Saturday, May 17, 2014

'But I Digress...Again'

It was in December 1986 when I discovered true love.

When that little bundle was put in my arms, the purest form of love totally enveloped me.  I had originally decided that she would be bottle-fed, but once I had her, I placed her against my breast and she ate like a champ.  I had also originally decided that she could be kept in the nursery.  Bingo!  Wrong again. I insisted that she be kept with me all the time, where I could gaze upon her loveliness and hold her whenever I wanted (which was all the time). When a nurse took her away for a bath, I was distraught; I couldn't wait for my sweet little girl to return to me.

We named that sweet little girl Alicia Marie.

And she is gone, now.  

She was twenty-seven years old when she took her own life a few days ago.  No goodbye, no note.  Just....gone.  I'm not afraid to tell you that she took her own life with a gun.  I'm also not afraid to tell you that she suffered no pain; she went instantaneously.  

But my little girl left behind scores of friends who mourn the loss.  A lot of them had kept in touch with her, some didn't because of her drug usage.  

And she left me behind.  But she gave me the most precious gift of all:  Pure love.  Love that I still hold in my heart, despite the fact that we had grown apart.  And she knew, she just knew that I loved her no matter what.

She loved Coach purses and she loved shoes.  She loved perfume, and jewelry and clothes. She was a 'girly girl' who could throw a punch like a prize fighter.

She was smart and spunky and great with math.  She had a smile that would light up a room. She loved rap music, and sometimes even classic rock.  Her dog, a pit bull named Indy, was the love of her life, and she was very happy when Indy found a better home.  She had no child of her own, but it didn't stop her from loving all children; her devotion to her friends' children was legend.  Whatever they wanted, wherever they wanted to go.  She spoiled them rotten. 

But she was depressed; had been through her teen years.  When her father committed suicide a few years ago, her life was never the same.  She missed him desperately, and I was sometimes the recipient of her rage regarding his end.  

I tried and tried to get her to join a recovery program; I had done a lot of research; but, ultimately, it was up to her.  And she brushed it off.

But near the end of her life, she was taking meds for depression and had joined Narcotics Anonymous.  We had some good talks and laughed together.  She spent the night, and I stroked her hair as she slept.  It was rare when she stayed over, and I wanted to cherish every moment.  She seemed to be growing stronger, and I was so pleased that she was going back to college to continue her studies in dental hygiene.

Alicia and her buddy, Caden
Alas, depression sunk its hooks into her again, and she kept it from us.  Her last day was spent house sitting, and her boyfriend was trying to get her off the drug.  But, in a final act of desperation (I assume) or defiance, she made the ultimate sacrifice: Her life.  

It's been a hard road to travel.  I've raged against the night, I've screamed, I've cried I don't know how many tears (and still am, probably forever), and, thanks to the dear memories of friends and family, I've laughed. So many memories of the one who gave me pure love.

And it's still pure.  I see her at two years old, painting the hallway with my copper-colored nail polish.  And I see her in the bathtub, refusing to get out.  And I remember reading a Harry Potter book to her, and as I kept reading when she fell asleep, she suddenly awoke and exclaimed, "Mama!  You're not supposed to read ahead!"

She karate-chopped a mirror when she was five.  Seven stitches.  All because of 'The Karate Kid' movie she and her father had been watching.  She loved to sleep in, probably due to the fact that she was two weeks late when I was pregnant with her.  And she had a temper!  A bad temper.  A 'throwing myself on the ground and screaming' temper...which I walked away from until she noticed that she wasn't getting the attention she wanted. 

And her driving scared the beejeezus out of me!  She didn't appreciate the fact that I kept my hand on the door grip.

There are memories and photographs and jokes that I, our family, and her friends have all shared.  I snuggle her bathrobe and always look upon the hot pink Uggs boots she adored.

But I will never, never forget the love I first felt when I held that precious bundle in my arms.

The one who showed me that true love really does exist.

That is my most precious memory.  No one can take that away.

The one I will love until my own end on this earth.  And the one I want waiting for me when I finally reach that pinnacle.

Be well, my dearest love.  Mommy loves you.

And, the second time around, I wouldn't doubt it if you're the mom and I'm your little babe.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis. If you need help, please dial:
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
You will be routed to the closest possible crisis center in your area. With over 120 crisis centers across the country, our mission is to provide immediate assistance to anyone seeking mental health services. Call for yourself, or someone you care about. Your call is free and confidential.


Donald Lentz said...

What a beautiful story. I never knew the struggles your daughter went through. I so wish I could have saved her for you and her. This has affected me profoundly and deeply.- Don Lentz

WritingGoddess said...

I am crying for you on so many levels, my friend. I am distanced from a daughter, who I can only love from afar, so your story hits a painful and very raw nerve. The words to soften your pain do not exist, so just absorb the love of those around you, cherish the memories in your heart of those amazing times you had, and know the world grieves with you .

Anonymous said...

Most excellent writing Jacki.Keep writing it helps.

Jacki said...

To all of you, I must thank you so very much for your kind words! Alicia will always be in my heart, always my true love. Your words mean so much to me and mine!

Anonymous said...

I knew Alicia and she was sooo strong. When I think of her I remember her standing up for those who were being bullied. She befriended my younger sister and always stood up for her when the "popular" girls would try to make her life as difficult as possible. I see it as her being such an amazing person here on earth that she got to be released from her pain to be in heaven. I pray for you and your family. Know raised an amazing woman!

Dawn Jackson said...

I remember the first time seeing Alicia when you brought her into the Video store and the many years of seeing her grow. I remember the time you came over for a visit and she broke my lamp. She was full of spunk and so adorable.
Alicia will be missed and I know she is with god and is in a peaceful place. I am so very sorry
<3 you

Julianna said...

Beautiful is the wor d to describe this! She is missed. Rest in Paradise beautiful girl ( inside & out)

Brian said...

This is beautiful, you raised a beautiful lady with a heart of gold. She will be missed dearly.

Sarah Veith said...

I know time has passed since Alicia passed away, but I found your blog and reading it brought me to tears and smiles. I knew Alicia from taking pre-requisite dental hygiene classes at PCC a couple years ago. I hate to say this, but we lost touch after taking chemistry together, the last class before interviews.. She was such a beautiful woman.. Inside and out. She had so much confidence, as she should have. She was so smart and so giving..always willing to help me out, both in and out of school. We shared so many laughs and I remember spending hours going over chemistry equations in the library. We had always talked about hanging out outside of class, but I lived in Beaverton, so it was always hard to make it work. You raised a beautiful girl though, and she inspired me to work hard and give school my all. I remember how excited she was when we found out that we had interviews at MHCC for their dental hygiene program. We were both in tears because we were so excited. She was determined, smart, and driven, and I am forever grateful for the friendship we had. I will never forget her bright smile and beautiful heart. RIP beautiful girl ❤️