Dreams

September 23, 2017. It was a Saturday morning. I had awaken from a terrifying dream. Rocky, my husband, was still laying in bed, and I had just finished brushing my teeth. I walked over to the bed and just stared at him. Pebs was already downstairs playing with his sister, Amoree. We heard the yelling, laughing, and occasional running as they enjoyed the absence of their parents. As I continued to ponder, Rock asked me what was wrong. I told him that I had had a really weird, scary dream. In my dream, we were playing with Pebble on the bed like we always did. He was jumping and crashing all over us. On one of the crash landings, he missed the bed, and had fallen off. He landed on his head and was crying. Blood started to immerse. Rocky quickly picked him up and handed him to me. He was screaming, yelling for me to fix him. I calmly and matter-of-fact told him to calm down and call 9-1-1. I was putting pressure on Pebble’s head, where he was bleeding, and all of sudden, right before I awoke, he went limp in my arms. I woke up in a state of disbelief. He had died in my arms. As I finished telling Rocky about my dream, we both had a slight fear in our eyes, but with a nervous smirk, pushed it away. It seemed easier at that moment to ignore something so fearful and unimaginable than to continue talking about it. After all, it was just a dream. I must’ve shared my dream with everyone  I encountered that day. I told my stepdaughter, my sister, my parents, and even Amee, but never in a serious tone. It was almost a, “Oh my gosh. You won’t believe the dream I had last night. It was crazy,” kind of tone to it. It wasn’t taken serious and wasn’t discussed further. That Saturday night, I had another dream about death. Our 10 year old beloved Lola had died. I never remembered the specifics about that dream, but I remember thinking, “Why am I dreaming about death?” Sunday night, someone else died, but I can’t remember who now. Monday, September 25, 2017, my world was changed. I promised that I would write about that tragic day one day, but not today. Today is not the day. But what I can write about is that he did fall and hit his head. When they handed him to me, his little body was limp. I carried him to a safe place on the ground where I proceeded with CPR. I heard family members, friends, and specifically Rocky, yelling, pleading to “fix” him.  I continued my mission on bringing him back, as I stared at the bruise on his little face. The police tenderly grabbed him from me and proceeded with trying to revive him. The autopsy report confirmed his bruised head injury, even though I’ve never read it. I haven’t had the strength to read it yet. I was just told this by those that did study the descriptive report. 20151224_134102.jpg

I blamed myself for the longest time, as the enemy wants.  He wants you to live in guilt and remorse. I thought God had given me a warning through the dream, and I was too naive, ignorant, and of little faith to have listened to it. I was so ashamed. I felt myself falling into the pits of misery, depression, darkness. It was my fault. And then, I was introduced to Levi Lusko. He is a pastor of Fresh Life Church in Montana. He wrote a book called Through the Eyes of a Lion that changed my life. He also lost a child to an asthma attack five days before Christmas. His book speaks about his tragic day and the days leading up to it. What impacted me the most from his book is when he talked about premonitions and his dreams. Two weeks before his Lenya Lion went to be with the Lord, he kept having dreams about death. The only way he could describe his dreams was that it was God’s way of letting him know that no matter what we would’ve tried to do, the tragedy was going to happen, regardless. It wasn’t God trying to warn him, or me, and that we just didn’t have enough faith or that we didn’t listen. It was Him trying to take the “guilty” part out of our mind, our hearts, and our soul. You see, God knew what He allowed was going to try and destroy us. The pain alone would take us to the most darkest, loneliest, unimaginable places anyone could every think of, and He made a way that would deliver us from that guilt. He showed us that even though this horrible thing was allowed to happen, nothing we could’ve done would’ve changed the outcome. The enemy is going to prowl and encourage us to stay in this dark pit, but God is so good. He wanted to protect us from the evil thoughts. If God allowed my Pebs and Lenya to be taken from us, then it was a necessary. I don’t understand it. I may not want to accept it, but God knows the needs of all His children. As a child of God, I’m to be obedient and to trust in Him. He has made promises to us, and I have faith that He will provide. He will fulfill His promises, and He will never, ever leave me. I know Pebs is playing in Heaven right now. He’s running, jumping, laughing, and singing up there. I know he feels my love, and he’s waiting for me. I dream of him often. I know when he visits me and when it’s just him in my dreams. I can feel the difference. I thank God for the times he allows Pebs to visit me. Most days, I don’t want to wake up, but when I open my eyes, I smile with tears rolling down my cheek. I smile because we were together. I smile and know that one day soon, we will be together again for eternity.

