Agreeing to video my near-death experience was the catalyst for this blog. I started the blog, so viewers of the video would have a place to go to learn more about my story and to ask questions. My granddaughter, Angellee Korine Martinez, filmed and edited the video. As she filmed me I felt as though I was telling her my story.

Grief is a strange thing. It is dynamic and strikes when I least expect it. I rarely think of upcoming anniversaries, but grief lurks in the shadows ready to surprise me when I see a memory pop up on Facebook or when I hear one of John’s favorite songs. The moments of grief don’t last long and I accept them as part of life. I miss John but would not wish him to come back because I know he is walking with God and enjoying conversations with the saints.

As I write my memoir I experience grief for the child that never knew love. While the grief I feel for my younger self is different than the grief I felt when John died, the pain is the same. The emptiness I felt after John’s death reminds me of the emptiness I felt as a child. Reviewing this post from several years ago reminds of the solution to the emptiness. I thought it might help others who struggle with the loss of a loved one or who struggle with the loss of innocence through abuse.

Writing a memoir is not easy. Over the past several weeks I have learned a great deal about the little girl who endured so much at the hand of those who should have loved and cared for her. The chapters of the memoir are told through the eyes of a child, but as the adult on the other side of the trauma, I feel compelled to write short reflections to that little girl to encourage and uplift her.

This short essay was originally posted in December 2018. Since then, I began writing my memoir. Last week I wrote a chapter about the experience in the epigram. Doing so reminded me of this piece. As I write my memoir I am even more convinced that God can turn what seems to be senseless evil into a powerful testimony of redemption and hope.