Monday, July 30, 2007

Forever in Our Heart

It's been almost a month and half since Brianna died and an hour doesn't go by that I don't think of her. Every day, it is hard to get out of bed and crying is something I do on a regular basis. Several hours will go by when the grief is not foremost in our minds. John, Trevor and I have had some nice family time together recently, but it is bittersweet. When we're enjoying ourselves, thoughts of Brianna float into our minds and we all realize just how much we miss her. This is a pain that no parent or brother or sister should have to bear, and yet here we are having to struggle through it. Family and friends continue to help us, and my art has given me some respite from the constant ache in my heart.

The response to Angels for Brianna was beyond our imagination. We are grateful to all the artists who participated, and to all who bid on the beautiful angels available. The workmanship and talent was amazing, and to the organizers, Colleen, Sylvia, Kitty and Stephanie we are so very appreciative.

We received two packages in the mail over the past week or so. The first was from King of Mice Studios, Carolee Clark. You may remember, one of the items in the auction was a breathtaking box painted with Brianna's image on it and stars with crystals. Well, Lyndy purchased the item and sent it to us. I cried when I opened it and read her card. Lyndy, you have no idea how special this is to us, thank you, thank you. With tears in my eyes, I am writing this to let you know I will use it to keep all of Brianna's jewelry. She would like knowing that her special things will be kept in a truly special keepsake.

The second package was from Deerfield Farmhouse's Christine Crocker, an artist who is in the Directory of Traditional American Crafts 2007. She donated an angel doll to the auction. Her work is unbelievably detailed and lovely and someone sent us the stunning angel. The purchaser remains anonymous, but I suspect she has been one of our greatest supporters. You know who you are, and I want you to know that we are ever so grateful to all that you have done for us. I have placed the sweet angel next to Brianna's portrait in our family room and next to the crown given to us by Donna O'Brien of the Ribboned Crown. I will cherish these things until the end of my days, when I will see Brianna again.

I also want to thank Donna for helping me get out and work on art. Soon after Brianna's funeral, she signed she and I and Colleen up for a class held about two weeks ago and lead by Ulla Milbrath at Castle in the Air in Berkeley . (Ulla contributed the decorative and beautiful filligree necklace for the auction.) The class was Fairy Tale Altered Books and we had a good time. We all felt Brianna was with us. Before class, Ulla presented me with an antique paper angel that was used during celebrations at a church. It has curly hair and blue eyes and reminds me of my daughter. Thank you Ulla for such a thoughtful and wonderful gift.

As the days go by, I can't stop thinking "Why? Why Brianna?" It is something that will haunt me for a very long time. We went to the Compassionate Friends meeting last week and most of the parents there had children who passed away several years ago. They were so supportive and understanding of each other and us. And they acknowledged that it takes a long time before you stop asking "Why?" and accept what is. We all talked about our children who died and our children who survive. We discussed how they get messages from their beloved children. One woman told us how she found a lone cloud in a clear blue sky in the shape of the first letter of her long gone son's name, and how another has butterflies landing on her when she thinks of her son. The group meets monthly and John and I plan on attending for a while.

I've written much here, I know it's been a long time and I know it is a bit disjointed. I have written more in a journal I'm keeping. It began as Brianna's Idea book. She had cut and pasted art ideas and drawings of things she wanted to create into a large, bound sketch book. Only the first 15 pages or so were filled during the past year. Hopes and dreams she will never fulfill. I have commented on some of her ideas and how she so wanted a laser cutter to make laser sculpted, acrylic pendants. I have written how I actually priced one out for her and found they run about $10,000. Besides the price tag, it wouldn't have fit in our home. I had to tell her no on that one, but she understood. I am writing memories about her and the things she did that made her so unique and the daughter I love and miss so very much.

Brianna ~ You are forever in our hearts. God bless my sweatheart.


Nina said...