“On the night she went to Heaven, I did for Lenya what a daddy should never have to do. I reached out and closed my little girls eyes. What I never expected was that God used her to open mine.”
                                                                                                                     –Through The Eyes of A Lion, Levi Lusko
“Let our faith become a mountain that will rise and never fall, lifted high above the valley, we declare Your kingdom come. We will cling to what You’ve promised ’til the day You call us home. Let our faith become a mountain we stand on.”
                                                                                                   –Let Our Faith Become a Mountain, Jesus Culture

Green

Green. It’s a secondary color, not like blue, yellow or red. Mixed together with yellow and blue, we get the color green. Verde is the word in Spanish. According to Eva Heller, the color green was associated with “wealth, merchants, bankers, and the gentry.” (Heller, Eva (2009). Psychologie de la couleur – Effets et symboliques. Pyramyd (French translation) The Mona Lisa is painted with a green dress, and the British House of Commons has green benches. It is the color most associated with nature and wealth. It is a bright, almost unforgettable color. This is now my favorite. Now and forever. It became my favorite color on September 24, 2017.

I was giving Pebs a bath. It was a Sunday evening. School for my daughter was on the next day, therefore, early baths and bedtime routines were underway. I had set the baby’s sleeping clothes by his crib because sister loved to dress him afterwards. We were playing with his bath letters, the ones that come in a multitude of colors and are made out of foam. Pebs could hand me all the colors when I asked for them, in English and in Spanish. I’d say, “Daddy’s, can you hand mama the red, rojo?” He’d reach down and hand me any random red letter. We’d do this every bath time, every color, in English and Spanish. He loved chewing on them and as he’d reach for a new foam letter to place in his mouth, I’d ask for him to hand that color to me. That night, we were about done with his bath, and he reached down, grabbed a letter and, as he was handing it to me, he said, “green, green.” I was extremely excited and cheerfully repeated, “Yes, papasito, it is green. Good job!” It was his first and last time he would tell me a color.

I wear green all the time. My nail color is usually green. I buy green purses and shirts. If I had more courage to walk around with green hair, I probably would. We had a balloon release with green and white balloons on his birthday, December 24. (Yes, he was my Christmas miracle). I can still hear him saying “green” and handing me the letter. The best part of this story besides me now having a favorite color, is that he left his little, tiny teeth marks on all of those foam letters. All the time that I would tell him to stop biting them, in English and Spanish, and he never listened, I now have a physical imprint of his tiny teeth forever. I still have that same letter that he handed me on that day. I kiss it every day before I step out of the shower. I imagine him kissing me back. I’m blessed to have had a baby boy that would bite his letters and not listen to mama when he was told to stop. I’m blessed to have his little teeth stamped in all those foam letters. And I’m blessed to have the memory of that final day when he declared to me with great certainty that the color was green.

