Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 14th 2006 - lost in those eyes

2 days after admitted 7/16/2006

I can get lost in those eyes........................
Its those eyes that laughed, cried, showed pain, looked at me for comfort. I could not always comfort Jacob, but I was always by his side.

JULY 14TH 2006- 3 years old, a memory etched in history for my family, the day Jacob was DX with Leukemia. That was the first day I can honestly say I felt completely helpless. That was the day I looked into those beautiful brown eyes and I could not do any thing to take the cancer away.
I sat there with Jacob as the Dr told me he had a blood caner and Jacob was getting admitted all I could do was cry inside, Jacob could not see the pain, fear and anxiety I was feeling, The fear of the unknown, not knowing if I was going to lose Jacob, not knowing how long he was going to be with us.
THAT IS WHAT HIT ME LIKE A WALL OF BRICKS, my emotions took over!
3 years old at diagnoses

As a mom I had to get a grip on the emotions that were tearing me up inside, I could not let them control me. That is when I knew I had to be strong, positive and do what needed to be done to get Jacob through this battle.

I would be lying if I said I was not still terrified, but I had to take control of that fear, I did and still do cry when I am alone, thinking about him or when something reminds me of Jacob, it is part of my day. I have learned to deal with the emotions that might flood my mind at any given moment. I have control of the emotions and they do not control my day to day routine.

Jacob will never be far from my mind and will always have that special part of my heart.
Jacob battled for 3 1/2 years, has gone for 5 years and would be 13 in Oct, it's hard to believe how much time has gone by.

Dillon is now 3, I look at him and can't help to think.............................thoughts that I quickly block!
Being a parent with one child that died from cancer, sometimes there is a fear there with your other kids. I would say that is normal, but you can't let it take control. Thoughts are one thing but letting it control you is another.
Dillon my little Ham - 3 years old/July 2015
My little sneaky little menace aka trouble

Dillon! Talk about total opposites when it comes to getting into anything and everything he can, climbs, opens, escapes and helps him self to what he wants  :o)
But my two boys,  friendly outgoing personality and always wanting to make friends.

Proud to be a mom to my two beautiful boys, I always have a smile on my face and memories in my heart with new memories every day. But isn't that the life of being a mom.

