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Happy Remembrances

Editor: Sonya Marvel
Contributors: All Members of My Parents Are Survivors

At some point in our grieving process, we have happy remembrances of our children who have died. We learn to carry them in our hearts more and more. We still miss our children so much. What happy remembrances and cute stories do we have of our children? This will conclude our series on Grieving Within.

Happy Remembrances
Part One
By Kaye Des'Ormeaux
Copyright 2000

As the season of Thanksgiving comes around,
my memories drift closer to you.
Oh the joy we shared when you were here,
will be happy remembrances to see me through.

I think of the laughter in our home.
Oh how that memory rings clear.
Gathering around the dinner table
thankful for all that was here.

I think of holidays & happy remembrances
and your image does appear.
I wrap memories of your love around me
and once again, wish you were here.

The memories I want to hold on to
are the ones with you in it.
If I'd have known you would leave,
I'd have held you one more minute.

Oh the happy memories I have of you,
are memories that I long to last.
As each holiday comes around without you,
are happy remembrances of the past.

Yes, holidays are happy remembrances.
Ones that I shall forever claim.
As I wrap your memory close to me,
I softy call out your name...

TO BE CONTINUED.

After Eric's visitation hours, I was standing in the hallway talking with Tony and Lorie, the funeral director and his wife who were both personal friends of mine. We were discussing several different topics just so I could linger a little longer while a few of Eric's late-comer friends paid their respects in private. Tony suddenly starting talking about what a nice tattoo someone had and he was really impressed with it. I thought he was talking about Eric's dad, my ex-husband, so I asked, "Rick had a tattoo?" and he laughed and said, "No, Eric." My eyes flew open and I gasped, "Eric had a tattoo?" The looks on Tony and Lorie's faces were priceless. Tony felt like a traitor thinking he had disclosed one of Eric's secrets and couldn't believe I didn't know about it. About that time one of Eric's friends came up to me with tears in her eyes and I looked at her, with what I'm sure was still a surprised look on my face, and asked, "Eric had a tattoo?" She got this big smile on her face and started to laugh through her tears. I went up to Eric and the picture we had in the coffin appeared to have an even bigger smile when I told him I heard about his tattoo. I reminded him that it might take Mom a while to find out things, but I always found out what he did and I laughed and I could feel his warmth around me. Tony was still feeling terrible because he thought he had upset me in some way, but I assured him it was fine because he had given me something I didn't think I'd ever have again---a new memory of Eric's antics. Over the next few days this gave me something to discuss with Eric's friends and they would laugh, again through tears, but I feel Eric saved that last secret for when he knew we would need a happy remembrance the most. This gave his friends something to share with me, which led their thoughts to other good times they had shared with Eric. Happy Remembrance obtained at a time generally reserved for only shock and sadness, but Eric wanted to hear laughter and see smiles and, as usual, he got his way. The tattoo by the way was of his beloved UK Wildcats and he had hidden it for almost two years. Now I know why he always wore a t-shirt around me!!!!

Anita - Eric's Mom aelam@kih.net

I have sometimes thought that maybe God took my child so that He could draw me nearer to him. I read a story of a wise shepherd that was wondering how to get the sheep to the other side of the river. How hard he tried the sheep didn't dare to cross the river. Then he decided to carry the smallest baby-lamb to the other side and when the mother-sheep saw it she took all her lambs and lead them to the other side of the river,too! I now feel so much closer to God than before my child died. It is a horrible price, to think my child had to sacrifice his life to draw me to God.

Kristina/Finland

My name is Sarah Moran and I live in Birmingham, England. My precious daughter, Becky, died on 22nd September 1999 after a two year battle with cancer, she was so brave and is my hero. She went through hell, but never complained and was really brave throughout her chemotherapy, radiotherapy and many surgeries. She was five years and nine months old when she died and it broke my heart. I'm having such a hard time dealing with the loss of Becky, she filled our lives with sunshine and I could type till next Tuesday about our happy times and lovely memories we shared.

It was Becky's 1st anniversary of passing away last month, I've always been religious but have struggled so much since her death, I can't just nod my head and think there was a positive side to her death because I can't see that. Anyway, out vicar came to see us a couple of weeks before the anniversary and I told him exactly how I felt and he stayed for four hours talking things through and he said he had no real answers and it didn't seem fair - he didn't patronise us at all. Anyway, we decided to have a service for our immediate family and the vicar set it up so that instead of us being in pews in this huge church, he set a circle of chairs up by the altar, with a table in the middle with candles for us to light. We took lots of photos of Becky to the church and had the placed all around us, and we'd had lots of happy photos of Becky colour photocopied and put on everybody's chairs.

