel like doing tomorrow. But I know you, Maya Grace will be on my mind all day long. I miss you so much.


Monday, April 13, 2009


So I usually just post little stories in the I remember section and never blog. But I write all the time about Maya and my feelings in my journals. I figure I should start posting my blogs though because it might help someone and I think it will help me.

This past weekend was Easter weekend. It was fairly uneventful. The first Easter that I think I did not spend with any family. Well Tom is my family but you know what I mean. We went to Tom's friends apartment they made Easter dinner. Holidays take on new meaning when you loose someone especially when you loose your child.

I felt an overwhelming sadness. I don't have this feeling consistantly anymore. But when I do it is all I can do to see a little girl or a photograph and long to see Maya. Just typing that sentence makes me picture my little Maya Grace and miss her so much you have a hard time catching your breath. It gives you just a bit of anxiety. It makes you not know how to think of anything else.

How can it be possible that parents have to go through the rest of their life not seeing their own child. Not kissing, holding, watching grow up. It is a horrible reality.

I want to see her so bad. I want to hear her little voice. I want Tom to know how amazing she is. I want see how she would play with Tom. I want to see her little backpack with her homework and know how she would of done with her classmates and teacher.

I am reading a book right now called, The Knitting Cirle. It is amazing. I love it so much I don't want to finish it. It is a book I can relate too more then anything I have ever read. So it is nice to have that escape into a world where it all makes sense. I highly recommend that book and Comfort her other book about the loss of her daughter.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Eve of Christmas

This Christmas paved the way for new traditions and a fresh new perspective on the year to come

As easily as New Years resolutions are to make as they are to break. Maybe even easier to break I suppose.
I don't have any resolutions. But a few weeks ago I had a cool experience with a really spiritual lady. She told me I was an empath. I am sad with all those around me plus dealing with the sadness/depression of my own "stuff" I needed to let it go. I needed to let them deal with there own pain. Be compassionate but don't absorb myself with others problems.
That really resonated with me and it really gave me permission to kind of take care of Me. I think it wont be something I do for a month and forget. I know that it makes me a better friend, girlfriend and daughter along the way of my process of being honest, taking the time to do what I need for me in the here and now.

So as I sit at Tom's parents home I am remind that "tradition" is not what is important. Although I love Tradition and am excited to start traditions of my own with my familiy, friends and Tom that is not what defines us nor does it truly make us happy.
The people that surround us during these traditions keep us going, make us feel loved and we want to start traditions because we want to ensure they are a part of our life every year in the future. We want our children to pass along some of those traditions that they learned from us. I know I was heavy on tradition with Maya. From us having our Mondays together and go to Einstein Bagels and read books and go have Monday afternoon adventures. To annual reunions with family, and friends. But then she died and the tradition kind of flew out of the window. And a new man came in. He brought his wonderful lovely family with him. With all their new traditions and love and now we start from scratch. And you know what that sounds great to me.

I got all my thick brown locks cut off. About 15 inches when it was all said and done I think. I was only sad for the fact that this hair had been around with Maya. But I feel a million times lighter and really kind of Ok. Right now. I don't know what I will say in an hour. But for now life is alright.

I appreciated all the people that were with me at the party, my girls that came to the salon. And the calls from Kathy and family yesterday.
I know that My friends and family are how I get through the day to day.

I love you. Have a really lovely Christmas!