An Open Letter To God

Dear God,

I am still mad. But you know that. You were there when it happened. You saw everything before it transpired. I am sorry I am still mad at you, but I can’t help it. I am sure you know that too. I try not to blame you. Not anymore. I was angry. How could you let this happen!? Was this pain part of your plan? My Christian friends say to me to keep believing… to keep my faith in You. They tell me that You will carry me through the pain and heartache. I ask “Why did He create my heartache in the first place? Isn’t God an all loving God? Isn’t He a God of protection, kindness and forgiveness?” I tell them that I prayed to you ALL the time. I ended and began each prayer with asking You to watch over my children and to protect them for harm. Did I not pray hard enough? Did I NOT pray enough? They then go in to depth to explain how You work. I smile, I nod and bite my tongue. But, You know that as well, don’t You?

My non believer friends try to make my doubt into an argument for their own case. Again, I just smile, bite my tongue and nod as I convince myself that I still believe in You…I am just angry.

I know that as clear as there is goodness in this world, there is evil as well. I see the death of my son as evil, but You see it as greatness. You lent me Joey for 31 years! Now, i try to remember that he is dancing in the glory of Your greatness.

I would look to You for comfort. I would always honor Your name. But I feel as if you betrayed me. I feel like you stabbed me in the back. I am hurt by You. But again, I am telling you something You know already. I once told a friend how guilty I felt that I yelled at You during a fury of rage. She kindly responded “It’s OK, God understand your pain. He lost His son too.” I still find comfort in that.

When I close my eyes tonight, I will say a silent prayer and my anger will turn to tears. Then, as if by some ‘miracle, I will feel a lightness overcome me. I know that it will be You. My tears will be wiped away, my heart, though heavy, will have some peace. I will believe again that my Joey is walking on paved streets of gold with you.


My Heart Will Always Search For You

Where have you gone?  I have been looking for signs of you yet none are to be seen or felt.  I sit in the quiet of my room hoping to hear your voice but all that I hear is the tick tocks of the clock. Where are you, Joey?
I hear of stories where other grieving parents call out loud for their child and the clouds miraculously form the wings of an angel.  Or where a parent looks out their window as the pain from the loss of their child weighs heavily upon them and a red robin magically appears on their window sill.  Stories of how a glimmering light reflected through their door and the face of their child appeared.  Why are you hiding?
I find myself channel surfing in hopes that a song will play and I will convince myself that it is a sign form my Joey.  I stare at the light from the security camera in my room in hopes that it starts flickering.  I will assure myself that Joey is trying to send me a message. I inhale deeply trying to catch a whiff of your scent…Axe mixed with cigarette smoke. Nothing. Why do you not come to me?
I have laid in the stillness of the night, praying that you appear to me in a dream. I have replayed this dream in my mind a hundred times: I will feel your weight on the bed.  You will brush the hair off my face.  I open my eyes and see you there smiling down upon me.  I smile back and tell you how much I love and miss you.  You will apologize for hurting me and that you never wanted to leave.  You tell me how beautiful heaven is and that when it is my turn to join you, you will be the first one to wrap his arms around me.  You assure me that I was the best mom a kid could have and thank me for always being there. You tell me that you watched as your sister got married and how you go see Ares and Aubrianna every night.  You laugh at their silliness and tell me that you will always watch out for them.  You squeeze my hand and tell me it’s time for you to go.  I beg you to stay a little longer but you explain to me that you can’t.  You promise to visit me this vividly real soon.  I smile and tell you how much I love you.  You smile and say to me “I know momma…I love you too.”
As morning comes, reality sinks in…I didn’t dream of you again.  I try not to cry and I tell myself that I will try again tonight.  I look at the blinking light again.  I inhale as I walk through the house, hoping to catch a whiff of your scent.  I search for the song on the radio.  I make a vow that I will make another effort to find you somewhere throughout my day.
Once again my day starts as always.  Longing and searching for you.  Yet, I know for sure, that one day, in the middle of my hectic schedule, I will feel a warm breeze on my face.  I will stop in my tracks and I will close my eyes.  I will inhale deeply and smell your scent.  I will feel you kissing my forehead followed by “I love you momma.”  I will ask you where have you been.  You will laugh and tell me “Momma, I’ve been walking beside you all along…

Remember Me…

I’ve heard people comment that the second year of grief is the hardest.  They go on to explain that second year holds more pain than the first. The shock wears off so you are more aware of the agony that brews inside of you.  As I entered my second year, I discovered that the pain isn’t deeper than the first. I think that the increased level of pain that comes in the second year is because this is when we discover that we, those left behind, have been forgotten.