“When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
                                                                                                                                                             Isaiah 43:2
“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.”
                                                                                                                                    -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

Memories

I never thought of memories to be painful, hurtful, sorrowful. They were just that, memories. Whether they were good or bad, regretful or satisfactory, they were just part of our past. Memories didn’t start attacking me until the day after September 25, 2017. It was as if my life was not real. I would see pictures of my son and instantly fall to me knees or to the ground. I couldn’t believe I didn’t have him anymore. The memories of carrying him in my belly, nursing him, all the sleeplessness nights were vivid, real, but yet, he wasn’t in my life anymore. I would remember carrying him in a Moby baby wrap around the house or when I spontaneously mowed the lawn. The memories of him running a fever, taking him to the doctor, and meticulously caring for him were real, so why wasn’t he with me? I remember all the battles we would have when nap time came around, the baby sign language we enjoyed speaking, the adventurous days we would spend together filled with playgrounds, jogs, food, naps, races, and laughs. However, his laugh wasn’t present anymore. All the visits to the park were gone. The feet races we used to do weren’t going to happen. My favorite memories (they are all my favorite) were of us going down the stairs. He’d reach for my hand and say in his baby voice, “down.” We’d hold each hands and count each step as we stepped down, one half in English and the other in Spanish. We’d reach the bottom step together and he’d clap. In this real world that I live in without him, going up and down the stairs in the lack of his presence is utterly meaningless and painful. Memories of our breakfast time was also my favorite. He’d run to his high chair and again tell me, “down.” He’d scoot his chair all the way next to the stove where I would be cooking him his eggs. He’d tell me, “papa,” or food, and we’d sing, smile, watch Elmo, and enjoy the presence of life, of living. But I enter the kitchen, and it’s empty of all that used to be there. There isn’t any singing while cooking. The silliness of a spoon full of food flying through the air into the mouth of a baby boy is just a memory.

20160831_085021
Riding the lawnmower with my Pebs.

Oh, but how beautiful and joyful are those memories. The beauty of feeling his first kick when I was pregnant. No pain could ever hurt more than the love of feeling that kick inside of me. The fun way we tried to learn how to use the wrap to carry him on will always be more precious to me than the pain of not having him here. It allowed me to hold him close, right next to my heart. I would never exchange that for anything in the world. The feeling of his little fingers wrapped around mine as we walked down the stairs, the sound of his baby voice as we counted the steps, and the cheerful sound he made when we arrived at the bottom will forever be treasured in my heart. The mornings filled with Elmo’s World theme song, the smell of eggs, and our contagious laughter and numerous amounts of surprised kisses, are the mornings that will forever live in my thoughts, my soul, my heart. As I write these memories down, the tears haven’t stopped flowing. I have had to take several breaks and have used a multitude of kleenex, but how could I not want to remember those precious moments with my sweet boy. However more painful it will be to continue reliving moments with him is worth every tear because those times were real. He was with me. It is excruciating, devastating to acknowledge and accept the reality. I will not be creating anymore memories with him, that’s reality. He isn’t living in this world, physically, with me anymore. He is now in heaven, safe, happy, and waiting for me. Yet, the time that he was with me was full of love, happiness, peace, joy, and so many other words of love that can’t be described with ink, paper, or fonts. It’s a feeling so profound, so in depth that it has no adjectives strong enough to bear it’s meaning. I slowly and cautiously venture down memory lane. There are videos and places that I still can’t see or visit, but I am patient and know that one day, I will be ready. Time doesn’t heal the pain, but it gives Strength, Endurance, Peace, and Joy the necessary duration they need to survive this empty world without our child. I live every minute, every second, every beat of the day with a memory of him. Not a moment goes by that he isn’t with me. Most days, I can smile. Every day, I still cry. In all the days, I thank God.

“Real grief is not healed by time…If time does anything, it deepens our grief. The longer we live, the more fully we become aware of who she was for us, and the more intimately we experience what her love meant for us. Real, deep, love is, as you know, very unobtrusive, seemingly easy and obvious, and so present that we take it for granted. Therefore, it is often only in retrospect-or better, in memory-that we fully realize its power and depth. Yes, indeed, love often makes itself visible in pain.                                                                                                                                                -Henri Nouwen

Moon

He was infatuated with the ever changing moon. My son loved playing and being outside. There was a day during our evening exercises that he looked toward the sky, pointed to the moon, and began to leap for the mysterious and distant moon. He must’ve jumped at least a hundred times trying to reach that celestial object so profound in the sky. Pebs pointed, turned towards me and forced me to look at what he was pointing towards, and then continued to jump for it. He was so proud to have discovered this bright, astronomical “ball” that he apparently didn’t think I knew existed.

