Monday, September 29, 2014

I Miss you Maia

Maia I miss you

Once again the computer had some kind of glitch and the blog that I started did not save and I had to start over.  I have been trying to writing for a month as it has been real busy for us.  Sorry this blog is all over the place and written in no order and I wanted to post it today so Rizza did not have time to edit. Today is Maia's "Angelversary" 1 month since she passed away.

I miss you Maia. I turn on my computer, your picture is my wallpaper, the one where you have 2 pigtails and the yellow rose headband on. (Sorry hard drive is getting fixed so cant post pic)  Your bottom teeth were coming in and you're slobbering a little bit. You're sitting up and with your cute little nose and your big cheeks are right in my face and your eyes and eyebrows are telling me...  " Dad, I am here not too long and not to short. Just right, right when God wants me to enter the gates of heaven and join my sister Marissa. For you dad "I will be with you the rest of your life, as you were there for my whole life." Maia I miss YOU... Your pic is on the refrigerator door, every time I open it or I am in the kitchen I see you and miss you more, but I can not take it down. I do not need a picture to see you because I always do. Maia, I miss listening to your heartbeat, kissing you, feeling your scars, holding your hands, playing with your fingers and toes. Your hair was growing so long it was half way down your back. I miss how wild it could be, how cute, beautiful, curly, straight, Coolio braided out, how sticky it was after the head scan. I miss coming in the morning and smelling your hair after the night nurses, Denise, would give you a spa treatment.
I miss your eyes so inquisitive, strong, happy, loving, thankful. I miss all your facial expressions to for each person that would come to your room and to your bedside, your regulars and the new people. I miss you Maia. I see little kids with their parents and it makes me smile.. Yes, I wish that could be us, but it was not our plan in life, and I know things happen for a reason but it does put a smile on my face, even more when it is a little girl like you, people do not know how blessed they are. Maia you taught me to love more, to stay positive and to keep faith. I did get you
tattoo'd on my left arm. Maia Grace, 8291314 for the day you were born and the day you got your angel wings, under that I get CCCLXV, in Roman numerals is 365, that was the days that we were so blessed with your presence. My tattoo will be with me for the rest of my life just as you will be Maia.
                                                                  
Thank you my brother, Abraham Ortega at
Death Before Dishonor Tattoo in San Jose.


I love you Maia you and your sister Marissa will always
be with me everywhere I go even till the day I die.






Marcus...

