We Made History This Week!!!

I was recently approached by the editor of the Canadian Medical Journal of Sonography who asked to include my story, The Ultrasound Miracle in the journal. This is the first time in the history of the journal that they included a story from a patient. So here it is, my miracle, on the cover of the journal! And here is my story, officially in print in a medical journal which will be read by sonographers all over the country! It was a pretty incredible feeling to see my sonogram photo (or as I see it, a photo of my two daughters) on the cover of a medical journal. It’s pretty amazing that my story will reach the medical community in this way. I hope my story touches many more people and opens them up to a new reality where love never dies.

Journal cover and article © 2018 Canadian Journal of Medical Sonography

Waiting on Grief at Christmas

Christmas is over, the new year is here, and I’m still waiting for grief to make her appearance. I have learned to embrace grief because she reminds me how important Bella was to me. In her absence, the reminder of love is replaced with guilt. I don’t understand why grief has remained absent this holiday season.

I knew it would be a different kind of Christmas this year, quieter than usual. Our focus was on our little family as it was our first Christmas that we were all together. It was Aria’s first Christmas and it was also our first Christmas with my youngest step-son. It was a beautiful love-filled day and seeing the excitement on the kids faces along with witnessing the love they have for one another was magical.

Christmas Day was also the anniversary of our engagement. Last year, Tom changed the meaning of Christmas for me by asking me to marry him. Christmas is now a day we celebrate us, our love, and the beautiful life we are creating together.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I surprised myself by founding joy in the little things. I enjoyed buying gifts for the kids every time I went into a store and I actually enjoyed wrapping gifts this year, something I used to find great pleasure in but haven’t enjoyed at all since Bella left.

Maybe this is a sign of healing. I am no longer certain that I can predict my grief, and even with this guilt that I feel, it’s much easier to deal with than a broken heart.

In the midst of grief, it may seem as though you will never find joy again. Christmas is an especially difficult time for anyone grieving as it is a time we focus on our family and when someone important is missing, it’s impossible to let it go! It’s a sad time for many…

But I’m here to offer hope. The holidays don’t have to be difficult forever!

For me, it was about finding a different focus at Christmas. Yes, Bella is missing in the physical sense, but her presence remains strong. She was playing with her sisters toys often throughout the holidays and we were often awoken in the middle of the night with a song coming from the toys in the living room. One night, the toys were rotating and as one song would end, another toy would begin playing a different song. This went on for quite some time. These occurrences remind us that Bella is still here.

For loss-parents (or anyone grieving) some days will be about survival and the focus will be getting through one moment at a time. But not every day will always be difficult. Not every Christmas will be difficult either. I’m thankful I have found another focus at Christmas and I hope that anyone who had a difficult holiday season this year can find a new focus next year.

As for my guilt, I understand that my lack of sadness cannot diminish the love I feel for Bella. It also doesn’t take away from how much I miss her and wish she was here. By accepting my reality and choosing to live a life of happiness, I am making myself and my family a priority. I’m sure grief will visit soon enough, but rather than try to understand her absence, I choose to accept and embrace this joy I feel. I’m certain that Bella doesn’t want me to feel sadness. She reminds me that “love heals,” and I am so blessed to be surrounded by love.

A Stranger Can Help Mend a Shattered Heart

After Bella passed, my brother-in-law asked me if I would like to have molds made of Bella’s hand and foot. It would be a small piece of her I could keep forever. I was in a fog and don’t remember the details, but I know the funeral home went above and beyond to meet my request and make the impressions. I will forever be grateful for this gift.

When the impressions were brought to me, I was staying with my parents and that’s where they remained for well over a year. I came across someone online who casted beautiful keepsakes (including hand/foot impressions) and I asked her if she could make something for me out of the impressions I had of Bella. She wasn’t sure what she could do but asked me to take photos of the impressions I had.

The molds of Bella’s hand and foot finally made it home! I recognized the black bag Bella’s urn came in, but when I looked inside, I assumed I was mistaken as my son’s drawings were inside. I put the bag on a chair in my kitchen and it somehow ended up on the floor. When I picked the bag up, I reached inside to see what else was inside. I knew the instant I felt clay that the bag was in fact from Bella’s urn. I realized the molds of her hand and foot were in there. I removed the first piece of clay; I was in disbelief as I looked at the broken piece of my daughter’s foot in my hand. Shock set in and grief shattered me all over again as I struggled to breathe. One of the last pieces I have of Bella was broken. I felt as though I was experiencing her death all over again. I wrote about the experience HERE.

