Tuesday, February 25, 2014

When your heart is broken...just breathe...

Sean Johnathon Maile with all the Pups

Last time I blogged it was June and I was beginning to plan my only sons wedding with his beautiful bride to be, Raven. It was a typical Florida summer and the weather was great. I couldn't have been happier and more excited. The days seemed so short for everything I wanted to complete so time for blogging was non existent. My blog is new, and small but one day I hope to have more content and readers. I apologize for the huge gap in post but the most tragic thing that could ever happen to me happened and I am about to share it with you now. 

First Day of School Waiting for the Bus
When I was 16, I had a baby boy, his name was Sean Johnathon Maile. It was a struggle to be a young mom but I was motivated. The only thing I wanted was a family of my own, it was all I thought about. John, as we call him, was born premature on December 29th and had to be put into an oxygen tent. It was the scariest thing I had ever been through. He was released from the hospital only to go back again. Then came the hundreds of breathing treatments and constant worry. His grandmother stayed with him at the hospital during the day so I could finish school. His father and I slept in a chair in the room at night. We made it through and soon enough you would never have known he was premature, growing like a weed.

Camping in Wells, Ny

John was so head strong. He always wanted to do what he wanted to do. Life was about living and fun and that was hard for a mom to watch. You always want your kids to set themselves up in a good place for their future but he always lived in the "now". A page from his book that I have now borrowed and have made my motto for my life. So when he called me and told me he was ready to settle down and get married at 19 I was really surprised. I think I started a pinterest board of wedding ideas within 10 minutes. I have been a florist for 13 years of my life so planning my sons wedding was the zenith of my entire career. I was stretching a budget so I would go Michaels and Joanns every week with my coupons and scour sales. Eventually my walk in closet was renamed the wedding closet. 

Bridesmaids Dress

This was one of the most difficult weddings to plan. I was in Florida and the wedding was in NY so everything had to be shipped. The venue which John had left a deposit went out of business a month before the wedding which left us scrambling for a place. Raven, his fiance used her magic and found a gorgeous mansion that was right down the road and they offered it to them at no charge. I can not believe the generosity of people, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Seven days before the wedding the bakery where they ordered the cake went out of business. The cake had been paid in full and it just felt like the world was against us. I could not believe what was happening. I remember saying, "What else could go wrong"? I should have never said that.

Princess Dress we bought for our Grand baby

On October 5th, my fiance Jess and I went to JCPenneys to get some last minute wedding shopping. We bought some perfume, clothes and shoes. I went to the mens T-shirt section and found a Fender guitar t-shirt that I thought my son would love. My son was a musician and loved guitars. I told Jess I was going to wear it to NY and leave the shirt for him. I knew when he saw me with the shirt, he would know it was for him and not me. Raven has a daughter, Annalea, and my son just loved her like she was his own. She loves the color yellow and princesses and when I saw this dress I melted! At first I wasn't going to get it because I was saving every last penny for the wedding. Jess insisted we buy it and helped me find the matching tiara because whats a princess dress without a tiara?

Raven, Annalea, and Sean J

I wasn't sure of the size so I called Raven. She said that her phone was about to die and could I call John. I called John and told him we were buying a princess dress for Anna. He said shes going to look so cute in it and how excited he was to see me soon. I said I couldn't wait for the wedding. He told me that they had a plumbing emergency in the house and he had to go talk with the plumber and to call back later. We walked around the store and saw a pair of Tinkerbell wings that we knew Anna would love to run around the house wearing so we grabbed them and went to checkout. After checkout I called John again. We talked for about 5 minutes. He told me about the plumbing emergency and I said we were about to leave the store so I would call him tomorrow. I said I love you, and he said I love you too, mom! I was on cloud nine. My son was happy, I was planning a wedding and buying clothes for a little girl. Something I had not formerly had the pleasure because I had a boy. There must be some kind of chemical in the brain that makes women happy to buy little girl clothes. It was so exciting!