This boy amazes me and makes me so proud. The day after Maia got her wings we went to In and Out. His nino Rommel played a joke on him, told Marcus that they were all out of strawberry shakes, and Marcus broke down in tears of sorrow. I took him for a piggy back ride down the street and when he settled down a little we talked, well I asked yes and no questions and he responded. Marcus, are you sad, yes, are you sad because Maia is gone, yes, are you happy she became an angel and is playing with Marissa, yes, do you want to go back to In and Out now, no, want me to keep walking, yes, do you want to walk, no, Marcus we all love Maia and we all miss her, yes daddy me too. Did you like her in the hospital, no, did you like her at home, yes, do you love all the nurses at the hospital, yes. We kept walking and after about a 1/4 mile he was better and then we turned around and I continued to carry him back, asking more questions and talking to him about all the good that happened and all the love that we have for Marissa, Maia and him. He sunk his cheek into my shoulder as we got closer to to In and Out and he told me I love you daddy. After a couple days I thought about what happened and came up with the conclusion that Marcus did not cry because there was no strawberry shakes, which was a joke and he did get one. He cried because the joke was to early after Maia got her wings. What I was thinking is that they ran out of strawberry shakes like Maia ran out of life. I really do not know what he was thinking and we will talk later but we have been cautious on how and what we say and do. Marcus is coming around and talking more. One night when he was about to turn on the shower, he started crying and told Rizza when can I have a little sister, one we can bring home, one we can watch grow. On Thursday at 7:45 pm before bed he wanted to talk about Maia and have a cry session. We did and Marcus felt so much better afterwards. We see have seen it in the past couple days to in his behavior. I did ask him if he sees Marissa and Maia still and he said yes, but changed the subject, so we can talk later as this is going to take us all time to not have so much hurt in our hearts.
We have got a few calls from Marcus school. One we from principal Brady to give her condolences, thank you that was so thoughtful. The next one was to tell us that there was an incident. As parents we have worried about his emotional state and prayed and hoped and have been teaching Marcus the right things in life. Ms. Brady told us that some boys were trying to get Marcus to join there group and he kept saying no, they chased him and kept insisting that he joins the group and continued to say no. Then the boys started to get physical and one of them tried to twist his arm and Marcus tried to get away and then the kid punched Marcus in his eye, and Marcus then slugged the boy in the chest. Principal Brady said that it was not Marcus fault he as trying to do the right thing. We taught Marcus to ask nicely and tell someone to stop, then tell them with a stern voice, then leave the area, all stuff he tried to do. After talking to Marcus his story was the same, he did right, maybe he should of not struck the kid but he did say he only used 30% power. We asked him about this group and what it was and why did you not want to join. He said they meet everyday and he has other friends he wants to play with. Then a few days later we get a call come to find out there was another incident Marcus was in. This time a couple kids from his kindergarten class were rough housing and they were mean about it and Marcus did not want to play anymore and asked them to stop and then told them. His other friend Brady saw what was happening and saw Marcus was getting mad. He said he went over and told the kids to leave Marcus alone and to let him go. When the did not listen he ended up pushing them so they would let go of  Marcus. Brady also said that he was in fear for the kids as if Marcus gets mad he may hurt these kids with his martial arts and then Marcus would be in trouble, thank you Brady for helping your friend and thinking of him in such a big boy way. Sense then all has been good and they all still play together and still have fun. He just went on a play date last week with Brady and those to are good friends. Thank you Heesun for always welcoming Marcus.
Marcus says he misses going to the hospital, not just for bingo. He misses all the nurses and staff, his favorite nurse, the cute one, the one who teaches him the most, tickle monster, and glasses/smooth. The video below is for you glasses/smooth, you know who you are.. lol.

video


Marcus has always been a SF Giants fan. He has been to many games and now can't wait for the 7th inning stretch so he can sing.


1st Game at 1 1/2


To the AWESOME BIG BROTHER

Thank you SF Giant organization and to
Gail 

Thank you Buster Posey #28

We're going to South Lake Tahoe, thanks to the Miller- Jimenez family. Back with Marissa, Rizza, and I always have wanted to say our peace where we got married. We have been trying for the past couple years to go but, life had other priorities. We have been wanting to go to the spot where we said "I do." We still had Marissa on our minds the first year Marcus started transitional kindergarten, and I was finishing the school semester. I then started work and Rizza worked full-time in San Francisco. Credit cards were all paid off, we started buying new furniture, we actually talked about moving out. Yes, out. Out from under my in-laws' roof that the door has been so kindly open for so long. Moving back from the Central Valley at the time we did was difficult for everyone, businesses, corporations, for the Mead family of three. After recovering from those years, then Marissa, then Maia and the whole time I have been thankful for each day. We are all so ready to go. To get away,  Tahoe, the fresh air, the lake, the trees, we saw hospital walls for so long we need this. To spend time together away from the city. We hope the fires are out or at least the air quality is good when were there. 

Rizza and I are doing good. She will write in the blog soon. I am doing pretty good. Going through all Maia's stuff has not been as hard as I thought it would be, partly because I did not know how much stuff Maia had, all her newborn to 3 months all her 3-6 months, clothes she never got to wear. We did have our favorite clothes Maia wore, and all her headbands we are keeping.  We are giving all her stuff away, to friends and family that have kids that will fit and then we donated the rest of her stuff, and all the stuff she would of used, highchair, car seats, clothes, and toys. She would want us to and we of course want to. Were getting ready to start working again but clearing up a few things before. We both want to work and get our lives back together, our own place. We ended up deciding after watching the news to give all everything to the community of Weed, CA that lost over 100 homes in the fire.

