1975 was the year I received a gift of love. I was pregnant with my third child and could not wait to hold my baby in my arms! I had two miscarriages before this one and prayed that this time my child would live. On June 3, 1975 my prayers were answered and I got to hold my precious baby in my arms. All through the pregnancy I believed I was having another girl. I was so convinced of this that I had nothing prepared for a boy! Imagine my surprise, and I have to be honest here and say I was shocked to hear the news that I had a boy; however my shock turned to joy as I held him for the first time. I marveled at the perfection of him. He was given the name my husband and I had chosen for him. I had agreed to name him Joseph Vincent, as long as he was never called Joe or Joey. I agreed it was important to have a boy name picked out just in case I did not have a girl. Joseph was perfect. He loved to be snuggled and cuddled and I was so happy to hold him in my arms.
He was a strong presence in all of our lives from the moment of his birth. He was loved and adored by all of us, especially his oldest sister. Heather claimed him as her own, just as she had claimed her other brother as her own. I was informed many times that Joseph really belonged to her!
Joseph was a curious child and he was so full of mischief. He also loved to climb and jump and the more forbidden something was, the more he wanted it. I can not tell you how many times I lost my breath watching him do something that had the potential to harm him. He never seemed to understand the danger he would sometimes place his self in and he never understood the panic he would see me in as I grabbed him from harms way, time after time. I decided very early in his life that I would love him fully every day and love the gift of him every moment because I knew one day I would not have him in my life. From the earliest years of his life it was obvious this child was going to test each and every limit and boundary life, or I placed on him.
When he was six months old I was nursing him, looking deeply into his eyes and marveling at the gift I held in my arms when an overwhelming feeling came over me. I took him outside and stood under the stars shining brightly in the night sky and held him to my heart. I ”knew” in that moment that I would not have him in my life forever. I just knew it. I kissed his sweet face and then lifted him high towards the sky. I called upon the Creator to listen to me, to hear my words and to feel my love for this child. I touched his little feet upon the earth and thanked the Creator for helping me to love him as he is, and not as I might seek for him to be. I asked the Creator to help me be the best Mother I could be for him. I asked for guidance to be able to love him every day, for as long as I was able to have him in my life. I brought my son close to my heart again and vowed that I would cherish him every day of his life. I went back inside my home and as I rocked my child in my arms, looking deeply once again into his eyes, I convinced myself how foolish I had just been. I told myself that was silly, nothing was going to happen to my Joseph and he would live a long and happy life.
The years moved on and sometimes this child filled me with amazement and joy and sometimes he filled me with frustration and worry. One thing for sure, life with Joseph was not boring! He lived his life on the edge and so many times pushed hard to see how close could he come to death and not go into death. I did learn to live each day as if it was my only day with him. When he went out into the world and out of my sight I always prayed he would be safe. I would pray he would come home again. And for thirty years he did. He came too close to leaving this world too many times and yet for thirty years he did live to create another day ~ and I was grateful. Until that awful, awful day when he did not.
July 17, 2005 was a day I learned how much pain we as humans can bear and still manage to breathe. On that day I received the call every parent dreads to receive. I got the call from his father that our son no longer was in this world. He died on the road instantly when he crashed his motorcycle. My son was gone. In that moment a thousand swords pierced my heart. I tore the Universe apart with my screams. I absolutely hated that I still breathed and my son did not. How could he be gone? My son was drunk. He rode his motorcycle while drunk and it cost him his life. His choice tore my heart to pieces. How could I still breathe? Why did I still breathe? My life was forever changed in that moment. I no longer had three children. I would never hear his voice again. I would never laugh at something he did or said until my sides ached ~ ever again. I would never again be frustrated with him ever again. I would never see him dance or hear him sing to me, ever again. I would never, ever feel him in my arms. How could that be? A small part of me remembered the night when he was six months old. The rest of me told that part to shut up. It could not be true. My son could not be gone from this world, from my life. It was however, very true. My son was gone.
It was years before I smiled a true smile. Not a smile I put on my face to appease others, but a true and genuine smile. It was years before I laughed with true happiness. It was years before I could begin to breathe once again. And yet each time I breathed I was breathing around the thousand swords stuck in my heart. My breath and the beating of my heart had to learn to still be there along with the thousand swords. I still longed to see him. I still longed to hug him. I would have given anything to have one more moment with him. I did not believe life could get any worse; until it did. My daughter, Heather died on March 21, 2012. And the thousand swords multiplied within my heart. My oldest and my youngest children left my world, my life and were once again together. We were always a unit of four, my three children and me. No matter what happened in life we always had each other and now that was no longer true. My middle child, James and I remain to live on without them. I am so grateful for my remaining child. He is of course not a child in the eyes of the world, but to me a part of him always is. Just as Heather and Joseph were always my little girl and my little boy, so is James always my little boy too, no matter how many years have passed that proves he is no longer a child.
