Sunday, June 12, 2016

The best view comes after the hardest climb...

June 13, 2012 is one of those days we "should have" been celebrating. It's a day that "should" probably give us anxiety and a feeling of dread... but thankfully, it doesn't. At least not in the way most people think it does.

4 years ago on June 13 we cried tears of joy and tears of sadness. Our world was changed in a way that we didn't want it to be changed. All the preparation that was done for this moment was not enough to prepare us for what was to come... We were not ready.

Marissa was born. At 11:52am she entered our world and peacefully left at 12:35pm. I look back and I seem to remember everything in slow motion. Maybe because I knew she didn't have that much time with us and somehow slowing down time gives me the feeling that everything didn't really happen that fast. Leading up to that day, I clearly remember many well-meaning and well-intentioned family and friends, praying for a miracle. The miracle of a healthy baby... our healthy baby. But deep down I knew that every one of them failed to realize the true miracle. It wasn't going to be in the hope that the Drs. were wrong and that Marissa was healthy. The miracle was her all along. It was hard to witness all around me how an exception was made to the saying "every child is a miracle" when the child is not healthy or "normal." But I didn't let it bother me. I wanted to soak in every possible minute we had with our miracle, and that's what we did.

I feel like this is when our life lessons truly began. This is the time we actually started to live life. Life in the world as we knew it before Marissa was born, is so foreign to me now. What mattered then does not matter anymore. What we thought were problems then, are no longer considered problems to us now. Everything is different. Everything has changed.

But is has changed for the better. After learning about our story, many assume that it was our journey with Maia that changed us, that made us stronger and put everything into perspective. For me personally, it was Marissa. She was the catalyst that started the change, to question our needs and wants in life. Her short life brought to the surface everything that was never given attention to. She made me analyze life like I had never done before. She made me realize how strong I am, and how strong Gordon and Marcus are... and how much of life I wasn't fully living, not fully appreciating. After Marissa passed away, I started coming across many inspirational quotes. Whether I was looking for them or not, I seemed to notice them more. Many of them I had already heard of and already liked. The difference was that I now wanted and needed to apply them to my everyday life. They were no longer just quotes, they were words to live by. A perfect example is "The best view comes after the hardest climb." Not sure who should get credit for this quote, but it's a beautiful one. I'm able to appreciate things I never would have before... to appreciate people, moments... appreciate life. 

I think that's why our journey with Maia was one of the most amazing experiences ever. We were able to live each day to the fullest and not take anything for granted. We appreciated the bad days just as much as the good days. When others saw a depressing struggle, we were experiencing something completely different. We didn't have time to be mad or negative... so we put more effort into making the most of each moment we had with Maia. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow and that is something we are more aware of now. 

Thank you Marissa.... and Happy Birthday. 


The 2nd Annual Heart of Maia Toy Drive ~ July 1st through August 31st

As a reminder, we will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for kids ages Newborn to 17. 
This toy drive benefits UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

If you would like to participate and help collect toys, please contact:
 Rizza at and/or Gordon at

Thank you for all your support. Help put a smile on a child's face!!

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