The weekend of the 20th car was all packed with Maia's clothes and stuff she never got to wear or use and a few more bags that were donated during the week (thank you Gosia and family). Then we stared out morning early and drove to French Camp (thank you Jenn)  then Sacramento (thank you Debbie) where we picked up more donations along the way. Onward we made our way to Chico, CA to Anika Burke, http://www.anikaburke.com/  where they have been collecting donations for the people in Weed, CA as they lost over 100 homes. After meeting the owner we found out she was affected directly as she has family members that live in Weed. It was a beautiful day and drive. While looking for parking we saw a farmers market and she suggested, actually recommended we go to the pie cart. We made our way to the cart before getting back on the road for the final part of our trip to Willits, CA.  Okay these pies were the best we ever had in our lives and we have been thinking of a reason to drive back to Chico just to get a whole pie. After leaving and headed out and on our way to Willits.

We made it Willits and mom is real sick so we went on Sunday after church to  the house and visited her. At the Agape Church we met all the wonderful congregation, all the people that joined the Mighty Maia Fight Team and have been praying for us and helping in any way they can. It was nice to finally meet people in person Susanne Pope and everyone. Marcus has been wanting to get up in front of the church and thank everyone. So he thought of what he wanted to say and when it was time I picked him up and he spoke into the mic. (sorry did not get a recording). He thanked everyone and thanked all the kids in VBS.
It turns out mom was so sick, she has now been in the hospital for a week and we have been driving up to Santa Rosa to see her and to cheer her on in her fight for life just as we did with Maia.  Hospitals are nothing new but after being at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital for a year we got spoiled. As we wrote in many other post they are the best of the best not just in care but in kindness, in professionalism, and the way the hospital is run. The nurses and Dr.s truly care and truly do what they do because they care. Mom has been fighting and slowly getting better, baby steps that is. Sometimes were asked don't you guys ever get a break. I just say it's life and we will be stronger as we grow from all of this. I mean this for everyone, Rizza, Marcus and I and everyone that reads our blog and that we know or have met. That is one of our goals is to show people to always look at the positive. As of today mom is doing better she is out of the ICU and they are talking that she may go home soon. But like Maia baby steps and I know my dad if its a day or a year he will be by her side just as we are..


Something that happened months ago, and one of the reasons I did the Faith video. (go to top and click video link to find videos)
Satan came to me on one of my sleepless nights. He asked me why do you pray, why do you thank, why do you have faith in God, when if he is the all powerful all mighty why doesn't he heal your daughter Maia. I laughed at him and told him to bring it on. I will never stop praying, thanking and I will never loose my faith in God. I said that Marissa is up in heaven and if God chooses to make Maia an angel too then I am honored just as I am honored that he gave us his son, Jesus.

So I was stuck and could not write for a bit. I would sit down, look at the screen and draw a blank. Tonight I am all alone, Marcus is sleeping, Rizza is in Yosemite with her brother, aunt and uncles. I wanted to write and still nothing, then I looked on Facebook and saw this adorable picture of my two nieces,  Lexi and Ely, and I started flowing. (again I added to what I started and the post is all over the place) I started to think that Marissa and Maia are playing in heaven. What I thought about when I saw this pic was Maia will not get to meet these two cuties, not be able to just lay down and read a book with them, not be able to share cousin girl talk, they will never get to go out together. Seeing this pic also makes me so happy and fills my heart with warmth as I know Maia and Marissa are watching over these two, and all their cousins, making sure they are all safe.


Lexi and Ely

I want to also thank Rhea at Le Reve Salon Le Reve Salon for the mommy make over.

Every thing we think, do, try to do, things that work out and things that do not we learn from. We are trying to be the best parents in this situation and any situation we are in weather it is good or bad. We learn from our mistakes so we can do better, we have no ego and we love life. Thank you for following our blog and being on the Mighty Maia Fight Team as we all have a fights in lives, no matter what it may be, as long as we have fun and try our best we know that we are living the best life possible.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Happy Birthday to Our Newest Angel...