Since September 25, 2017, I haven’t missed a single day or night without searching the sky for the moon. Most days I see it and try to capture it with my phone camera whether it’s during the day or night. Some days, I talk to him. I tell him how much I miss him, and with tears rolling down my face, I ask him for strength. Other days, I just stare. I allow my thoughts to roam, to be free. But most of the days, I thank God. It wasn’t on the first day or a week after. It probably wasn’t even a month after my son’s passing that I was grateful to Him. I am not even sure when my thankfulness became present, but my heart is filled with appreciation, humbleness, and undeserving love for my great Heavenly Father.

One day, I’ll be able to write about that tragic day. I’ll magically script the horrific nightmare that tortures me and strengthens me all at once, but today isn’t the day. One day, I know I’ll relive that moment through words and know that projecting them on screen isn’t for my grief journey, but for others who will need to hear the story for their own grief and hope.

My Pebs. I often think what he would be doing now, what new words he would be speaking, and how far would he be hitting the baseball with his bat. Those thoughts tend to haunt and torture a grieving mother. I don’t allow myself to stay there long or often. I spend time on our pond that we have in the backyard. I lay on the pier and look up into the sky. I spot the moon and stare. I talk to him. I tell him how much I miss him. I let him know how much I love him. I express with my tears and words how much I wish he was here. I stare some more at the moon. The ever changing moon. Then, with the tears flowing rapidly now, I thank Him. I thank God for allowing ME to be his mom. What a blessing to have had the privilege to be Pebble’s mama! He chose me.  He gave us 21-months with our sweet baby boy. He filled our hearts with so much joy, love, laughter, and a plethora of blessings! He blessed me with my son. He blessed me then, he blessed me on that horrible day, and he continues to bless me, now and forever. I walk through faith. I am a blessed child of God.

“When the storms rage on, I look back and remember, how you’ve been my rock. You’ve been faithful to me. And I know I’m loved, I can stand on this promise. Through it all and say You’ve been good to me. ”  -Faithful To Me worship song (Grace Houston Worship)

“Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.” -Corita Kent

20180527_194954.jpg

Pain

When will the pain cease to abruptly attack whenever it chooses. It comes with no warning or sympathy. It doesn’t care if you are at church or at the store. Pain is deceiving. It tricks you to believe that it will never come again because the last time, it hit with such intensity that it knocked you down, took your breath away, and emptied you of all your tears. But here it is again, smoldering over your heart, your memories, your past, and future. However, Pain makes me stronger. It brings suffering, but just like every great and thundering storm, the rainbow is followed with great Hope and Promise. Pain is temporary. It is a state of mind. It is not who I am or who I choose to be. It is a necessity in this life. I have a purpose. In order for me to fulfill that purpose, I must build strength, perseverance, endurance, trust, and believe with all my heart and soul that God will keep His promise if I will allow Him to work through me. Pain will continue to find it’s way into my inner soul, but with my Heavenly Father’s help, It won’t linger as long. It won’t torment me as hard. I will be able to get up faster, stronger, and maybe even with a smile because I know that He is with me. He is there to hold me, comfort me, and whisper, “I will never leave you. We will walk this painful journey together, my daughter. You will soon see your Pebs again. Trust me.” Thank you Daddy, for your mercy, grace, and love.

“Out of every crisis comes the chance to be reborn, to reconceive ourselves as individuals, to choose the kind of change that will help us to grow and to fulfill ourselves more completely.”    -Nena O’Neil