Tuesday, September 29

Forever in our Hearts

09/19/2009- Reginas tenth birthday.
09/20/2009-- Around 2 AM I woke up. Reginas breathing did not sound right. Something sounded very very very wrong. It sounded like she had lot of fluids in her lungs. ANd her heart was racing. I gave her some morphine and held her hand. I was scared, very very scared.
I gently opened her eye to check her pupils, and her pupils were completely dilated. I tried to keep it together .. But I knew we have not much time with her.

I called hospice around 8 AM and told them what was going on.

Around 9 AM Gabriel wanted to take family photo together. I showed him how to use tripod, and how to set self timer. We all gathered around Regina ,Gabriel set timer and ran to us... HE smiled, and flash went off.... We took couple of more...
as we were admiring Gabriel's photos, I heard Regina taking about 4-5 quick breaths in and one long breath out. IT was like butterfly was flapping it wings.. We all looked at each other,... I lowered my head to listen to hear heartbeat.. but it was no longer there......
I don't remember much after that. I remember texting my friend to get us some coffee, letting my other friend know that SHE is no longer with us.. and then hospice arrived.. Pastor Sam arrived...
I washed her, dressed her, kissed her, cried,.. we all cried... Prayers were said.

O'COnnor Mortuary came around 1 PM. Reginas hands and legs were cold, but skin around her heart was still warm.. IT was so hard to let her go.

I am glad that she is no longer in pain, but We miss her. I am starting to understand why people keep their loved ones on life support for a very long time. I get it. It is lot of work, but that person is still with us.. Selfish... I miss Her so much.

We had a chance to See REgina on Sunday 4.30 PM. We went to O'connor. Regina was dressed up in her Sleeping beauty nightgown, she was wearing her favorite poncho:) SHE LOOKED SO peacful and beautiful. It seemed like she was sleeping. I am so thankful for O'Connor for capturing true Regina and making her look like one.. ... .
It was very emotional afternoon for us. Very emotional...

Reginas Service on September 28th, was perfect. It was beautiful day. I am so Thankful for Saddleback Church and it's employees. They were nice enough to let us use it's facilities even though we were not members of this church.. And I met 2 wonderful Pastors. Pastor Samuel Lewis and Pastor Pat Geraldin. Sadly Pastor Samuel had to travel out of town... FAMILY FIRST :)... But we were not left hangin'. Pastor Pat did amazing job. I have no words to describe my emotional roller coaster on September 28th. One moment I was happy, then I was sad and crying, and then I was calm, and then nothing made sense.

About 580 People cam to Reginas Life Celebration. We had open casket viewing.
Rebekah from Saddleback sang.
Our Friends Xochitl, Heather, Kathy and Dr. Loudon spoke about Regina. BEAUTIFUL WORDS. RIGHT WORDS.
Pastor Pat Read My husbands letter . More Tears..
MOST beautiful moment for me was... When Estonias from Far and Near sand Lullaby in Estonian. "Uinu Vaikselt, Mu lind... ma valvan ju sind.... I sang this song to Regina every night in estonian and she knew every single word ... And at times she sang it with me... During this song I rememered these times with her, her smiles, her hugs, her words... MOMMY, I LOVE YOU AS MUCH AS BIG IS THIS UNIVERSE... and when I tried to love her more ;) She told me universe is MORE LOVe...

and then we had Dove Release 21 doves...

And then hugs..

And then Chilis with friends...

I am sorry, I can't write more right now. I can't ... We miss her . Gabriel misses her, Nick misses her, I miss her...
today was Cremation day.. We are taking her home tomorrow. We are going to keep her for a while. Not sure for how long.

I will write about more who were our helpers next time. I am so thankful for MY TEAM :):):):) THANK YOU .
AND THANK you for honoring our wishes about monetary donations instead of flowers. BUT thank you for those who sent flowers. :) It was perfect harmony :)



hani said...

Happy for Regina she is in heaven with no pain at all, playing singing, dancing and all she wants to do.

Be strong Diana, think positive - Regina is looking after you, Nick and Gab from heaven. Waiting for the day when all of you will be together again forever happily ever after.

You're right - Regina is so beautiful. She is beautiful because of you and Nick.

Katie J. said...

Praying for your family from the other side of the country. What a beautiful family. Your story has touched many.

Heather said...

Diana,I know that had to be so hard to write but you did it beautifully! You are so right she is now perfect in everyway with being free from pain. It is sad when we think about how selfish we can be wanting someone to linger longer in a life of pain or just 'being there'.

I'm so glad that you had so many people near to help during this time and it was a beautiful life celebration for your Regina! Hold on to Gabriel and give him an extra hug for Regina!

Heather in SC

Ann said...

Praying for your entire family! How blessed you must be to have been given such a special child!!!

Katrina said...

Thank you for sharing such an intimate moment with us, Diana. The memorial service was lovely. Thank you for honoring LNES friends with saved seats. That was touching.

I had my mom's ashes for a long long time before I decided what to do with them. I'm glad I waited. When I did decide, it was perfect. Don't be in a hurry. You'll know what is right and when it is right. You are one of the wisest and most insightful women I have been privileged to know.

I am also blessed, of course, to have been a tiny part of dear Regina's life. In my belief, her life goes on, just in a different way. I loved the poem on the back of the service leaflet. I first read it when someone wrote it in a card given to me at my mom's memorial service and it was the most comforting thing anyone could have done. It still brings me comfort. Regina will never truly leave us. She will always be in our hearts, inspiring us to seek that new adventure just around the bend.