This post was created by both mom and dad over the past few days, in the middle of all the craziness, stress, and inconceivable moments.... 

~ Thoughts from Mom ~
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

This was the day of what would be our last family meeting. We had normally been meeting on Friday mornings, but since Friday was Maia's birthday, we decided to reschedule it. We knew it was going to be a busy day since it was also Marcus' first day of school... we now are the proud parents of a 1st grader!!! So after dropping him off at school, we headed straight to the hospital. Maia had a somewhat uneventful night and although she was relaxed and calm, her Dr. put her back on blood pressure medication, dopamine and epinephrine to help her maintain a higher blood pressure, which Maia seems to prefer. We were also hoping this would get more oxygenated blood to her kidneys, to get them to work more effectively and help her get rid of more fluid. For the past few days, her urine output had been slowly decreasing. They were unable to increase her diuretics due to her kidney levels being already elevated. They also added nitric oxide back to the mix to help open up the blood vessels in her lungs. Her sedation medication, dex, was decreased to give her some more awake time... something we didn't mind at all. Despite Maia being stable for the day, our family meeting reconfirmed what we had discussed at our last meeting. This week, the ICU attending was Dr. Sarah Tabbutt. She's always been very passionate with Maia's care and on that day, she mentioned that Maia was a completely different baby from when she last saw her about 3 weeks ago. She has gotten so much worse and we're all not sure exactly why. She told us that there were a few more minor things she'd like to try and check out regarding Maia's care... one of which was to put her back on the full dose of steroids. Of course this comes with no guarantee that something positive would come out of it, but for her own personal reasons, she wanted to make sure that if Maia wasn't going to survive, she wanted to know that she really did do everything for Maia. But just like all the other Drs on Maia's team, Dr. Sarah also wanted us to be prepared because Maia didn't look good and it was only a matter of time. 


 















 One thing Dr. Sarah did not want to happen, was for Maia to pass in the middle of the night, without us there. She said it has happened before and it's such a heartbreaking experience to see a baby take their last breath without the people that love them most around. She did not want that to happen to Maia. So she said if we want to have a more prepared setting, so that we could all be with her, they would accommodate us in any way they can... and we can do things our way. Or we could always continue the fight just as we've always done, and hope and pray that if anything happens, we would be there. She also discussed with us the palliative team, who was also present at the family meeting, regarding the transition to comfort care. Dr. Sarah had talked to me previously about them and said she's worked with them many times before and they are great with pain management situations, like with cancer patients. But she felt Maia's situation was different. She really didn't feel the need to transition or bring in any more people. She left it up to us to determine what we would like or need from the palliative care team. Dr. Sarah felt that in her entire life, Maia was taken care of by her 7 East family and they knew her best. She felt it was better that they continue Maia's care until the very end, because they've been there from the start and they knew how to best make Maia happy and comfortable... and we completely agreed. 




So Gordon and I went to lunch and talked it over. We both agreed that Maia has not looked good this past week and that it hurts us to see her so mad and unhappy. All she wants is to remove all the tubes, wires, and IVs connect to her. If she could do it herself, she would, and she's tried many times before. One thing I knew for sure, is that I wanted Maia to celebrate her 1st birthday with us. When Marissa was born, we said hello & goodbye all within the same day... in some weird way, I wanted the same thing for Maia, to be able to celebrate her birthday and "angelversary" on the same day. So when we got back to the hospital, we told Maia's nurse, Angela, that we were leaning towards comfort care but that we had a few questions as to how the process would be and what can we expect. 




Angela described the process as being pretty much customized for the best comfort level for Maia. Dr. Sarah added that in Maia's condition, it would be best to do everything quickly, so there's less chance of her going into cardiac arrest... we could not bear to see that happen, so that would be the plan. The only other thing that we requested was to be able to celebrate Maia's birthday. If everyone, all the Drs, nurses, and RTs, could help her make it to 2:45am, her official birthday, we would be happy. Of course, just like always, if Maia decides otherwise, we'll just go with the flow and let her lead the way. For the rest of the day, Maia was comfortable and happy, mainly because she was proned (on her tummy), her favorite position. Unfortunately, this made her face and chest extremely puffy from the swelling that was gradually starting to increase more and more... this also meant her urine output was also decreasing.


