Monday, November 28, 2011

Never deny the dreams in your heart.

Today for my public speaking class we were assigned a self eulogy. I have never been this terrified for a speech ever... and I LOVE speaking. Thinking about this speech though, really brought to my attention the blessing it is to live today.

In reflection of this attitude I decided to post pictures that relate to the things I want to be able to do before I die.
          Yes Mom, they do all revolve around New York...specifically New York City.

Tonight's NYC Skyline:
 Cafe Orlin off of St. Marks Place, a small hole in the wall coffee and brunch place that is actually relatively priced!
 Christmas Boat Parade that happened at the East River on Saturday night.
 New York City skyline last night
I am totally a New Yorker at heart!
Love always and forever
Your Daughter,

Friday, September 16, 2011

No fancy words, just the truth.

Today I don't have much of an idea about what I wish to say to you. To be honest I am only really writing on here because I don't like that it has been a full month since I wrote to you...

 I guess if I was to speak to you today I would say this: our life has changed.

 I know that sounds silly because it's one of those obvious truths, but it actually dawned on me today. I noticed that even though in less than a month it will be a year since you were on this Earth, I still don"t like to allow myself to admit things are COMPLETELY different.
I was watching the choir here at Jessup and I realized that if I went up to Tom and introduced myself that he might ask how you and dad were doing. You see Mom, Tom use to work with Dad a few years back and if he remembered Dad than I knew he would ask that question.That seemingly innocent, yet painful question. Mom, I didn't want him to ask that question because I felt it awkward to have to tell him that you passed away when I would just meet him.
So mom, today I don't have any metaphors or deep insights into my life. I'm just writing to say I'm still growing. Still learning. Still struggling to move on and be able to speak of you and not cry every time. I'm just writing to say time doesn't heal all wounds, it just numbs them. What does heal wounds is addressing them head on, acknowledging them for what they are, and knowing that you will survive them if you have the courage to do so.
Love always and forever
Your Daughter

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thoughts. Hopes. Dreams.

Tonight so many thoughts are brewing in my mind...none of which, I have to admit, are connected. Because if this, tonight will just be a spew of thoughts, hopes, and dreams. I will be writing it in a neat list...I don't really know why, it just seems appropriate.

1. I am currently looking at my copy of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and tracing my fingers over dad's note inside. There is something so touching to me when I receive a book with a hand written note in it. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

2.When I close my eyes right now I imagine myself dancing alone on  stage in front of hundreds of people, and to my surprise, nailing Stephen's Children of Eden choreography.

3.I have Adele's song "Someone like You" on repeat. When I allow myself to escape reality I imagine this song playing as I walk barefoot on the beach holding hands with dad, like a little girl again.

4. At age 27 I see myself in a little apartment in New York,one that I am paying a fortune for- but it doesn't matter.The rest of the house could be dirt for all I care, as long as one room could be my study.
The study would have to have:
  • A bookshelf from ceiling to floor(that I built myself) in cherry wood.
  • A nice small desk with a bankers lamp...the desk filled with black and white family photos and covered in hundreds of papers, evidence of the book I would be writing.
  • Bright red walls that show off the black and white drawings(which would be on the wall opposite the huge bookshelf) that Shelb created and gave to me the Christmas before. 

5. I, like every other girl, want to find love someday. A simple guy who has a good sense of humor and who embraces me for the silly girl that I am is all I need.

6. I have never been a person driven by money and I honestly hope that never changes. Enough money to live out my dreams is all I need, not a penny more. I want to remain charitable and be able to find a job doing something I love.

Thanks for listening Mom.

Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Music to my ears...

"...And in the midst of sailing ships,
 we sink our lips,into the ones we love..that have to say goodbye."

I knew there would be no way for me to sleep tonight if I didn't write this for you.

 As the three of us drove to dinner tonight, Shelb and I realized that dad had a Train CD in his car. The same CD you and Shelby had bought  when you went to their concert way back in 2007, I believe it was. Since your passing I have thought a lot about this one song in particular, "When I look to the Sky", and to my surprise when it came on both Shelb and I said, almost simultaneously, that it reminded us of you.