The vicar started off by saying a few words about her and how difficult the last year had been for us all, then I spoke, and I spoke about the lovely times with Becky, about how she used to love bugs and her favourite film was Bugs Life, she loved Tuck and Roll and named her central lines after them, also most kids of her age have pretend friends, well Becky had 20 circus bug friends who I had to count into the car, one by one, until they were all in. One time she asked if the bugs could travel on the roof of the car and was we turned a corner yelled "Oh no, they've all fallen off and are trying to catch us up!", so we had to stop the car and count them all back in where they should have been had they not been such silly bugs in the first place. She also loved the video of the musical Cats and her and her cousins would tuck pretent tails down their pants and prance about singing along with Macavity.

Because of her central line and sometimes she had to be tube fed throughout the night, for the last two years of her life Becky slept with me and we'd lie awake in bed talking and singing, she was very happy. We were lucky enough to visit Disneyworld and Disneyland Paris twice which amazed her, but Becky's loved our trip to Lapland the christmas before she died, it was magical. How she wanted to be a ballerina when she grew up, and then changed her mind and wanted to be a Ghostbuster. I went on and on like this, remembering aloud to our family about lovely memories and times we shared, and then it was a free for all, the whole family told their tales of wonderful memories with her. Many tears were shed but there was a lot of laughter at her funny ways too. I felt like she was sitting in the middle of our circle laughing too. We played a song of her singing some funny songs, her most famous amongst the family being "Iguana" and of her saying that she would like to go to the dragon zoo, you know the one with elephant seals and mermaids and lots of dinosaurs. Then we played her favourite song "Viva Forever" by the Spice Girls, she used to sing "Beaver Forever". This short service ended up being an hour and a half long and I felt so close to her.

Anyway, thanks for the newsletter each month. I know I've rambled a bit, sorry!!

Love Sarah

A Mother’s View

I have done web pages and memorials for Keith, but as I sit here I wonder how I can share with the world his faith, bravery, and unselfishness. His last year of life was most definitely touched by the hand of God.

We always felt our children were gifts from God. The girls were your typical girls, but Keith was anything but typical. Oh, yes, he was an ornery boy, but his compassion for those less fortunate always came shining through. Keith loved to work with his hands. He had a passion for landscaping, flowers, and animals.

Keith was 18 years old and only months after graduation when he started having back pain. Two months later he was diagnosed with stage iv colon-liver cancer. On the day he was diagnosed he was sent to Geisinger Medical center for surgery to remove the main tumor. It was just two weeks before Christmas in 1997.After only one hour in the operating room, for a procedure that was supposed to take six hours, Keith was brought back to his room and we were told there was nothing that could be done. With tears in his eyes he looked up at me and said "MOM,WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW." I TOLD HIM WE WOULD FIGHT AND WE WOULD PRAY. AND THAT IS JUST WHAT WE DID. None of us ever gave up hope or faith that somehow Keith would beat the odds. He never stopped planning for the future. He and his special angel on earth Tara, lived with the hope that someday they would have the chance to marry. Tara stayed by his side through thick and thin. Their love never faltered.

During the remaining year and a half of his life, Keith lived every minute to the fullest. Some people go through their lives without ever being fortunate enough to live their dreams; Keith realized many of his that last summer. One of Keith’s dreams was to race and race he did. He drove a car called the heartbeat. Since Keith’s death the car has been renamed Keith’s dream. He could be found at beaver spring dragway every Friday night. Keith was a natural. The announcer at the track emailed us and expressed his amazement at how good Keith was for a beginner.

Keith was a very proud and brave young man. He never wanted attention over his illness. He wanted to be treated like he had been treated before he became ill. He continued his firewood business he had started right after he got his driver’s license at age 16. During the spring and summer of 1998, he built flower boxes and flower beds around our home and then planted them full of beautiful flowers. I guess in retrospect, he was building a legacy. Now every summer we can turn to those flowers and remember the joy he brought into our lives.

During the last three weeks of Keith’s life our home was a haven for a countless number of friends and family members. I never cooked during that time, yet there was enough food to feed 35 to 45 people everyday. Keith’s friends never left him alone.they filled our home with love and yes, even laughter to make Keith’s final days ones filled with peace and love. Each of them waited their turn to visit with him, talking about the past and making certain he knew how much they loved him as well as he them. If even one of the regulars were missing, Keith would want to know where they were and when they were coming.

Keith was unimaginably brave and strong. He was always hiding his pain from everyone. During his final days, he worried how we would all be after he was gone. He sat up in bed three days before he passed away and said,"I am going to be fine, I’m worried about you guys." He expressed his wishes for our future. He didn’t want his dad to be so sad, he wanted the family to continue doing the things we had always done as a family and he wanted his little sister to attend her prom, which was the same weekend after his passing. Additionally Keith's wish for me was to continue to help with the Huntingdon county cancer society’s relay for life. Keith and his friend ed mason had carried the survivors banner in the 1997 relay.