Shortly after posting the story on my blog, my dentist contacted me and wanted to see the mold as she knew someone who may be able to help fix it. Months went by and I finally made the trip to meet with the man from the dental lab. He wasn’t able to help me, but told me about a local woman who does casting and purchases supplies from the lab. He also told me about a new chiropractor clinic down the street who casts feet for orthotics.

I felt as though I was on a wild goose chase for someone to help me. The man at the chiropractor/orthotic clinic didn’t know if he could help but offered to do research for me. I’m sure it was a little shocking to have a complete stranger stop by with her deceased child’s broken foot in a box desperately hoping for someone to fix it. I appreciate the kindness and respect shown to me but began feeling my situation was hopeless.

My next stop was to deliver a book to a dear friend. The visit was short but this woman’s energy always uplifts me. I told her about the impression of Bella’s foot and she immediately suggested I contact “Lynne.” I’m not sure how I knew who she meant but I instinctively knew she was right! “Lynne is the person the man at the lab told me about!” I immediately realized that “Lynne” was also the person I asked to make me a precious keepsake out of the molds in the first place. I never did get back to her.

I found Lynne’s business page, To Have & To Hold Belly Casting & More, on Facebook and immediately sent her a message. She got back to me within minutes and an hour later I was standing in her kitchen with Bella’s foot on her counter.

Love and compassion radiated from Lynne and I could tell she really wanted to help me; however, she didn’t have any experience fixing molds. I was asking her to step out of her comfort zone; Bella’s foot was irreplaceable and there was no room for error. We didn’t even know what type of clay the impression was made from. I felt Bella’s presence surround us and I felt complete trust in her. I left the molds with Lynne and knew she was capable of fixing this shattered mess. I trusted the process and put all my faith into the universe expecting a miracle!

Lynne kept me updated throughout the process. The first obstacle was determining the type of clay the impressions were made from. I contacted the director of the funeral home and asked her what type of clay she used; she wasn’t sure but said it was from Dollarama. I suddenly remembered a package of clay I had in my closet. I had an urge to buy it when I was at Dollarama one day. I have no idea why I bought it but figured I’d need it. (Thankfully, I always trust my intuition!) I snapped a photo of the package of clay and sent it to the funeral home director. She recognized the package. Unfortunately, this type of clay is very fragile and would eventually disintegrate over time.

Lynne consulted with many experts around the world and knew she would have to glue the pieces together, but finding a glue that would hold without damaging the clay wouldn’t be easy. The pieces needed to be strong enough to withstand the pressure to take an impression. Her first attempt failed and the glue didn’t hold, but the second type of glue held, but would it be strong enough?

I left the rest of to Lynne. She managed to make an impression of the glued mold, then made an impression of the impression. The process was long and stressful, but it was a success! I trusted that she would make something beautiful for me. She explained that the material she uses is as hard as stone and wouldn’t break.

After 3 months, I finally got to see the results! I picked up the gorgeous pieces and they were even more beautiful than I had imagined! Lynne created two shadowboxes, one with the imprint and one with the outprint. She even made a Christmas ornament for me so I would be able to touch Bella’s hand any time I want.

This incredible woman managed to give a piece of my daughter back to me. No one can bring Bella back, but she was able to bring her foot back, and that’s as good as it will get for me. This gift from a stranger, this random act of kindness, helped mend a few cracks in my grieving heart. A piece of Bella came home and is now on my wall for me to look at every single day, all thanks to one woman. She put countless hours into researching and even more hours completing the process. I know this was a complicated procedure, but I also know she had a little assistance from Bella.

Thank you, Lynne, from the bottom of my heart, for restoring something that is irreplaceable. Thank you for all your time and effort. You are a beautiful soul and I am so grateful for you and the work that you do!❤️

If you are in the Timmins area and know someone who experiences the loss of a child, please let them know about Lynne at To Have & To Hold Belly Casting & More and give them the option to have a precious keepsake created of their child. It’s a gift that is everlasting!

