He Taught Me to Live

On January 8 and 30 years ago, I became a Mom for the first time. My angel in heaven Richie, would’ve turned 30 years old this year. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him, miss him, or talk to him. I’ve learned a lot from his passing and about life. Even though I miss him I do feel that I’m in a good place in my life. I only have God to thank for that. You see, because even though he took his child back, he made sure I understood that Richie’s earthly life was not eternal; however, his spirit is. He made sure to send me a good child and stood by me while I raised him. And his child taught me lessons I wouldn’t have otherwise known. God never abandoned me – even when I was angry at him for taking my/his child.

Richie taught me that there’s always a reason for why things happen. “There is no such thing as a coincidence,” he would say. I don’t know where he got that from but he was always saying that.

Richie taught me that a positive outlook on life could change our lives. He was a very positive person and even in the adversity he would find something positive to cling on to.

Richie taught me to appreciate every second of the day. He didn’t like to waste time and felt that waking up at 9:00 a.m. or after was a waste of day. When he walked out of his room he was fully dressed with sneakers and all ready to embark in whatever came his way.

Richie taught me to enjoy life. I once asked him what did he want to do in life and he responded, “I want to live life to the fullest.” I raised this young man and somehow his outlook in life was more defined than mine.

Richie wasn’t concerned about money. He would say that one hundred dollars was just pocket change and always thrived to enjoy life with what little he had.

Even after his death Richie taught me that life is a gift and we shouldn’t take it for granted. We should live life to the fullest and not stress over what we can’t control. He was a special soul.

I recall the day God, through Richie, woke me up from my lala land state. It was his birthday, Tuesday, January 8, 2008 – just 1 day shy of 6 months from his death. I requested the day off from work. I was grieving heavily. I was alone that morning and was getting ready to take the prescribed Xanax and Paxil – one for depression and the other for the anxiety that the depression pill would cause. As I held them both in my hand I heard a whispering voice say, “Mom, you don’t need that.” I felt it was from Richie and responded that he was right, I didn’t need those and I dropped them in the sink as well as the contents of both bottles. I broke free from my hypnotic “didn’t give a crap for life” state and was finally able to take charge of my life.

I decided to continue journaling about my grief journey which I anticipate releasing as a book in the future. I also thought a lot about our conversations and started to see life like he did. Therefore, I try to post positive affirmations on a daily basis. I feel those affirmations come from Richie and if they make me feel good, they will most definitely make others feel good.

I’ve gotten quite far in my journey and I’m proud at how far I’ve gotten. I continue to miss him and sometimes cry and that’s okay. After all he was my firstborn son and the feeling of a broken heart will accompany me to my grave. So please don’t try to help me or any grieving mother by telling us to get over it, let them rest in peace or to move on. You’re not helping. You’re only making it worst. We write and talk about them because we don’t want them to be forgotten. I know I’ll never forget him for he lives in my heart and my mind.

Yes, this year he would’ve turned 30 and I wonder if he’d be married by now, or if he’d made me a grandma; who would he look like or what he would’ve done in life. Nonetheless we still love and miss him every day  and will never forget him.

We love you Richie. 💙


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