On the final day of Keith's life on earth, all of the people who have become our extended family were by his side as he took his final breath. Although he had been unresponsive all day, it was obvious he knew we were there. He held on until everyone was with him.

Now it was time to make final arrangements. The day we left to set the arrangements, all Keith's friends, went to town and bought flowers and planted them in Keith's flower boxes. What a group.

We chose to have a closed casket service for two reasons. One, Keith was very self-conscious of the weight he had lost and the yellowing of his skin. Second, I wanted to spare the kids in some small way, some of the feelings they were trying to cope with. We wanted this to be "a celebration of Keith's life."

It was important for me to have, as our pastor called them,"Keith's fan club", recognized. They are very special and people should know this. I spoke with the pastors who were doing the service and asked if they would please include the kids in the service. They did more than include them. The kids did a lot of the service. Three of Keith's best friends read a poem called "if tomorrow starts without me." One of the guys read to Keith everyday. He and Keith had a favorite book called "someday heaven". He read a passage from that book that was Keith's favorite. One of the other boys told a story about his 4-wheeler being stolen and how Keith even though he was feeling really bad., took the day and tried to help him locate it. I could go on and on.

The cemetery is always filled with flowers, figurines and many other things to numerous to mention. One special flag is on Keith's grave. It is a checkered flag. The checkered flag is there because Keith is a winner. Keith may have lost the battle, but he won the biggest prize of all "eternal life".

On a final note, we will always miss Keith and some days are definitely harder than others, but we cope with the love of those around us, help from caring doctors and nurses and I have even found healing on the computer. I found a wonderful group called My mom is a survivor. This wonderful group of people have helped me through some of my roughest days. They tell stories and send cards just at the right time. And they always know how you feel because they are feeling that way or have felt that way. I thank God everyday that I found them. Last but not least hospice. Hospice has cared for not only Keith's needs during his final stages of life, but also the needs of myself and my family for over a year now. They have greatly influenced my life with their caring and compassion.

Ps. Keith would have been 21 this past January. We honored his memory with a birthday party. The house was filled again with all his friends and family. We had a wonderful time remembering his love and all those crazy pranks he played on us.

Kathy Warsing

November and December are filled with family birthdays, and, of course, the holidays. There is always one very special memory during this time of year ~ the birth of my daughter, my first born.

On a cold winter day so many years ago, a beautiful girl child was born~ a week after my birthday this child of love came into my life.

From the very beginning she was special ~ born with golden red hair, violet eyes and a beautiful complexion. She was the first red-headed baby to be born at that hospital in 7 years! The nursery nurses just loved her.

Christmas Eve day we came home from the hospital ~ to a house full of family waiting to meet this newest member. It was love at first sight for all of them.

This beautiful child of love was always a happy baby ~ and when she learned to smile it would light up the room! Folks couldn't help but respond to her charm.

Though her stay here was a brief six months, she left behind beautiful memories of a very sweet and happy child, loved forever, and a special angel to watch over me until we meet again in Heaven.

Happy Birthday, Roberta Jo!
December 19, 1966 ~ June 30, 1967.

Cole was my youngest and last of three boys. Because he was my last baby, I made sure that I enjoyed the time we spent together when he was a baby.

Cole had a mind of his own and this was evident from the day he was born. He was due on September 17th and I was scheduled for a c-section on September 10th. I had told my doctor not to schedule my c-section too close to my due date as I didn't want to have to go through labor as I had done with the first two. But Cole decided he wanted to enter this world 18 days early.

He was born with a blue eyes and strawberry blonde hair. My two older boys were born with dark hair and turned blonde as toddlers and as they got older their hair turned dark again, but Cole remained a blonde. Almost the spitting image of his Dad. He had hair just like his Dad's, thick, course and a mind of it's own.

Cole didn't start sleeping through the night until he was about two and a half years old. I can remember Randy and I telling each other after he was two months old that anyday now he would sleep 12 hours just like the other two did. Cole would wake up two to three times a night and sometimes more. We just kept telling ourselves, anyday now!

Cole was a very stubborn and willful child. He wanted to be so independent.

When it came time to potty train him he was the most difficult of the three boys. He was so stubborn! I had a potty chair for him which he would use only for urinating and we also tried just having him sit on the big toilet. Nothing worked! He knew exactly what to do and where to do it but getting him to do it was another story. Finally one day it dawned on me that he always became antsy when he had to have a bowl movement and the little stinker would always go and hide in a corner or behind a chair to fill his pants. So knowing this one day I decided to keep an eye on his actions and behavior, when it became apparent to me that he was getting antsy, I picked him up and placed him on the big toilet and he had a major tantrum, but becasue he had to go bad enough he could hold it any longer and finally went. From that day forward this was not a problem any longer.