Love to all of you,

Rach said...

Wow..I probably should not have read that at work. Very emotional, even for someone who never met Regina. The celebration of life sounded very beautiful. Thank you for sharing. You are an extremely strong woman and a huge inspiration.

Heavenly father I pray that this family will know your comfort. Give them your peace and let them know your blessings in this time of need. Amen.

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing regina with us. i only wish i had the chance to meet such a beautiful girl. she is an inspiration to all of us! fly with the angels, regina...

may you and your family have peace and comfort during this difficult time. god bless.

The ParTea Planner said...

Diana, we should be thanking you.
Thank you for sharing Regina with the world.
Thank you for your blog, for recording your journey with all of us.
Thank you for being real and honest and opening your heart for us to understand your pain, the good times, the struggles, and the memories.
Thank you for updating your Facebook and blog throughout this time, to keep all of us in the know with how Regina and you were doing.
Thank you for all the beautiful photos that you shared. It takes time to edit and upload photos, so thank you for the time it took.
Thank you for allowing us, some of us complete strangers to offer and provide help in any way that we could. Sometimes accepting help is hard to do.
Thank you for your example of strength (even though you may not feel like you are strong) your wicked sense of humor and your unique and wonderful personality to get through all of this so graciously.
Thank you for allowing all of us to be a small part of Regina's life.


P.S. Thank you for being nice and saying my casserole was good. ;)

Tiffani said...

washed her, dressed her and kissed her. i cried when i read that. i cannot imagine how hard that had to be. your family is such an inspiration to me. you are so amazing. i wish i was closer to you. wish we could hang out. wish i could offer my shoulder for a good cry.

this post was so hard for me to read and look at. cant imagine writing and living it.

you make me want to be better at everything i do.

we are here for you. thank you for keeping us updated. thank you for sharing all of this with us.

much love - tiffani

Leah said...

Thank you for sharing your last memories of Regina. My heart continues to break and my thoughts and prayers are with ya'll always.

Anonymous said...

You've shown so much grace Diana. I don't know how you do it, but you have an amazing inner strength. I wish I could have been there at her life celebration. It looks as though it was absolutely perfect...all of her favorite things, so many people who loved her...and best of all, she has her favorite poncho. ((hugs))

Gari-Ann in Texas

Anonymous said...

Brave Mother ~
I have followed your blog thru this journey of Regina's life. My prayers continue to go out to your family. May your pain turn into smiles, just knowing how much you can LOVE somebody as GOD loves us.

God Blessings be with YOU and your family! Regina service seemed to be BEAUTIFUL!!!! planned out the way GOD wanted it for that day!

Colleen said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with us Diana. It was incredibly beautiful, sad and uplifting all at once. It was nice to see that you ended up at Chili's for their St Jude day. We went to Chilis too and we made a pepper with Regina's name on it.

All our prayers and sympathies are with you, Nick and Gabriel.

God Bless,
Colleen, Steve, Emma and Ellie

Erin said...

I am so sorry for your loss...

Kathy said...

Regina's service was beautiful Diana, perfect in so many different ways.

Love you all.

Anonymous said...

Hi Diana and family - thank you for sharing what happened and the photos as well - I am touched by your story and to be able to see Regina one last time resting so peacefully was beautiful. I can only wish you and your family strenght and happiness. I hope you continue to write because you are an inspiration.

Debbie from Montreal.

Joanna said...

Thank you so much for sharing that with us Diana. I think of your family daily, and I am so grateful that you allowed us to know your beautiful daughter.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for sharing regina's story with us. You are one AMAZING mother and I do not know how you do it. Regina is a beautiful girl and very brave for all she went through! Your family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

You're going through what every oncology mom fears from the moment of diagnosis on. I have to echo what others have said and thank you for continuing to share your journey with us. I thought of all of you a lot on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Diana, you are amazing and together with Nick you have created 2 beautiful and unique children, Regina was so lovely from the first time I saw her when she was 2, til the last time on Monday. I knew she would be wearing that poncho, so perfect for your sleeping beauty.
We came to the celebration with heavy hearts, but left with some comfort, that there is light at the end of the tunnel and you have so many friends that care for you and will help you through the hard times that lay ahead.
Always close by, we wish you all the best!
Elisabet, KG and David (and yes Sofia too, from far away Missouri)

Alison Gibbs said...

Diana my thoughts are with you Nick and Gabriel.
Know that there are many of us world wide thinking of you all.
Alison (Australia)

Julee said...

I am so sad and I want to be able to ease your heart from hurting. Regina's service was beautiful but I wish we didn't have to have it.

The doves were so symbolic I can't stop thinking about it. I find it fascinating that they can find their way home, and how the one Gabriel let go of first joined the group later. I felt like we may not know the way to heaven when we are on earth, but when the time comes our loved ones join us and we know which way to fly. So touching.

You watched over and cared for Regina for so long, and now she looks over you.

What Nick wrote was beautiful.

Shelley said...

Diana, my, oh, my ...you have outdone yourself again with your amazing words and love for your AMAZING daughter! I am sooo f'ing mad that this happens to anyone! I am speechless tonight after reading all your lovely words to everyone after you lost one of your MOST prized joys! I can't make sense of it...I can't imagine that you can! I am still here and still thinking of you and if I can't believe she is gone, I am sure you are really not even able to comtemplate this reality! LOVE AND HUGS and happy thoughts to you and Nick and Gabriel--you deserve happiness and peace all the days of your lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!