Thursday, May 26, 2016

Almost Eight Years Ago

   
I liked it, and I thought of you, but then I could not bring it home.
 
               

  Daniel,


            Many times I function very well.  I do what I need to do as a parent and as a grandparent.  I take good care of your animals and their descendants.  Every once in a while there is something that I see or hear which triggers less than a happy recollection.  I think today was one of those days.  I went to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for someone and I saw a small blue and white house flag.   It said
        

     If tears could build a stairway,
    and memories a lane.
    I would walk right up to Heaven
    and bring you back again.


                             (Author unknown)

     
  I picked up the flag and added it to the few things I bought there. It will look nice on the small flag holder near the driveway. Then I thought about it some more.  You were called to Heaven supernaturally.  No clear explanation of why you passed has ever been demonstrated.  Repeated autopsies found nothing wrong but concluded that the manner in which you fell coupled with family history among older family members probably pointed to an abrupt cardiac arrhythmia.  You were called home by God in just a few seconds. Even though I gave CPR immediately, I never got you back. You were no longer there when I began.   If I were to build a bridge and walk up to Heaven to bring you home then I am doubting the plan of God. God needed you home in Heaven, and by saying I would bring you home I am doing something contrary to God's plan for you, for me , and for this family.    Still,  I love you and I miss you more than words can say.   I left the flag in the store.  I chose to trust God's plan for us all.  Perhaps this is as close to acceptance of what happened to which I will ever arrive.


              






Sunday, May 8, 2016

Forgotten ?

              
Oil painting    Simon Gaon

 

        I have wondered how long it would take before people outside our family completely forgot about Daniel's passing. How long would it take for us to get to a point where his birthday would come and go, and no one would say anything, via card, or via e-mail or phone call ?   I have that answer now.  This week would have been Daniel's twentieth birthday had we been lucky enough to have his soul remain with us in a flesh suit here on Earth.  There was not one phone call, not one e-mail, not one card and few who came to the blog to see what would be here.  It took only seven and a half years for all of those who knew you to be absorbed by the Earthly and to forget. People have their own problems, their own grief and their own losses.

               It doesn't matter.  Our family won't forget. I won't forget.  For as long as I live you will be one of the most important reasons I came to Earth. Daniel, you and your siblings made the trip, as arduous, as difficult and as hard as it sometimes is, worth it.

                Today is Mother's Day and it looks as if that has been forgotten too.  It doesn't matter.  Had you been here, I know you would have remembered.  As I move through life more and more waits for me where you are.




Monday, May 2, 2016

Daniel's Twentieth Birthday

       


 
   Sometimes, it's hard to believe that this week, had you remained here on Earth, you would be twenty years old. It shouldn't be amazing to me. Some of your friends are in college and have girl friends, and are decidedly man sized.  In my heart though, you are somewhere between twelve and nineteen, a beautiful boy who simply had not yet been corrupted in the ever deteriorating world that the remainder of your family occupies. No wonder God called you home. Perhaps in his place I would have also. In dreams I have had, you have been about thirty, and so wise.

              This week I had an interesting experience.  Your sister and I were on our way back from an errand with her baby, and we stopped at a Burger King. I stayed in the car with the baby, and your sister went inside to get the food.  All at once, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a young man of about twenty walking from the highway up to the Burger King. For just a moment, simply from his walk, I wondered if it were you. As he drew closer, I could see that he had a red long sleeve t-shirt and a pair of khaki cargo pants on. He had brown hair with the same distribution that you had, and a bit of facial hair stubble as if he were attempting to grow a beard, but it had been a fairly recent thought. He walked right past the car, saw me, and there wasn't even a hint of recognition. Sometimes it still surprises me that someone who looks something like you, doesn't recognize me. It's silly, I know.   As I watched him walk into the restaurant I told myself that as of this week, that the man walking in would likely be the size you would be now, had you still been here. He was about six feet tall and of average to muscular build.

         When your sister returned with the food, she had seen him too and thought that he looked like you also.   I am at a loss as to what to do for your birthday this week. In the past I have sent canned goods to the food bank. I know you always enjoyed doing that.  Other years I have done a secret good deed in your name. Some sad years I have simply made you a birthday cake I know you would have liked. Of course, your brothers and sister, and now your nephew consume it.   This year I am already planning your cake. I will play the good deed by ear.





           There is less turmoil regarding your birthday and the anniversary of your departure from Earth. However, I am never okay with your being gone.  Sometimes, it's as if you are on a special outing, perhaps an exchange student program, and that my job is to keep the farm maintained and ready for your return. I know that is not going to be, but sometimes that's how it seems.

         I miss you and my Dad very much.  Happy Birthday........and I love you more.




Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince Dies

       

 

        Today, the sheriff's department in Hennepin County, Minnesota went out to Prince's estate to find him in cardiac arrest in an elevator. Although CPR was performed, he was later pronounced dead.  Within the past week his private plane had made an emergency stop in Illinois so that he could go to a hospital with a severe case of the flu. Some news outlets have been reporting that he had a prior medical history of epilepsy.  His real name was Prince Rogers Nelson and those who have met him or worked with him have said he was a true musical prodigy, He worked in the music business successfully for over 35 years. He was 57 at the time of his passing.
                    He is probably best known for the songs "1999", "When Doves Fly", "Lets Go Crazy" "Kiss" , and of course, "Little Red Corvette".  He not only performed, but wrote hits for Sheila E, Sheena Easton, and the Bangles.

   "Six o'clock already and I was just in the middle of a dream"
    "I was kissing Valentino in a crystal blue Italian stream"

    (From Manic Monday)     This is vintage Prince.

   One of my personal favorites is a song Prince wrote that was specifically written for and recorded by Celine Dion.







He is also known for the the aid he gave to other musicians in terms of assisting them in the music business.

             I remember well that the year in which Daniel was born saw the birth of Prince's only child.  The child had significant birth defects and Prince and his wife did everything they could for him. I believe the boy spent most of his life in the hospital until he died. The following year, the two were divorced.

              Prince impacted several generations with his music.  It's hard to believe that both he and Michael Jackson are now gone.   Prince released two albums last year and had worked up to a week or so ago.

             Prince was known for being intensely private.  He was also a Jehovah's Witness and did go door to door on occasion.  The band in Heaven just gets better and better.

             I send my condolences to his family, his friends, and the remaining members of his band.





Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Visit to Elmira, New York in Dream

         

 

   Last night I had the most strange dream.  The family and I were traveling out of state to meet someone who was providing both a reference and a great opportunity for a job for our eldest son. The family was happy to travel there with him so that he could be alert and well rested for the appointment.  As he often is in my dreams, Daniel was with us.  We arrived in Elmira, New York and attended an afternoon party at the home of the man who was providing our son with a reference. He had a large home which had everything from a bar inside to an English garden outside. The party spilled throughout the house and through the gardens.  The gathering was very nice and we all had a nice time. We realized, as we took quite a time to gather our large family, that no one had seen Daniel since the beginning of the party.   The rest of the dream was spent with the family wandering through different businesses in Elmira looking for Daniel. He had visited several shops and had apparently left the party to explore. He had no cell phone.  Of course, in real life, Daniel has been gone for seven years. In real life, Daniel would not leave somewhere without someone knowing where he is and how to reach him. He would also have borrowed a cell phone in order to stay in touch. In the dream, I was truly worried and afraid because although he would be nineteen now, in the dream, he was twelve and a half.




              I awoke in a sea of perspiration, with the instant knowledge that I not only would not be retrieving him from Elmira, New York, but that he had been gone from Earth for seven years already. I have no idea why the dream was set in Elmira. I haven't driven through there since 1983 when I used to drive the rural routes from our home in rural New Jersey to Montreal.  In a sense, I suppose I lost Daniel during the journey that is life. Perhaps the dream is simply my own restatement of this.




Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Message to Daniel


Sam Shepheard



Daniel,

 Today, one of my friends from Linkedin reported that his son Sam had passed overnight in his sleep. Most of us know how lost we would be, as parents, if we were to lose one of our children, especially unexpectedly. We could imagine what a loss and a devastation that could be. However, our family has actually lost a son unexpectedly.  You passed in an instant almost seven years ago, and although I recognize the shock, the loss and the grief, I am short of any real wisdom.

    What can I say to his father Craig ?   I could tell him that Heaven is real and that Sam is safe with God and is free from the limits our bodies and brains place upon our far more perfect souls. I could tell him that I have heard from you, and my Dad in dream, and that you have provided factual information in advance of our hearing it later from others here on Earth.   I could tell him that at first, when the pain is so new, that the memories of all that you and your child have shared, are locked away in your mind and your heart for safekeeping. Eventually, each of those memories come back one by one, almost in technicolor. The moments of your hugs and things you said are now some of the very best memories of my own life here on Earth. I want to tell him not to evaporate. I want to tell him that it's worth continuing to live and that there is good left in his life.  Sam will be there when it is time for him to leave this life.

       Daniel, if it's possible for you to welcome Sam, I would appreciate it.   I remember you, and think of you every day here on Earth.  I love you wider than the oceans and deeper than the seas, and I believe you have always known that.

        May God bless Craig and his family, Sam,  you and my Dad.


 



Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Gift to Daniel

    



 

   One of the sad things about having lost a child, is that now, almost seven years later, I don't know what surprises would have come in terms of the music you would like.  Music is something we could have shared as you grew.  I knew what music you would have enjoyed at 12, but I can only hazard a guess as to what you might like at 20.

          Still, I thought of Daniel when I saw this.  This young man is Aston Merrygold.  He clearly has been influenced by Michael Jackson, but then there is a good deal in the song, and in the video that is his own.  For some reason, I think Daniel would have liked this, and have been amused.

        Aston Merrygold has an album which is about to be released in May, 2016 called Showstopper on Warner Brothers Records

          The song below is from that upcoming album.    Enjoy.


 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Have You Seen Jonny Dorey in the Last Six Years ?