I truly have believed since the day my Joseph died that I would never ever know what it is like to live again without the thousand of swords piercing my heart. I never believed they would ever be gone from my heart and I would spend the rest of my life learning how to live with so many swords piercing my heart. I had many one sided conversations with the Creator through the years about this very thing. I had many times when I would scream at the Creator for taking back the gifts of my children, when I loved them so much ~ when I still needed them in my life and in my world. I had so many times when I would rage and scream about the absence of my children from this world! And I had more moments than any one can imagine when I begged for the pain to stop. I would beg for the Creator to please just stop my heart and take my breath away forever. Please, just stop the incredible pain!
This past June my desire for the pain to stop, for the swords to be removed from my heart was answered. I met an amazing young woman who radiated pure, unconditional love. She is only seventeen years old and yet the love that comes from her is ageless and timeless. An angel living here within our world. No one can or will ever convince me she is anything less than an angel. This young woman hugged me. She simply hugged me and I felt the love of all time fill every cell of my body. She hugged me and her love reached into my heart and removed every one of the thousand and more swords from my heart. For the first time since that awful day when my son died, I did not have one single sword piercing deeply though my heart. I could breathe without pain. I could feel my torn and battered heart mend. I could feel the beat of my heart without any pain again. The love this amazing young woman has within her reached into the deepest and darkest places within my heart and filled it with pure love. I am forever grateful for her and the hug she so freely gave to me that night. How could a hug take away all that pain? When it is a hug of pure, unconditional love it can. I found out that what I have taught and what I believe is true ~ Love heals.
Tomorrow is July 17, 2015 and it is the tenth anniversary since my Joseph left this world. This is the first time I have not been crippled with the grief of his passing. This is the first time I can breathe without pain in ten years. This is the first time in ten years I have not been smothered by the grief, anticipating getting past another year marked off without him here with me. This is the first time I can feel the ebb and flow of sadness and not be crippled by it. I have spent the past days remembering the gift of my Joseph and the gift of his sister, Heather in my life. I remember the joy and happiness. And more importantly, I feel the joy and happiness again. I have laughed at some of the memories and I have cried over some of the memories. I have wondered how we all survived some of the things Joseph did over the years. How he survived for as long as he did truly amazes me as I remember the times he pushed the limits and boundaries of life so many times. I have had a dream of Joseph and Heather visiting me and they came together in the dream. I believe that when we dream of our loved ones on the other side of the veil that is truly a visit from them. And for the first time since Heather joined her brother in Spirit, I had a dream of them visiting me together. The dream visit was an amazing gift to receive.
I would still give anything to have the power to turn back the hands of time and to change the events of July 17th, 2005 and later, the events of March 21, 2012. I would love to undo what has been done and once again be a unit of four, me and my three gifts from the Creator. I know I do not have that power and I know what has been done will not be undone, no matter how much I wish it could be changed. I know that every tear I have shed matters. And I also know that until I move through the veils and return to Spirit, I will walk this life without my youngest and eldest children by my side and wish every day that was not true. I also know how precious love is. It never goes away. My mind may not dwell on the arguments my children and I had throughout their lives. My mind and heart may not dwell in the hours of worry and fear as they grew and I may hold onto the moments of laughter, joy and love more than the other moments. I do know how much pain I can have placed within me during this life and still breathe. I do know how so much more of me could walk on the other side with my children, while a small part still maintained connection with life here on this side of the veil. I do know how many prayers I could pray and how many moments of the past ten years I could rage against the moment my children ceased to breathe. I do know how often I begged for my life to stop and the pain to cease and how often I begged the Creator to please help me learn to live without my children in my life or remove me from this life. And I will never, ever for one single second forget the moment when I had validated for myself that my every prayer and every tear had been seen and heard because I will forever remember the moment when an amazing angel in the form of a seventeen year old young woman held me for the first time in my life with absolute, unconditional love and took a thousand and more swords out of my heart. My Joseph…and my Heather….together for all time. And one day, when our time here is complete James and I will once again be with them both…a complete unit of four. I love the pieces of my heart here in this world and on the other side of the veil.
Joseph Vincent Dvorak
June 3, 1975 – July 17, 2005
He was a comet shining brightly in my life forever and always!