Meeting Colette Baron-Reid

What an incredible day! We went to see Colette Baron-Reid in Sudbury today on her “Messages from Spirit” tour. For anyone not familiar with Colette, she is a world-renowned spiritual intuitive/medium/author (and so much more). I was in awe as I watched the messages unfold for people clinging to a glimmer of hope to hear that their loved ones are okay on the other side.
It was interesting that the only person I knew in the room happened to be sitting right in front of me. I watched and listened as her mother-in-law received a love-filled message from her departed husband and daughter.
We witnessed a lot of healing take place as people heard from loved ones who died suddenly, took their own lives, suffered from addictions (one mother heard from her son who died of an overdose), and husbands who left their beloved wives in the physical realm. There were some apologies from spirit while other people received reassurance that their loved ones may not be physically here but they are still with us!
I had a feeling that other people would be needing messages more than me so I wasn’t expecting to hear from Bella. She didn’t come through during the show but when I met Colette after show, I handed her a Bella Angel card and told her it was my daughter. She wanted to connect with Bella, so she did, and the main message she received for me was personal and private. She talked about my relationship and career, which is pretty interesting because I was hoping to get a message about my career. I already know how special my relationship is, and it never hurts to have that confirmed.
Healing comes in all forms but when a loved one dies, nothing is more comforting than proof that they are still with you. Once you open yourself up to the idea that there is more to the universe than what we can see, you can understand that death doesn’t exist because souls aren’t born, they transition back and forth from spirit to physical. 
To anyone who is experiencing grief, #StayStrong❤️ Please take comfort in knowing that your loved one has never left you! Grief is part of the human experience, the illusion of separation. It’s a normal process to grieve, but we don’t have to be a victim forever. 
On our way home, I decided to look up at the sky through the sunroof, which is not something I ever do. There in the sky above me was a streak that looked like a faint rainbow. I took a deep breath and whispered “Thank you, Bella!”❤️👼

The last 2 weeks have been absolutely crazy! The car accident, starting back to work, and so much more had happened along the way. The biggest challenge has been finding another vehicle. Insurance isn’t always fair and when an accident isn’t your fault, you expect them to be there to support you until you find a replacement vehicle, but this has been far from the case. I still haven’t received the payment for my car and had to return the rental. I was in a rush to find a vehicle, yet problems have kept surfacing which have felt like many more slaps in the face. A few days ago, I found the force behind these issues👼.
The day after finding out my car was a write-off, I felt the need to go car shopping despite being sick. I knew I was looking for something specific, a feeling I knew I’d get when I sat in the car I would buy. I test drove a few vehicles that were okay but they felt like I would be settling. After leaving the ford dealership where the guy wanted $25,000 for a used Escape that had marks on it that couldn’t be fixed and was full of dog hair, I was quite frustrated. My son is allergic to dogs that shed but the salesman didn’t quite understand that cleaning it would not be good enough. It was hopeless. We decided to cross the street and check out the Mazda dealership quickly before heading home. 
Inside was a beautiful white CX-5 limited edition. I swear I was in love. When I first got into it, I knew immediately that it was exactly what I wanted. I test drove one similar and it just felt right. We found one that was a few years old, white like the model, but it was at another dealership so I put a deposit on it and they were going to bring it in for me.
A huge load off my shoulders… Until I got a phone call the next day informing me that the vehicle was sold to someone else. Another white one was found for me and was even nicer than the first one, but a bit more expensive. 
The day before I was to pick up my new car, I woke up at 5am from a terrible dream. In my dream I was driving a white car; I put it in reverse, hit a rock and rolled the car then crashed into a tree. The tree came down slowly and crushed me. I knew I was dead and I was looking for Bella. Then I woke up! The dream was so vivid, it felt very real.
Later that afternoon I had to return the rental car and get my things out of my Matrix. Right after work, the guy from the dealership called to inform me that there were some scratches along one side and the back of the car that I was supposed to pick up the following day. The owner was not willing to come down in price. I was furious and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. 
The search continued and I decided to take matters into my own hands and found myself the best deal yet: a white 2013 CX-5, loaded with 50,000 km for $20,000!!! There was some suspicion that it had been in an accident (the price was way too good) but the car proof report was clean. Something still felt off. (I found out later that not all accidents need to be reported in Quebec, so there was no way of knowing if anything happened to the car.)
My godmother messaged me the night before I was to pick up this vehicle. She was concerned and was getting a strong sense that I should not buy this car! She kept insisting all along that I look for a red car, not white. The feeling was so strong that she had a terrible headache. Her feeling matched my dream and I felt something wasn’t right but tried to dismiss it to overthinking. Instead I asked my BFF, the medium, if Bella had anything to say about it. And of course she did:
“yeah you cant buy the car. she says that mommy can’t buy it because it will get into another accident and this time hudson will be in the car. no one will be hurt but mommy won’t be able to take that extra stress. but don’t worry who do you think is making all these scratch marks. three strikes remember. I am doing my part…