Thank You for your thoughts and prayers,

Thursday, July 2, 2015

10 tips how to talk to a parent who lost a child

After losing Jacob I know how true this was for me and a lot of good points. I thought I would share this post with all of you from Samantha Hayward:
The soul destroying agony of your child dying is only truly known and understood by those who have endured it. Four years on, I still glance down at my daughters grave in disbelief. Visiting my child’s grave is surreal. It’s almost like I’ve vacated my body and I’m watching someone I don’t know standing there putting flowers down.
Is this really my life ?
Only a parent understands the powerful bond you have with your child; that absolute undying love you have and that monumental desire that roars like an open fire inside you to protect that child at all costs. It is openly said that a parent will lay down their life for their child, but it is not until you have your own that you truly understand these fierce emotions. Parenting is wearing your heart on the outside of your body. Whatever you imagine it might be like to have your child die, multiply that by about a trillion and you’re probably not even close.
On the surface it appears society is accepting of this unbearable sadness and people are supportive and open to talking about it. However, in my situation I’ve been surprised by people’s genuine kindness and empathy as much as I’ve been repeatedly shocked & disappointed by their lack of it. It’s necessary for bereaved parents to be able to talk and, most of all, be able to talk openly. I’ve found it’s the only thing which dispels the trauma.
Sure, friends and family have been supportive, but it’s proven to be the case with me that there is a mandate as for how long their unwavering support, patience, understanding, concern and empathy lasts. The truth is, the situation is so unbearably sad that it becomes incredibly emotionally draining on the other person.
The realisation that they can’t fix your sadness sets in, the frustration builds because not even they can see an end in sight, then gradually it starts to impede on the happiness in their life. They haven’t lost their child so why should they spend all their time sad about yours?
I will, for the sake of all the other parents out there with empty arms, write ten things I wish people knew about the loss of a child. Maybe one of my ten points might make a difference to a bereaved parent’s life.
1. Four years on I get up every day with the exact same sadness I had the day Ella died. The only difference is I’m more skilled at hiding it and I’m much more used to the agony of my broken heart. The shock has somewhat lessened, but I do still find myself thinking I can’t believe this happened. I thought that only happened to other people. You asked how I was in the beginning yet you stopped, why? Where did you get the information on what week or month was good to stop asking?
2. Please don’t tell me that all you want is for me to be happy again. Nobody wants that more than I do, but it’s something that can only be achieved with time. On top of that, I have to find a new happiness. The happiness I once felt, that carefree feeling, will never return in its entirety. It also helps to have the patience and understanding from loved ones.
3. Please don’t say ‘I want the old Sam back!’ Or, I can see the old Sam coming back! Sam’s not coming back. This is who I am now. If you only knew the horror I witnessed and endured you would know it’s not humanly possible for me to ever be the same person again. Losing a child changes who you are. I’ve been told my eyes look haunted.
It’s a strange thing for someone to tell a grieving mother, but it’s true – I am haunted. My views on the world have changed, things that were once important are not now and vice versa. I feel as though you’re telling me two things here. Firstly you don’t like the person I am and, secondly if the old Sam’s not coming back I’m out of here. By the way there is nobody that misses the “old Sam” more than me!!! I’m mourning two deaths here; my daughter’s and my former self.
4. If you chose to acknowledge my daughter’s birthday or the anniversary of her death on the first year, it’s terribly gut wrenching when you didn’t bother to acknowledge the second or third or fourth. Do you think any subsequent birthday or anniversary is not as sad for me? It also says to me in very big neon lights that you’ve moved on and forgotten about my daughter.
5. Please stop with the continual comments about how lucky I am to have my other children particularly my daughter. Do I say this to you? Then why say it to me? I’ve buried my daughter do you seriously think I feel lucky?
6. It’s not healthy to cry in front of the kids? You’re wrong. It is perfectly healthy that they see I’m sad their sister has died. When someone dies it’s normal to cry. What would not be normal would be for my children to grow up and think “I never even saw my Mum sad over Ella’s death.” That would paint me in a light that would tell them it’s healthy to hide your emotions when obviously it’s not.
image: http://www.mamamia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/image-5.jpeg
Samantha's children: Patrick, Charles and Ava.
7. I have four children I don’t have three.  If you want to ignore Ella as my third child because she’s dead go for it but don’t do it for me. Four not three!
8. There are still some days, yes four years on, that I still want to hide away from the world and take a break from pretending everything is oh so wonderful and I’m all better.
Please don’t just assume I’ve thrown in the towel, or worse, actually be so thoughtless as to wonder what’s wrong with me. I still know I’ve married the catch of the century and my children are gorgeously divine and I have a beautiful house, but I’m grieving.
It’s mentally exhausting, especially raising three young children and on top of that maintaining a strong and loving marriage. Unbeknownst to you, I’m dealing with not just my own grief, but my beautiful husbands and my two boys.
It would be nice if you congratulated me on the state of my family because keeping it together, stable and happy, has been hard work.
9. I did notice. To the friends and family that found the entire death and dealing with my sadness all too hard and held secret events behind our backs that were lied about, stopped inviting us to things we had always been included in and slowly ended our relationship thinking I didn’t notice.
I did notice. The only reason why I never said anything is because I’m not wasting my words on your shameful behavior. I am thankful for something though – I didn’t waste any more time on people that were capable of such shallowness and cruelty. Please don’t fear. I would be the first one by your side if the same thing happened to you. That should give you some indication of how horrible it is.
10. Grieving for a child lasts until you see them again. It’s a lifetime. If you’re wondering how long your friend or family member might be grieving for, the answer is forever. Don’t rush them, don’t trivialise their sadness, don’t make them feel guilty for being sad and when they talk to you, open your ears and listen, really listen to what they’re telling you. It’s possible you’ll learn something. Don’t be so cruel as to give up on them remember it’s not about you it’s about them.