I am not naive or gullible.  I understand that as time goes on,  lives continue.  The world continues to spin. ..time does not stand still for me.   I just didn’t think that those that stood next to me, held my hand and picked me up from the ground one and a half years ago, would forget that my pain never subsides.

Joey’s birthday is today.  I waited for the calls, the text messages, a visit.  I heard from four people.  Sure there were  “thumbs up” and “I hearts you”  to my face book page when I wished Joey a happy birthday but only four people bothered to take time out to personally reach out to me.  Made me wonder…do they think I am OK now and no longer need their support?

Dear friends and family,

No…I am not okay.  Yes, you see the happy faces, you hear me laugh, but no I am not okay.  Everyday, I think of my son.  Everyday, I relive the moment I heard the news and  I vividly recall seeing his lifeless body.  Yes, I have gotten past the worst of it.  I don’t have to be picked up of the floor anymore…not as often, anyway.  My cries aren’t as loud or as chilling as they once were, but the tears still come.  Even though I don’t talk about my pain as I used to, it’s still there.  As the months go by, the loss doesn’t lessen…the void doesn’t disappear.  I know you have lives, you have struggles and you have your own battles but I promise you that no pain can be close to the pain of losing a child.  I never expected you to be at my beck and call or to come to me at a drop of a hat.  But I did hope that you would know that some days are going to be more meaningful or painful than others.  THOSE are the days that I needed you the most. I once begged that you not forget my child…I didn’t think I had to remind you not to forget me








In 8 days my son will be 33 years old.  Notice I don’t say “would have been.”  It’s difficult for me to use past tense.  He still lives within me.  He lives within the hearts and souls of all that have loved him.

I remember every detail of the day I gave birth to him.  I remember the pain, the cries, and the screams. I remember the distressed  look on his fathers face and the pangs of worry that covered my mothers eyes.  I vividly remember the cold room, the rough sheets and the nurses walking in and out of my room.  I wanted so desperately for time to hurry up and pass so that the pain I was feeling would no longer have it’s grip on me.  I prayed and bargained with God to take the agony away. I wanted to be free of the pain that engulfed every inch of my body.  A pain and torment that cut me DEEP to the core.  I appealed to Him to bring relief to me and those that surrounded me. I prayed for stillness and peace.

Thirty plus hours later, Joey finally came in to this world.  He came  with such a vengeance that I was left with scars.  Scars that I carry proudly to this day.  My Joey came in weighing a whopping 10 1/2 pounds!  Ten and a half pounds of love,  tenderness and comfort.  I cried as I gently held and caressed him. I closed my eyes and breathed in his loving scent.  I memorized every fold in his skin, every hair on his head, every wrinkle on his body.  I couldn’t wait to create memories with my new family. When it was time to turn him over to the nurse, I remember not wanting to let him go. I was in absolute heaven and even though God did not relieve me of my pain quickly, I thanked Him for it.  I thanked Him for letting me be momma to this chubby bundle of life.  I thanked Him for entrusting me to love him, protect him, to cherish him.  For the first time in my life, because of Joey, I knew what pure and true love was.

Isn’t it funny how life works?  How our lives come full circle? The precise and  exact emotions I felt when Joey was born, I will  experience again but for a completely  unpleasant and unwelcomed life altering event.  There will be no thanks given to God, no memories to look forward to, no beginnings to a new life…only an end to one.

My sons favorite saying was Hakuna Matata from the movie The Lion King.  The movie centers on the circle of life.  We are born, we leave our legacy, and then we die. In a few short months…July 16th, I will be relieving the heart wrenching moments of when he passed. In 181 days, I will relive the pain, the cries of distress and the look of agony on my loved ones faces.  I will have flash backs as to how I pleaded and bargained with God to take the pain away and to make this an ugly nightmare to which I would awaken from.  In 4344 hours, the wounds will reopen and the scars will reappear. I will recall how I held him for the last time trying to memorize the feel of his skin, every hair on his head, every wrinkle on his face.  I will remember caressing him, taking in his scent, and crying over him.  I will remember thanking him for letting me be his momma and for loving me so much. I will remember telling him that because of him, I learned what true love was.  I will recall the moment  when it was time to leave, I didn’t want to let him go.  I will recall how I held  him and how I cried over him as I thanked him for all the memories he left me with.  And, at that moment, and for the first time in my life, I will remember how I learned what real pain was.

But for now, in 8 days, I will celebrate the day Joey, Jose Enrique Palacio, III, came in to my life.  The day my life would never be the same.  The day my life changed forever but changed for a beautiful reason…the day my son was born.

We Never Know The Value Of a Moment…Until It Becomes A Memory