When Cole was about 2-3- years old, we were living with my Mom at the lake. One day we were on the dock fishing and our oldest son was on the neighbors dock fishing. For whatever reason Cole took off running over to the neighbors dock where Trent was. His little legs were going so fast that he couldn't stop when he got to where Trent was and fell in the lake. All the time dog paddling in the wrong direction. I yelled over to Trent to grab him as I ran over there. Trent was laughing so hard he wasn't able to pull him out of the water.

I had forgotten all about this until Trent and Jeff were reminiscing one day. It dawned on me that this incident was the reason that Cole was so afraid of the water. As he got older he refused to go any further than his waist deep and hated water poured on his head when I shampooed his hair. And when he was even older and it was time for swimming lessons he didn't want to go. I had never put tow and two together until the day the boys reminded me about the day Cole fell into the lake.

Cole loved to watch cartoons and he would watch them all day if you let him. He would lie on the couch usually wearing nothing but a pair of shorts or his underwear and sometimes a t-shirt. One morning, when Cole was about 8, he was doing just this, with only his underwear on. I told him I was running up town, three blocks from home to get the mail and would be right back. When I returned he was jumping up and down in front of the patio door that faced the garage just a yelling and screaming. I couldn't imagine what was wrong. I soon found out that he had gone upstairs to the bathroom and when he was coming back down the stairs he slipped and fell and caught his arm in the railing on the stairway. He had rug burns up and down his back.

So I took him to the emergency room because his arm hurt. While on the way there he asked me if he was going to die? Of course I told him no!

One year for Christmas I bought him a pair of roller-blades. Because it's always cold and there's snow here in the winter he couldn't use them outside until spring, he decided that he would roller-blade through the house.

Cole was also a very talented artist. He was always drawing something. The year that Cole died he had done a water color mountain scene in school and was selected to present his painting to one of the State House of Representatives or Senators during Art Appreciation Week. I am so happy that I was able to take the time off of work and accompany him to the State Capital that January. I had not seen his painting until that day and I was so amazed at how well he had done for a 10 year old. I took photos of the events of the day and have a photo of Cole presenting his painting to Jerry Bauerly, State House Representative.

After Cole died in March, one of the other State Representatives came to my place of work to talk with us. After her talk, I decided to ask her if she sees Jerry, to which she said she does. I then explained to her about Cole and his painting and that Cole was no longer with us. I asked her if she would mind talking to Jerry and ask him if he still had Cole's painting and if he would mind and give us the painting.

We then received a letter from the Capital asking us to come and sit in on the session and we were then presented with Cole's painting professionally matted and framed along with a House Resolution Honoring Cole's life and our decision to give "The Gift Of Life". This was such a very special day and so heartwarming when they presented us with the painting and the resolution.

Cole also loved to play basketball. I have hours of video tape from his third and fourth grade games. I must admit that he wasn't bad either with the exception of being a ball hog.

When Cole was still in the hospital his class mates all made get-well cards for him. The day of the funeral most of the fourth and fifth graders attended the funeral. It was so heartbreaking for me as I could her one little girl who liked Cole sobbing and sobbing. The class mates again made cards and a booklet of how they remembered Cole. I have saved everything and every once in a while I take them out, read them again and cry.

On the one year anniversary of Cole's death his class mates made up a booklet remembering Cole. I saved this also and read every once in a while and cry.

That same year the grade school made their little annual you might call it, which contains photos of all the kids and either poems that the kids wrote or artwork. They dedicated the annual to Cole and put a special section into the annual of Cole's poems and artwork. This did my heart well to have all these children remember Cole.

About a month or so after Cole died, I received letters from LifeSource Upper Miwest Organ procurement, the agency that handled our decision to donate Cole's organs and corneas. This letter describe the recipients of Cole's gifts. I asked the fourth and fifth grade teachers if they would like me to share the letters with the students. They felt that this would help the students understand Cole's death and to help them with their grief. So I talked with the students and shared the letters with them and asnwered any questions they had. I think this was very helpful for them.

Soon after this, I was talking to Cole's best friend's Mom and she told me what Eric had to say to her after the day I talked with the students. She said that Eric was very interested in what I told them that day and then said to his Mom, "If something ever happens to me will you do the same for me?" When I heard this comment coming from a 10-11 year old, I knew right then and there that we made the right decision to give "The Gift Of Life and Sight". If our decision and what I shared with those fourth and fifth graders made that much of an impact, I knew that Cole had touched their lives more that I realized.

