Imagine if you will…………

a perfect day spent with your family doing all the things you love.  Laughing, sharing meals, playing games, spending time together, and all the ‘“normal” things done as a family that are taken for granted.

Now, imagine waking up to your child (or loved one) having a seizure, being rushed to the hospital, spending a week dealing with the news of a life altering-but livable illness for your child.  They will be coming home to this altered life but  everyone is happy that they will continue to chase their dreams, laugh, love and live.  Then something goes terribly wrong after a simple procedure before sending him home.  “Mom, I don’t feel good.” is the last thing you hear from him.  They wheel him away to work on him and you never see him again.  He has died.  All his hopes, dreams and his future has died with him.  Your life is shattered, it will never be the same.  Life is now defined as before and after.  

It has been five years since that day.  FIVE YEARS!  I was one of those moms who swore if anything had ever happened to one of my children (I have 3) I would never be able to survive.  I loved them too much to live without them.  Yet, five years later, here I am alive and most of the time, well.   

For those of you who have not lost a child, I would like you to take a moment and imagine…imagine never hearing their voice or laugh.  Never again will you soothe their tears or share in their accomplishments.  There will be no more heart to heart talks, no more endless questions, no more advice seeking phone calls.  There will be no more.  The last photograph you have of them is it!  Family and friends photo move in and out of frames on the mantle next to the one of your child frozen in time.

No more bear hugs, no more crazy antics, no more laughter, or teenage fights.  Graduations, Weddings, grandchildren, careers, all take on a bittersweetness to them.  You try your best to remember their voice, to imagine what their life may be like.  Your friends and family continue on with their lives and you love with the fear that your child’s memory will be forgotten.  Five years sounds like a long time.  Think of all that is accomplished in five years.  People meet, get married and have babies.  People graduate from college.  A child is born and starts kindergarten.  Five years is a long time.  Life goes on.  Life goes on without your child.

Imagine, the memory of your child is fading from others lives, yet it is becoming stronger for you.  You are told that you must continue, they would want you to live!  So, we do!

Imagine, living a life with the memory of your child.  With all the love for that child that your heart can hold.  Imagine that you learn to honor your child with the life you lead. That every breath you take is a tribute to that love.  

I have changed, yet I remain the same.  I still and always will have three beautiful sons that I love with my whole heart.  I have lost the sparkle from my eyes, but my heart still shines when I talk about my family and all our beautiful memories.  Tony’s death has changed me but I hope that by honoring Tony’s life, it has changed me for the better.


Photo was taken July 11, 2009  just hours before Tony’s death.


  1. Chrissy says:

    Whenever I hear a woman yelling at or ignoring her kids in the grocery store I think these things. It’s true that people don’t know what they have until it’s gone.

    I like this line. “You are told that you must continue, they would want you to live! So, we do! ” . Sometimes people will contradict it and say “you don’t know what they would have wanted” . It’s devastating to loose someone so close but it’s the truth that even though they can’t be here with us today they would want us to continue.

    I enjoyed reading this piece.

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