For me, this song reminds me of summer weeks spent cleaning the house. You always would blast this song when you cleaned the kitchen cabinets- and I remember the three of us belting it out as we all danced in our socks on the kitchen floor. 
This song reminds me of our trip up to the cottage in Capitola for a girls-only weekend... and blasting this CD as we drove up Highway 17...
This song reminds me of our crazy dance moves and your beautiful off pitch voice...
This song reminds me of our laughter...
"When I feel like there is no one, that will ever know me, there you are to show me.
When I look to the sky, something tells me your here with me, and you make everything alright..."

This song reminds me to thank you- for never leaving me, even when it feels inpossible for me to fly- you are always here and I LOVE you for that.

Love Always&Forever.
Your Daughter,

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The power of written word

We found old notepads that you wrote on a while back, but I decided today that for fear of ever losing the physical pieces of paper I would take pictures of them. I did this  so that no matter what ever happened to the notepad, I could always remember what your hand writing looked like.

 my favorite, written to Shelb &I :

grocery lists:
We love you forever and always Mom.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Learning to live with the fire...

My mind is a flurry of thoughts tonight…

I’ve been thinking about what I should write on here for a while now…I thought of posting my AP Lang final essay, writing about my crazy adventures with Kelly and Morgan…perhaps thoughts on post- graduation or work… yet nothing seemed significant enough, important enough, to share with you…I realize all of those things are important to me of course, but I didn’t want to write about them…

I never planned today on writing anything about how this exact day is the 8 month anniversary of your passing…I never expected to have anything desperate to write down at all this evening.

In fact, all I know in this very moment is that my fingers can’t seem to type fast enough to keep up with the emotion swirling around in brain. I know that reading dad’s Facebook status this morning about you was both heartwarming and heart breaking. I was glad to know from his update that he recognized the significance of today…I was glad to be reminded that I am not the only one who can’t get you out of my head (you see, sometimes mom, I feel as though I dwell on the events of your disease too often for others liking)…but his update was also heartbreaking. It made me angry and sad all in one. I’m angry that you’re gone forever… and no matter how often I realize this, the pain never goes away. I’m sad because I have anger towards the situation….I'm sad that you’re gone.

The world must have been trying to get me to write today…

My Facebook page was covered in status’ about missing you, or status’ from other friends of mine and their daughters, or even pictures of their adorable and kind hearted daughters spending time with them. While all of this is so sweet and fun to read about…and honestly I am happy for them… I can’t help but admit it made me miss you just a little bit more….

Facebook wasn’t my only reminder of course,

My co-worker recognized the significance of today…realizing it had been 8 months since she witnessed our first reaction to the news

And the final straw… when I opened up my book to read the next chapter, “The Fire”… only to find the that author spent the entire chapter talking, of course, of her friend’s brain aneurysm that occurred while they were together!

Okay world….you win. I have given in to my emotions and have begun writing my heart out.

I wanted to share a really good passage from the chapter “The Fire” that I was referencing before, written by Oriah Mountain Dreamer (new favorite):

"I could not save Catherine. [Oriah’s friend]. All I could do was refuse to close my eyes and my heart as the fire surrounded us both, refuse to soften the edges with comforting explanations- whether of God’s plan or karmic lessons- I could not know to be true…And I found that I can do it, if I chose to: I can stay awake and let the sorrows of the world tear me apart and then allow the joys to put me back together, different from before but whole once again” pg 108.

This quote explains what I have been trying to put into words for the past 8 months. I will continue to let the sorrows of losing you, losing my mother, break me. I will let them break me so that I can fight for myself…so that I can fight to find the joy in the most insignificant part of my day.

I don’t want to be like the others, I don’t want to forget why I am living. I am living not because I want to rid pain from my memory. I am living because I accept pain: that of the past, present, and future…when I accept it, I turn my face to the joy in my life.

Yes, it may take me a while to accept the pain… but I know that when my heart is ready, I will…and when I do, I will also find my joy once again.

I am attempting everyday to let the joy that I find in friendship, in love, in support, and in silence wash over me…and remind me that this fight is hard, but it’s worth every minute. It’s worth every minute, if you let every minute count.