I am getting something wrong with a white vehicle. something is not right. some sort of issue. I am getting something with steering wheel/air bag/etc. something to do with steering.”
Then I told her about my dream. Suddenly it all made sense! On my way to bed that night, there was a dark pink heart on my chest from Bella’s urn charm (her way of saying “I love you”). The next morning, I called to let them know I could not purchase the car. I still get a strong sense that it had been in an accident (usually when something is too good to be true, it is). When I called the guy at the Mazda dealership, he kept apologizing to me, but after all that stress, I just felt relieved! It just wasn’t meant to be. He informed me that the scratches on the second vehicle were not there the day before and had mysteriously appeared overnight. They have no idea what happened (but I do👼). 
I went back to the Mazda dealership and decided on a brand new 2016 RED CX-5! Buying used to save a few bucks was clearly not working, but after all the trouble, the guy gave me a GREAT deal! I’m only paying $14 more a month than a 4th used car he found for me, and this one is 3 years newer. 
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall into place. Sometimes bad things happen so that worse things don’t. Pay attention to the signs and have faith that everything will work out as it should. Once I realized who was behind all this “bad luck” and understood that the Universe wasn’t out to “get me” but my daughter was trying to save me, I felt calm. 
I pick up my new car on Wednesday. I feel good about it. It feels pretty amazing to know that I have an angel watching over me, even if she does make life challenging at times. She’s helping me stay safe. She’s helping me #StayStrong❤️

Always Look For Rainbows

The point of life is to learn, and learn I must. Once you suffer the worst imaginable, you have two choices: to hide and exist or to push every boundary that stands in your way. Today I realized that I have changed more than I could have imagined. Tragedies exist but they don’t ruin you unless you allow them to.
Today I learned a few things about myself. After Bella transitioned, I learned how to be strong. The moment my mother found out about Bella, she went into shock and fear took me over. I was so scared that I might lose her too. In that moment I knew that I needed to be strong for her. For my grandmother. For my SON! I needed to be strong so that my family could get through this and not have to worry about ME. I let them down the next day but ever since I woke up from heaven, something in me changed. I understood in that instant sitting in the ER that my son was scared. He just lost his sister and thought he lost his mommy too. In that instant I understood that Hudson would be okay as long as I am. In that moment I knew that I had to be strong. I started blocking the pain and tried leaving it on a shelf. I planned to leave it there until I was ready to feel the pain. I remember the days that I thought the time would never be right to open that box. Today I proved to myself that I can do this! I can comfort the people around me and help them through their pain then let go when I need to.
Last weekend was a big step. We drove to Buffalo in hopes of seeing Prince Charming’s son and ended up bringing him home with us for the week. The night we arrived I had to change Bella’s bed. Her crib was untouched until that moment, exactly as she had left it. It was a difficult thing to do but there is no one else I would have done it for. I knew I loved that little boy unconditionally before I even met him. To have him sleep in Bella’s crib was an honour. I was amazed at how easily I got through the process. I cried and I felt the pain of packing Bella’s soiled sheets away, but I celebrated the little boy we fought so hard to see. I was told I would never be able to put my feelings on a shelf and was told to experience grief as it comes. I don’t believe that to be true at all. I can now say that I am successfully able to grieve when the time is right. It needed to be that way for me so I could protect others.
I was in a car crash today. My mother was with me and we are ok, but my car is not. I tried to swerve to miss a truck that pulled out in front of me on the highway. After the crash, I tried to open my door but it wouldn’t open. My first instinct was to yell at the girl, but I quickly saw how shook up she was and the only words she could speak were “I’m so sorry.” I wanted to hug her and tell her that it’s not a big deal. The insurance would take care of costs. No one was hurt. It could have been so much worse. Instead of getting upset with her, I gave her some calming bath salt (we were on our way back from the bridal show where I was selling some of my home made goods) so I gave her something that would help calm her, and of course an angel card. Why would I want her to feel any worse than she already felt? I’m sure that door wouldn’t open to give me those few extra minutes to cool down. And I’m sure the car accident happened so that something worse didn’t. Karma is a powerful force and sometimes works in inconspicuous ways. 
Lesson of the day: ALWAYS treat others as you would want them to treat you. Karma will come back to you, I promise. And Karma can be BEAUTIFUL as long as that’s what you put out in the universe. Thank you, Bella, for showing me how to slow down, to appreciate the small things and to follow my inner voice. It’s leading me to amazing places I could never dream of, and I know this journey has barely just begun.
Something else I am reminded of daily is that little angel I have watching over me, protecting me. Somehow I know that by staying here today and not going with Tom, we were saved from something terrible. I somehow know I was meant to be in an accident today. I’m thankful my kids weren’t in the car. It could have been so much worse! Always remember that no matter what happens, it could always be so much worse. If I can say that and believe it, anyone can! No matter what happens, always #StayStrong❤️
I posted a photo of my car on my personal Facebook page and of course there is a HUGE rainbow across the photo. I’m sitting at my computer desk and just looked up. Rainbows are everywhere! ☺️🌈❤️