Maia's Birthday Eve ~ Thursday, August 28, 2014
 
















Later that night, we sat in our room at home, talking about how we can improve our home life. Going back and forth to the hospital each day had taken a toll on things like our bedroom... it was a mess! We literally used it as a place to sleep and change our clothes. Then around 1:30am we received a phone call from Dr. Duncan Henry, the PCICU attending who was working the night shift. Maia was not responding well to a position change and had dropped her oxygen sats once again. They were having a hard time bringing them back up and wanted us to come down and be with Maia, in case something happened. Everyone was aware that Maia dying and that she could go at any time, so they wanted to make sure we were notified. We thanked Dr. Duncan and headed over to the hospital. 

The drive to UCSF brought us back to the time we drove to the hospital when I was in labor. It was also a Thursday early morning drive and we decided to take the exact same route! However, this time, we were both crying, we were both scared. We didn't know what was going to happen. When we arrived, both Gordon and I had settled ourselves down. We just wanted to see Maia. We got to her room and she was stable... which of course meant that she had calmed down, her numbers weren't great, but she was still alive. Her sats were in the 50's but she was relaxed and in prone position. I decided to stay with her, and Gordon went back home to get some sleep. As Maia slept comfortably, the only thing her nurse, Angie, was worried about was when it was time to change position again around 6:00am. At 6:30am she was flipped over and she once again was not happy. It took her awhile, but she eventually settled down. 




Later that night, I spent the night with Maia. I was prepared for her moments of desaturation along with a long sleepless night for me. To my surprise, Maia had such a calm and peaceful night. It was uneventful as she slept through the entire night. Her nurse that night was Katie, who was also prepared for anything. Around midnight, Katie asked me if I was ok with having her diuretics stopped. She hadn't peed in almost 2 days, so she thought the less fluid that Maia's body took in, might help reduce her swelling. When she checked to see if it was ok with the Dr. she was told not to do anything, especially if Maia was stable... he was told that Maia needed to make it to her birthday, at least til 2:45am, her true birthday. So since Maia was stable and doing fine, they wouldn't change anything. It was so quiet that several times I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of falling birthday cards that hit the ground. The next morning, I woke up crying because everything had seemed too calm and peaceful... like it was a sign that Maia might be ready... ready to join her sister.

Maia's 1st Birthday, August 29, 2014




I got up around 6:00am. I changed into my Fight Your Heart Out shirt and freshened up before the craziness of the day started. We scheduled a Happy Birthday sing-a-long on Ustream to air around 10:00am, however, traffic was horrible that morning, making Gordon, Marcus, and my brother, all late to the hospital. Nurse Angela and I tried to set things up as much as we could before people started arriving. We moved around chairs and tables to help set up the camera and laptop that would air our birthday celebration. We also changed Maia into her birthday outfit... a pink and white tutu dress, with matching pink and white socks with flowers (a gift from Nurse Helen and her daughter Jackie). Marcus' gift, a pink flower headband, completed the look. I knew Maia would have IVs on her arms so I figured one of the easiest things to put on was something strapless. The body of the dress was was crocheted elastic, which made accommodating her swollen body much easier. It fit her perfectly! The night before, the staff had arranged it so that Maia was the only patient in the front area of the unit. We're glad they did because everyone slowly trickled in... and before we knew it, the front area of the unit was filled with with people waiting to celebrate. Hospital staff from different units and departments all came by to wish Maia a Happy Birthday, along with some of the nurses that were off that day. It was a good thing no other patients were in the front area with us because it did get loud and crowded. 




Although Maia had been weaned off her sedation meds so that she could be more awake for her birthday, she seemed tired. She was awake and alert whenever Marcus talked to her, but for the most part, she wasn't as active as she normally was. But she also wasn't mad like she usually was, she was nice and calm... which in some ways, confirmed to me that once again, she was ready, ready to be with her sister.