Love always and forever,

Your Daughter-


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"You made it all good for me…you made it alright."

"I think of you though, you don't know
 the reason why I love you so,
But never mind...
 Because you made it all good for made it alright"(Stranger, by Elisa)

Mom, the title of this post seems to express what I feel for you tonight. This song always reminds of our camping trips in the 5th wheel. I remember one of our trips it was late at night and Shelby and I were on our beds in our “room” and blasting her Ipod with all of the songs from Elisa on it.

When you listen to the passion behind her words there is no need to explain why all her songs seem to speak to me lately.

To say 'I miss you" is worthless at this point. Mother’s day is this Sunday and I would give anything, sacrifice any of my dreams, pay any amount of money, have any amount of difficulty thrown my way if it meant that I could “come back home to you” (Lyric from Waves by Elisa).

Some of my favorite lines in Elisa’s songs…

“ It never began for us, it will never end for us”(song:Rainbow)

Mom, though I had a beautiful 17 years with you it sometimes seems that our life together never began. One of my biggest fears when you got sick was that you weren’t going to be able to stand at our HS graduation, I was worried you would be in a wheelchair… I knew if you were healthy you would have hated to be confined to sitting when we walked across the stage. You were loud, and I was worried you wouldn’t be able to scream for us as we walked to get our diploma….I now only wish that you could be in the audience next to dad.

Yet despite all of that, I know that my love for you will never end, no matter what.

“ ‘Cause its all about love, and I know better….how life is a waving feather”( song: Dancing)

Mom, I’ve grown and learned so much from watching you and I am so grateful for knowing and loving you.

“When I’m able to talk, I’m queen of my world” (song: Rock Your Soul)

Mom, you taught me how to talk without speaking. Words are much more powerful when they are so bound in love they don’t need to be spoken.

When you were trying to recovery, words weren’t necessary….because our love for each other spoke volumes.

Mom, I just wanted to remind you tonight that you made everything alright. Even when I have rough days or exhausting nights, you make it all good for me. Thanks for being here next to me for those 17 years of my life. I know somehow, though you aren’t here anymore, you will still make things alright.

Love Always and Forever

Your Daughter,


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Capturing Intensity

I've had so much on my mind lately that I've been struggling to find the right words to capture the emotion behind them. I came up with the title to this post "Capturing Intensity" last night after reading another fellow bloggers ideas on the importance of word choice in a blog post. Her post hit a chord with me for two reasons....the obvious first reason being, I've been struggling to find anything notable in my life to post on... and the second, my hesitation with blogging always pops up when thinking about word choice...I never feel that I can adequately capture the emotions so deep within my heart and make them relate able or meaningful for that matter....
So with this in mind... I warn you that this may indeed be a lengthy post tonight, I apologize.

Intensity.When I think of this word I immediately go to my eulogy that I wrote on my mom...not the one crowded with tears that I gave at her celebration of life....but the unrestricted, true depiction of my love for my mom...and the same eulogy I will be giving next weekend at SDSU for State Competition.

That speech is intense, even for me.

Tonight at Speech and Debate practice I felt raw, exposed,and  vulnerable while speaking. I've practiced this thing countless times in weeks prior but for reasons still confusing to me, tonight I was hit with reality. SO many times I give this speech and am taken back to that place.The place of brokenness, weakness, fear,and anxiety. Yet tonight was different. Tonight I realized fully and truly that what I present on stage isn't just about a performance. Its my life. It's the reality I, and the rest of my family, have to face---she's gone and I...and we...will never be able to have her back on earth. 

The biggest thing I find difficult with is...the idea that no matter how much you think you may already understand reality.... No matter how able I am already to acknowledge that she is no longer living....a piece of me is always held back. Each time I give this speech its like another piece of me is awakened to what I've actually had to live through....
So yes, tonight at practice I gave my speech...yes, I walked out of the room and cried....yes, for reasons unknown at the moment,  I am heartbroken over the loss of the most beautiful person in the world....but like I say in my speech my mom will never be forgotten....her family loved and still loves her.