Even after more than seven years without Cole, my heart aches and my arms long to hold him one last time. It is the fond memories that I hold near and dear to my heart that help me get through this horrible journey known as grief, one day at a time.

P.S. Our Christmas day tradition was always to go to Grandpa and Grandma's farm. After looking at the video tape of our last Christmas together, it was as if what I saw on this video was meant to be. The livingroom of the farm is filled with all the realtives young and old, with gifts galore. In the video it shows me having Cole come and sit on my lap during the whole gift opening. I didn't notice this until after Cole died. It was like I may have sensed something, and I wanted Cole to sit with me, not even knowing that this would be our last Christmas together. I am so pleased that I did this.

Deb

Thank you for allowing me to remember Lori on your Holiday page. I will remember Lori in the way she smiled. For being only 2 yrs. old, right before she passed away, she always smiled and never let on or complained that she was sick. She had wisdom far beyond her years. She was indeed a special child destined for greatness. I have to tell myself, you cant get any better than being an angel. She is among the good and great!!!!Love, Lin*** Lori's mom. I miss her desperately still, but know she is always watching over me and her brothers and sister.

Lin

I have a wonderful "Happy Memory" of my son Haden who died 3 years ago. One night when Haden was three yrs old I was awakened by a very cold can drinknext to my cheek. In my sleep I just automatically Popped the top and rolled over going back to sleep. Well, All of a sudden I woke up thinking to myself "what did I just do for him"?. It was approx. 3am and I stumbled through the hallway tripping over one of his train sets and went into his room. Haden shared his room with his big brother cameron who was 4 at this time. Cameron was fast asleep on the top bunk of their bunk beds and when I looked down at the bottom bunk I was so shocked. I saw lil' Haden sitting on his bed with the Dr. Pepper I had opened for him and a bag of Hershey kisses in front of him. There was a ton of empty candy wrappers laying on the bed and he had a circle of chocolate around his mouth. I was sooo angry at him but at that time he looked up at me and handed me a Hershey kiss and said "want one Mama?".. I just melted and sat down with him at 3am in the morning and shared a bag of Hershey kisses with my boy. And I will treasure that moment that I had with him forever! Im soo glad I took the time AND Patience to have a everlasting memory with my beautiful son..

Love always remembers,
Tori
Cameron, Haden, & Grayson's MaMa
Haden's memorial Site~~> www.hadenshope.com

I remember the first time I saw my daughter, Taylor Brooke, she looked up at me and I noticed we had the same eyes. I had only heard her cry once and that was very short. I would go and sit by her bed and talk to her and she would look at me like she knew what I was saying to her. At one time, I remember telling her that if she didn't survive to remember that I would always love her and that she was very precious to me. I value my time with her very much. The only time I got to hold her was when she was dying. Despite the fact that it felt so final, it still felt so good. These are my good memories.

Dieta

My daugher has been gone almost 14 years, and over the years I have had some dreams of her, but most of them somehow come around to she is dead.

Last night I had a dream of her, and it was kind of pleasent. She was still 23 yrs old in the dream, and she had a baby, and when she appeared at the door I started crying, and said Carla where have you been so long. My heart was so heavy, and in the dream she said mom I thought you were angry at me so I didnt, come to visit you. I said angry??? Why would I ever be so angry that I wouldnt want to see you.. Then I woke up. Feeling sad but happy to see her. Then I thought about it Carla was 10 weeks pregnant when she died, and the baby she was carrying in her arms must have been that baby. Kind of strange I guess.

Comments appreciated
stardance39@prodigy.net

Here's my holiday memories about my little 3 year old girl... Janessa. Last year we went to my mother's house on Christmas Eve. My brother had gotten my mother a Crock-pot for Christmas. Janessa was digging through the box it came in and she pulled out the instruction booklet that came with the pot. Janessa exclaimed, "Look, it comes with a story!" Then, another time during Christmas... when she was only 2 and a half... I was decorating the tree with these little glass angel ornaments... and I cut my finger on the tip of one that was broken in the box... about 9 months later Janessa told me and her daddy that "Mommy cut her finger on an angel." We couldn't figure out what she was talking about... we had clearly forgot about the incident. Then it dawned on us that she was talking about the angel ornament at Christmas. What an incredible memory she had!!!

Thanks for letting me share a piece of my holiday memories of my beautiful little Janessa. I'll be looking forward to the newsletter! :)

Sincerely,
Julie Horner
www.angelcities.com/members/jmh3
jewels@ltlink.com

I just want to tell you all Im still serving the Lord. I love Him so much. Without Him I could not make it. He help me through my heartaches .My daughter that died, her two kids, my grandkids, help me a lot too. They are doing good . In school and otherwise. I know my daughter would be so proud of them. I'm taking them to Sunday school every Sunday. They love to go. I miss my Diana and my son Danny so much. Some day Ill see them again in Heaven.