Those that couldn't stay for very long personally greeted Maia with both tears of joy and tears of sadness. It was an emotional sight to see, as many of Maia's nurses and Drs came by to wish her a Happy Birthday. We all knew she wasn't doing very well, so there were both tears of joy and tears of sadness, as we celebrated her first birthday.




The sing-a-long got started around 10:30am. We were joined by Oliver Jacobson, the musical therapist, who was gracious enought to accompany us in our Happy Birthday serenade to Maia. Afterwords, Marcus entertained us all with his renditions of "Counting Stars" and "Let It Go." 




We then gave Maia some birthday treats! We took her oral care sponge on a stick and dipped it into some whipped cream, then some cronut custard, then some chocolate... and she sucked the sponge dry each time! Marcus was so excited for Maia to try some sweets that he quickly gave her more! It was a beautiful sight.... Maia also got a pedicure from her ninas!




A few moments later, we were joined by one of Maia's uncle and godfather. My brother had flown out from New York and made it just in time to see Maia. He had previously done the same thing back when Marissa was born, but unfortunately, she passed away before his plane had landed. So we were all so happy he was able to be here for Maia's birthday celebration. 




As the party whined down, Dr. Sarah checked in with us to see if we were ready, if everyone we wanted to be present was there. So after a few minutes, we privately gathered everyone into Maia's room. Dr. Sarah, Angela, and Robin, her RT, made sure everything was ready. At this time, Gordon and I sat down on the couch and Maia was placed into my arms. She was extremely heavy and so swollen, it made me so sad to see her that way. She was normally so happy and vibrant, so to see her so still and barely moving, with her eyes closed, was very hard... just confirmation that we knew it was her time. Dr. Sarah first gave her some sedation meds, then took her off of her blood pressure meds. Next to go was the tape on her face... the tape that she tried to take off herself so many times. Then last to go was her breathing tube, the tube she hated so much. Her face was once again free. Dr. Sarah quietly left the room as we kissed her cheeks and told her how much we loved her. It was heartbreaking to have to say goodbye. But she was surrounded by so much love. It was almost as if she had fallen asleep in my arms. She didn't struggle, she didn't suffer... we couldn't let her, she didn't deserve it. She left us peacefully at 1:55pm. Dr. Sarah came in to let us know and quietly whispered her time of death to us, as only she was able to see it since they had turned off the monitor in Maia's room. She was now gone. Gone to be with God and her big sister, Marissa. 




Maia, you are loved... you are missed.


~ Thoughts from Dad ~


Happy Birthday to our newest angel 





Dad Gordon

4 weeks ago. 
Maia gave us all a scare on that day, Saturday August 2nd or was it a sign? (If you do not know what happened that day please go back and read my last post.)   Since that day I have listened to Maia's breath, her right lung, left lung, upper lung,
lower lung, on the side or from the back depending on how she is laying down. As the weeks went by there has been no real change in sound. At one time, Maia's lungs sounded like a faint sonar ping, sometimes when feeling her chest it felt like the same sticky feeling of having gum on the bottom of your shoe.

Maia received  X-rays every morning, they almost always looked like hazy headlights when they should just look see through and be black and see bones. Maia, did you fight to make it to your birthday so your mom's heart was filled with joy? You tried your hardest, you gave it everything you had to give, we stood by your side, thought out of the box ideas to help you heal, cried for you, and we did not give up, we held you until you took your last breath. We, I love you Maia. 

I have been in so much more pain thinking about what Marcus must be going through. He can't fully express himself, tell us how feels, what he is thinking, why his eyes look sad. Why can he fall down, scrape his arm and get right up, but when he hears, no, stop, don't, he cries. Marcus has been playing, running around, laughing, farting, picking his nose, scratching his balls (private area) all the normal things a 6-1/2 year old boy does. This would be hard for any kid to comprehend, how to act, how to talk to people in his situation. It is darn hard for people I know and love talk to me, so it has to be hard for Marcus. 