This whole feeling and experience tonight reminded me of an earlier discussion today that I had in AP Language class. Someone was commenting on an essay we read saying that we all secretly are trying to woo someone in our lives ( in the case of the essay, the author took up writing as a way to try and win her dad's affection...even though he couldn't read English) but that eventually we come to the conclusion that its silly to woo others.... we need to think of doing things for ourselves too.

I was shocked. As the people-pleaser type I admit to doing some things more to gain others acceptance than for myself. At the same time though, I recognize that doing things for others isn't necessarily bad. I wrote my eulogy on my mom as a testimony of my love and affection for her. I wrote that speech fully knowing that I've spent so much of my 17 years  trying to please her and gain her appreciation...simply because she was my mom and her opinion mattered most of all. I don't see it as a silly thing that is, doing something to make someone else proud or happy ...because, in essence, you are proving that person's value to you without words. The author of that essay we read in Lang, through writing novels, was trying to convey to her dad that he held value in her life.

All this said I want to be honest with my thoughts on why I blog.There are people out there who blog for an audience, who blog to rant, who concern themselves with the "worthiness" of their chosen blog topic...and I'll be first to admit I've fallen victim to all these concerns..
Yet in the pit of my heart I know that the reason why I blog isn't because I hope to use this to earn me sympathy or a  career in English. I blog because it is a reminder of my growth as an individual. I blog because it allows me to be pure, honest, and unrestricted by others opinions or time-- for that matter...
I blog because its a way of keeping my mother alive and remembering the incredible woman she was.

I admit: my diction and syntax may not be something my AP Lit teacher would have been proud of..
I admit: that this blog may at times be just a spew of words and that grammar almost always is not a concern of mine
and I admit: that in no way do I lead an interesting life worthy of blogging about....
 So why do I do it?
If you really want to know ...a good blog post shouldn't have to concern itself with any of that, in my opinion.
It should focusing on capturing the intensity of your own emotion.It should be about saying the things that others would be afraid to say themselves....however large or small.

 It should be you. Plain and simple.

Mom, this is me. Tearing down the walls of my heart and being true to who I am becoming. Mom, this is me... trying to find your love amongst heartbreak. Mom, this is me... rediscovering the power of a good story and the meaning of true love.

Its true you know, that it doesn't matter what type of relationship a mom and a daughter have with each other...because whether good or bad there will always be a deep rooted bond. An invisible connection. A true love that withstands the test of time.
On October 10th 2010, I was granted the continuation of life.... and you were granted the after-life. Let us love, despite it all.
Love Forever and Always
 Your Daughter,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Its like a drop in the ocean...

"Its like wishing for rain as I stand in the desert, but I'm holding you closer than most-cause you are my heaven" ~A Drop in The Ocean by Ron Pope

I"m going to let you in on a secret of mine...when I write to you I have to listen the same song on replay until I finish. This time the song choice is:  A Drop in the Ocean.

I don't know why I can't just let my Ipod scroll through  the music as the time passes... but whatever the reason, it doesn't matter....this song rings true.

 I do hold you close mom. Living and growing up  wanting you to come back to me is like wishing for rain in the desert.  Plain and simple: it would take a miracle to happen.

Last weekend was my last chance, this season, to honor you and share your story with others I've never met. Last weekend was my last chance, this season, to present your beautiful story to the world. Last weekend was my last individual event for Speech and Debate. It was my last presentation of your least for the time being.

 The whole weekend I couldn't help but think of you.

 While everyone else was having lunch with their mom and crying to their mom when they were upset...I sat on this beautiful white bench imagining your face, your smile.

It was one of the most humbling and reflective experiences I think I've ever had. Knowing that I didn't have you to lean on reminded me of what a gift you were...and are... to me.

I knew you were looking down on me in every round of the two day event. I knew you were smiling, laughing, and crying...I knew you were hugging me when I didn't break to finals. I knew.

Sure, I missed you tremendously last weekend... but your absence also reminded me of the blessing of family. Dad, Aunt Regina, Jen, and Shelb...were all at St. Francis at one point to see me speak.