Love In The Lord
Kitty May

I thought it worth mentioning that after Simon passed away I was really scared that I could not remember any of the happier times unless prompted by other people. All I could think if was life since the day we were told Simon had a brain tumor, all the suffering and medical stuff that he had to go through and the way that our lives were torn apart. It really, really worried me that I really couldn't remember all the wonderful times that we'd shared.

It wasn't until about a year had passed and we were in the early stages of healing that the memories started to come back. Slowly at first, but then more and more often. Thankfully, now, I am starting to get more good memories than bad, although the 'day-mares' (as opposed to nightmares) still haunt me from time to time. Maybe it will help others to know that this is what happened to me, if they are going through the same kind of loss, that is, having to see their loved one suffer before they lose them.

I'll try and write again with some Happy remembrances when I have more time.

Luvnhugs
Bea

Christmas will be 3 years that I lost my 9 year old son, Anthony. He had brain cancer (Medulloblastoma) which he fought with a vengeance for 2 years. The cancer didn't start debilitating him until the last 6 months of his life, and at that time he had to be on steroids, doubled his weight, and had to be in a wheelchair.

One of my favorite memories was Christmas time 1997 (the year he passed away). We were out Christmas shopping and approaching the front of a store. Anthony asked his Step Dad, John, to push him 'over there' instead. John asked, "where?", and Anthony went on to explain that he wanted to go up to the Salvation Army bell ringer because he had some money that he wanted to give to someone 'less fortunate'....... At the time I couldn't think of anyone being less fortunate than a young boy dying from cancer, but he didn't look at it like that I guess...... He had such a big heart. I miss him so.

Love, Mom (Judi)
Angelmom1997@aol.com

My teenage son took his own life at the age of 14 (almost 15). I still have so much grief to deal with even though he will have died 4 years ago this Feb. However, here are some anecdotes I like to relate to people from time to time.

At the age of 3, he came down the stairs one evening with large tears rolling down his cheek. I said, “Danny, what’s wrong?” and he said, “I don’t want to have to leave home, and go away to college”. Of course, I reassured him that he didn't have to worry about this.

At five, he tearfully told me one day that he didn’t know how to “find someone”. I asked him what he meant, and somehow he conveyed that he was worried about being able to find a partner to marry, with whom he could share his life. Don’t think that all he did was worry. Yes, he was a sensitive child, but he also seemed happy much of the time.

Also, around this age, we were outside one day, after a parade went through our town. When we were about to cross the street, Dan warned me not to step into the horse droppings. I said, “Danny, what is all this?” and he sweetly replied, “Oh mom, a horse was marching by here, when his back door dropped open”. He had very endearing ways to express himself, even as a teenager.

One more anecdote will perhaps add to my depiction of his nature. I was in the grocery store with Dan when he was small, and happened to have a disagreement with one of the clerks, at which time, I slightly raised my voice. Danny jerked the skirt of my dress, and whispered to me not to be angry with that man because “it was his first day of work”. It wasn’t, but Dan was always nonjudgmental of others and very caring.

Sincerely,
Anita Triplett

I have a happy remembrance...although, it was for me a fight to get here...let me explain.

Every year, while Carl was alive, I hated Christmases. This time of the year was always filled with arguments between my husband and me. He would want to go to his family far away, and I wanted to stay with my family for his family was always so hateful towards me and the children. He could never see that until the past several years...he finally understood all of the hate when it was suddenly passed on to him. He profusely apologized for the pain he had unknowingly given to the family.

The children would always come through, however, when I was totally unable emotionally to make Christmas a reality. Oh, how I regret those days. What beautiful memories I never made all due to my selfish motives. Anyway, I remember how the children would be so excited when Dad brought home the tree. They would get the ornaments their grandmother had been giving them each year for their ornament collection. They would argue and fight as to which ornament belonged to them, etc. It was all part of the game.

Once the tree was decorated, Christmas would soon happen, and then we could take the decorations down and begin another new year. One year, we chose not to have a Christmas tree...rather, Carl and my husband built a manger and the children portrayed Mary and Joseph...our little Mary carried around one of her precious dolls as the Baby Jesus. How sweet it was to watch them walk into the room dressed in their robes-a blanket carefully draped over our daughter's head to show respect for the Holy Mother. Memories were born that day!

Then, Carl died......the Christmases stopped, the joy stopped, there was NO use to live and be happy. However, it was our daughter who decided to fight that decision....her words were chosen carefully...."Do I have to lose my Christmas too?" Oh my, how that hurt...but it made both my husband and me get up and continue...