Waiting is torture. When you wait for something that you know could happen literally any second, life is on hold. You avoid making plans of any sort in order to remain available – just in case. But as Murphy’s law would have it, the ONE day I plan to go out of town, the ONE time I decide to do something for ME, that’s when it happens.
Friday morning started off pretty great. I woke up happy and excited. I had an appointment in Sudbury to see someone for Quantum Healing Hypnosis (past life regression) and was planning to meet up with a friend I haven’t seen in 2 years. I was looking forward to getting away for the day, just me and my music for hours. Therapy, followed by healing!
10 minutes after I left home, I happened to look down at my phone. I missed a call from “Unknown ID” and they left a message. Seconds later, it rang again. It was one of the police officers on Bella’s case. She was wondering if I could meet with her that morning, then we lost the connection and I had no cell service. 
I drove to Englehart and decided to turn right instead of left. When she called again, I told her I was on my way. No one knew where I was and I decided to go on my own. I’m not sure what I was thinking.
They had answers. Answers that only led to more questions. Answers that didn’t make any sense. In that instant, a piece of me that was hanging on for dear life finally broke off and shattered against the wall. 
I often wondered if knowing what happened to Bella would make things easier, and I’m still not convinced. I hope to speak with the coroner soon to ask him many questions. Although I hope to get some more answers, I have a strong feeling that much will remain a mystery. She didn’t have any symptoms. She seemed perfectly fine, other than a mild cold (like all kids in daycare) and not wanting to sleep (her whole life). She was happy, energetic and seemed quite healthy. How can something like this happen?

I needed to get away so I spent the rest of the day in Timmins with my girl brothers. Bella was with me on the drive home. I think she was trying to tell me that everything is going to be okay. She kept turning the ceiling light on in the car, then my satellite radio kept losing service (which was happening all afternoon) so I told her “Bella, if that’s you playing with the radio, please stop” and both stopped immediately. When I got home, the car light came on once again as I turned into the driveway. 

July 1, 2014

The brightest rainbow I have ever seen!

The brightest rainbow I have ever seen!

I looked out the window and saw the sun was shining on the trees across the lake while everything else was in darkness. Then a rainbow appeared. It was vibrant, brighter than any rainbow I have ever seen and seemed to sparkle. There was pink that appeared after the violet, a phenomenon I didn’t know existed. I held Hudson and we felt whole again; my family was united once more. Hello, Bella!!! XO