I’ve been left repeatedly heart broken as friends that I truly loved and never thought would walk away from me tossed me into the too hard basket or – more hurtfully – the crazy basket. Phone calls stopped, text messages stopped, comments on Facebook stopped and I get the same thing every time. “Sorry darling I’m just flat out”, “Let’s catch up soon” and “I miss you.” The list could keep going but I get it. I’m not the type of person either that is going to pursue a friendship I know the other person doesn’t want. Everyone has a conscience and thankfully I don’t have to live with theirs.
You would think there are a lot of articles that raise awareness of the awful process associated with grieving for a child, but even stories from other parents are a rarity. The sad reality is there just isn’t enough said or printed. You seldom hear through the media about grieving for a child and the impact their death has on all the various people involved.
It can destroy a marriage instantly, it can leave siblings hurt, confused and angry. Often siblings are too young to understand, they’re angry that their family is not the same and even angrier that they don’t recognize their parents. Losing their sibling is bad enough but so much more is lost for these siblings that is never recognized. I could count on one hand the amount of times I’ve been asked how my boys were.
You might hear about the gory details surrounding a child’s death in the media but that’s about all. There should be so much more written about this topic, and additionally it should be talked about more openly than it is. I’m disappointed not just for me but for all the other grieving parents in society that this topic is met with so much fear and silence.
The bottom line is people are uncomfortable with the situation and I really don’t know why. My feelings tell me it is such an horrific thing that most people don’t want to know about it. Maybe they fear through knowing so much they might become obsessed with their own children dying. Parents worry enough about their children already. Do they really need the added worry about knowing how your child died?
Without question, my daughter Ella dying suddenly has been the worst thing that has happened in my 37 years here on Earth. I doubt that anything in my future is going to top it. Actually, just between us, I beg and plead with God on a daily basis that nothing ever does top that experience, but the truth is I just don’t know.
I’m not a mind reader nor do I have a magic pair of glasses where I can see how the rest of my life will unfold. I just have to hope that nothing ever does, but I have a very real fear it will because it has actually already happened to me. I know without having to hold a psychology degree that having those fears is normal.
image: http://www.mamamia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/depressed.jpg
Wendy has battled with depression most of her life.
“I don’t think I would be able to survive something like it again.”
What I’ve endured, losing my little princess, has been so unimaginably horrific that I don’t think I would survive something like it again.
What I have had to give emotionally to get through it has dwindled away all my mental strength – just like twenty cents pieces in a kid’s piggy bank.
I’m broke – not broken – I’m broke emotionally. I know all the energy I’ve needed over the last four years has not just been spent on my grief for Ella.
It’s been on trying to get my friends and family to understand what it’s like to walk in my shoes. I’m angry about that. When I should have been grieving, I was defending myself.
I’m probably very close to being as angry about that as I am about her death. I wish I wasn’t angry. Lord knows I don’t need another emotion but I don’t know how to not be angry, especially with some of the things that people have said and done to me. I talk and talk yet I’m often never actually heard.
I’m not sure if it’s a lack of literature around or perhaps that people simply don’t want to read it because it’s so awful and they don’t want to know someone they love and care about it experiencing so much agony. I  personally know though, if I found out a family member or friend had been diagnosed with an illness or disease, or worse, their child, I would be on Google immediately finding out more about it and how I could help them the best. So why is it that this doesn’t seem to apply with the death of a child?
Most people just think they know. I find this extremely frustrating. The death of your child is the worst thing that can happen to a person, yet most feel educated enough to advise, to criticise, to lend their words of wisdom when they don’t know the first thing about it. Get over it? Why don’t we see if you could get over it first!
Most people wouldn’t know that when I meet someone new I instantly become uncomfortable and filled with dread. I know at any moment when I engage in conversation the question is going to arise about my family and how many children do I have? I would love not to have to tell them. Life would be a lot easier if I could take that path. However, I do have another child. Her name is Ella. She would now be four but she died when she was 19 days old. She isn’t lost – I know exactly where she is, she’s dead.
Ella is my third child and she deserves to be acknowledged just as much as my other children. I’ve lied before saying I have only three children, but the guilt that follows me around for days on end is just simply not worth it. I can actually hear Ella saying to me “don’t I matter anymore Mummy?” “Why were you too ashamed to talk about me?”
So personally for me, as much as I don’t want to tell someone I don’t personally know very well that my daughter is dead, the guilt of not acknowledging her is worse. I don’t have three children, I have four and my daughter is not my only daughter – I have another as well. It’s pot luck what their reaction is going to be. There’s no telling what they’re going to say. You just have to close your eyes, cover your broken heart and hope they don’t plunge that knife further in.
If I could have my questions answered on why people give so much advice on a topic that they know so little about, it would really help me. What has surprised me so much since Ella’s death is how little empathy there is in the world. Empathy to me is a no brainier. You just imagine you’re in the other persons shoes, simple yes? Apparently no. Just think how you would like to be treated and if you wouldn’t like it don’t do it. You never know what your life holds – one day it could be you wearing my shoes!
I hope this article about my personal thoughts and opinions helps at least one person understand to some degree what life is like for the bereaved parent
I dedicate this article to my soul mate, Darren. I’m the luckiest girl in the world having you, my darling. I love you more and more everyday you’re simply perfect and after fifteen years my heart still skips a beat with I see you. My friend Natalie Donnelly & her daughter Eryn. To put it simply: she is an angel and if the world was full of Natalies, it would be a better place. Also my bestie Liv thank you for letting me be and never smothering me with pointless words. Love you both xx
Love & Hugs to you all,