Dear Mrs. Wilcox, Mr. Wilcox, And Trevor: Not a day goes by that I don't think of Brianna. She was an amazing person and an extraordinary friend. I also have been checking this blog for updates, and hoping that all is going better for you. I have reached a point where I can think about Brianna, and without crying, I can remember all of the wonderful moments we shared. I am able to watch Legends of the Hidden Temple on TV and smile; it is easier to think about the times that she gave me advice; and even today I thought of her, simply because of the shirt I was wearing, because I knew that she liked it. The movie "High School Musical 2" premiers this month on Disney. Memories flooded my mind of staying up late one night at your house, watching the first movie, and learning the dance moves and lyrics to the songs, even though we both knew how silly it was. I know that she would have wanted to watch the second one and learned all of the dance moves to that as well. There are, however, moments when anything else is unavoidable, and I breakdown. I miss your daughter so much. She was such a special young woman, with charisma and life, and knowing that her life was ended so early, with so much to look forward to in her future, is enough to make anyone cry. But Brianna is a much better place now. She can be creative and loving and herself! in heaven. Her memory on earth will live on forever in the hearts of everyone who knew her, even if indirectly, or just from a high school class. So many people who did not know Brianna personally have told me that they did know who she was, mostly because of her radiant smile and contagious laugh. I have learned so much because of your daughter, and that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Nina, what a lovely tribute to your friend. Thank you for sharing that. I know it will bless her parents and brother, and all who love Brianna.

CCs Whimsies said...

Iva, I know these days are painful and raw. I am just so happy that you found a group to share with. I would imagine it would help immensely.

I can't wait to see you and hug you again. With both of our losses, we could use the Pomitinis! Love you, Christy

carole said...

Hi Iva:
I get chills every time I read about Brianna. I cannot imagine the pain, hurt, desperation you feel as I have not been through an ordeal such as you and your family. My Mom (she is 99) knows and her pain hurts me. The Eiffel Tower is less for Brianna not having visited there.
Much hope and beauty was put into the angels auction for Brianna.
Thank you for sharing with us

Flea Market Queen said...

I have no words...just know you are in my thoughts and prayers!

Anonymous said...

Hi Iva and John,
I was in Germany earlier this month. One day there, I visited the city of Heidelberg, which is known as the "City of Romanticism." While I was there, I went into the Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit). I lit a candle in memory of Brianna. She still is in my heart and thoughts on a daily basis, and I never even heard her voice! It was through your family that I learned about Brianna's amazing spirit. I hope you all feel supported at this time.

Take care,
Roslyn Rivera

I have some pictures of the church, if you'd like to see; feel free to email me:

Cara said...

Oh Iva, my heart goes out to you.
late of FOAF

Ry said...

To the parents of Brianna : Hi, my name is Ry, and although you probably don't know me, I knew your daughter back when she was a freshman at Houston High school in Memphis TN. I was in Brianna's gym class that year, and me being a new kid to the area, I didn't know very many people. I remember that Brianna came up to me in gym class and introduced herself and from then on we became good friends. She was my first real friend in high school and while I think about her, I think of all those times that I shared with her that year. I remember seeing all her pictures of Greenday all over her locker and her telling me how obsessed she was with them. I also remember how in gym class me and her would sit in the back of the classroom and listen to her ipod (since I didn't have one at the time). I just found out about Brianna's death yesterday and I was totally shocked when I heard and I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I just wanted to let you know that Brianna was such a great person, and there's truely not anyone else in this world who is as great as she was, and even though we didn't stay in touch after she moved to California, she will always be in my heart. I wish you and your family the best of wishes.

Erin said...

I stumbled upon your blog today... I can tell you that I know the pain you are feeling. Our 17 year old son, James, died on June 12, 2006. I read about Brianna, and she sounds much like my son. Generous, accomplished, and filled love, happiness,and fun! I am so sorry that someone else must endure such agony. I just am so sorry for your family. I offer you my deepest, heartfelt empathy. Your daughter was truly beautiful Her spirit just shines through her smile! Fondly, Erin

LYNDY WARD said...

Brianna, this message is to you dear sweet angel. I keep seeing your sweet beautiful photo on all my image links on the Internet. I know your here as a guardian angel. Please keep watch over your dear family & friends...

May God Bless You Always,