 In my mind last weekend was like a family reunion.
All of us plus you. It was beautiful.

I may not have had your physical presence with me. I may have cried after every single presentation. I may have felt sad at one point or another. Yet I also felt LOVED.
Loved by my family, loved by my team, and most importantly- loved by you.

Though my memory often fails me...leaving me with no recollection of the sound of your voice or the immensity of your hugs. My heart will never fail to be filled up with love and thoughts of heart will never fail to remember you.

" A drop in the ocean, a change in the weather... I was praying that you and me might end up together"
Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,

Monday, February 21, 2011


I'm tired of the monotony.

I'm tired of waking up every morning just to get ready and go to the same school everyday. I'm tired of running to the bathroom every five minutes to get a tissue for this runny nose of mine. I'm tired of the same ol' routine. I'm tired of leaving my house everyday at 7:05 sharp because I know it takes me ten minutes to get my car the way I like. I'm tired of having to put a towel on my front window of my dear bug Sydney because it is so cold, the window freezes. I'm tired of going to open my front door only to realize I need to yank it a little bit harder.

I'm tired of the predictability of my life.

Hence the excitement for this week to continue.

 In honesty I  really don't understand my own ways sometimes.

An example:
I hate predictability, yet I love tradition ( isn't predictability apart of tradition you ask? You bet!)
I hate stress, yet I love the sense of accomplishment and self worth I get from the end of a stressful week.
I hate standing in lines for hours, yet I love standing in line for a movie or a wonderful chance to order coffee.
I hate staying up late, yet I love how I'm most productive between the hours of 7:30 and 11 p.m.

I guess I'm just a love-hate kind of person.....when it comes to actions that is- not people.... When its people we're talking about, there is only the love side.
This week will be insane, yet I will love every minute of it.
Sure I will complain. I will be stressed. I most likely will over commit myself (trying to balance friends and existing commitments in weeks like this is challenging!). I will be sleep deprived. But my soul will be filled. My heart will continue to beat. My love for life will top the charts..
...why? Well because amongst the chaos, amongst the fear of failure or disappointment, amongst my busy life-- there is opportunity. Opportunity to learn a little more, grow a little more, love a little more.
So again I say, Sometimes I don't understand my own ways.
I love this week because there is opportunity here.
At my speech and debate practices there are opportunities to bond with teammates, impress my coach, and feel good about my abilities.
At my Jessup "Scholars Event" there are opportunities to share my story, to set down my foundation, to grow.

At school there are opportunities to build someone up, to learn, to spend time with people you care for.

So....yes. I am tired of predictability... but that is only so, when I fail to see opportunity in predictable things.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Last night I had fun with three young girls: Shayna(4), Brooklyn(9 months), and Sage(2)... as well as two fun, sport loving boys:Allen(5) and Erik(7)...all who live at Acres of Hope. All five of them were such a blessing.

The whole night could be summed up in one word: Simple. They were excited over simple foods like garlic bread and valentines day gifts....they were happy over simple drinks like green apple soda... and they loved simple things like bear hugs and funny handshakes. Simple. Relaxed.

All the hype and love they had over these simple things made me remember how blessed I am to be living in this wonderful home, taking hard classes at Sierra College, and spending time with my fantastic Speech&Debate Team.

I love you Mom and I loved our simple and relaxed life. I miss it. I miss you. I miss the blessing you were and are.
Love Always
Your Daughter,

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

...And the waves come crashing...

My heart is heavy tonight. I need your love.

I feel like the inside of my heart is similar to that of the crashing waves. I have moments where I can walk through the day more in love with my life then ever. On those days I see the sunrise as a new beginning. I see my friends and loved ones as the largest of all blessings. I find peace in confiding in my favorite teachers... telling them of my ups and downs of the day...Laughing and enjoying the day with them.
Those days are days where the waves are gently rolling in and welcoming the new comers as they wade in deeper and deeper.