Monday, October 6, 2014


I think back 12 years ago, it really does seem like yesterday.  A not so normal Dr visit, 2 days past your due date turned scary. Extremely low amniotic fluid, baby's dropping heart rate and emergency c section. What an entrance you made on Oct 7th, defiantly a beautiful little blessing from heaven. You were here and I had a life time memories waiting to be made, the future was to be filled with joy, laughter and many blessings.

Your future had already been made, your destiny set in stone, this was nothing I would have wanted but your life plan was already set. If I could it would have been changed in a heart beat, If I could change places with you, consider it done. Prayers were the only thing I had control of because there was no such thing a control when you have a child diagnosed with cancer. 

Jacob it brings me to tears to think today is your 12th birthday, all I have are memories. I could only imagine how tall you would be, your personality, how handsome you would have become. I know your spirit would be bright, just as it is now, leaving imprints with people

Always remembering your laugh, hugs, your goofy personality and you telling me 


Remembering Jacob, lighting a candle in his memory ^i^
Love you always (<---------this much---------="">)
Always pulling strength from your memories.



Saturday, February 1, 2014

Missing you!!

It's hard to believe that it has been 4 years since Jacob went to be in Heaven, there are still times I wake up and think I forgot to give Jacob one of his pills or we missed a Dr appt. There are times I just can't shake that feeling that there is something missing, yes my precious boy Jacob!  There is never a day I don't think about Jacob, wish things could have been different, but I know this was Jacobs roll on earth, short it was but lots of lives changed.

On Feb. 1st 2010 at 11:35pm our lives were changed forever, Memories are what kept me going.  Jacob's BIG beautiful smile will always put a smile on my face.

Heavy on my mind today, love you so much & miss you always!

I go to bed at night hoping & praying I will see him in my dreams, if it was only for a quick hug and a "I love you"!  It is the littlest things I miss!

Thank You for your continued prayers and support!

Jacob, Always In Our Hearts

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


It's hard to believe this Oct 7th will be the 4th birthday we celebrate for Jacob with him in heaven.  He would have been 11, wow 11, I think how he would look, his personality and what he would be enjoying, so much wondering.  It hurts just to think about it, but I know he is in a much better place and will always be looking down on us  :o)

This year, I am doing it BIG, I will be doing a fundraiser to celebrate what would have been Jacob's 11th birthday!  Come on down, bring the whole family there is so much going on!!
We will have a DJ, food, a lot of great Vendors and so much more. If you want to help with donating items for the bake sale I would appreciate it   :o)  We are having wonderful items from each of our vendors for our raffles, you can't miss out on not buying raffle tickets. You do not have to be present to win.
Our event Facebook page:

El Cangrejo "Nice"
$2.00 TACOS & $3.00 BEER

MUSIC BY Dj Hypnotik

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Music by Dj Hypnotik

Lisa Michel -Origami Owl

Linda Lamarre -Lamarre Boutique

Amy Marie Vassale -Scentsy

Marsha Landeros –Arbonne

Debbie Guy -Amazing Grace Gifts & Fundraising

Tim Evans -American Warrior Clothing

Kirri Obert Lingenfelter -Kerri A Photography

Michel Gonzalez Lynch -Sweat Heads USA


Suzie Rands Cook -Norwex

Ada Hau –Mary Kay

Frank Balurdi –Pampered Chef

Lisa Carosa –Juice Plus

Gigi Flowers - custom made wooden playhouses for a really reasonable cost!

Julie Stark - 100% Natural and 100% hand made goat milk soap

Angela Nitsche  - Damsel in Defense
Kirri Obert Lingenfelter -Photographer

Diana Weeks -Celebrating home

Sherry Haycraft -PawFolks K-9 Kitchen

Paul Miraldi –Tiki Heaven

Isabel Grigsby – Teddy Essentials

Jodi Chen –Empire Rose Soap Co.