Sean J. Maile trying on his suit for the Wedding
The next morning I woke up early and couldn't sleep. I was running around the house packing everything for the plane. Still in my pajamas, my phone on silent from the night before hoping to sleep in, I went about my day. For 2 hours I packed and organized. I call these the final 2 hours of life as I knew it because at 10 am I would get a call that would bring me to my knees. Jess's phone rang and it was Raven, I answered it and she was screaming so loud I couldn't even understand her. I tried to calm her and told her everything was going to be okay just take a breath. She screamed Sean died. Immediately I thought it was my sons father who is also named Sean, who has been in more accidents than an Indie 500 driver. She screamed, your son is dead. I dropped to my knees and just asked her to say it again. We were both inaudible, screaming like someone was murdering us. The state police took the phone from her and asked me questions which I had tried to answer but words would not come fast enough. Jess took the phone. I screamed and fell to the floor, I couldn't breathe, I ran outside. I ran to the bedroom and called my dad, my sister answered. I screamed he died, he just died...she didn't believe me. I think I screamed he died a hundred times. 

Family Name Necklace we bought last year for Raven 

I remember every moment of agony leading up to the funeral. It was like that dream where you are floating in the air watching yourself live, but your not really living. We got on the same plane we were supposed to take for my sons wedding but instead we were going to his funeral. When we arrived we met with the coroner. My son died in a car accident on his way home from work. He worked the night shift and did not sleep much the day before. That was a deadly combination. We were so lucky that the accident happened early morning Sunday because he crossed the double yellow line. If another car was coming this could have been so much more tragic. He ran the entire length of the guard rail flipping the car in the air and hitting a telephone pole. There is no doubt in the coroners mind that he fell asleep while driving. When I saw the photo of the car I was so shocked. The nose of the car was in the ground and the trunk was in the air and the car was attached to the pole. My breath was taken away when I saw it. He died instantly, my only saving grace that he was not in pain. 

Accident site- Guitar frame my Sister made

My son, Sean Johnathon Maile, was 20 years young when he passed away. He packed so much into his short life. He did what he wanted and he really lived. He always lived in the "now". His funeral service was in the same church he was to marry in on the same day as the wedding was to take place. The church was standing room only with so many people they were standing outside. 

Funeral Service for Sean J. Maile 

Father Frank gave a wonderful service and I was able to get up and speak. I don't even know how I had the strength to stand as my legs were like jello. I told the story of when I left John with his dad overnight for the first time. I was taking my sister on a trip and would be gone 2 days. The first night I called and asked John what his dad fed him for lunch and dinner and John said he didn't feed him anything. My blood was boiling as I demanded he put his father on the phone. Why didn't you feed him I asked. Johns dad responded, he never said he was hungry. I was fuming! I said kids don't say when they are hungry you just have to feed them! So the next day I called and again I hesitantly asked what he had for lunch. My son, in the most excited voice, said Mom, Dad made the best lunch ever. It was a peanut butter and ham sandwich with crushed Doritos. It was way better than anything you have ever made! From that moment on it was called the Maile sandwich and whenever I was away that's what they ate. 

Me at Universal Studios- the ride my son was waiting to go on

So now I breathe. I try to move on and remember happy times. I cry in the car, I cry at night, I cry in the morning. When the 6th of each month comes around I relive that day over and over. At 8:30 am I was standing here, and doing this and he was dying. I could have never imagined what life was going to be like. Simple things like listening the the radio is now impossible. He was a musician and every song reminds me of him. If a sad song comes on, or certain Christmas song during the holidays that says I'll be home for Christmas if only in my dreams, I lose it. I started listening to Spanish radio because I cant understand a thing...lol. Christmas was hard because I wanted to buy him everything I saw but then realized he wasn't here. The one thing that was shocking is realizing who in your life is important. Getting a relationship with my sister again after 7 years of not speaking was a wonderful gift and my son is responsible for bringing us together. People I thought that were my friends, my best friends, have not even called me. People who have no idea what to say to you that decide not to say anything are the ones that break your heart. People who I never expected cared about me swarmed my house with food, flowers, cookies, cards, and phone calls. It really put my life into perspective on what and who is important...and also living in the "now". My fiance and I have come to an agreement if its so small and insignificant to argue about, we don't. It took a long time to get to that but we are here now. We realize life is short and for some of us, its really, really short. There is no time to waste when you decide to live, and I mean really live...