Then there are the other days. Days where the waves are violently crashing on the shore while the storms are brewing. On these days I find myself desiring to see you, desiring to be comforted by you (or no, not even that specific)...just plain desiring to be comforted by those I love and admire. On these days I find myself running to grab a jar of Nutella at Raley's and watching my (as you WELL know) all time favorite TV show WNTW...Stacy London does wonders to make me feel confident and beautiful again.

Yet no matter what type of day it is, or what type of waves are hitting the shores of my heart- I remember you. I remember the strength you once brought me.I remember how hard you have fought for me. I remember your love and your encouragement. I remember days spent shopping and dinners at Chili's.
I remember that I once had a mother who was the definition of beautiful. I remember that once I was able to come home to you. I remember how important it is to spend the time we do have on this earth- loving, with every inch of our heart. You will always be in me. You will always be my light and my love.
Love always and forever.
Your Daughter,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On this evening, I wonder what you think...

"Do not regret growing older.It is a privilege denied to many"-Unknown
Mom, today I wonder what you would've done differently if you knew that death was closer than you had predicted.

 I should have been less fearful of seeing you the way you were. It wasn't that I didn't accept it, in all honesty it just pained me to see you so dependant and not be able to bring you back to the life that you wanted. I didn't visit as much as I could of because I was selfish, because it hurt me. WHY did I never consider that my absence could of hurt you?
I guess it was because I  am just a kid...and while I do not regret my decision to stop seeing you when you got to the last few days, I sincerely hope that you know it wasn't because I stopped loving or was because my heart stopped being brave.

I Love you Mom and I hope you know that you never did &never will, leave my mind or my thoughts.

Love Forever and Always
Your Daughter,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Embracing life, the way it is.

Despite my crazy life with school, scholarships, work, and wonderful coffee trips... my mind always ends up thinking about you. I love that…

Why does it seem so many people are afraid of admitting that they miss someone who has passed on?

I was talking about this with someone last night…

She was asking all these questions about you… if you haunt me? If I’m mad at you for not haunting me? If I ever stop thinking about you? What my view on working is now…is work really worth it? Some of these questions made me laugh, but they are valid. She now understands me better…she forgot what it felt like to lose someone you love…and sadly God decided to recently remind her.

Why are we so afraid of admitting we miss those who were taken away from us?

We talked about how sometimes we all feel guilty for bringing up the name of someone who passed away because it may make others feel uncomfortable.

I realized that in a way this blog is a perfect example of that.

I don’t find anything awkward or weird about me talking to you through my writing… It doesn’t feel awkward writing you letters on here….and you know why? Because I feel like writing to you keeps you alive. Maybe not in the physical sense...but your spirit. It reminds me of what a large part of my life you were... and are. Your body is gone, your voice- I can no longer hear…but the lessons you taught me, the love you shared with me, the strength you brought me... remains.

So, yes- I realize that maybe my blog entries make people feel uncomfortable…Maybe my entries leave people speechless because they don’t know what to tell me …but in all honesty, I don’t care.

My entries, each time I write, its like you’re here again..its like we get to reconnect.It reminds me of your story and your hugs.

Sure, like I was telling a friend last night… I miss your voice…the way you would say “Can I have a glass of water with some ice…” or “ Shelby…help me” when you got stuck in Tomb Raider…the way your tennis shoes sounded when you walked in the kitchen before going to the gym…and the way you sang Train on the way to Santa Cruz every summer…but those things aren’t gone. When I write I remember those things… when I cry, laugh, and live those things are in my memory.

So, NO. I’m not going to think twice when I say your name…or when my heart yearns for you…because who cares if it makes other people uncomfortable. At least I’m brave enough to remember you and not just let it pass me by. I will move on, I will grow and learn, and the pain may begin to minimize but no matter what I’m still going to remember you. Whether that’s through writing or telling stories about you. I will be stronger than others. I will be brave enough to admit I miss you because it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Its not something that can be fixed, but rather has to be acknowledged. You were a part of my life…and now your story is a part of my life. I will not forget. I will take what life has given me and I will admit when I have bad days or anger- because those moments make me who I am. They make me stronger.

Stop hiding. Start living. Embrace the life you were given…not just the happy moments, but the difficult ones too.

Love always and forever,
Your daugher