Ginny Bartlett – Monkey Boy Industries

Lisa Scott –Boutique 29:11

Lori Zierden –Duck Duct Bloom

Diana Cooper with Lia Sophia Jewelry

Michel Lynch -Sweat Heads USA

Fabian Razo  -RAZO'S MEX ART –Garden Decor

Juan Vera with Down2Scrap Clothing /Shur-fit Mouth guards

Jen Freilich -At the end of your leash balanced dog training 

Denise Artukovich -Javita Coffee

Starla Buenalez, eyelash extensions

Annette Ruiz  - It Works

Carmen Irene -My Monkey Business

Scott Howey –Beach Body

Shawna Hennessy – Corona Physical Medicine (951)735.3553

Ron’s Balloons –Balloon twisting

Veronica's Face painting
Raquel Gongora with Tupperware 

Lysa Loza with KL Designs

Suzie Cook with Norwex

Julie Hoffman with Thirty one Gifts

Kailee Aguilar with Miche Bags

Raven Hernandez - Halloween items 

Valerie Contratto with Primerica Financial Services 

Blake Blinkin / Blinkin Toys - Rubber band guns

Monday, October 1, 2012


Yes we came home about a month later, once Dillon mastered the suck, swallow & breath technique and got to 5 lbs they wasted no time to send us home.
We all settled in just fine, it’s been 10 years since I did all this with Jacob ^♥^ Just like riding a bike it all came right back. A lot of emotional moments, remembering when Jacob was this small. Jacob was also 5 lbs when we brought him home, I love all the memories. These are all the memories I will be sharing with Dillon as he grows, all the wonderful things about his big brother Jacob now in Heaven looking down and watching over us. ^♥^ Dillon’s 2 mnth appt on July 27th went well, he got his first set of immunizations, screamed bloody murder but was fine after I held him. He is growing so fast, he weighed 7 lbs, 11 oz & 19.25 in.
About 2 wks later we had a huge scare, we noticed his testicle was swollen and trying not to let my mind go to a place it should not I quickly got him to the Dr’s. (this is why I HATE BEING A CANCER MOM) My anxiety, fear & stress level just grew as the Dr tells me I am not sure what it is, there is a lump there, could be a hernia but we can usually push a hernia back in *GULP* (just relax Melisa, don’t go there…..telling myself its nothing) and to make everything worse the Dr did not want me to take Dillon home, she wanted us to go straight to ultra sound to see what was there. If you can only imagine the state I was in at this point, an emotional train wreck and to make matters worse the U/S tech needed a second opinion on what she was seeing, as I sit there holding Dillon I completely “LOST IT” My prayers could not be heard enough!!!!! What really sucks is that the tech’s cannot share what they see :0/ I did ask but no, got nothing, so we go home and wait for the test results?? OH NO they said they had to send us to URGENT CARE….WHAT!!! WHAT ARE YOU SEEING?!?!?! At this point I just wanted to start screaming at everyone, it did not help we were already there over 5 hrs. SSSOOOOO we finally see the Dr and find out it is a hernia, ALL THAT FOR A HERNIA!!! BIG sigh of relief, thank God!! So Dillon does need surgery and it will be set 1 or 2 days before Halloween. I just want to get this past us and I don’t want any more hospital stays. Dillon is growing & changing so fast and we are loving every moment! We had his 4 mnth appt on Friday September 28 he is doing great and catching up quickly to the normal growth chart, he weighing 11 lbs, 10 oz & 24in.
Thank You for your continued prayers, Melisa

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


It’s been a couple of months since my last update on my pregnancy. Since my results coming back good on my amniocentesis I have enjoyed and was more relaxed with my pregnancy. I have to say my pregnancy has been easy and I was looking forward to going to full term with this little boy. Well he had different plans, I went in for more NST appt on May 29th and then they sent me over for extended monitoring in Labor & Delivery to find out his heart rate kept dropping and coming right back up. This is so scary, not to mention stressful, I was like not again!! This is how my last pregnancy with Jacob ended, granted Jacob was 2 days past his due date, but it still ended in an emergency c section. So any ways with his heart rate continuing to drop the Dr did not feel comfortable letting me go to find out my baby’s heart had stop. Of course my little life inside me was my first priority, so when she told me we need to do a c section tonight I agreed. I had my concerns about how early he was going to be, but at 34 weeks & 5 days they told me there should not be much to worry about. Of course there could be some small concerns but we just need to get him out and go from there. It was about 5pm and things moved quickly, I was in the OR about 2 hours later being prepped for the c section, with so much running through my head, just praying please let my baby boy be ok!!! They pulled him out SCREAMING, what a great sign, he came out perfect and YES HE WAS HOLDING HIS OWN and we were told he was doing great!

MAY 29TH 2012 AT 7:17PM
3 LBS 15 OZ , 16.9 IN LONG

He is still in the NICU, not sure when he will be coming home, it could be another 3 weeks and only time will tell. He needs to eat fully from a bottle, sometimes he comes close to taking a full 2 oz bottle and other times only half then the rest goes into his feeding tube & his current weight is now 4lbs 8 oz.  A brain scan was also done last tues, this is normal protocol for preemies and they saw a shadow, they do not know what that could have been so they are re-doing it today, please pray that it is nothing.


Thank You for your continued prayers,