Knowing when a joke isn’t funny

I think  back to the last time I wrote something on here and it was for Mari's 14th birthday back in December. In only two and a half short months my life permanently changed seven years ago. July will always hold a place in my life of sadness. However, at least I have hope because I know through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus that I will get to see her again one day. I feel blessed that I am a believer because then I know I will get to see her again once I join her in … [Continue reading...]

Happy Birthday Mariana. You’re 15 Today (or you would’ve been :( ) #acfw #lossofchild


I think back to 15 years ago today and my world was about to permanently change. Right now it’s 10:15 a.m., Alaskan time, but in the Chicago area it’s one fifteen in the afternoon. At this point, the doctor had started the Pitocin and I was about three hours into delivering Mariana. I was a little less than six hours away from giving birth to her. She took us from being a two to a three. Our little miracle was coming into the world. Little did we know that only eight-and-a-half short years later … [Continue reading...]

Going through Mari’s stuff

snowglobe 2

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve started going through Mari’s stuff. I still remember the day we went into the house we’d been renting and sat there packing up every single item that either was Mari’s or we needed for her. Nothing got thrown away. Even her juice cups and light switch covers all […]

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Seeing the Gift


Wow, it’s hard to believe that Mari’s book is done. I entered the last of the edits to part 2 and sent it off to my editor (my dear sweet friend Deirdre). This day has been almost six years in the making. A week from tonight I will be on a plane heading toward Chicago […]

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Was or Is?

Blank white Hearts on Snow Background. Small Depth of Field. Blue tinted

I sit here thinking of Mari today. Time is moving one step at a time closer to the six year mark for Mari being gone. Can you believe it’s been six years already? I think back on all the times I wrote about time after she passed, especially that first year or so. The fact […]

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Reflecting back over the A to Z Challenge #AtoZchallenge

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I’ve now done the A to Z Challenge two years in a row. However, this year I took on an added challenge of my own by not only doing it on this site but also my author site ( I may not have always got my post up on time, which only happened a couple […]

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Z is for Zoom Zoom #AtoZchallenge #acfw


Zoom zoom. When I think of Mari and her constant energy, I think of her zoom zooming all over the place. She was constantly on the go doing something. Mari would be in her room playing. She lined up whatever it is she’s playing with. Then she would flap her little arms and go, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.” […]

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Y is for Young #AtoZchallenge #acfw


When people hear that I’ve had a child who passed away when she was 8 1/2 years old, they almost always say something like, “She was so young.” And she was, but I’m always amazed at just how much someone so young has touched so many people’s lives. This morning I called Todd Hochberg to […]

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X is for eXceptional #AtoZchallenge

Daddy lovingly saying goodbye

When I think of exceptional I think of Mari, and I could talk about everything I think that is exceptional about Mari but I think I’ve done that already this month. However, as many of you know I’ve been writing a memoir about what happened with our daughter and how we lost her. In the […]

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W is for Water #atozchallenge

water Mari 4

Mari and water, a dynamic combination. Mari loved being in, playing in, basically anything to do with in the water. From the time Mari was a baby, she loved to go swimming. My husband‘s family was always amazed that I could put her in the swimming pool and she had the time of her life. […]

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V is for Vibrant #atozchallenge


The word ‘vibrant’. When I think of this word immediately Mari’s sweet angelic face pops in my head. I can see her vivid blue eyes. Her bright shining smile. She had a zest for life I think most people wish they could have. I sit here thinking back on Mari’s life, and while there are […]

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U is for Unique #atozchallenge

Mari's last Chistmas, only four days before her eights birthday as well as the move we made from DeKalb to Burbank, Illinois.

A uniquely different kind of girl. Mari had one of those personality that sticks with you. If you’d met her, you remember her for the spunky little thing that she was. She rarely got upset but when she did you heard about it. She’d be playing with a toy and every seemed to be going […]

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T is for Time #atozchallenge

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Time, is there really ever enough of it? No, not really. How many times have you heard someone say they wish they just had two or three more hours in a day to do something? I’ve heard it many times throughout my lifetime. It’s probably been like this since the beginning. However, no matter how […]

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S is for Special Education #atozchallenge #specialeducation

Mari's Last School Picture

One of the most impactual things to happen in Mari’s life was her schooling. From the time she was only two-years-old, Mari started attending the Early Intervention Program that was part of the Chicago Heights School District. She was apart of this program until we moved in September 2004 to DeKalb. She started in an […]

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R is for Remember #atozchallenge

It’s hard not to remember such a remarkable little girl as Mari. I know that I might be a tad bit biased, but I also know how this one little girl touched so many people’s lives in ways I never could have imagined. In the two weeks prior to Mari contracting E. coli, she was […]

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