Last year, we decided to forgo traditional Christmas house lights...the ones that our son said made our house look like the "Simpson's house"--those lights that did not match, blinked at odd times, different colors, different shapes...a typical Simpson's house decoration. What smiles those memories bring. Instead, we chose to secure the lighted reindeer for the front lawn. The simplicity and beauty of those creatures gave us the much needed boost too decorate. We knew Carl had something to do with it! He loved themountains and living creatures...I knew he approved of our decision.

Hard? I have NEVER done anything so hard in my life! Am I looking forward to decorating now this year? Yes and No, but I have to fight this battle....I will do it for my daughter...SHE IS WORTH IT! And, MY HUSBAND AND I ARE WORTH IT TOO!

Aaron & Debby

Happy Remembrances of my child? ...Seeing his young face every morning, his beautiful brown eyes, his silky hair. Happy remembrances....hearing his voice, feeling his hugs, kissing him good night, reading him bedtime stories.

Happy Remembrances....watching him grow, listening to his dreams & hopes, keeping him safe, watching him get off the school bus, meeting his teachers, meeting his friends.

Special Rembrances...not seeing his chair empty on holidays, celebrating his birthday, making his favorite meal, laughing at his adoloscent carefree trivia, hiking with him, being there for him, being with him.

Happy Rembrances..Having no doubt that my child would drive a car, graduate from high school, have a career, have a wife and family and most of all, outlive me. Special Rembrances of my beloved son Glenn will never fade from the ravages of time, these memories will leave an indelible mark on my broken heart forever.

Sincerely,
Paula Lewis
Mom to Glenn 10/10/81-8/10/96
summer6899@yahoo.com

It was about two weeks before Tyler's death and he climbed in the bed with me early one morning before school. Tyler was holding a strawberry the size of a little apple and he told me "You are a good woman momma". When I asked him why I was a good woman he told me because I had bought him the strawberries. It tickled me so to hear him say it, I just found it funny that a 4 year old would say a good woman instead of a good momma. It was such a grown thing to say as he talked grown so much of the time. Another instance of this was about 2 weeks after our Hunter passed away. I was crying my heart out in the bathroom, trying to hide my pain from the boys. Tyler burst through the door, kissed me and told me "I miss him too momma" without ever asking me why I was crying. He was a beautiful, smart, and loving child...

Jamie- mom to angels ^i^Hunter^i^ 12/01/99 and ^i^Tyler^i^ 4/08/00

I have alot of memories of my Angels in Heaven. I can still feel the wonderful way Angel (stillborn 10/30/84) use to move her little foot and we could almost messure it the last month of pregnacy. We would joke about her having her Daddy's big feet. With Misty (born 7//24/86 went to heaven 6/30/93) I remember her dancing to Christmas music and also her love of all the "Pretty's" (christmas lights). She also redecotated my Christmas tree for me once. With David (born 1/9/95 went to heaven 4/30/00) he loved Barneys Christmas Movie. He would giggle so cute and I can still hear the sound in my heart. These things and a few more are my special memories I have of my children in heaven.

Hugs,
Terry

When my daughter Nina was young she was very mature for her age and always wanted to do things that older kids did. I would always tell her when you grow up you can do that. One day she asked "Mommy when I become a human being can I do this? I quickly told her that sorry to tell you this but you are a human being, just not old enough yet. I wish I could of predicted the future, I would never of stopped her from fulfilling any wish or dream due to her age. Luckily she did go to the prom when she was in 10th grade, since she didn't live to see her Senior year. Even the night before she died she dressed up for a school project and she portrayed Jaqueline Onassis in style and grace, she lived a lifetime in a mere 17 years. God Bless and keep her.

Regards,
Evelyn

I have a lot of happy memories of my son, Jeffrey. We enjoyed taking mini vacations, just him, his younger sister and I. Usually we'd go to amusement parks. We'd ride the rides all days and laugh until our cheeks hurt. One of the best memories is of my birthday in 1998. Jeffrey wasn't much for buying presents. At age 18, most boys aren't. That year he surprised me by buying me a sunflower water pitcher. He knew I loved sunflowers. Then back in Dec.1995, I had left my husband, so it was just me and the 2 kids. Not much money for presents. My daughter at age 11, had wanted a Nintendo for a long time. Jeffrey had a part time job. He bought that game system for his sister as a present. How proud of him I was.

There are too many happy memories to list, as since it has been a year and a half since my son's passing. I now find that all of my memories of Jeffrey are happy ones.

Sherry Krippner, mother to Jeffrey James Barr 10/31/78-5/8/99

Remembering our children is such a painful thing, even when the sweet treasured times comes to our minds. They tend to fall bittersweet -- on the tastebuds of our memories, knowing that they are just that, memories.