 

During the birthday celebration in Maia's room as most of us all saw, Marcus climbed up into Maia's bed and sang happy birthday and many other songs to her. (video posted below) But before Marcus climbed into her bed he knew something was going on things were not normal. With all Maia's godparents there and some family members, then with around 40 plus staff members from UCSF. I took Marcus into a room across the hall as the front unit was empty for Maia's birthday celebration. 
I asked him "you know Maia is real sick?", 
Marcus "yes dad I do"
Me "How sick"
Marcus was quiet and his eyes dropped and looked at my heart. The Saturday before this I asked him the same questions and Marcus told me "Maia is so sick she can die."
Me: Marcus, what do you think if Maia became an angel, and was able to play with Marissa?
Marcus; with a sad face "I would be happy"
Me: Happy because she is not all hooked up to the machines and cannot move?
Marcus: Yes
Me: you know daddy, mommy, ninos , your ninas, everyone would be sad


Wife I am Sorry. 

I have lost pretty much all my worldly possessions. We lost our home and everything in it, had to sell my Harley, I almost had to sell my baby my down hill mountain bike, luckily its worth more to me than any one would pay. That all does not matter to me. I almost lost myself. I would never do what Robin Williams did. What I mean is I almost lost myself and got so selfish I was thinking about leaving my wife Rizza in OUR  journey. The woman I love. The woman that puts up with my farts, with my morning breath, bad and good days. My soulmate that loves my humor, laughs with me, laughs at me, that will stay by my side in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, through having our girls become angels. I love you Rizza. I am sorry for when I was being mean, when I was scared, when I did not know what to do or say, how to hold you. I do my best to be the best person, husband, dad, buddy guy, friend, man of the house, I do my best. But I failed myself through our journey, but I did not lose, I did not lose faith, I did not abandon your side. I let evil enter my life, but it only won for that moment of weakness. I could never bear losing you and having to spend every other week or weekends seeing Marcus. Living apart from you and only hearing your beautiful voice on the phone, hearing you laugh without me and seeing you hand in hand with someone else... I almost lost what I really care about, you and Marcus. I did learn that I will be a better man, father, dad, buddy guy, a better husband and most of all that evil will never win, our faith and love for each other was sealed when we kissed at the alter. I love you.... 

Marcus has been pretty good through this weekend. He did have a couple times when he started crying so emotionally. His nino Dada and uncle Barry both pulled a prank on him and it set off an already fragile kid's tearful waterfall. Normally this kid would've been laughing and ready to think about what prank he was going to do in retaliation. As I was present for both pranks and thought about it, Marcus was expecting something normal to happen and when that did not happen he broke down. Much like being by Maia's side, her normal was the best thing ever for this big brother, but when Maia was not normal she closed her eyes and never woke up. It disrupted the flow that he had. He got over it and he played again as both times I took him for a piggy back walk and sat down with him, held him, listened to him in his cry talk, and reassured him that we are all sad, we all miss Maia, we all wish Maia was still here and at home and that we all have cried. During his cry talk he answered questions and said what he wanted to say, I am glad I have come to understand cry talk.. The whole rest of the weekend Marcus was pretty normal, even though I can see him hurting and needing extra attention, whether it was from us, his ninos, TV, legos or just time with himself.  Marcus is the best son ever, he is my buddy, my homie, my dude, Marcus is my everything mixed between Rizza and my genes and we see it all.  Marcus is the best big brother to his two angels, an inspiration to so many, a leader and teacher to all of us about love for your siblings, most of all Marcus is my HERO... I love you son, I love you Marcus. 







Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Maia Gets Her Wings and Joins Marissa...

Hello everyone, 

We are extremely saddened to bring you news of Maia's passing. On Friday, August 29, we celebrated her 1st birthday and then she passed away peacefully in our arms, surrounded by loved ones. We apologize for not posting sooner, but we are currently busy making arrangements for her memorial service and life celebration. 

As always, thank you keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

Rizza and Gordon