           



    This next week, Jonny Dorey will have been missing for six years.

  The story is a long and complex one, but the facts remain that although his parents accepted the idea that he may have drowned in the James River, his bicycle or his body have never been found.

    So, Jonny.   If you are out there and you've finished exploring for a while, you should contact those who love you.  I can promise you, as a parent of a child who really has passed, that your returning from being "presumed dead" would be the greatest gift to your parents and to your brother.  It wouldn't matter why this happened.

  If you have seen Jonny, then please contact:

 Anyone in the Channel Islands who's had contact with Jonny since Tuesday 2nd March 2010 should contact Guernsey Police on (01481) 725111. 

Virginia Commonwealth University Police can be contacted at (804) 640 3380.




     Although he normally speaks with a British accent, he does have some expertise in other accents.
He is an accomplished camper and outdoorsman, and he likes animals.


http://learnedfromdaniel.blogspot.com/2013/03/jonny-dorey-has-been-missing-for-three.html

Our prior posts on this subject:

 http://learnedfromdaniel.blogspot.com/2011/05/where-is-jonny-dorey.html

http://learnedfromdaniel.blogspot.com/2012/02/updates-on-missing-vcu-students.html








Monday, February 8, 2016

The Short and Important Life of Nicole Trott

          
Nicole is on the left and is pictured with one of her many dear friends.

 

          Nicole Marie Trott, like Daniel, was one of four children.  She was a high academic achiever and hoped to become a veterinarian. When she wasn't excelling in academics and in sports, she was helping to care for animals in a shelter.  She had been a recent high school graduate and planned to start pre-veterinary studies at Rutgers University in her home state of New Jersey.   Most importantly, she was a kind and loving person who brought joy to everyone who knew her.

              At 18, she attended a party and experienced a collapse and sudden cardiac arrest.  She died in the hospital in which I was trained, which is the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.  Upon autopsy, it was learned that a beautiful symptomless girl had a cardiac anomaly called ALCAPA


http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/893290-overview

          



                Nicole's family has started a foundation that gathers funds for the purpose of cardiac testing for high school athletes.   So many children and teens are collapsing and dying from sudden arrhythmic deaths of a variety of causes.  In Nicole's case, a causation was found, while in our son Daniel's case, no structural cause for his sudden arrhythmic death was ever found on multiple autopsy.

              Please consider donating to:

 http://www.nicolesheart.com/




This is a poem that was written by Nicole:



Love...

by Nicole Marie Trott
No definition could ever convey
What such a small word has to say
Movies, songs, poems, and books
Give love many faces and many looks
It cannot be described by words alone
But with a look, or by a lover, shown
Distance can be, to lovers, a vice
So until we're together, these words must suffice
Although we're apart, it's only physically
For when I close my eyes you are here with me
I can smell you scent lingering in the air
And taste your sweet lips as if you're right there
I hear your voice, and it sounds so near
And I can feel your breath whispering in my ear
A glance at your face and in your eyes I hear
All the reasons you love me and hold me near
I hear in the silence what your lips don't say
So I know you love me more each day
You hear me say it and know it's true
But I'll say it again, "I love you"





Waking From a Nightmare

                  
This is not Daniel. So far as I know, he never tried a cigarette or a lite beer. Someone sent me this picture and it looks so similar to him at five or six except that Daniel had lighter eyes. I decided to include it.



           Last night around three thirty in the morning, I had a strange dream.  We were all living in the blue house we had owned when the older children were small. Daniel had never lived there. He had been born in the next much larger home we moved to after this one.   In the dream, I came home in the afternoon from work and could not find Daniel.  I quickly tried to call everyone including the older children who were in college. I was hoping that someone had picked him up to do something, and I had either not known or had forgotten.  I had trouble making these calls because I had a new phone and could not get it to respond the way I wanted, especially in view of the stress of being worried.  None of them knew why he would not be at home today. When I called his school they said that he had not reported to school that day.  This is also strange because Daniel never attended school.  He was homeschooled all of his academic life. I also rarely if ever, worked during the day. I was consumed with worry. I went outside and called for him, as if he had simply been playing outside.  I knew something was very wrong, although I still hoped there was some sensible explanation for his absence that I had not considered. In the dream, I believe he was about nine years old.  I began to dial the police when I awoke. My heart was pounding and I was in a cold sweat.  However, waking from this particular nightmare brought no particular solace. Daniel is still not here with us.   Yes, he died suddenly and unexpectedly and was not abducted never to be heard from again. But his beautiful flesh and smile are still not here. He is still absent from Earth in the manner in which we always knew him.  I lay awake until four thirty when I decided to start the day.

                    Perhaps I had this dream because there was an amber alert on my phone yesterday. Perhaps my own psyche is trying to tell me that Daniel's passing from a sudden arrhythmic death is preferable to an unexplained disappearance. Sometimes, I tell myself that in a parallel dimension, there is a Daniel who still lives with us, and is not twelve and a half as he was at his departure from Earth, but who will be twenty years old in May.  I just know that I still have empty arms.