Ugottaluvher@aol.com

Your first smile, a devilish grin
Your first words, let the talking begin
Your first step, actually more a run
Your first laugh, brighter than the sun
Your first day of school, how we both cried
Your first little pet, the sorrow when it died
Your first kiss, watching love bloom
Your first breakup, hiding in your room
Your first car, gosh how you have grown
Your first apartment, moving out on your own
The last time I saw you with your heart on your sleeve
The last time I kissed you and watched you leave
The last time - strange that I never knew
The time time I saw you would be the last time I saw you
And yet it ended as it did begin
With your first smile, a devilish grin

All memories are happy ones, even the hard ones, because they ARE memories.
God Bless you all this holiday season, you are in my heart.

SusiDee

Happy Memory of David Andrew Mead 03/18/83 - 08/14/99

When David was 4 he had always called himself Davey Doodles. One day while shopping with my toddler he had been going to the bathroom with his 8 year old brother and over the loudspeaker came" we have a Davey Doodles up in the front of the store his mommy is lost. "Up to the front I went, there he was all smiles being adorned by all the salespeople. We told him that story through the years and for his 16th birthday we got him a set of work overalls that said Davey Doodles Auto Clinic. He wore those often and loved to be teased about it. On his gravestone it says Davey Doodles, he would of been so happy he took great pride in his special name.

Lynda Mead

My daughter has been dead for one and a half years now. I had her for twenty nine years. It is very hard to choose one happy memory when from the moment they laid her in my arms she brought me so much happiness that it over whelms me at times. Her Dad and I divorced when she was eleven years old, and I remarried her stepfather, Wayne. She had a hard time at first excepting another Dad as most children do. She was a honor student and it seemed that about every other month my husband and I were invited to school to see her except an award. She would make her little speech and thank me for supporting her never mentioning her stepfather.. Finally in her last year of high school at the awards dinner, she made her speech and thanked her dad Wayne and me. At that time her stepfather stood up and shouted that's my little girl. When he sit down there were tears in his eyes for he was so proud not only for the success of her grades, but of his success in winning her love. She graduated in the top twenty five of the graduating students in her school. So many happy remembrances in twenty nine years, I hope this one will touch someone's heart.

Jo Ann Burton

Jeremy and his three brothers were all raised in Florida so they never had a chance to see a northern winter. One year I took all four boys in a van to New Jersey to visit my family for Christmas. That Christmas was the first time in 15 years it had snowed for the holiday. Jeremy and his brothers went out in the snow and played on the frozen lake like they had just been given new eyes.

I can close my eyes even now and see him and his brothers sliding down the hill and making snow angels in the yard even now. As a working parent I did not take the time to enjoy my boys as I have learned following Jeremy's death, but this trip was a bonding experience and a memory I will treasure forever.

MCronin424@aol.com

This will be my 3rd round of holidays since April left for heaven and it’s finally happening that I am able to relish some memories of past holidays without being totally wiped out emotionally. Sure there are still tears but there are so many wonderful memories that I want to remember also. Thank you for the chance to share one.

One of the happiest Christmas’s we had was when April was 3 years old in 1985. She had been in the hospital since the end of October and had gone through 6 weeks of IV treatments then underwent open heart surgery. The hospital was too far to go back and forth to so I stayed at the hospital with April. Since it was just the two of us, no one was at our house this whole time so I knew we were going home to a cold house full of dead house plants. I was so thankful that April had come through such a difficult surgery and we were getting to go home just a few days before Christmas. But I also knew there were no groceries, presents, holiday treats, decorations or even a tree at home.

As we made the drive home I tried to prepare her for the house being the same as when we left - still having the Halloween decorations up and not ready for Santa. She just said “It’s ok Mama - I asked Jesus to tell Santa we’re going home now.” My heart was breaking - I knew I couldn’t get it all done but I kept praying that I wouldn’t let her down, she had been through so much and still had the faith and trust of a child. When we arrived home April was the first to spot our porch - sitting there were boxes, bags and even a tree. She kept saying “ See Mama he beat us home!” There was so much food, presents for a little girl and the most beautiful Christmas tree I’ve ever seen. That Christmas wasn’t about lots of presents or all the activities that surround the holidays - being home and the blessings of bringing my little girl home were enough for this Mom’s heart. But we were also so very blessed by strangers that I’ve always wished could of seen the sparkling eyes and hear the giggles of pure enjoyment that April had that Christmas morning.

Linda Mayor
aka: April’s Mom Linda

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This has been written by the members of My Parents Are Survivors to help us to get through the worst time of our lives. Every word of this information and feelings is copy written by the writer. That means that you can NOT use this material in any way, shape or form. Please do not ask, because permission will NOT be given. This has been written from our hearts and will not be duplicated.

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